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Creationism kills people?


Creationists get called lots of not-so-nice things (The portrayal of creationists by their evolutionist detractors). Liars. Bonkers. Sometimes, however, the rhetoric escalates, and we are labelled as dangerous. But is creationism, as a subset of “literalistic biblical theology”, really guilty of murdering people en masse?

Christopher C. from the United States accuses us of this and more. His letter is posted indented below with point-by-point responses by CMI’s Shaun Doyle, interspersed as per normal email fashion.

Dear Christopher,

Thanks for writing in. I have coloured your message below in red, and my interspersed responses in black.

This is specious. https://creation.com/darwinism-and-the-nazi-race-holocaust

For you to disavow the massive influence of literalistic biblical theology and the torture and murder of Jews for 1500 years before the advent of Hitler is inexcusable. The idea that “Judeo-Christian doctrine was expunged” and replaced by Darwinism is the worst form of lie imaginable. Hitler directly credited the Christian religion and specifically the Catholic church with the example of how and why to kill Jews.

Have you heard of the White Rose society? They were a peaceful resistance movement in Germany to the Nazi regime. Unfortunately, their main members were executed in 1943 by the Nazis. But they are most famous for a series of pamphlets that they used to encourage their fellow Germans to resist the Nazis. In their fourth Leaflet of the White Rose, I think they give a brilliant assessment of Hitler’s (ab)use of Christianity:

“Every word that proceeds from Hitler’s mouth is a lie. When he says peace, he means war. And when he names the name of the Almighty in a most blasphemous manner, he means the almighty evil one, that fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the stinking maw of hell and his might is fundamentally reprobate.”1

They understood that Hitler’s use of Christian rhetoric wasn’t genuine; it was opportunistic (see Was Hitler a Christian? and The Christian Nazi myth refuted).

Nonetheless, I take it you find this statement from the article you object to, Darwinism and the Nazi race holocaust, particularly offensive:

“If the Nazi party had fully embraced and consistently acted on the belief that all humans were descendants of Adam and Eve and equal before the creator God, as taught in both the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures, the holocaust would never have occurred.”

The question is, how is it false? Regarding professing Christians who mistreated Jews throughout church history (and, sadly, it did of course happen; we don’t deny it), how do their actions show that they “fully embraced and consistently acted on the belief that all humans were descendants of Adam and Eve and equal before the creator God, as taught in both the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures [emphasis added]”? The horrific things professing Christians did to Jews throughout church history is inexcusable. But the fact is it was motivated not by “literalistic biblical theology”, but by theology that didn’t take the Bible literally and seriously enough.

Yet you seek to deflect this patent illustration of the damage done by biblical literalism because it points a finger directly at your methodologies.

You. Are. Evil.

You. Are. Wrong.

You. Killed. Jesus.

At first, I thought you were saying that we were illicitly accusing the Jews of killing Jesus. Indeed, there is a long and deplorable sub-Christian tradition of doing this. But it is sub-Christian; it’s not a proper Christian response. The Apostle Paul points out the problem with it:

“I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew” (Romans 11:1–2).

If Paul, Jew and arch-persecutor of the church in its earliest days (and perhaps in the mob that called for Jesus’ crucifixion?), can be saved by God in Christ, then any Jew can be. That’s also a reason for us to love Jews, not hate them. And if they refuse to repent? If they hate us and persecute us? Again, Paul is instructive:

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. … If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:15,18).

All this follows from taking the Bible literally and seriously.

But then I thought you might actually be accusing us of killing Jesus. If that’s the case, that’s clearly as nonsensical as accusing modern Jews of killing Jesus. Why? For one, we weren’t there.

Of course, in a certain sense we might say we’re all responsible for Jesus’ death, in that our sin was the reason He died. But that’s clearly not what you’re referring to.

That’s right…it was religious authoritarians protecting their “tradition” of scripturally literal doctrine that conspired to kill Jesus. It had nothing to do with their Jewishness and everything to do with their heinous craving for power and authority over others.

I agree that, in getting Jesus killed, the Jewish leaders were concerned with preserving their power. Still, they were Jews, but of course so was Jesus. They had different visions of what it was to be a true Jew, and that was in part what led to Jesus being executed.

Still, didn’t Jesus accuse His opponents of nullifying the plain word of God with their tradition (Mark 7:9–13)? He also used the straightforward, literal meanings of biblical commands to refute and resist Satan (Matthew 4:1–10). That seems to show that Jesus defended ‘biblical literalism’ to some degree. And obviously, Jesus taught and practiced servant leadership (Mark 10:35–45). That is a “scripturally literal doctrine” that we aim to follow. We of course admit that we do it imperfectly. But nonetheless, where do you see us oppressing people? Where do you see us killing people? We think we’re right, and we’re not afraid to say so. But that’s as far as we go.

Creationism is yet another example of a ‘tradition’ wrought from scripturally literal theology. It is bad theology, and it has a long, long history of killing people.

Do you have any concrete examples of creationism killing people? And I’m talking about actual killing of actual people, like the evolution-inspired Herero and Nama genocides, the Holocaust, and the mass-killings of Marxism.

Now it is used to defy science and prevent its use in managing the world’s climate in the face of human-induced global warming.

So you’re killing all over again. You are killers of truth and killers of people.

Even if all creationists denied human-caused global warming (which we don’t), and this made us “killers of people” (which it doesn’t), it’s still not the same thing as actually killing people because some group thinks another group is lower on the evolutionary scale than them.

Creation.com indeed. More like Destruction.com. The name fits. Start using it if you’re honest.

And be advised. I’m soon going to publish a book that is going to take your whole worldview down in a ball of flames. You are liars and bigots and zealots just like Ken Ham and the rest of those AnswersInGenesis fools who think literalism and biblical inerrancy and infallibility are absolute truth. They are not, and Jesus sought to shed the burden of hypocrisy created by legalism. It sickens me to read what you write. How you make excuses and blame “Darwinism” for the sick and twisted ideology wrought by your brand of religion.

God does not forgive the actions of the manipulative and those who twist his words. The Serpent in Genesis is evidence of that.

This sort of invective makes me confident that you’re not actually reading what we write. You’re only reading into what we write what you expect us to say. I would cordially invite you to really take a look at what we actually say on creation.com, starting with this: The Good News. It’s good news because God in the Gospel gives forgiveness to sinners who trust in His Son. Even sinners as bad as us. God really is that loving! And you can know Him too.

Kind regards,
Shaun Doyle
Creation Ministries International

Published: 2 November 2019

References and notes

  1. Leaflets of the White Rose. IV (trans. Sachs, R.H.), white-rose-studies.org/Leaflet_4.html, accessed 20 September 2019. Return to text.

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