Read the linked article first.
Look, what was Stephen Hawking doing, reading the creation story in Genesis literally? Well, that's a quip. Let me delve in a bit.
Stephen Hawking hasn't discovered the "origins of the Universe." Anyone who thinks that the Big Bang satisfies the question of the origin of the Universe is thinking rather shallowly, to say the least. What was before the bang? The astrophysicists posit that it was an extremely dense, small mass compared to what the Universe is now. Okay, but how long was it like that, and where did it come from? What was its origin? Even answering those questions via extrapolating from the "scientific method" won't necessarily satisfy.
That alone should tell you that no clear-thinking "scientist" would ever rule out God. That's because no such scientist who understands the most fundamental principles, the philosophy of "the method," would fail to leave room for being that is beyond being forced via the scientific method to reveal itself.
Stephen Hawking even said that he's sure there is other "intelligent" life in the Universe. I completely agree with him on that. However, how does he know that such life, that may have been at our level of intelligence billions of years ago, hasn't already arrived at the point where Stephen's Earthly physics can't force them to reveal themselves? He definitely can't rule it out.
In fact, I'm positive such beings exist. I have faith in it even more than Hawking has faith in the odds that other intelligent beings exist.
Hawking made the emphatic statement that there is no God. He declared himself an atheist. A good "scientist" would never be more than an agnostic: claiming to have no knowledge of God, not certainty as to the nonexistence of God and especially not based upon the Genesis creation story being more than a spiritual statement, being something to be taken as literally, in the so-called modern vernacular, as Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.
No matter how much new information is gained that enhances and refines the theory and goes on to unify large areas together, it won't mean Einstein was basically wrong or that there was no Einstein.
Even though the exact same thing may be said of the Genesis "Universe" creation story, something more may be said of that story. We don't know from a Hawking-type scientific standpoint what every allusion in the story refers to. When I read about the waters in the Universe and the waters in Genesis, when I read about the dust of the Cosmos and the dust in Genesis, I'm left with a deep and profound feeling and wait for and want more such revelation.
To me, Hawking's Universe is much smaller than mine, extremely so, and his genius has been severely overrated.
Read Genesis as spiritually inspired, not as God's limited ability to teach us about his creation and especially not because he doesn't exist and we know it for sure.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)