Marco Rubio hasn’t even announced his candidacy for president in 2016 and he’s already getting the “gotcha” question from the media (actually, he’s been getting them for a while now, but on a more local scale). In an interview with GQ, Senator Rubio gets asked “out of the blue” how old he thinks the earth is. Pretty inconsequential question in light of the major issues of our day, but that doesn’t stop the media from asking. Consider it a fair warning to Rubio and other conservatives, because you bet that the media will be out to paint Rubio and other young conservatives as neanderthals.
Despite the irrelevance of the question relative to the big issues that affect us daily, it deserves a good answer. I don’t think Rubio gave a bad answer, but not a great one, either. His answer was wishy-washy and non-committal for understandable reasons, but if his intent was to avoid a “mini-controversy”, even a fabricated one, it didn’t work. Let’s face it, Rubio has a big target on his back and it will only get bigger between now and 2016.
The question could have been answered in such a way as to avoid the faux controversy and at the same time stand solidly in line with the teaching of Rubio’s faith (Catholicism) AND science. The New York Times’ Ross Douthat provides that answer for us:
I’m not a scientist, but I respect the scientific consensus that says that the earth is — what, something like a few billions of years old, right? I don’t have any trouble reconciling that consensus with my faith. I don’t think the 7 days in Genesis have to be literal 24-hour days. I don’t have strong opinions about the specifics of how to teach these issues — that’s for school boards to decide, and I’m not running for school board — but I think religion and science can be conversation partners, and I think kids can benefit from that conversation.
There you go.
BTW…Rubio isn’t the only recent junior senator to answer a question in a similar fashion. Back in 2008, Illinois’ junior senator at the time answered a similar question in very much the same way.
Sen. Rubio and others, please make a note of this. It’s time to turn the tables on liberals who like to use these topics to beat conservatives over the head with because conservatives lack either the guts or the smarts to properly reconcile science and reason with faith. In the case of Rubio, perhaps he needs a little brushing up on Catholic teaching.
Make no mistake, they can be reconciled and if done so correctly, there’s nothing liberals can do to counter it.
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