Creationism in the Business World

Forbes Magazine is not known for its religious fervency.

Yet, thanks to the all-seeing eye of the Sensuous Curmudgeon, we see that Forbes has welcomed to its pages some creationist commentary.

Just as we saw last month an odd creationist duck with Virginia Heffernan’s “postmodern creationism,” we now see a surprising sort of CPA creationism.  Forbes commentator Peter J. Reilly describes the tax difficulties of controversial creationist celebrity Kent Hovind.

This is not the first time Reilly has commented on Hovind’s tax dilemmas for Forbes readers.

But in his most recent column, Reilly does more than cover the Hovind tax story.  In his recent contribution, Reilly admits, “I’m probably something of a creationist myself.”  Though Reilly hedges a little bit by putting himself “at the far left of the creationist spectrum,” it is intriguing to see “creationism” embraced in this way.

Of course, conservative politicians have long gone to great lengths to support creationism.  Marco Rubio’s recent waffle in his GQ interview is just one example.

But it has been less common for conservative writers and commentators outside of the circles of evangelical Protestantism to embrace creationism.  Non-Protestant conservative intellectuals often maintain a polite silence on the issue, or assert a bland sort of openness to the idea of divine creation.

Reilly’s statement, like Virginia Heffernan’s, seems more provocative.

Could it become fashionable for pundits to embrace “creationism” even if they don’t represent the stereotype of “fundamentalist” Protestant believer?



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  1. When I read of instances like this, I always wonder just how the speaker/author is defining the terms “creationist” and “creationism.” If it simply means that one believes in a God, and one of the attributes one attributes to God is “creator,” then virtually all Christians, Jews, and Muslims, among others, are “creationists.” That definition would include me. In belief language, I would say that God is the spark of infinite love that caused the Big Bang and set the universe in motion 14.7 billion +/- earth years (as we understand the time/space continuum) ago. Does that belief have anything to do with scientific inquiry? Absolutely not. Should it be taught as science in schools? Again, absolutely not.

    Until someone like Reilly provides a working definition of what “creationist” means to him, statements such as the one he made convey very little meaningful content.

    • Marian, I agree entirely, and, to me, that is what makes Reilly’s comment so intriguing. Let me offer a different example of a similar phenomenon. I work with graduate students in history and education. Lots of them are in their early 20s. All of them are very well educated. And almost all of them agree that women and men should receive the same pay for the same work. They agree that women should have all the same political rights as men. They agree that women must be allowed and even expected to participate in every professional field. Yet most of these students do not identify as “feminists.” By the most elementary definition, they hold all the beliefs of 20th-century feminism, yet they do not choose to call themselves feminists, for whatever reason.
      This is why Reilly’s (and Heffernan’s) comments interest me so much. As you say, all members of Abrahamic faiths should be included in the broadest definition of “creationist.” Yet the label “creationist” is usually embraced only by theological conservatives of those faiths. What if we are seeing the beginnings of a realignment? What if it becomes fashionable to assert the broader meanings of “creationism?” What if it becomes trendy to assert one’s “creationist” identity based on a broad interpretation?


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