Here is an opinion article in the Washington Post that harks back to the Scopes Trial of 1925. The piece argues that even though William Jennings Bryan lost the trial in the court of public opinion and was humiliated in the popular press and in the eyes of the elites, his supporters were undeterred and dug in even more fervently. They essentially formed what is now the creationist movement that still to this today has a large influence on evangelical Christianity and society as a whole. An influence that is distinctly anti-science. The article says:
While Bryan saw himself as making the case against evolution using the latest evidence from leading scientists, institutions such as Bryan College have little interest in evidence offered by scientists when it conflicts with biblical teachings. And they remain potent forces in American society: As Gallup polls show, even today, about four in 10 adults think that humans were created “pretty much in their present form” within the past 10,000 years, a number that has remained fairly steady since at least the 1980s.
The article goes on to note:
In one way, however, Trump is reviving Bryan’s memory. The president’s shameful science denialism, like Bryan’s, has only made him more popular. Trump infamously touted ludicrous ideas about science and medicine, including recommendations to inject disinfectant as a cure for the novel coronavirus. Yet among Republican voters, Trump’s unbelievable and outrageous statements did not disqualify him. Entirely to the contrary — he secured the second-most votes in history as millions of Americans who feel scorned by elites flocked to the anti-expertise president…
Even worse, the aftermath of the election has paralleled the late 1920s. Unrestrained from the traditions of mainstream politics and culture, the ideas of Trump’s hardcore followers have become even more bizarre, even more dangerous.
I find this deeply troubling. The conspiracy thinking has hindered this nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic- costing actual human lives. The Trump administration reportedly has failed to secure enough vaccine for the spring meaning the company, Pfizer, may not be able to deliver additional doses beyond what’s already contracted until next summer due to commitments to other countries, despite Pfizer’s offer to sell it to us. Again, this has the potential to cost more actual human lives. Then there is the IDIOTIC campaign to overturn the election results, despite multitudinous court losses, including the recent Supreme Court refusal to hear their case in Pennsylvania . New Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett appeared to have participated in the case; no dissents or recusals were noted. From the article:
Trump’s most stalwart supporters are White evangelical Protestants, the group that built this network of creationist colleges. Certainly not all, but many conservative evangelical institutions have taught students for generations to be suspicious of mainstream science, to look askance at “fake news.” In many ways, the universities that took pride in their radical creationism were the same ones that shared Trump’s “Make America Great Again” dream.
This does not augur well for the future of evangelical Christianity. Rather than recover from this unwise alliance with Trumpism, many seem to be doubling down. Well, if the future of evangelical Christianity is to be irrelevant to American society, then so be it. I want to make it clear where I stand. Trumpism and creationism are bankrupt, impotent, useless ideologies that not only have no connection with Jesus Christ and His legacy, but are, in fact, ANTICHRIST. These ideologies drive people away from the truth and into delusion. Damn them both.