I think it is safe to assume that either Abby Johnson's Twitter was hacked or that she did not take my open letter to her very well. The evidence for my assumption is her blocking me on Twitter and the following Tweets. Ouch. I love her and her work...but I really don't think this is a good way for her to promote her work.Saint Thomas of Aquinas, Pope John Paul the Great, and other brilliant (and religious) folk believe and have evidence to suggest that there is much more to the story.
I cannot exclude the possibility that Abby's account was hacked because these tweets and some of her comments on subsequent posts are just outright uncharitable. However, if it was truly Abby who posted these tweets... it is my sincerest hope that she is right and that I am an ass. You see, if I am not an ass...then she is a hypocrite.
I refuse to link to the video she references on the principle that it really is irrelevant and will do more harm to attempts at dialogue than it will do any good. I am sure that the people in this video never bothered to look up what the Catholic Church says about evolution...or what certain doctors of the church have said with regards to creation. The video is simply an introduction to what I can only assume to be a very misinformed group of people going after a very socially awkward group of people (scientists) in an effort to attack rather than discuss or understand evolution. It is not dialogue. It is propaganda...and it restricts God's infinite genius and creativity into a small, human-defined box.
Basically, if you want the gist of it all, the people behind the video don't believe in bacteria evolution as evidence for evolution on a grander scale...and demanded more evidence from scientists that are experts on evolution. As a scientist, I know how hard it is to try to convince people about something when they 1) don't understand the basics behind it and 2) refuse to understand the basics behind it. Their profound ignorance was proven well before the 1:15 min video clip was over when they used a quote by a certain rabid, anti-religious polemicist to speak for all evolutionary scientists and when they attempted to claim THAT EVOLUTIONARY SCIENCE ASSERTS THAT HUMANS DESCENDED FROM MONKEYS....which, as I mention before, is a COMMON MISCONCEPTION. These are two big red flags for anyone out there who ever enters a debate about God and evolution....and indicate that the person you are debating against is a rabid fanatic that is incapable of understanding God as well as science.
(Side note for those who do decide to look up the video) Had I been interviewed, I would have talked about microsatellites, genetic slippage, speciation, black pepper moths, etc....instead of bacteria. I would have also drawn diagrams and used the same kind of activities I use in a classroom whenever I teach genetics and evolution. However, I say this under the assumption that the people behind the video would remove their fingers from their ears and stop screaming "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" as soon as I started saying something that they would find (in their ignorance) either offensive or outright satanic.
I can't stand the ignorance and refusal for dialogue seen in videos like this one and I vehemently dislike outright refusals for dialogue whenever uncomfortable subjects come up....whether I am trying to talk to a rabid atheist troll or a rabid neogeocentrist troll. Scientists do not see evolution as a mere timeline where humans evolve from monkeys (again, a VERY COMMON MISCONCEPTION)...just as our Church does not view evolution as something contrary to the story of creation (the Roman Catholic Church, at least).
I can only hope that her account was hacked because these tweets and some of her comments on subsequent posts are just outright uncharitable. It is such a shame if this truly is her manner of approaching uncomfortable topics...because I love her work as a prolife advocate. I am very glad to see that she turned away from working at an abortion clinic and sought God. However, I am very saddened by her attitude towards me and my letter to her....especially considering her constant pleas for understanding, forgiveness, and mercy towards abortion workers and those who have left the abortion industry.
If you follow Abby on Facebook, you often see posts such as the ones below:
You see, as someone who continually encourages prolife individuals to give abortionists and former abortionists a chance at mercy and love...Abby comes across as extremely hypocritical with these tweets (and Twitter block) following my last post. If I am considered an ass for seeking dialogue between science and religion and for seeking to debunk the common misconceptions that lead people to label evolution as "anti-God" and religion as "anti-science"...then all I can say is that I am truly disheartened by her attitude and hope that she will one day experience the inner conversion necessary to appreciate God's LIMITLESS and ongoing creation.
One more thing, just to clarify another BIG misconception regarding my beliefs as a Catholic science geek, I do not see evolution as a replacement for Church doctrine regarding free will, compassion, selflessness, etc. I see it as a stark reminder of what can happen when we turn away from God in order to fulfill our basest instincts. Survival of the fittest is a cruel law, but it helps demonstrate why the laws of love and forgiveness are necessary and 100% contrary to our basest instincts. It helps demonstrate the heartlessness that appeals to our selfish human nature when we are unable to see the sanctity and dignity of each life. Evolution exists, but so does God and He continues to love us in spite of our flaws and selfishness. Should Darwin's observations and theory ever be used to justify death at our hands? No. Should they ever be used in an attempt to eradicate religion? No. However, they should be used to help us understand how God's universe works and why we are to rise above our fallen natures in order to seek holiness.
Evolution simply makes it easier for me to understand the types of weaknesses we are up against when we decide to overcome our natural impulses (anger, lust, etc) in order to embrace God's plan for our life. (And if that plan involves being called an "ass" for a spiritual work of mercy...then so be it!) My understanding of evolution also helps explain the cleansing effect of fasting and prayer and many other traditions, doctrines, etc. I love and appreciate as a Catholic. With that said, may God continue to bless Abby and may He help soften any hardness in her heart.