FIRST-PERSON: Circumstantial evidence
McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)--There are many people who contend homosexual behavior is rooted in biology. These individuals make their strong assertion in spite of the fact no empirical evidence exists to support their claim.
The theory of evolution is touted as a fact by a majority of the scientific community. However, ask anyone who holds this view to provide hard evidence to support their belief and they can't. They will only point to what even they must admit is a mountain of circumstantial evidence.
The atheist refuses to believe that God exists. He or she maintains that there is no proof that a supernatural being is real. Not even the complex reality of nature can sway the atheist's thinking. The incredible order seen throughout the universe amounts to, at best, an inconclusive argument for the existence of a Supreme Being.
Isn't it interesting that many of the same people who ardently adhere to the aforementioned beliefs -- even though their positions are not based on solid or irrefutable facts -- reject the United States' case for war with Iraq because they assert it is based solely on circumstantial evidence?
President Bush came before the nation and the world and made a case for taking action against Saddam Hussein on Jan. 28. Let us review some of the "circumstantial" evidence the president offered in the State of the Union address:
"Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement."
"Almost three months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations.... It is up to Iraq to show the world exactly where it is hiding its banned weapons.... Nothing like this has happened."
"The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient enough to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax.... He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it."
This is but a tiny excerpt from President Bush's speech in which he cited over and over how Iraq is refusing to cooperate with inspectors and is in violation of the order to disarm.
On Feb. 5, Colin Powell addressed the United Nations. For approximately 75 minutes the Secretary of State added exclamation point after exclamation point to the president's State of the Union address. He did so with satellite photographs, messages intercepted by U.S. intelligence, testimony from defectors and evidence that Iraq is stonewalling in respect to U.N. Resolution 1441.
According to John Pike of the Washington think tank Globalsecurity.org, Powell's presentation was effective. "He knocked it out of the park," Pike said. "It would convince anyone who could be convinced, and not everyone can be convinced."
Mr. Pike is right; "not everyone can be convinced." In July 1969 my family gathered to watch the first men walk on the moon. During this historical moment a dear sweet great-aunt of mine made it clear that she did not believe what she was seeing. She maintained it was all happening on a stage somewhere in Hollywood. She went to her grave refusing to believe that man had visited the moon.
Some people are so sold out to an idea that no amount of evidence -- or lack thereof -- will cause them to reconsider their position. That is why many of the same people who vehemently believe homosexuality is genetic, tenaciously maintain evolution is a fact and refuse to believe in God -- all because of circumstantial evidence -- demand that we eschew war against Iraq because there is no hard evidence that Saddam Hussein is a threat to world peace.
I find it ironic that those who demand hard evidence in respect to Iraq do not require such evidence to maintain belief in other areas of life. One thing overlooked by those who demand "smoking gun proof" in order to justify action against Iraq is that guns only smoke after they have been fired. Once that has happened it can be too late.
Boggs is pastor of Valley Baptist Church, McMinnville, Ore.