Uh-oh. Those Catholic creationists had better watch out: the Vatican thinks they’re pagans.
Believing that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism, the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno claimed yesterday.
Brother Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a “destructive myth” had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies.
He described creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a “kind of paganism” because it harked back to the days of “nature gods” who were responsible for natural events.
Yes, I can see how the major monotheistic religions might take offense at the “God of the Gaps” and Designer gods—they are attempts to shift the deity from the cosmic and the abstract to the mundane and the petty, and also to put those gods in the realm of the testable.
I can’t say that I agree entirely with Consolmagno, though.
“Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism—it’s turning God into a nature god. And science needs religion in order to have a conscience, to know that, just because something is possible, it may not be a good thing to do.”
No, we don’t need religion for that. Atheists can have a conscience, too, and we are aware that there are human limits to what we should do. Too often, religion is used as a justification for doing the inhuman to heretics and unbelievers…and to pagans. It’s a piss-poor substitute for morality, unless you think propping up the obscenely rich or damning people for what they do with their genitals is “morality” (and isn’t that also an awfully petty concern for their majestic deity?).