Sunday, April 27, 2008

Our Journey to Expelled and the Journey Back Again

I don't know how many of you have heard of the new documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It's hosted by Ben Stein as he interviews several scientists, all renowned in their fields, who have lost their jobs or have been "disciplined" in the last few years for giving Intelligent Design some sort of credibility. It reveals the stigma in the scientific world that I.D. carries and how asking questions about it has become completely taboo. You are immediately branded as a radical fundamentalist with an agenda for even thinking that there might be flaws in Darwin's The Origin of Species. Anyway, it's so controversial that Dr. Richard Dawkins (the author who wrote The God Delusion) showed up at a showing at the Mall of America to disrupt the film! I strongly recommend that everyone see it. It poses very interesting questions about what we can and can't question in the scientific world. Watch the trailer here:

Well, Jon and I had passes to see the movie so we got my sister to babysit and we took off. We left rather early because 35W was closed that weekend and we didn't know how long the detour would take us.
"It feels like the car is pulling to the right," Jon commented.
"It's really windy out today," I replied.
Sure enough, flags and tree branches were flapping and swaying in the gusts from the south. We were talking and gabbing along when Jon started to lower his head down as if he was listening to my knees.
"Do you hear that?"
"You mean that wobbly sound?"
We tried to argue that it might be the bearings coming loose again when it started getting louder.
"I don't like this. I'm exiting." With that, Jon exited onto some random residential road in Golden Valley. When we found a place to pull onto a side road, he jumped out of the car to take a look at the tire. Grimly he nodded to me in the passenger seat. "It's a flat." And like any studly rockstar superman, he jacked up the car and changed the tire effortlessly in the bitter wind and even took the time to explain to me how to do it (since, sadly, I had no freaking clue). Then as he lowered the jack with the "donut" in place we discovered another problem. The donut was flat. After some discussion, we decided to find a gas station to pump it up enough to at least drive home (who knows if we'll make it to the movie now?). We drove along and along and along, and it was all residential with no signs of a gas station. "I need to stop the car," Jon decided. Pulling over we dug out the twin cities map to see where we might find a more commercial district. What we discovered was that we were on the edge of Golden Valley and North Minneapolis (not a place you want to be stranded with a vehicle if you know what I mean...).
"How bout if I go knock on that door and ask where the nearest gas station is?" I quipped.
"Ok," Jon ceded.
I walked a few houses down (why I didn't knock on the nearest door, only the Holy Spirit knows) and knocked on the door. The door opened and when I posed my question, the guy responded, "Hey, I have a mini-air compressor in my trunk. Why don't I just pump it up for you? You don't want to travel any further east to look for help," and with that he dug out a little box and hooked it up to our tire. He even invited us inside to wait out of the cold. 10 minutes later we were ready to roll!!! We couldn't believe it! He was so polite and helpful and generous. We turned around and looked at the clock; we still had time to make it to the movie! And we arrived just as the last preview was ending!

The movie itself didn't surprise me. I knew this was going on and it doesn't seem like it will get any better. As the credits rolled all I could think of was being laughed at in the computer lab in high school as one of the science teachers asked what I was writing. When I responded "a research paper on Creationism" he and his student teacher laughed in my face and shook their heads. I remembered fighting through a particular class at Gustavus, nose-to-nose with the professor about how life began on this planet. (I feel like God won that one, seeing as how the professor asked that I pray for him at the end of the semester!) But since I am no longer on the academic scene, the war seems far from me. And what I do see just seems hopeless. It's like I see the darkness and I think to myself, it's just going to get darker, so why waste my time? I expressed these thoughts to my husband who gave me a quote from Thomas Paine: "It is an affront to treat falsehood with complacence." Whoa did that open my eyes! Just because something seems a lost cause or an uphill battle or a David vs. Goliath challenge doesn't mean we shrug our shoulders and say, "this isn't my fight." Our answer should be, because there is evil in the world and there is ground to be won (no matter how little) I will fight on. In the name of Jesus Christ I will fight on. And just because I'm not on the front lines anymore doesn't mean that I'm not still in the war. I'm raising new soldiers for the fight and supporting those who are going nose-to-nose with their professors and peers everyday. And maybe I'll get to see some of the action from time to time.

As we were leaving Jon remarked at how believed that the devil was trying to keep us from going to the movie. It was as if he was working against our every move. First with the road closing, then with the flat tire, then with the flat donut, then with no gas station in sight and heading into a bad neighborhood. He wanted us to give up. But God had different plans. His Spirit spoke to Jon to pull over at the right time, and His Spirit spoke to me to walk up to the house two doors down from where we parked where the guy with the air compressor lived.

So what have I learned? No matter how much mud the devil throws, God ALWAYS has the last word!!