At first I thought this was vandalism by an atheist, but it turns out these church members did it to themselves.
St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign “modified” its own Jesus fish bike rack to pay homage to scientific progress, adding legs and feet to create the infamous “Darwin fish,” a symbol of scientific progress in opposition to faith, often used by atheists.
The church made the change to show that faith and science could be “mutually respectful,” according to the Daily Illini.
It’s a pretty interesting tactic, especially considering that the Darwin fish is usually meant to undermine the entire Christian philosophy.
“We are attempting to sort of challenge the popular narrative that says that faith and science are not compatible,” said Amy Thoren, pastor and director of St. Andrew’s.
The new enhancement was designed by a student and built by a group of about five students and two other members, Thoren said.
She said she and many others have seen bumper stickers or signs where the Christian fish is eating Darwin or vi[c]e versa, so they want to portray that it is possible to be religious and be involved with science.
Thoren admitted the stunt was at least partially meant to shock people and draw attention to the church. I can understand that. (It’s working!) But there are a lot of questions that arise when religion and science intersect. While many Christians fully accept evolution and believe the Book of Genesis isn’t meant to be taken literally, what about the resurrection of Jesus? What about Jesus walking on water? What about the idea of miracles? What about the effectiveness of prayer to change a medical condition? It’s safe to assume the Christians at this church accept all of those things.
Science explains the natural world. This church offers supernatural answers instead. Those two things aren’t compatible no matter what cute sculpture is outside the building.
Still, more power to the church for not shying away from those questions. The church leaders say they hold “bi-annual discussions called Rheticus Forums” in which these very topics are discussed. I hope the believers are challenged on the contradictions they’re bringing upon themselves by embracing both faith and fact.
(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Brian for the link)