Our Creationist President

What would it mean to have a fervent young-earth creationist in the Oval Office?

With Dr. Ben Carson mooted as a possible GOP candidate in 2016, it is a possibility we need to consider.

Creationists themselves trumpet a long history of presidential creationism, from Ike to George Dubya.  The case can be made, by both creationists and their foes, that several conservative presidents have been friendly to the politics of creationism.

Carson’s creationism, however, would be different.  In a recent interview with the Adventist News Network, Carson defended his creationism.  “I’ve seen a lot of articles, Carson told ANN,

that say, “Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist, and that means he believes in the six-day creation. Ha ha ha.” You know, I’m proud of the fact that I believe what God has said, and I’ve said many times that I’ll defend it before anyone. If they want to criticize the fact that I believe in a literal, six-day creation, let’s have at it because I will poke all kinds of holes in what they believe. In the end it depends on where you want to place your faith – do you want to place your faith in what God’s word says, or do you want to place your faith in an invention of man. You’re perfectly welcome to choose. I’ve chosen the one I want.

Carson’s earnest creationism should come as no surprise.  As a lifelong member of the Seventh-day Adventist church, Carson belongs to one of the staunchest creationist denominations out there.

As historian Ron Numbers has demonstrated, much of today’s young-earth creationist orthodoxy among conservative Protestants can be traced back to the creationist activism of Adventists such as George McCready Price.

However, presidential politics in the USA have a long history of denominational wrangles.  In 1928, Al Smith failed to convince voters that his Catholicism would not mean a Roman dictatorship of the White House.  A generation later, Kennedy pulled it off.  Most recently, Governor Romney seemed to have convinced Americans that his LDS religion would not mean a similar sort of Utah overlordship.

As a politician, the good doctor could make a similar plea to be free from the sectarian demands of his denominational background.  He could distance himself publicly from the more controversial aspects of Seventh-day Adventism.  In this interview, Carson does not seem interested in such tactics.  Instead, he embraces the creationism of his church.

What would that mean in the White House?

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  1. Our Creationist President, Part Deux: Bobby Jindal | I Love You but You're Going to Hell

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