Monday, February 26, 2007

Theocracy: Giving The Game Away

When the BCSE's founders were holding their pre-launch discussions, there was one thing they kept saying. The BCSE's ultimate aim is to save the UK from the threat of a theocracy.

But no, by that they don't mean Islamic Jihadists, or the like. They mean, those people from the local evangelical church. According to the BCSE, the real reason why people disagree with naturalism in its various forms is that it's part of a master-plan to abolish democracy...

In my mind, a somewhat surreal future scene floats before me. It is the year 2156, and the month is October. The people of the UK are gathering together to mark "Roger Stanyard day". They gather round busts of the BCSE's first leader in their town squares. Speeches are given. Toasts are made. The whole country is remembering that momentous day 150 years earlier, when the BCSE launched - and saved democracy! At the time, nobody realised that freedom was under such severe threat. But happily, a few alert Internet atheists spotted the danger - and saved our country! Here in the year 2007 we may presently be remembering evangelical Christian William Wilberforce, and his efforts to abolish the slave trade. But in future years, the world will toast Mr. Roger Stanyard - rabidly anti-evangelical, the saviour of democracy!

OK. That's just a bit ridiculous. But that's the point, isn't it? If the BCSE really are the guardians of our democracy...

Where We've Been

I've shown you plenty of quotes documenting this immense silliness. Here are a couple of reminders. BCSE committee member Timothy Chase:

As for their dishonesty, it runs very deep. When you consider what they are after -- indoctrinating students in science classes with a religio-political ideology intended to establish a theocracy ... well, I don't know what other word to use, I can only describe it as evil. [BlackShadow 1273]

and Chase again, suggesting an alternative name for the BCSE before it had picked its present title:

Science Education Coalition United Regarding Evolution


... because we are defending education against the threat posed by creationism and creationist ideology, and both the UK and democracy against the threat of theocracy. The name would draw attention to the threat posed by what it is we are against. [BlackShadow 1506]

The front page of the BCSE's website presently carries words written by Mr. Roger Stanyard, committee member and de facto BCSE leader:

Moreover, the [creationist] movement includes extreme political objectives, one of which is the replacement of democracy with a theocracy based on its extreme religious opinions.

I have been documenting the BCSE's position on these issues - and the fairly obvious contradictions between such political/religious statements and the BCSE's statements that it is a non-political and non-religious organisation! For most people, statements like the ones above will be quite sufficient to mark the BCSE out as belonging to the Dawkinsian lunatic fringe of Internet atheism. That's why I blog - to point out who they really are.


Most of my previous articles on this theme have arisen from a challenge I made to the BCSE - and their attempt to meet it. If those questioning Darwinism in the UK really are aiming for "the replacement of democracy with a theocracy" - if the BCSE isn't telling enormous falsehoods - then why don't they document it for us? Why not show us the evidence? Those listed on the BCSE's "Who is Who" page have produced a great number of books, tapes, leaflets, etc. between them. Please show us we can find this political program reflected!

In response, the BCSE put up a page on its website entitled "Theocracy". In the BCSE forum, its author, Dr. Brian Jordan, confirmed that it was a response to my challenge.

I then proceeded to analyse the page, quote-by-quote. The main thing that came out was this: the BCSE have no evidence ffor its allegations. In case after case, we found that Dr. Jordan hadn't produced quotes that said anything about the replacement of democracy. He had produced quotes which in some way or other stated the truthfulness of Christianity - or disagreed with secular humanism.

The application to the political sphere, and the inference that therefore Christians ought to rise up against democracy, existed only in Dr. Jordan's head. It provided more evidence again that the main driving force of the BCSE's ideology isn't science, or education - it's to oppose the expression of authentic Christianity.

What's New?

The point of today's article is to point out that the BCSE have now taken a step which gives the game away.

After my series of articles on their "Theocracy" page had ended, they took a significant step. They re-named the page. It is now called: "The Theocratic Tendency".

In that change, we see two significant concessions:

  1. They have no evidence

    The front page of the BCSE's website continues to allege that the creationist movement in the UK is aiming for "the replacement of democracy with a theocracy".

    But where's the evidence? All the BCSE is now offering us is a few quotes in which Christians affirm Christianity - but say precious little about how this affects their political outlook, and nothing at all about any desire for a different system of government.

    So - we're back where we started. We have all these allegations from the BCSE - but nothing to back it up.

    Or in other words - the BCSE have again been caught out in making vacuous claims. And on issues which are their the reason for their very existence!

  2. It Is About Christianity After All

    The BCSE now have a web-page (linked from every single page of their site) entitled "The Theocratic Tendency", containing quotes in which Christians affirm various tennets of historic Christianity - the supremacy of God, our duty to worship him, the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and Christ's return as judge at the end of the present age. This is what their page details: Christian doctrine.

    The BCSE have now implicitly admitted that these quotes do not explicitly advocate the replacement of democracy. They say next to nothing about politics. But now they have taken a new position - these quotes contain a "theocratic tendency".

    Or in other words - orthodox Christianity must be opposed, because its doctrines have theocratic "tendencies".

