The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others, but it does no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pockets nor breaks my legs. — Thomas Jefferson
Antievolutionists have long sought to subvert and infiltrate the public school science classrooms, looking to turn all those lecterns into pulpits to deliver their narrow sectarian doctrines. We’ve seen takeovers of classrooms, of school boards, and the promulgation of legislation to set things up the way they’d like it. Now, we have another untoward development: not content with turning science class into Sectarian Sunday School, they want taxpayers to chip in money to serve the cause. That’s right, instead of passing a collection plate where one gets a choice of contributing or not, they do want to pick your pockets.
The Times-Picayune has the story.
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., earmarked $100,000 in a spending bill for a Louisiana Christian group that has challenged the teaching of Darwinian evolution in the public school system and to which he has political ties.
The money is included in the labor, health and education financing bill for fiscal 2008 and specifies payment to the Louisiana Family Forum “to develop a plan to promote better science education.”
This is the same group that successfully got the Ouachita School Board to adopt a policy, apparently ghost-written by the Discovery Institute. It is full of “teach the controversy” language:
Ouachita Parish Science Curriculum Policy Proposal 5.30 – Teacher Academic Freedom in Science Education when covering controversial scientific subjects
The Ouachita School District understands that the purpose of science education is to inform students about the scientific evidence and to help them develop critical thinking skills they need in order to become scientifically minded citizens. The District also understands that the teaching of some scientific subjects, such as biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy, and that some teachers may be unsure of the District’s expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects. The District shall endeavor to create an environment within the schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately to differences of opinion about controversial issues. The District shall also endeavor to assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies. Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.
Some people thought the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case put paid to antievolution. What it did, and did well, was to blunt the “intelligent design” label, such that it could no longer be the leading edge of the “wedge”. But antievolution goes on, seeking to stuff as many of its old, tired, bogus antievolution arguments as possible into science classrooms. And now, to pick your pocket to pay for it.