I enjoy reading Chris Heard’s blog (blogs, actually: he has a D&D blog in addition to Higgaion), even when in disagreement. Today he targets one Paul Mirecki, chair of the Religious Department at University of Kansas, who has recently gloated over the fact that he’s teaching creationism where it belongs -- in a mythology course. Mirecki is reported as saying:
"The fundies want it all taught in a science class, but this will be a nice slap in their big fat face by teaching it as a religious studies class under the category 'mythology.'"
Chris believes, however, that Mirecki’s "motives and comments" are "out of bounds for an academic proposing a course", though I can't understand why. Mirecki’s remarks may be a bit petty, and so I thought it was perhaps their tone which irked Chris more than anything else. But Chris went on:
"Mirecki has become (by his own words) a living caricature: the atheistic religious studies professor out to destroy students' faith."
According to the article Chris cites, however, Mirecki’s comment may have been taken out of context -- addressed as it was to a closed listserve -- and seems to have been directed toward the religious right's particular agenda regarding the teaching of ID/creationism as if it were science. I seriously doubt Mirecki is out to "destroy anyone’s faith" in general.
"It bothers me as a professor that Mirecki's stated agenda for his course is anti-religious, and it bothers me as a believer because I have deep religious reasons for rejecting creationism and ID."
But, as I mentioned on Chris' blog (in comments), this is like saying that one has religious reasons for rejecting the idea that the sun revolves around the earth. One may just as easily have religious reasons for accepting such an idea -- or indeed, as many do, ID.