Rules for Radicals and Question Evolution Day

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

Subjects like radical and Saul Alinsky are not exactly what one would expect for the tenth annual Question Evolution Day, but hopefully this article will be interesting. This is in no wise an endorsement of Alinsky or Rules for Radicals, but there are some things that can be learned.

In this unique article, some of Alinsky's rules are examined. We can see how anti-creationists use these against us and prepare ourselves to respond.
Modified with a graphic from Photos Public Domain
The word radical is frequently thrown around with little regard to its original meaning. It is quite often used as a pejorative. Nowadays it can have connotations of people with Molotov fire bombs or doing other acts of violence. It is used to label extremist views (making Charles Darwin a radical because his views were not readily accepted at first). The true meanings of radical are quite different, including holding to a foundation or basic principle

Saul Alinsky was friendly to communist views and leftist government, but did not seem to promote actual violence. What I read of Rules for Radicals was interesting and unpretentious. He was a community organizer/activist and his rules (sources vary between 12 and 13) were intended for empowering communities. They have been used by many people for various purposes. Hillary Clinton and B. Hussein Obama were quite fond of Alinsky, and several of his tactics are incorporated by political leftists. Several of those are worth examining here.

He was a Jew, but apparently his religious leanings were more agnostic than Jewish. Many of Alinsky's views were Marxist. (Karl Marx himself was born Jewish and raised Lutheran, but became an atheist and evolutionist early in life.) Indeed, dedications at the beginning of Rules for Radicals included Lucifer, the first rebel against the establishment. (Ironic that the counterculture of his time became the establishment and they fight to preserve it.) Some ideas that Alinsky promoted were not original with him, and can be traced to Marxist and Nazi propaganda. Except for the violence, Alinsky is comparable to Machiavelli in reverse: taking power away from those who have it.

Biblical creationists, Christians, Intelligent Design proponents, and also political Conservatives encounter these rules, often without knowing it. I will not say that there are significant "community activists" among atheists and evolutionist who are organizing these things. However, it seems that many of those people are aware of some of these rules. Other creationists and I have encountered such tactics.

Let's examine some and put them in our context.

Never go outside the expertise of your people

Atheists use the same boilerplate copy 'n' paste reactions, making it difficult to find original thought from them. Similarly, evolutionists rely on writings and research of other evolutionists, usually presupposing naturalism. They even use retracted peer-reviewed papers and build upon them! Instead of blackballing creationists and insisting on naturalism, they would do well to learn from creationist scientists instead of evolutionary evangelists and their propaganda. Building their wall..."Mother, did it need to be so high?"

On the other hand, creationists do go outside our own group. We learn where evolutionists are coming from and use their material; evolutionists are actually working for creation science! Also, the ID people deny being creationists (although many creationists are involved in the ID movement), but creationists use intelligent design arguments that reveal the expertise of the Master Engineer. 

Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules

It is common to find atheists attacking the Bible and saying how God is a big meanie that tells us not to kill, then does killing his ownself. They conveniently forgot the contexts they cite. Also, they neglect that he's the Creator, he makes the rules, and his judgments are righteous. It has been rightly said that the god atheists hate is not the God of the Bible — a straw god, if you will.

There have been times that I have been accused of "lying about evolution", and this attack has been leveled against other biblical creationists. They essentially say that we are violating the Bible we claim to believe. As I have said in the past, just because a statement hurts someone's feelings, they dislike it in someway, or simply disagree with it does not make it a lie. When I have pointed out this truth, it's been ignored. 

Taking an approach based in presuppositional apologetics, I have asked, "Suppose what you said is true. Is it rational for those of us who serve a holy and righteous God, who hates lying, to lie to get people to believe in him?" (Wouldn't they find out that we were lying and reject God anyway?) Going further, "In your materialistic worldview, why would lying be wrong? If I believe it helps me to survive and thrive, I should be able to do so". Their responses are brown noise, indicating that they have no consistent moral standard.

Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon

This almost needs no discussion, but the subheading would look silly sitting there all by its lonesome. Atheists and other anti-creationists, especially on teh interwebs, are fond of trolling and ridicule (anonymity is an asset for keyboard "warriors" like that). Related to this is the fallacy of appeal to ridicule — a threat similar to a child saying, "If you do that, I'll tell on you!" I have long believed that this is a form of censorship. If you study on it a spell, ridiculing someone so they run and hide gives folks like that a sense of victory. A voice is silenced, at least for a while. By the way, note that they cannot take a joke themselves.

Keep the pressure on and never let up

Those dealing with Atheism Spectrum Disorder rely on evolution for their creation myth and help them to feel "intellectually fulfilled". When evidence refuting evolutionism and supporting recent creation is presented, they often recruit others to swarm creationists. There are times when something may have started out as a discussion between two people on social(ist) media, but it degenerates into a food fight;  many attackers piling on to intimidate the creationists. There are many who absurdly seek their identities in attacking the God they reject who go on secularist jihads against creationists and Christians (such as this bunch). While Alinsky had secular goals for communities, the relentless harassment from naturalists is a spiritual problem rooted in rebellion against God, our Creator and Redeemer.

The tenth annual Question Evolution Day
Image courtesy of Why?Outreach

Bonus: Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty

This has been attributed to Saul Alinsky, but I did not find it in Rules. It probably originated elsewhere. He may very well have expressed something similar because it is in keeping with the other rules. It is obviously a form of the tu quoque fallacy ("Yeah, but you do it too!"), which is an attempt to point out someone's hypocrisy. However, even if the counter accusation is true, it does not invalidate the original claim.

Many times, the accusation is simply false, such as when I was accused of "lying about evolution". Instead of dealing with a subject, an emotional reaction is provoked and the one on the receiving end may be put on the defensive. Keep them on topic. I've even said things like, "Yes, and I cheat at solitaire. Can you respond to the subject?"

Ruling the rules

Obviously, I am not advocating that Christians and creationists utilize the teachings of Alinsky. It is helpful to learn from them (which means violating the first rule mentioned and learning from the opposition). We can also see tactics used by fundamentalist Darwinists to avoid questioning evolution and to shun evidence that is not on their approved reading list.

Scientific findings come and go (as do creation science models), but our ultimate authority is God, who has explained himself in the Bible. He makes the rules, and we are the radicals because we emphasize the foundations of the faith. We believe in science when it is not filtered through materialistic presuppositions and is interpreted properly. Indeed, to be a biblical Christian is radical and brings opposition. We must focus on the Word and stay close to God.