    The problem with evangelical Christianity, according to the BCSE, as that it isn't secular humanism. It doesn't agree that man is self-sufficient. It doesn't agree that man should act independently of God. It doesn't agree that whatever God there may be should be ignored, and all of public life should be carried out on stricitly non-religious principles. It tends towards the idea that man should bow the knee to his maker. Well, blow me down!

    To this charge, guv'nor, I, as a Christian must plead "guilty as charged". The Christian faith is indeed, not secular humanism. It has a tremendous amount to say about God, his rule, and our duty to him. All the following are statements which I believe to be true, and fundamental to a right view of the universe and ourselves. And I would love to debate them with anyone - providing that they're willing to admit what they're really debating about, and not do it under the pretence of being scientists or educators. Here are some key assertions of Christianity:

    • God is indeed God. He rules. Everything is under his authority.

    • Because God made us, that includes us. We live under his sovereign rule.

    • Because God made us, we owe him total obedience. The idea of human "freedom" to behave as we please, such that even God cannot forbid us, is atheistic bunk.

    • God has given everybody a conscience, as a testimony to the truth of these facts. We are unavoidably moral beings. Even atheists, when promoting atheism, usually do so by borrowing the tools of theism, and arguing that this or that religion is morally defective. Try as we might, we cannot get away from the centrality of moral law in the universe which God has made.

      Naturalism cannot explain this phenomena. We all act and behave as if morality is an undeniable fact - and when we do that, we testify that God is.

    • God could have damned us all for our wrong-doing... but instead, he has in mercy set up a kingdom of love - through Jesus Christ. Instead of sending his Son to condemn us, he sent his Son to save. God has now established the kingdom which will never end. This kingdom is the one which is ruled by God's Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is Lord, and rightful ruler of the entire cosmos.

    • Jesus Christ will one day judge both the living and the dead. God has proven this fact by raising him from the dead. (Yes, I know that in the news today a film-maker claims to have proved this false ... but please take the time to notice the contradictions between this year's new conspiracy theory and last year's... they can't both be true... and if this year's is true, next year's, which will also be contradictory, isn't...). Those who refuse God's offer of mercy and determine instead to continue in rebellion against their maker and against his Son's rule can only hope for eternal justice - which means eternal damnation.

    • The final rule of Jesus Christ is not yet established. It is established in principle - he is at the right hand of God. It is being established in practice gradually and inwardly, as people are persuaded to receive his gracious offer of free and full forgiveness for all of our wrong-doing and rebellion - and as their lives are changed into lives of love by his Holy Spirit.

    • The final outward form of Jesus' kingdom will indeed be outward, and total. It will be a theocracy! But that final outward form is explicitly not to be established by his followers using politics or any other outward means. It is not to be established until Christ himself returns and establishes it by his own power - not ours. Only prayer and persuasion - and these only - are our legitimate tools today. Christianity is radically different from Islam. Over 3,000 years ago the Israelite prophets prophesied that the nations of the world would come to worship the God of Israel, because of the coming Messiah. Today, the Christian message is spreading throughout the world, and people out of all countries are worshipping the God who first revealed himself to Israel - because of Jesus Christ. Coincedence? I think not!

Doesn't that sound like a "theocratic tendency" to you? Of course. Because God rules, whether we let him or not. Newsflash: Christianity is not secular humanism! For a time, God allows us to rebel - but he has set limits on that time. During that time, he opens wide his arms, and lovingly offers us a totally free pardon. What love! What kindness! He has been offended - but offers us grace. He, 2000 years ago, gave his own Son to the death of the cross, to bear the sentence the offence deserved, so that we can go free. We deserve damnation - but are offered freedom. But make no mistake - if we determine not to go free, his rule will remain.

This is orthodox Christianity. This is what you will find if you read the words of Jesus in the Bible. This is what you will find taught by the apostles in the New Testament. This is the consistent perspective of the Bible. This is what is affirmed in the historic creeds and confessions of the Christian church. This is Christianity. It is true. Millions of true Christians have relied upon it, and found Jesus Christ to be a wonderful friend - and a mighty Saviour.

The BCSE don't like it. It's not the secular humanism which they arrogantly insist everyone must conform to. They call it "the theocratic tendency".

But now they do that full-well knowing that their problem is not about "the replacement of democracy". Now, they do it full-well knowing that it is about their own resistance Jesus Christ. They oppose Christianity, because its tendency to teach that man is not the ultimate ruler - God is. They oppose Christianity, because it teaches that humanism is a false religious system that leads to misery and damnation. They oppose Christianity, because it teaches that however much we rebel against him, God still rules.

The mask has come off... the game has been given away.

I hope that the BCSE will be honest enough to stop pretending that their problem is with science. Their problem is with the claims of Jesus Christ. When they've stopped pretending - we can have a proper discussion. I'm all up for it.

David Anderson

I presume that none of my readers imagine that I think the above belongs in state school science lessons. I have to say that, because the BCSE's web-site is full of the following non-sequitor: 1) Mr. X makes scientific criticisms of Darwinism 2) Mr. X also believes certain religious doctrines 3) Therefore, Mr. X thinks that his religious doctrines should be taught in science lessons. Err, no.

BlackShadow posts have been pulled by the BCSE from the Internet. I am able to provide a copy to researchers - e-mail me.

Non-anonymous factual corrections welcomed by e-mail. Comments are moderated - please read my comments policy.

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