Basically, you and I are not in disagreement, we just seem to be a tad out of sync with each other.
Number 1: Any theist worth their salt in understanding Genesis will tell you that it is not a literal book of literature and it is redacted and edited by a series of unknown authors at different points in the history of the book existing. None of it is literal history.
You haven't met very many evangelicals and fundamentalists have you? Yes there are plenty of more "liberal" theists out there who would agree with what you say here, but there are many, many, many serious Xians who insist the the entire Bible is the literal truth and the word of god. And many have gone to seminary and devoted years of study to the bible and know it backwards and forwards.
I'd certainly agree that any theist scholar with a shred of objectivity and sanity would have to conclude what you said there and in your subsequent points. (And they'd have to admit that any simple declarative statement in the book cannot simply be assumed to be true.) But any theist? Fraid not.
What's worse is those more enlightened theist scholars will often get into the pulpit of their church and preach as if it were literal, and teach the stories in Sunday School as if they were true. One truth for them, a "safer" truth for the unwashed. Lovely.
That's why is say "worth their salt." I don't consider evangelical/fundamentalist theologians, theists, etc. worth their salt because they refuse to see things beyond their own nose. You could spend a lifetime in the halls of any library and still learn nothing. So, any theist worth their salt - absolutely.
"What's worse is those more enlightened theist scholars will often get into the pulpit of their church and preach as if it were literal, and teach the stories in Sunday School as if they were true. One truth for them, a "safer" truth for the unwashed. Lovely."
Unfortunately, I confess guilt to this from my experience at my last church - and never again will I do it. It was a duality I wish I could erase. I was never overt in the practice; in fact, I tried to avoid it, but the subtlety in which I allowed it was difficult enough. I could not live with myself for it; but I can tell you why this happens: fear. Fear based off of coercion, threats, bullying, and loss of livelihood.
Eventually, some like me, can't take it any more and finally break those chains that some churches lock their pastors in - even if it means an end to the vocation in which they felt strongly connected. My experience only lasted four months until I could not bear the burden anymore, for many others, it lasts years.
Though this is a deep wound for me - one I will have to live with for the rest of my life - I at least saw my error, broke free, and now have taken a stand that will never allow me to return to such a sorry state. It's been very liberating and I know that anyone in that church who condemns me to Hell only condemns themselves. I cannot live two lives.
That would be funny if it was not meant as serious.
I particularly like the letter from the the 13 year old atheist, I nearly fell off my chair! Considering we are born atheist and get indoctrinated into religion, it makes no sense at all.
The various rants do, however, confirm my belief that, generally, the stronger the religious belief, the lower the ability to communicate with any coherence. It is the semi-intelligent religious nuts you have to watch out for.
I'd be inclined to believe he does. I recently reported on another thread, a new "Science" book that's been published for kids, that maintains that all science is psuedo-science, that all of the REAL science is in the Bible. This book encourages theist kids on field trips to museums, when the guide begins describing events of millions of years ago, to ask, "How do you know, were you there?" So nothing the brainwashed little bastards say would surprise me.
And the wrap-up --! Sing along with me now!
Then we have the side of reason:
I'v seen Religulous a few times. Easily one of my favorite parts because the official spokespeople of the Catholic Church disagree with the idiots who pedal this pseudo-science.
How does he know any better? Was he there?
"Challenge people with another point of view concerning origins."
Why not teach the Scientology point of view? Why not teach that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created all of us? Why not teach that a Unicorn farted us all out.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you tell from someone's voice which side they are on? Maybe I'm crazy, but I can hear the twang in someone's voice when they are crazy creationists (Oh, that is a good catch-phrase).
The only problem is that the creator of the Creationist Museum doesn't quite have that twang you're referring to - evidence that they are everywhere, though your statement might fit in general.
That twang if you can bear listening to it.