My testimony at the Texas State Board of Education July 21, 2012
I have been a Presbyterian pastor for 20 years in Missouri, England and Texas. I am here to urge you to adopt the proposed curriculum standards and not to include intelligent design or creationist perspectives in Texas science curriculum.
I believe God created the heavens and the earth. This conviction that stirs my soul and directs my action as a Christian is a statement of faith. It is not science. By definition, at least according to Christian scripture, faith is “the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).” By definition, science requires physical evidence –things that can be touched, seen, tested. Faith is “We believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” Science is the skeletal remains of Australopithecus and the 99% shared DNA between chimps and humans.
I do not want my children’s public school teachers to teach faith in God in a science classroom. I admire and support teachers who share their faith with students in after school Bible Studies, but it is my role as a parent, and the community of faith’s role to teach who and what God is. That’s freedom of religion. I find it sad that many children are not taught about God. But that sadness should bring me to more diligent work in ministries of outreach from my church, not trying to make science into theology.
We do our children such a disservice if we ask science to compromise itself by saying the existence of an invisible God is scientific fact. We do another disservice if we ask religion to compromise and be presented in such a watered down manner our kids don’t see the wonders of theology.
When scientists discovered that in fact the earth was not the center of the universe, theologians and church officials went into a tailspin, thinking everyone would lose their faith in God. I have yet to meet a contemporary believer who insists that the earth is the center of the universe. Our theology has adapted in the face of indisputable fact. True religion can handle truth in all its forms.
Let us not be afraid of the wisdom of science.
Thank you for your attention.
Rev. Kelly S. Allen, Pastor
University Presbyterian Church
San Antonio Texas