The video above is also available here: "Friends of God" [Trailer]
The video above is also available here: Refuting Evolution (from HBO's Friends of God)
I have not seen this documentary in its entirety, but the impression I get from these clips is that Friends of God: A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi examines Evangelical Christians as something alien and other, and genuinely seeks to understand them, but not without encouraging a measure of condescension among viewers with different perspectives than the perspectives of Evangelical Christians.
I do think the film appears to reinforce some of the fears secular progressive people have about Evangelical Christians. The Ted Haggard footage is particularly embarrassing – especially this creepy, cringe-inducing scene where Haggard talks about the sex lives of Evangelicals and begins asking two men inappropriate questions about their own sex lives: Ted Haggard on the sex lives of Evangelicals
Too much information.
Now, on to the Pelosi clip examining Evangelicals and evolution:
I have been sorting out my own take on evolution from a Catholic perspective over the past few years, especially since reading Ann Coulter's Godless: The Church of Liberalism.
I don't have a problem, per se, with believing in evolution, so long as God is admitted to be the first cause of everything, and is understood to be intimately involved – even now – in His creation (as opposed to a deistic view of a God who set things in motion, but is no longer directly involved in the day to day existence of created beings).
Since reading Godless, I can see that there are more problems with evolutionary theory than I had realized, but I can still see the possibility that God created the universe through evolution.
I did find it interesting when Coulter explained the relationship between Darwin's theories and Marxism, Naziism, and the eugenics movement of Margaret Sanger. I hadn't connected those dots before.
This article delves into that: Coulter exposes Darwinism
Here's a quote:
As Coulter puts it, "From Marx to Hitler, the men responsible for the greatest mass murders of the twentieth century were avid Darwinists." As evidence of this, one can cite Richard Weikart's book From Darwin to Hitler, wherein the author traces the evidence that eugenics organizations in Germany at the dawn of the 20th Century touted "scientific" theories of the laws of evolution.
As Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, "Everyone who believes in the higher evolution of living organisms must admit that every manifestation of the vital urge and struggle to live must have had a definite beginning in time and that one subject alone must have manifested it for the first time. It was then repeated again and again, and the practice of it spread over a widening area, until finally it passed into the subconscious of every member of the species, where it manifested itself as 'instinct.'"
Coulter writes, "It is impossible to understand Hitler's monstrous views apart from his belief in natural selection applied to races. He believed Darwin's theory of natural selection showed that 'science' justified extermination of the Jews."
And here, the author gets closer to home and contemporary society when she notes that many abusers, politically correct advocates, sexual profligates, racists, and "animal rights nuts" eventually gravitate to Darwinism.
Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, believed in Darwinism. In fact, she cited Darwinism to support her crusades for birth control. She was also a eugenicist. Call it pure happenstance, if you will, but Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the U.S., and — coincidence or not — about 36% of aborted babies in this country are black. Blacks make up only 12-14% of the United States population.
Hitler's own opposition to abortion, as Weikart explains, was not based on the tenets of Judeo-Christian morality, "but rather was a complete repudiation of them." As Coulter writes, "He didn't oppose abortion because he believed in the human soul. In fact, and needless to say, he didn't oppose abortion for everyone, only 'Aryans.'"
Coulter also explained that the reason progressive people are obsessive about notions of human equality and demand universal adherence to such notions, even where there is a difficult fit or evidence to the contrary: without religious morality, there is nothing to prevent others from implementing genocidal policies akin to those of Hitler and the various communist regimes of the 20th century. I hadn't connected those dots either.
I still haven't decided what to believe with respect to evolution, but my faith isn't troubled by evolutionary theory, and my belief in the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture isn't threatened by evolutionary theory or ideas that the universe is billions of years old.
Some of my Protestant friends seem to be very threatened by these ideas, because they see them to be a stepping stone to questioning everything in Sacred Scripture, and they seem puzzled by my willingness to believe that theistic evolution, including belief in a universe that is many billions of years old, can be squared with belief in Sacred Scripture as inspired by the Holy Spirit and inerrant.
On reflection, I can see where the insecurity creeps in for Protestants. Scripture is their authority, and they view evolutionary theory and non-literal interpretations of Sacred Scripture as chipping away at that authority. They have no Magisterium. They reject most notions of Christian tradition as being a source of authority. When someone starts to tell them that there are literary elements used in Sacred Scripture that are meant to convey truths, but not meant to be understood as literally, historically accurate, they begin to wonder where it all ends. They see it as opening Pandora's box.
Catholics have the security of the Magisterium, so theistic evolution creates no authority crisis for a Catholic.
All of that being said, I was impressed by Ann Coulter's articulation of the problems with evolutionary theory, and I think that song about Job and Behemoth the sauropod kind of rocked!