Expulsion: Far Right Loves Ben Stein

Ben Stein’s anti-evolution attack film, “Expelled,” has finally arrived, grossing $3 million over the weekend, thanks to a church-based roll-out by the marketers that brought you “The Passion of the Christ.” Critics have savaged the documentary—which claims widespread persecution of creationists in academia and warns of a direct link between the theory of evolution and the Holocaust—as a dishonest work of propaganda, but, not surprisingly, the movie has a lot of fans among the Religious Right.

“Expelled” has been promoted heavily in right-wing media this month. Stein appeared on Focus on the Family radio, where the movie received the “enthusiastic” endorsement of James Dobson. Producer Mark Mathis appeared on WallBuilders Live, the radio show of premier church-state integrationist David Barton, to discuss “the persecution of the many by an elite few.” Rush Limbaugh exuberantly promoted it on his show; apparently, the movie taught him that “Darwinism, of course, does not permit for the existence of a supreme being, a higher power, or a God.”

Stein was also interviewed by the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, while executive producer Logan Craft hit WorldNetDaily. Baptist Press, the official outlet of the Southern Baptist Convention, featured an op-ed by Stein and a series of articles pushing the film. The producers gave a private screening to Brent Bozell of the far-right Media Research Center. (He loved it.)

“Expelled” is also featured by the late D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries, which offers its own product line equating Darwin and Hitler. While some “Expelled” cheerleaders express sympathy for the “Intelligent Design” advocates who have been “persecuted” supposedly (the National Center for Science Education has their realistic back-stories here), most on the Right seem to be especially enchanted by the film’s reliance on a half-baked linking of evolution to Nazism and Stalinism.

Expelled,” wrote World magazine editor and faith-based initiatives architect Marvin Olasky, “rightly equates Darwinian stifling of free speech with the Communist attempt to enslave millions behind the Berlin Wall.”

The real question is: Did Darwinism bulwark Hitlerian hatred by providing a scientific rationale for killing those considered less fit in the struggle for survival?

The answer to that question is an unambiguous yes.

Richard Weikart of the “Intelligent Design” group, the Discovery Institute, defended the Darwin-Hitler connection as critical: “[W]hat is most objectionable about the Nazis’ worldview? Isn’t it that they had no respect for human life?” Weikart, who wrote a book entitled “From Darwin to Hitler,” added, “the Nazis’ devaluing of human life derived from Darwinian ideology….”

Gary DeMar of American Vision was so inspired he branched out on his own, linking evolution to the fundamentalist polygamist cult that’s been in the news recently.

Given the worldview shift that has taken place in America, none of this is of any consequence. Evolutionary and atheistic assumptions are standard worldview thinking in every public school classroom in America. So then, why is it wrong with having forced sex with young girls? It’s evolution in action. …

The secularists should be proud of what these polygamists are doing. They are confirming the evolutionary thesis of Dawkins and his selfish gene hypothesis.