New Scientist asks, “How Would Jesus Vote?”
New Scientist is a popular science periodical that has been published in the United Kingdom since 1956. On a weekly basis, the magazine addresses an assortment of subject matters—from cosmology to biology, from philosophy to climate change. New Scientist is also one of the world’s leading proponents of atheistic evolution. Thus, it is no surprise to see the word “evolution” on the cover of the September 27, 2008 issue. In an unexpected move, however, New Scientist incorporated, not the name Darwin, Sagan, or Dawkins on the cover, but that of Jesus. Regarding the upcoming presidential election, the journal asked, “How Would Jesus Vote?”
New Scientist’s editors and contributors are great at asking questions they never actually answer (see Lyons, 2007). Jesus, for example, is never even mentioned in the article; nor is the Bible. The author, Jim Giles of San Francisco, never comes close to answering how Jesus would vote, or whether He would even choose to vote. What this pro-atheism, pro-evolution, pro-embryonic stem-cell research, anti-biblical magazine has done, however, is demonstrate the obvious differences between the two most prominent presidential candidates.
New Scientist noted in the opening line of the article that the first difference is “stark”: “Asked at what point human rights should be assigned,” Barack Obama answered: “Well, you know, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade” (Giles, 2008, 199:14). John McCain replied to the same question, saying simply, life begins “[a]t the moment of conception” (Giles, p. 14; cf. Major, 1995; cf. Isaiah 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:41-42). “Those concerned about a McCain presidency,” which certainly includes New Scientist, “have even more to worry about when it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court” (Giles, p. 15). New Scientist believes that a McCain presidency “would create a favourable climate for overturning abortion laws” (p. 15), something atheistic evolutionists find unsettling. On the other hand, they welcome “Obama’s support for gay marriage and abortion rights.”
What’s more, New Scientist believes that this election “could also reshape the teaching of evolution” (Giles, p. 15). After all, vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has “talked about the need to teach both creationism and evolution” (p. 15), whereas the democratic vice-presidential candidate, Joe Biden, is on record calling intelligent design “malarkey.” In a 2006 appearance on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Biden was asked about intelligent design. His answer: “I refuse to believe the majority of people believe this malarkey” (“Soundbites,” 2008, 199:15).
As if it were not clear throughout the article which candidate New Scientist would like to see elected, Giles concluded by warning readers: “[I]f McCain is president...the consequences for science could be profound” (p. 15). In what ways? In all the ways mentioned in the article: Conservatives might be appointed to the Supreme Court; Roe v. Wade might be overturned; Embryonic stem-cell research restrictions might not be lifted; Intelligent Design, or “even worse,” creationism might find its way back into the classroom. Etc.
It is obvious who New Scientist would vote for President. The question that Christians must continue to ask is the one New Scientist failed to answer: How would Jesus vote? If a Christian in America chooses to exercise his or her right to vote, and if the choice is between Barack Obama and John McCain, the answer to this question seems obvious. Jesus certainly is concerned about the sanctity of human life (Matthew 15:19; Genesis 9:6; Proverbs 6:17), the make-up of the family (Matthew 19:4-6), and the truth regarding the origin of the Universe (Genesis 1; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16).
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children” (Ephesians 5:1).
Giles, Jim (2008), “Their Will Be Done,” New Scientist, 199:14-15, September 27.
Lyons, Eric (2007), “The Big Fizzle: Admissions from an Evolutionary Astrophysicist,” Reason & Revelation, 6:25R,28R, July, [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/3393.
Major, Trevor (1995), “The Value of Early Human Life,” Reason & Revelation, 15:9-15, February, [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/259.
“Soundbites” (2008), New Scientist, 199:15, September 27.