The New Hampshire legislature has two anti-evolution bills set for a vote this month. Republican Representative Jerry Bergevin sponsors both bills. The first would order the state board of education to “require evolution to be taught as a theory, including the theorists‘ political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism” (italics mine). Bergevin calls evolution “a godless worldview.” Concerning evolution he said, “Columbine, remember that? They were believers in evolution. That’s evidence right there.” Bergevin also told The Concord Monitor that the teaching of evolution has a global societal impact and that it led to the rise of the Nazi Party.
Another anti-evolution bill would “require science teachers to instruct pupils that proper scientific inquire [sic] results from not committing to any one theory or hypothesis no matter how firmly it appears to be established...” Dare we assume they have a specific theory in mind?
In addition, the N.H. State Senate passed a bill today that allows parents to withdraw their child from any lesson that they object to, and demand that the school provide an alternative curriculum. The intent of this bill is clear: to make it legal for evangelicals to withdraw children from lessons on evolution, and demand that the school teach creationism as an alternative. If the fundie parent wants to withdraw their child, fine. However, it is not the job of the public school, nor even its legal right, to offer creationism as an alternative lesson plan. Unless, of course, this bill becomes law.
Here's a revolutionary idea for the fundies: if you want your children to be taught creationism instead of science, you pay for it. Enroll them in a religious school.
Another New Hampshire legislator, Republican David Bates, is sponsoring a bill that would repeal the state’s marriage equality act which passed two years ago. Bates is a frequent guest speaker at Sunday morning church services around the state. (You can find his sermons on YouTube. Bates was also a vocal supporter of a “birther” bill that was voted down.)
As I mentioned yesterday in this forum, the Indiana state legislature also has an anti-evolution bill on the docket. And a spate of other states introduced creationism/anti-evolution bills last year. It appears the legal staff at Americans United for Separation of Church and State and other advocates for good science education in public schools will be busy this year.
Unfortunately, evolution is not the only target of the christian right. The Christocons are attacking the US political process on several fronts, especially as the next election approaches and their perceived need to remove the “Black Muslim” from the White House becomes more urgent. And, they are brazenly violating the US Constitution in the process. In October of last year, the Alliance Defense Fund again held its annual “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an event that facilitates congregational intervention in political activity. Congregations hold voter turnout drives and distribute “voter guides” on political issues and candidates. Of course, any suggestion that these acts are illegal is met with a smugly disingenuous response: These are “religious pamphlets” and “religious gatherings.”
And, any suggestion that they lose their tax exempt status because of their politicking is met by the righteous indignation achievable only by the truly sanctimonious.
The whack-a-mole defense against the Christocons needs to be ramped up. It’s time for the nuclear option.
Edited by Natsel, 06 January 2012 - 12:17 PM.