I for one am glad that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Earth) has clarified his position on the age of the planet. You'll recall that last month GQ asked him, "How old do you think the earth is?" In reply, the senator tap-danced thusly:
I'm not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.
I'm pretty sure that recorded history has little to say on the subject but "6,000 years give or take" pretty much sums up the theological dispute over how to do the calculation based on biblical chronology. As for how the universe was created and whether it took seven days or seven eras, the senator would have done better not to go there.
In any event, when the subject came up again at a breakfast the other day, he was better prepared. "Science says it’s about four and a half billion years old," he said, "and my faith teaches that that’s not inconsistent.” A nit-picker might ask, "Inconsistent with what?" But we get the idea. Rubio's faith can live with the idea of a four-and-a-half-billion-year-old earth.
Actually though, there's been some uncertainty about what Rubio's faith is. Last June, when he was under consideration as the GOP vice presidential candidate, it emerged that he and his family had been Mormons for a while but had reverted to his mother's prior Catholicism, with some evangelical Protestantism thrown in along the way. In a Q. and A. with Christianity Today's Sarah Pulliam Bailey, he had this to say about his current spiritual allegiances:
Sometime in 2000, I unfortunately got really busy with my political stuff. I perhaps didn't do a good job of spiritually leading my family, which is one of the roles I play alongside my wife. In the meantime, my wife and my sister found an excellent local church, Christ Fellowship. It does a phenomenal job on two fronts: bringing people to Jesus, and teaching the written Word through phenomenal preachers. And it has a fantastic children's program. For a period of time, it became our church home almost exclusively. I felt called back to Catholicism around 2004, but have maintained the relationship with Christ Fellowship and attend their services often or listen to the podcasts.
Christ Fellowship is one of those multi-site evangelical megachurches that is pretty shy about advertising its doctrine. But I'm guessing that it's on the biblical creationist side of the age-of-earth controversy, based on the description of "Creation v. Evolution," a three-week course offered at its main campus:
Are you interested in having the knowledge necessary to share the creation story with confidence? Join us for this three week class. It will provide participants with both Biblical and scientific evidence for creation.
Catholicism is pretty much down with the scientific evidence and the no inconsistency. So I'd say that as of now Rubio's faith is, at least as far as the age of earth is concerned, Catholic, just like he says.