It is now a matter of public record that former National Institute of Health director Francis Collins either presided over, ordered, funded, or indirectly participated in the following during his tenure:
- Record-level spending on scientific experimentation performed on fetuses obtained from abortions
- University of Pittsburgh experiment that, among other things, grafted infant scalps onto lab rats
- Experiments on the harvested organs of aborted, full-term babies
- Endorsement of unrestricted funding of embryonic stem cell research
- Policies that exchanged merit-based grants for those partially determined by left-wing "diversity, equity, and inclusion" exams
- Millions of dollars in taxpayer grants spent on transgender research on minors
- Opposite-sex hormone treatments given to children as young as 8-years-old
- Mastectomies performed on girls as young as 13-years-old
- Millions of dollars in grants to an app program that tracked teenage boys' homosexual activities including anal sex, all without parental knowledge
It is also known that Collins personally attended former President Barack Obama's celebratory signing of an Executive Order to undo a George W. Bush-era ban on scientific experiments done on human embryos, and acquiesced to the reality that the kind of genetic testing he promoted led to increased killing of Down Syndrome babies.
Yet despite this horrific ethical track record that would preclude any rational mind from concluding that these are the life fruits produced by one who possessed the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the last two years have seen some of the most recognizable, trustworthy names and organizations in American Christianity laud Collins as a trustworthy Christian brother.
Given their prominence and influence, it's important to name names.
Former ERLC-head Russell Moore: "I admire greatly the wisdom, expertise, and, most of all, the Christian humility and grace of Francis Collins."
Evangelical writer David French: "Francis Collins is a national treasure. Thank you for your faithful service."
Evangelical Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson: "In Collins, restless genius is other-centered… a life so relentlessly committed to the human good."
And a cadre of other well-respected Christian ministers, professors, and teachers happily platformed and promoted Collins as he carried the Biden administration's COVID messaging uncritically. They directly or indirectly questioned the Christian conscience and love of any believer who didn't follow a slew of now-factually-suspect-or-debunked guidance, all on the authority of "brother Collins." This who's who of evangelicalism included Ed Stetzer, Rick Warren, Tim Keller, NT Wright, and notable Christian publications like The Gospel Coalition, Christianity Today, and the Billy Graham Center.
Unimpeachable documentation, explicit quotes, and a painstaking analysis of the manner in which this credibility train-wreck unfolded is laid out courageously by investigative reporter Megan Basham right here.
And here's why I'm amplifying her work. It's not to besmirch men and organizations that have done much good, and that are still doing much good. In fact, it's precisely because I have benefitted from the biblical commentaries of Tim Keller, been encouraged by articles at The Gospel Coalition, appreciated the research and analysis from Ed Stetzer, been challenged by some of the thoughtful columns of David French, that it's so important they be pressured to give an accounting.
It's not bad to admit you were duped. It's not wrong to recant. It's not inappropriate to acknowledge missteps. It's not a sign of weakness to apologize. No one should know that and model that more than Christian leaders.
I'm not appalled that David French had nice things to say about Francis Collins if he was unaware that the man he was praising was up to his armpits in aborted fetal tissue. But he should address it now that he is aware.
I'm not disappointed that The Gospel Coalition or Ed Stetzer platformed a man they thought was a reliable Christian brother offering sound scientific advice. But they should correct the record now that the truth has been uncovered.
I don't think less of Russell Moore for believing the best about a guy who professed Christ, exhibited a gentle demeanor, and appeared to be promoting good recommendations. But he should now humbly acknowledge the error and condemn what is certainly the un-Christlike professional conduct of Mr. Collins.
Between the years 2016-2020, I sided with many of these same voices when they wisely counseled Christians to be wary of marrying our public witness to worldly political figures. It would be a tremendous shame to now see them vindicate the claims of their numerous right-wing critics who accused them at that time of being disingenuous.
If Christians have a duty in our public witness to choose righteousness and truth over political alliances, that must be binding whether the object of devotion is a brash president or a soft-spoken bureaucrat.
So as a fellow believer, I echo Erick Erickson in humbly requesting a response from these men and institutions.
Many of these men and organizations regularly call the church to repentance. This would be a proper time to perhaps lead by example.