Gay creationists in government

Hessia’s education minister Karin Wolff has recently drawn attention for proposing that school biology lessons include the biblical creation story. Now she has drawn attention by outing herself as gay. All too many politicians pander to creationists; and some out themselves. But it’s pretty rare, I’d think, that the same politician does both.

Wolff will have needed a bit of courage to come out; but probably not too much. There are some homophobes in Germany, and I suppose Wolff’s conservative Christian Democratic Union is where they’d feel most at home. But even CDU people, for the most part, won’t be much bothered. (It’s public knowledge, for example, that the CDU mayor of Hamburg, Ole von Beust, is gay; the Union wouldn’t dream of sidelining him. His title is misleading, by the way. Because Hamburg is both a city and a federal state, von Beust is no mere mayor but head of a state government.)

By coming out, perhaps Wolff hoped to draw attention away from the creationism flap. The Frankfurter Rundschau, by contrast, suggests she outed herself as a tactic against intra-party opponents — by announcing she is a lesbian, she makes it harder for enemies within the CDU to criticise her without appearing bigots. Well, ‘maybe’ on both counts. But perhaps Wolff simply thought, ‘This is who I am, I’m not ashamed of it and I’m not going to hide any more.’ If that’s the case, good for her.

She still needs her ears boxed over the creationism thing, mind you.

5 thoughts on “Gay creationists in government

  1. It’s not that unknown for gays and lesbians to take up weird and wacky political positions that don’t seem to make much sense – you occasionally get a few in far right nationalist parties as well as fringe religious organisations. It might be amusing to hear what her views on Biblical inerrancy might be though…

  2. And in physics lessons we should teach kids how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  3. Hallo, Richard. I’d think it highly unlikely Wolff is a believer in biblical inerrancy. She is a member of the Evangelische Kirche, that is, the mainstream Lutherans (in Germany “evangelical” has no connnotations of bible-thumpery; it simply means “protestant”). Unlike most German Lutherans (and RCs), Wolff is not a merely notional member — she studied theology and used to be a religious education teacher. So I’d guess she is knowledgeable about, and down with, her church’s party line; which tends to be reasonably moderate. There are fundamentalists in Germany, but they are few, and tend to belong to small fringe denominations rather than the “official” protestant church.

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