I have this fantasy. If Kirk Cameron was coming into town, I’d go to wherever he was speaking just to heckle him. I’d bring Derek Kidner with me. I’ve never heckled anyone before, nor am I confident in my heckling skills, but for Kirk, I’d practice. And I’d hope to God that Ray Comfort was with him, because I’d have a basket full of bananas with which to exercise my throwing arm.
Monkey #1: “I heard Tom Wolfe is speaking at Lincoln Center.”
Monkey #2: [Signs excitedly]
Monkey #1: “Well of course we’re going to throw poo at him!”
– Madagascar (2005 Animated Film)
Let me tell you a little story
A couple years ago in college, I took a biology class that was required for my CSE degree. One day, some people were on campus handing out free copies of Origin of the Species. These were no ordinary people though, they were Christians, and these were no ordinary copies of Origin of the Species, they were altered.
These Christians, led by Kirk Cameron and his cohorts, handed out copies of Origin of the Species that included a foreword that detailed Adolf Hitler’s “undeniable connection” to Evolution, Darwin’s racism, and his hatred of women. The rest of the book was a word for word copy of Origin of the Species. I get it, I really do, but sometimes I wonder how much is done as Christians to make ourselves feel better, with utter disregard for it’s actual effect on what we want to accomplish.
My Biology Professor, got wind of this. She wasn’t mad, and she didn’t argue about how Kirk Cameron was wrong. She said, “Hello class, I have in my hand a copy of the Origin of the Species. As you probably already know, it’s being handed out all over campus. What you may not have known is that it contains a prologue written by a man named Kirk Cameron, a actor from a what used to be a hit TV show called Growing Pains. You may not remember Kirk Cameron, but I want you to watch this video and see if you recognize him and his buddy who organized this whole event.” This was the video she showed us:
After showing us the video, every one in the 400 plus class had the best laugh ever, and I sat there in shock at what had just taken place. I felt sorry for any Christians in the room who might have been making progress being a witness to their classmates or friends.
My Professor didn’t have to present a single argument, she simply let Ray Comfort do all the talking and Kirk’s nodding approval speak for itself. It was genius. She then graciously said that she doesn’t wish to offend anyone’s religious sensibilities, but just wanted to let you know who was behind those books being handed out in campus. She concluded, “Oh, and by the way, it’s a free copy of Origin of the Species, go grab one!”
I went home and decided to see what else Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort had to say. I wasn’t pleased.
If you ever come across the phrase, “Doing more harm than good,” picture the banana video you just watched. Let it remain etched in your brain for eternity. Fortunately, Ray and Kirk are not the best we have to offer. Those guys are at biologos.org.
If I wished to push Christianity into the sea, I wouldn’t look for the expertise of Richard Dawkins. No. I’d hire Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Santorum as my Generals. Enthusiasm doesn’t make up for incompetence. I know Christians, and I know that all these guys at one point had someone whispering in their ears, “You don’t know if you were created for such a time as this. God showed me such and such…” Filling their heads and egos with God-ordained sweet nothings.
Oh it’s late, I can’t do this right now…
Update 5/15/15: This quote comes to mind:
“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”
– Augustine, De Genesi ad litteram: 1.19.39 translated by J.H. Taylor, Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.