Sunday, November 23, 2008

Is It Sometimes OK for Christians to Lie?

I posted this in the Rational Responders Forum, but if anyone blunders onto this blog, please leave a comment here:
I hope some of the theists out there can enlighten me on this matter: I was recently loaned a copy of "The Case for a Creator" by Lee Strobel and as I read, I checked the footnotes. What I found was that every single quote from a credible scientific source that I checked in the first three chapters (I gave up after that) was taken out of context and/or a misrepresentation of the source material. Strobel gave quotes from scientists as examples of evolution text books advocating atheism, when the quotes were actually from articles written about atheism, not evolution, and not included in any text book. He edited quotes so they appeared to say the opposite of their original meanings, he read things into analogies that were never intended, and he farmed quotes from other ID books rather than going to the primary sources. Furthermore he interviewed “open-minded scientists” (his term for ones that are open to a possibility of a creator) who all actually come from the Discovery Institute where the main goal is to promote creationism, and who published Strobel’s book. That doesn’t sound open-minded or unbiased to me. Don’t take my word for it, check for yourself.
Over the years, several creationist Christians have loaned me books that argued against evolution and all the books have followed the same pattern. I don’t blame the readers, they have no reason to assume that the authors are intentionally deceptive, but as one who has read the sources that are being quoted, the lies are blatant. Also, if Strobel read the source material he quoted, then he knows that misrepresentation was his intention. So, my question is: Do Christians think that lying is acceptable, as long as it helps them reinforce their religious doctrine? Do the Ten Commandments only apply when truth helps you win an argument?
I ask this partly because atheists like me, are often told that without religion they have no morality, yet I don’t need the threat of eternal damnation to know lying is immoral. So why do the producers of books (and articles and videos and websites) written by Christians, published by Christians and marketed primarily to Christians think this is acceptable and within the framework of good Christianity? By the way, can anyone direct me to an honest creationist book?

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