In response to several of the major fundie "x Sunday" events that have occurred in the past year, several more liberal denominations joined together this weekend for Evolution Sunday. The occasion was the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin, and preachers used the day to urge the faithful that evolution was not a threat to their faith, but in fact strengthened it. As one pastor put it, Darwin "'forced religion to grow up, to become, really, faith for the first time.'" However, where the Focus on the Family fueled events originated from sold-out megachurches and were broadcast via satellite all over the country, the crowds involved with Evolution Sunday seemed a bit more, um, modest:
At St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, a small contemporary structure among the
pricey homes of north Atlanta, the Rev. Patricia Templeton told the 85 worshipers gathered yesterday, 'A faith that requires you to close your mind in order to believe is not much of a faith at all.'
In the basement of an apartment building in Evanston, Ill., the Rev. Mitchell Brown said to the 21 people who came to services at the Evanston Mennonite Church that Darwin's theories in fact had compelled people to have faith rather than look for 'special effects' to confirm the existence of God.