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Dennis Prager Was Right: Atheists Are More Open-Minded on ID than Some United Methodist Officials

John G. West

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Take action now: Contact United Methodist officials and urge them to overturn their ban on Discovery Institute.

When I was being interviewed last week on Dennis Prager’s radio show, Dennis commented that he thought atheists would be more open-minded than United Methodist officials about allowing Discovery Institute to sponsor an information table at the UMC’s General Conference. It turns out Prager was right.

We’ve broken down by religious orientation the results of the national survey we conducted about the UMC’s action, and lo and behold, nearly half of self-identified atheists (49 percent) agree that “the United Methodist Church should not have banned an intelligent design group from renting an information table at its conference.” Self-identified agnostics are even more opposed to the UMC decision, with 68 percent expressing opposition. Theists, by far the largest part of the population, oppose the UMC action by an overwhelming 3 to 1 margin (75 percent to 25 percent).

Nearly 6 in 10 atheists (59 percent) also think the UMC’s decision to ban an intelligent design group from sponsoring an information table contradicts the denomination’s professed commitment to “open hearts, open minds, open doors.” An overwhelming number of theists (83 percent) and agnostics (76 percent) share this view. You can download more detailed information.

If I were a leader in the United Methodist Church, I would think twice about the damage I am inflicting on my brand by this kind of intolerance. If UMC officials want people to believe they are serious about their slogan of “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors,” they might want to start following it.

Image credit: © Alliance / Dollar Photo Club.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

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