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Support for Roy Moore Exposes Evangelical Bias Against New Information

Added By: GA6th Staff

November 15, 2017

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I saw today that Roy Moore still has 46% to 41% lead over his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.

And I have to say, the fact that so many still support Roy Moore and say they would rather have Roy Moore than any Democrat, exposes Evangelicals bias against new information.

Even though there is all this new information about Roy Moore, Evangelicals are sticking with him.  Moore’s supporters are blaming media, particularly the Washington Post.

And it got me thinking that when Evangelicals say they hate the media they are actually saying they hate change.

New information can either cause Cognitive Dissonance or Cognitive Peace.

The challenge is that we don’t know before hand whether new information will cause us dissonance or peace.

Some, like me, find new information exciting.  Others not so much.

Those that say they hate the media, are really saying they hate new information.

The “media” (Broadcast Networks Fox, CNN, MSNBC, Public Networks like CSPAN, Print News, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, emails, and the Internet in general) is constantly providing new information.

So, it makes sense that if you don’t want new information you are going to hate the “media.”  And if you can find a “media” outlet that provides the same information you agree with over and over again chances are you will only consume that media, because it provides cognitive peace.


The Evangelical Worldview

The deep distrust of the media and scientific consensus is a common and popular Evangelical Worldview.

Evangelicals distrust information coming from the scientific or media elite fundamentally (pun intended) because they, the scientific and media elite, do not hold the same “biblical worldview” as Evangelicals.

The Evangelical Worldview is a all encompassing worldview revealed by studying the Bible.  This Evangelical Worldview teaches climate change isn’t real, evolution is a myth made up by scientists who hate God, abortion must be stopped, and capitalism is God’s ideal for society.

Of course Evangelicals are not the only ones who won’t believe authorities trusted by the other side. Confirmation Bias, Selective Perception, and Motivated Reasoning happens to everyone.  And we all need to be cautious when we form ideas and beliefs.

But, there is a huge difference between me, let’s say, and the Evangelicals I know.  Evangelicals believe their own authority — the inerrant Bible — is both supernatural and scientifically sound, and this conviction gives that natural human aversion to unwelcome facts a special power on the right.  The words in the Bible cannot change! Ones, understanding of those words can change, but the words cannot.


The following is a post from the NY Times.

There is a lot of good information here.  Hopefully the community will be able to process it.

History of Fact Denial

This religious tradition of fact denial long predates the rise of the culture wars, social media or President Trump, but it has provoked deep conflict among evangelicals themselves.

That innocuous phrase — “biblical worldview” or “Christian worldview” — is everywhere in the evangelical world. The radio show founded by Chuck Colson, “BreakPoint,” helps listeners “get informed and equipped to live out the Christian worldview.” Focus on the Family devotes a webpage to the implications of a worldview “based on the infallible Word of God.” Betsy DeVos’s supporters praised her as a “committed Christian living out a biblical worldview.”

The phrase is not as straightforward as it seems. Ever since the scientific revolution, two compulsions have guided conservative Protestant intellectual life: the impulse to defend the Bible as a reliable scientific authority and the impulse to place the Bible beyond the claims of science entirely.

The first impulse blossomed into the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.

Scripture became the irrefutable guide to everything from the meaning of fossils to the interpretation of archaeological findings in the Middle East, a “storehouse of facts,” as the 19th-century theologian Charles Hodge put it.

The second impulse, the one that rejects scientists’ standing to challenge the Bible, evolved by the early 20th century into a school of thought called presuppositionalism. The term is a mouthful, but the idea is simple: We all have presuppositions that frame our understanding of the world. Cornelius Van Til, a theologian who promoted this idea, rejected the premise that all humans have access to objective reality. “We really do not grant that you see any fact in any dimension of life truly,” he wrote in a pamphlet aimed at non-Christians.

If this sounds like a forerunner of modern cultural relativism, in a way it is — with the caveat that one worldview, the one based on faith in an inerrant Bible, does have a claim on universal truth, and everyone else is a myopic relativist.

Nowadays, ministries, schools and media outlets use the term “Christian worldview” to signal their orthodoxy. But its pervasiveness masks significant disagreement over what it means. Many evangelical colleges allow faculty and students to question inerrancy, creationism and the presumption that Jesus would have voted Republican.

Karl Giberson taught biology for many years at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., where freshmen take a course that covers “the Christian worldview” alongside topics like “racial and gender equity” and “cultural diversity.” In the Church of the Nazarene, many leaders have been uneasy about the rationalist claims of biblical inerrancy, and Dr. Giberson openly taught the theory of evolution. “I was completely uncontroversial, for the most part,” he told me. “The problems emerged when I began to publish, when I became a public spokesman for this point of view.”