After reading another toxic criticism of Intelligent Design (this time in the letters section of the current Newsweek on dead tree), I realized once again that the antics of the left (especially the anti-religious left) are offputting to me even though I may be sympathetic to their views. I cannot possibly be the only one who is disgusted by the scathing condescension and sanctimony coming from leftists who eagerly bash anyone to whom religion is anything but an afterthought. If I am part of a larger group, the left may be working against their stated goals, by turning supporters into opponents.
While I tend to agree with elements of both evolution and intelligent design, my views lean more towards the former rather than the latter. However, the evolution absolutists out there insist God had no hand in the formation of the species, and that anyone who believes otherwise is a mindless fool. That, to me, is far more insulting than the condemnation I would get from a fundamentalist Christian, who would (at worst) tell me that I am going to hell because I don't believe in the bible. While I share a common belief with the evolutionist camp, I have developed great sympathy for ID because its advocates are not a bunch of screaming militants, despite an attempt to portray them as such. I'm sorry, I can see who is doing the screeching, and it's not the ID propenents.
I have a similar reaction to the abortion debate, although both sides have issued a lot of ugly rhetoric. I find the "it's murder" argument to be much less offensive than the "keep your religion off of my ovaries" line of thought, even though I am lukewarmly pro-choice. (My belief is that I'm never going to be pregnant, which means that it's a decision I'll never have to make. It's a cop-out, perhaps, but it's where I stand on the issue.) Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but the pro-life side takes a stand on the principle of the issue, whereas the left uses ad hominem attacks on the intelligence or motivations of those with whom they disagree. (There are plenty of exceptions on the abortion issue, however, so don't cite examples to "prove" otherwise. And I am specifically condemning those who bomb abortion clinics, so don't even go there. That's not the same issue.)
Maybe it's just a bit of non-conformism on my part, since the current default position for both issues is the liberal side (abortion is legal and evolution is what is taught in schools). I cannot say with any certainty if my views would change were the situation to be different, although I would like to believe that I would maintain the consistency of my position.
posted on August 27, 2005 11:29 AM