I had to speak up. I was becomingly increasingly uncomfortable as my Sunday school class attacked science while promoting creationism. Many of these good people had willingly given themselves over to advanced medical care including drugs, CT and MRI scans based on the same kind of science that debunks creationism.
My wife and I often just kept quiet when creationism came up. The church did have great children’s programs after all; Toye was very active in choir and playing flute. We both performed in church Christmas and Easter productions. I am told I played a great Pilate. I wryly noted with a smile “I just pretended I was Dick Cheney”.
I asked the drama director to play that young man (I was a bit younger then) who runs away naked from Jesus’ arrest (Mark 14: 51-52). With a smile, I also noted that “Hey, this is a Bible-believing church, right? That streaker at the arrest is in Mark’s gospel. If we don’t let me play that part, then we aren’t doing the scene Biblically, and we do want to true to God’s word.”
The drama director, an English teacher who shared my respect for Hemingway, smiled. Our productions deleted Mark 14:51-52.
The Sunday school class, nonetheless, clung to creationism, now claiming that even the atomic nature of matter is “just a theory.” I shared that my practice as a physician is entirely founded on the same sort of science they are bashing and “…. that to several hundred thousand people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945 the atom was a whole lot more than ‘just’ a theory.”
Truth, science and facts are not optional or subject to pre-conceived political or religious ideology. Bad things happen when we ignore truth. Science and facts always win in the end. If the United States had listened to the sciences of virology and epidemiology and public health as well as, say Germany, over 250,000 of us would be alive today.
Dr. Amy Acton compassionately told the whole truth. I sent her a laudatory message for her quoting of Dr. Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” as the first wave of COVID-19 struck in March. Frankl, while imprisoned in a Nazi death camp, learned that we can give meaning to our struggles by choosing to face them bravely.
Today we can mask, hunker down, get vaccinated and beat COVID-19. Dr. Acton was a courageous kind leader and speaker of truth. Truth tellers are so often met with violence. Dr. Acton had her home surrounded with armed men for speaking her truth. Jesus himself, the Scriptures state, was killed precisely for his truthful street theater against the money-changers and dove sellers (Mark 11:18) .
For the sake of our nation, I pray earnestly that we can move beyond darkness to politics based firmly on science, facts, truth and compassion for all.
Lies kill. Science and truth save lives.
Brad Cotton submitted this column to The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.