Friday, October 11, 2013

Did Bill Haslam Quietly Take a Firm Stand on a Controversial Issue?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 5:30 AM

If you're even the least bit familiar with our esteemed governor, you know that whenever circumstances call for a firm stand, he advocates studying things further, talking to his advisers, waiting to get more information. He's not a man that takes immediate, decisive action. I suppose he doesn't want to risk alienating his base.

So, imagine my surprise when I got a media advisory reminding me that Governor Haslam has declared next week to be Earth Sciences Week:

We wanted to send a friendly reminder that Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has proclaimed Oct. 13 through 19 Earth Science Week in Tennessee, which will promote the important role that geology and other earth sciences play in Tennessee’s safety, health, welfare and economy. Attached is the initial communication that we shared.

Really? I am pleasantly surprised.

See, last year Lifeway Research announced the result of a survey of 1,000 American Protestant pastors and, among the things they discovered was that 46% of those pastors thought that it was possible or true that the earth is only 6,000 years old:


In response to the statement, "I believe the earth is approximately 6,000 years old," 34 percent of pastors strongly disagree. However, 30 percent strongly agree. Nine percent somewhat disagree, and 16 percent somewhat agree.

But on the website promoting Earth Science Week? "Big Idea 2: Earth is 4.6 billion years old."

I'm not saying that I expected that the website would include the "theory" that the earth is only 6,000 years old, but I thought that, if the Governor is promoting it, it might not have any mention of the age of the earth at all, thus saving him the possible headache of offending the young-earthers in our state.

But I'm glad to see the Governor is willing to take a firm position on something. Let's hope we see more of it.

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