A word to Science: time to stop kissing the butt of evangelicals
Are you looking for a job as a professional accomodationist? Do you want to peddle the dogma that science and religion (specifically evangelical Christianity) are always compatible, and be paid for it? Congratulations! One of the most prestigious scientific bodies in the world, the American Association for Advancement of Sciences (publisher of the journal Science) has an opening just for you. It will look great on your resume too!
These are the requirements for the job, and the responsibilities:
Senior Program Associate (Req. #2026) (Full Time)
Location: Washington DC
The American Association for the Advancement of Science seeks a Senior Program Associate to work within the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Program. The position involves an exciting new project geared to promote positive understanding between the scientific and religious communities, particularly evangelical Christianity.
This position is anticipated to extend for a period of one year with the potential for renewal.
Major duties and responsibilities:
- Manages the project Advisory Committee
- Works with contractors and partners including evangelical organizations and prominent scientists
- Consults on public survey research related to project goals
- Writes and edits project-related materials
- Creates and maintains online resources
- Manages project finances
- Represents and speaks on behalf of the project and supervises project interns
- Extensive university or college level training leading to a Bachelor’s degree in the biological or physical sciences; Master’s degree or PhD preferred
- Experience or familiarity with evangelical Christianity
- Sincere interest in the science and religion dialogue
- Strong technology skills in contemporary software packages, particularly in Microsoft Office
- Ability to travel at least twice annually
- Public Speaking experience; experience organizing public events
- Experience with web design software and social media programs
- Coursework in theology or religious studies preferred Strong research skills and financial management abilities preferred
And what has been the result of these servile efforts? As you might imagine, there has been a good deal of ridicule from the evangelical hierarchy. For example, David French, of Pat Robertson’s ACLJ, has this to say about such efforts:
Evangelicals are simultaneously assaulted and wooed: You’re a hateful bigot until the very instant you abandon the unborn, capitulate on marriage, and embrace environmental activism. Then, you’re celebrated as tolerant and even courageous.
At times, the effort was almost transparently pathetic (who knew it was more pro-life to buy a Prius than to protect unborn children?) and other times downright malicious.
He is pretty dismissive of all these efforts.
The stick will grow heavier and the carrot tastier. But I’m far more optimistic about our ability to endure than at any time since 2008. [No Cross No Crescent: I guess “endure” means “stay inflexible”.]
The reason being:
According to the exit-poll data, not only did Evangelicals turn out for Mitt Romney at percentages that exceeded George W. Bush’s and John McCain’s share of the Evangelical vote, they also constituted a record-high share of the overall electorate.
(Of course others have looked at the same data and sounded the alarm for evangelicals.)
So what does the AAAS have to show for these efforts that have earned them ridicule and dismissal? Evangelicals have lower levels of acceptance of climate change that the general public, and level of acceptance of evolution the way scientists understand it among generic weekly church attending people are abysmal.
Why won’t the AAAS try to reach out to the fast growing segment of the population, the religiously unaffiliated, instead of evangelicals, is a mystery to me. As it happens, we are a lot more likely to accept scientific consensus, since we don’t have a religious doctrine standing in the way.