Fox News jumps on the book-banning bandwagon

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Fox & Friends this morning played host to Kurt Zimmermann, a Tennessee man who is on a crusade to get his local school board to ban a high school science text book, Asking About Life, for its so-called "bias against Christianity." As I've written before, Fox News -- their morning show hosts in particular -- will unashamedly rally to the defense of Christians and Christianity, often to the exclusion of other faiths and journalistic propriety. In this case, the Fox & Friends crew bestowed kudos on Mr. Zimmermann, who is upset that this particular text book describes creationism as a "biblical myth." Brian Kilmeade called him a "good example of somebody who saw something and you're taking action, and that's a great example for your kid."

It's not at all appropriate for a news organization to endorse the banning of educational materials based on two words that a local activist disagrees with. What's more, describing creationism as a "myth" is exactly in line with the viewpoint of the majority of scientists, who tend to prefer geological and physical evidence for the earth's creation over the biblical account, so why shouldn't that viewpoint find expression in a scientific text?

And it's outright fallacious to suggest that a non-literal view of the Judeo-Christian creation story constitutes "bias against Christians." I'd point you to an interview one Rowan Williams gave to the Guardian in 2006 regarding the tension between creationism and science:

I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories. Whatever the biblical account of creation is, it's not a theory alongside theories. It's not as if the writer of Genesis or whatever sat down and said "well, how am I going to explain all this.... I know 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.' " And for most of the history of Christianity, and I think this is fair enough, most of the history of the Christianity there's been an awareness that a belief that everything depends on the creative act of God, is quite compatible with a degree of uncertainty or latitude about how precisely that unfolds in creative time.

Who is Rowan Williams? He's the Archbishop of Canterbury and the head of the Anglican Church. Some anti-Christian bigot there...

UPDATE: Commenter MagCynic writes: "[T]o be fair the words 'biblical myth' do imply that the Christian story of creation is a myth as opposed to any religion's creation story." I should have pointed out the context in which this text book describes the "biblical myth" of creationism. The authors did not go out of their way to denigrate the Christian faith -- click on the Google Books link above for Asking About Life and you'll see on page 299 that they were specifically talking about state laws passed in the '70s and '80s that mandated teaching biblical creation alongside evolution, and how those laws were overturned by the courts.

Video of the Fox & Friends segment below:

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Religion
Fox News Channel
FOX & Friends
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.