My husband was dying to see that special... anyone want to mail me a copy?
Your descriptions reminded me of a documentary I saw recently, Jesus Camp. It is indeed scary. I don't think they're going to "take over the country" (although they came close with Bush), but they are a very large vocal minority, and lots of moderate Christians support them without even knowing it. They are a stealthy group that knows how to manipulate politics for their benefit. They use wedge issues like abortion and homosexuality to get moderate Christians to vote in politicians that are wackier than they realize. Because of that, I do think they are overrepresented in our government.
(Backing you up Zissou
) Evolution is fact, and it's not incompatible with a belief in God at all. It isn't a threat to Christianity... one can believe in God and evolution at the same time. Much of our modern technology and especially medicine is based in evolutionary theory. Now, they don't have the details worked out, and the theory is being tweaked as more research and observation is able to be done, but the general idea is fact. Evolution doesn't say you are an ape. Evolution says you are Homo sapiens
... a HUMAN! Evolution merely says that hominids evolved from primates... what's so controversial about that? I don't get why some get so offended (I guess lingering hostility from the Scopes Monkey Trial). I do think it takes a bit of scientific background to truly understand evolution... so I can understand that many average people don't "get it..." but once one understands genetics and biology to a certain degree, there is NO other explanation for how life works. Evolution isn't an explanation of the ORIGIN of life, merely how life continues to change over time.
I don't want to start a Creationism debate here, but I have always wondered one thing... why are there two creation stories in the Bible, with two different orders of creation? How is it possible to take one story literally and not the other, especially when one claims to be a biblical literalist? Why not just take it for what it is, a primitive myth meant to explain one people's version of the general origins of life, not the day-by-day workings of a god? How exactly is evolution incompatible with the Christian God?
Okay, maybe that will start a debate... sorry.
Just don't ask me about the scientific details of evolution... ask my husband. He was the biology major.
On a side note, a good site that explains some of the basics is www.talkorigins.org
. The PBS website has some good stuff too.