i'm going to have to say NO FUCKING WAY!  listen, these same kids can get all the access to this information either online or at church.  a public sanctioned class that would be nothing other than teaching the flaws in evolution is both unconstitutional and dangersous.  and that's exactly what they'd be doing, since the Creation myth doesn't take all that long to explain. 


but again, they already have a forum for teaching their kids this.  there's probably 20 of them per square mile in Alabama.  what this will do is encourage non-church going students to go, b/c their friends are going.  it's already hard enough to try to teach evolution to these kids b/c of the brainwashing the church does. 


the way in which GOP legislature is attempting to skirt the edge of the Constituion through secular language and optional status is interesting.  they're learning.  you can't attack secularism head on, so they pull flanking maneuvers, such as "teach the controversy".  do they even pass normal legislation anymore, b/c all i hear about are ways to get religion thrust into the public sector?  seriously - personhood laws, gay marriage, school prayer, public committe prayer, bullying laws favoring the religious, birth control, abortion - where does it stop? 


i believe there is a connection between the rise of these issues with the death of the churches.  the religious right has been trying for this for 20+ years, but now, today's GOP has become a vessell through which the Evangelicals, Catholics, etal can enact actual law.  they got their window, and they're using the hell out of it.  they are desparate.  their congregations are dwindling.  their youth have abanded them.   what we are seeing is the death throw of an increasingly paranoid organization. 


and i can safely include all of the religious in this country as an organization.  through necessity, they are banding together.  what else would drive Evangelicals and Catholics together, if not desparation.  these groups have hated each other, but are now allies.  there is safety in numbers, and if they don't have the numbers in their own groups they will combine to get some of their lost power back. 

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Comment by Reason Being on February 24, 2012 at 1:08pm

This is why the current Church/State battles are so important.  The right just refuses to admit that it even exists.  Enough is enough already.  Thanks for posting this Mike.  The more we can call attention to stuff like this the better.

Comment by Dorris Journeay on February 23, 2012 at 4:27pm

I hope you are right.  I'm often very discouraged by the pervasiveness of religious ignorance I see all around.  When I went back to college five years ago as an older adult, I was shocked by the religiosity of the kids just coming out of high school.  It was just the opposite of the situation when I was growing up.  Kids were more likely to be liberal, progressive, and non-religious, while older adults were the narrow-minded sticks in the mud.  Now, in spite of unprecedented access to all kinds of information via the internet, kids today seem more religious, and proud of it!  For those who grow up in fundamentalist homes, internet access is strictly controlled and so are their social lives.  School (if they aren't home-schooled - another huge problem) is often the only place a kid like this can get any kind of scientific, secular information.  If the schools are teaching religious crap, then these kids are screwed.  Kids from more moderate or non-religious homes are less likely to be influenced by religious classes - although I have to say that some otherwise non-religious parents deliberately send their kids to religious classes or schools to "straighten 'em out" or "teach them morals and values".   Some of these might fall for it - especially with peer pressure from others who convince them it's cool.  

A few bright lights do manage to overcome the odds and resist the religious pressure, but my opinion is that they shouldn't have to!  I was one of the inborn skeptics, always questioning, hiding books about evolution, astronomy, and other sciences under my mattress like porn, raising objections in church school - but I was silenced for years by overwhelming community disapproval.  No one should have to sacrifice their brain for social acceptance, job security, or anything else, ever.  Religion should be relegated to mythology.

Comment by matthew greenberg on February 23, 2012 at 3:56pm

" How many future Einsteins are being stifled in our schools?"


first of all, i want to thank you for your response.  i love it!  regarding this quote, i will say that the the vast majority of truly special minds will break free from indoctrination regardless.  i've written before that it takes a high level of intelligence to escape brainwashing, but we see evidence that the spread of information through the internet is having a similar effect.  it used to be one had to either come to the conclusion that God is false on their own, or get lucky and have it exposed to you by another.  not today.  the internet is allowing rapid promulgation of information that often sets people on the right course.  in 10 years, i would not be surprised to see the percentage of American Atheists rise to 30-40% of the population.  we are on the rise.   

Comment by Dorris Journeay on February 23, 2012 at 3:29pm

Southern states already have some of the most abysmal education statistics - you'd think legislators would be too embarrassed by the stats to be so obvious about undermining what's left of school curriculums.  But - no.  These are people who think banging their heads against a wall is how you build a new wall.  When it doesn't work, they just ignore the blood, headaches and brain damage, change the angle of their skulls a little, and start hammering away again.  Embarrassment, humiliation, defeat, and even prosecution don't deter them at all.  They're just racking up points with Jesus!  The more obstacles get put in their way, the more points they get!  And let's not forget how empowered they felt when our previous president glorified stupidity, ignorance and bullheaded self-righteousness, opening the religious fraud floodgates with his "faith-based initiatives" and "no child left behind" boondoggles and snuggling with the likes of Ted Haggard and other evangelicals.  

Schools are their most important targets - they know if they can indoctrinate kids early and well, a percentage of those kids will succumb to the brain virus and pass it on.  Real learning is hard work.  Science is complex and growing more so every day and the concepts require critical thinking skills that take years to develop.  Interrupt that process, give kids an easy class that teaches that a magical sky daddy made everything and will fix all the problems, and the natural curiosity and open-mindedness necessary to learn is destroyed.  It's very difficult to try to reprogram your brain as an adult and grasp concepts that should have been mastered as a teenager.  I know.  I had to do it.  It enrages me to this day, at the age of 49, to think what I might have been able to accomplish had not my education been sidetracked by religion.   How many future Einsteins are being stifled in our schools?  It's a damned crime, and we should never stop fighting against it. 

Comment by matthew greenberg on February 23, 2012 at 1:25pm

as a lover of Biology, and through it, Evolution, nothing makes me angrier than Creationism.  the proof of an old Earth is everywhere you look (although the young earthers will say that proof of God is everwhere you look).  how they accept Plate Technoics but cling to an young earth I will never understand. 

Comment by Loren Miller on February 23, 2012 at 1:20pm

I smell the "seven mountains" strategy of the New Apostolic Reformation here. My surmise is that if they can't teach their crap in schools, they will use a workaround to get it to the kids outside of school time. One way or another, though, they are determined to promulgate creationism as (to their eyes) an equivalent explanation to evolution to children.

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