As classrooms all over America prepare students for the last remaining weeks in school before summer vacation, John Glenn, the first U.S. astronaut in space suggests evolution should be taught in schools, according to CBS News. The issue that most Christians should to be pondering is whether Glenn’s comments are going to be used by teachers and school officials to place further distance between Christianity, creationism and evolutionary teachings in the classroom.
Former Senator Glenn, now 93, has had a much heralded life which began as a World War II and Korean conflict fighter pilot. He became a hero for most Americans with is his historic orbit of the earth as the first American to do so.
So his comments seem quite strange and almost contradictory from what he said in 1998. Then he stated, “To look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible.” Yet, now he embraces the feeling that evolution must be the standard that is taught.
Of course for many parents and students in America, evolution has been the standard for teaching the origination and development of humans since Christian and biblical teaching was sent to the proverbial woodshed over a half century ago. Creationism, which is the belief in the biblical account of creation as it appears in the Book of Genesis, has all but been removed from textbooks in American classrooms.
The importance of former Senator Glenn’s comments has special relevance. Those who are part of the anti-Christian forces in public education on the local, state and national level will use his comments as more evidence that a historic icon like Glenn even supports evolution over creationism.
To reinforce his stance, Glenn further emphasized that he sees no true conflict between believing in God and believing in evolution. Again, that statement will be used by mainstream media pundits as well as atheist education leaders to shore up the belief that God is only a concept while evolution or Darwinism is true fact.
Some may say that there is no harm in what Glenn is stating, but those who have seen the erosion of Christianity in the classroom, even as a historical subject, know far better.
What started as a dribble with Charles Darwin’s >The Origin of Species, that was published in 1859, has become an anti-Christianity tsunami where blasting holes in Biblical creationism has become the accepted norm. Glenn’s comments only shore up this continuing assault on Biblical beliefs in which the secularist education community now stresses that animals, vegetation, and the Earth itself were not created by God.
Perhaps what Glenn may have been suggesting is the idea that God, through Intelligent Design, actually did create the earth as a purposeful act. This presupposes that God started and even guided the “evolutionary” process. This premise does somehow allow for the scientific and the religious ideals to coexist.
It is not farfetched to believe that one comment or one event can turn a nation on its head in regard to evolution vs. creationism. As a case in point, the 1925 state of Tennessee “Scopes Monkey Trial” comes to mind. It clearly demonstrates how the case challenging the state law prohibiting teaching evolution from being taught actually sped up the movement toward teaching evolution in the schools.
Schoolteacher John Scopes intentionally taught evolution in his classroom because he wanted to challenge the law. Two legal heavyweights of the early 20th century came to courtroom verbal blows over creationism versus evolution. Williams Jennings Bryan, a candidate for president three times, prosecuted Scopes. Meanwhile legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow defended Scopes.
It was reported at the time that the nation was on edge as it listened to the trial which was broadcast over the new invention called the radio. In the end, Scopes lost and paid a $100 fine, but evolution in the classroom would soon be unleashed all across the nation.
In the 21st century America, textbooks are brimming with evolutionary beliefs while creationism has been shackled. Perhaps it will take a not so random comment from a former astronaut to begin to reverse the removal of Biblical creationism from the nation’s classrooms. One can only pray that it does.