Sunday mornings are a good time for enjoying the funnies. I am not, however, limiting myself to what I discover in the comics section of the daily newspaper. Some of the most entertainingly amusing stuff is on television, where religious broadcasters present surreal comedy routines that they deliver with astonishing earnestness. (I marvel at how they manage to keep a straight face.)
This morning's entertainment was provided in part by Shawn Boonstra, an earnest and soft-spoken television preacher who styles himself as the “speaker/director” of his It Is Written ministry. He had set himself the task of discussing Einstein's brain and using it as an example of the insufficiency of natural processes to explain the existence or intelligence of humanity.
You know, on paper, sometimes the theory of evolution makes pretty good sense, but don't you find there's this nagging doubt in your heart that tells you this place couldn't possibly have come into existence by accident? How in the world does a cosmic accident develop to the point where we can generate nuclear power? What can we learn from a literal chunk of Einstein's brain?Ah, yes, the “cosmic accident.” Time to pull God out of the hat as a convenient explanation.
If that were all, Boonstra's presentation would have passed by, unremarked and unremarkable. Fortunately, however, for the sake of my morning entertainment, he had a compelling argument for God's existence based on morality. Without a divine lawgiver, you see, anything goes! While I had heard that before, too, I hadn't heard his precise example before:
By the authority of science, of course! Science amply demonstrates that volcanoes are not propitiated by virgin sacrifice. The virgins thus spared can then be employed in more productive ways.
Yay, science! Boo, volcano gods!
But Boonstra had worked up a head of steam, so he kept rolling along:
Not only do I believe in a creator God, I also believe in a moral God, a great lawgiver who gave us a perfect moral code. And far from being a outdated set of do's and dont's from some ancient outmoded religion, the Ten Commandments still remain God's standard for right and wrong today. They're laws that just make sense.A perfect moral code? I'll bet that Boonstra can't define it. Or, at least, he'll have a hell of a time explaining why it's important to avoid eating shellfish while stoning one's recalcitrant children. Or raping virgins that belong to enemy tribes (assuming you don't need them for the volcanoes).
And the Ten Commandments make sense? Excuse me, but I think George Carlin has persuasively demonstrated that they are terribly overwritten and fraught with the insecurities of a compulsively jealous deity.