Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Calling a truce in the "fish wars"

Yesterday, in the parking lot at a local Target, I saw another one of those "Jesus fish" symbols on someone's car. It reminded me of the "Darwin was an Anglican" bumper sticker that jc recently made. And then I thought of the whole amusing-but-sad-in-a-way story of the"fish wars".

You know, the one that started out with this, simple, "Jesus fish".

Religious Tolerance.org has a history of the Christian fish symbol here, including a piece I remember hearing about its early use...

The symbol was simple to draw and was often used among Christians as a type of password during times of persecution by the Roman government. If two strangers met and were unsure whether each other was a Christian, one would draw an arc in the earth like:). If the other were a Christian, they would complete the symbol with a reverse arc: (), forming the outline of a fish.
The article goes on to say that in recent times, the Christian fish symbol has been appearing on the trunk lids of cars, and that it has inspired secularists, atheists, and promoters of the theory of evolution to respond with variations on the theme. Here's a familiar example of one of those parodies.

And at some point, the one of the "Jesus fish people" responded with, "Oh yeah?! Take *this* Darwin fish!"

Well, that was the most recent development of which *I* was aware, until I saw in this article that
Evolutionists wanted blood, a gill for a gill. Naturally, they selected a newly evolved critter, a "Reality Bites" fish eating a smaller Christian fish.

Here's the funny thing...I attended 8 years of Catholic elementary school and 4 years of Catholic high school. In the early grades, I learned the biblical creation story in religion class, and at some point (I can't rememeber quite when) I learned the theory of evolution in science class. I *never* encountered a teacher who discounted the theory of evolution.

I was glad to see that the General Convention, in Resolution A129, came right out and said that
the theory of evolution provides a fruitful and unifying scientific explanation for the emergence of life on earth, that many theological interpretations of origins can readily embrace an evolutionary outlook, and that an acceptance of evolution is entirely compatible with an authentic and living Christian faith;

But then it's also a little sad in a way that the statement needed to be made. There's too much of a black and white, either/or, "you're with us or against us" mentality in the world these days. In an article on the "fish wars" I read about one young woman's reaction to the evolution fish...
It's a disappointing development to a person such as Jenny Block, a 20-year-old Michigan State University student who just wanted to profess her faith with her "Jesus Is Lord" fish. Silver and shiny, it's a little beacon on the back of her Dodge Neon.

"When I see another fish or something that is pro-Christianity, it makes me smile," she said. "I love that. I love to know I'm in company with other people."

The leggy fish, though, is a Christian downer. She interprets the evolved fish to be a sign that the driver doesn't believe in God.

"They've chosen not to believe in the creator of the world," she said.

Jenny--that's NOT TRUE! Your logic doesn't follow. It's not a case of one or the other, and I hope that in your time in college you were able to learn that. We really all need to learn to talk to one another about these things. And listen to one another too. Bumper stickers are not enough.

But maybe they're a start...

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