A signature certainly speaks for itself, depending on what precedes it. Action has a role to play too when it comes to the work of the clergy and those in the pews, especially when it comes to faith and science.
Michael Zimmerman has been helping clergy speak out on this issue for the past 15 years with the Clergy Letter Project that he established as a way to show that religious leaders were fully supportive of evolution being taught in public school classrooms and laboratories.
This month, Zimmerman outlines what he has discovered through this effort and how it has expanded over the years as interest has continued to pick up among clergy across denominations and faith communities.
Another letter recently circulated by the Biologos Foundation, an organization backed by NIH Director Francis Collins, has caught the attention of thousands as well. The idea is to affirm within the Christian community the work of science in tackling the ongoing public health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are deeply concerned about the polarization and politicization of science in the public square when so many lives are at stake,” the Biologos statement reads. “The word “science” has become a weapon in the culture wars. Scientists are vilified and their findings ignored, while conspiracy theories go viral.”
The letter goes on to say that while Christians may disagree on public policy in responding to the coronavirus, none should ignore clear scientific evidence.
But rightly, some may ask while the scientists work and Christians affirm, where is God in this very necessary work. Our theological editor, George Murphy, takes another look at the ELCA theme of “God’s Work, Our Hands” and what that idea means for the connection between our activities and God’s action in the world around us.
Also, there are a growing number of virtual and free conferences on topics related to religion and science. We will do our best to keep you informed via Twitter and our website, but by all means participate in the dialogue and tune-in at a crucial time in both communities of faith and in research labs seeking a way forward together.
Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.