THIS is a quickie to let you know that the situation we reported on here: Iowa School Board and Michael Behe is still very much alive.
The Des Moines Register has this story: Spencer school district shapes policy on religion. It’s long, but not all that informative.
It seems that the preacher and the pharmacist are well on their way to establishing some kind of religious program in their local schools. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Public school students in Spencer will get to study the Bible and pray at graduation if school district leaders approve a proposed “religious liberties” policy, the first of its kind in Iowa.
The plan calls for elective classes such as “Critic of Darwinism,” which includes arguments against the theory of evolution, and “The Bible in History and Literature.”
Sounds great! It’s not sufficient for the kiddies to hear about Noah’s Ark at home, in church, and in Sunday school. In Spencer, they’ve got to be exposed to it 24/7. It’s the only way to save them from a life of Darwinian degradation.
Spencer officials say they are the first in Iowa to spell out religious freedoms in schools, a concept more popular in Southern states such as Georgia and Texas. The district has not received complaints, but school board member Barb Van Wyk said confusion about religion’s place in schools has created a gag effect.
Van Wyk, an Assemblies of God pastor who co-wrote the religious liberties policy, said her son’s junior high classmates told him it was illegal to read the Bible at school in his free time. “A lot of times students and teachers feel they have to check their faith at the door,” she said. “That is not what the Constitution says.”
Now look, we don’t know what will happen in Spencer. Maybe it’s all going to be fine and constitutional. But even if not, maybe no one will object. Should it work out like that, with everyone happy, then we’re not concerned.
Surprised at our indifference? Are you wondering: Have you no principles, Curmudgeon? Sure we do, but just as we don’t want to ride in with a militia outfit to “rescue” the Amish from their voluntary ways, so too are we willing to leave the good folk of Spencer to follow their own folkways. If they all want to use Jack Chick comics for science texts, it’s up to them.
Unlike some of the others who blog about “the controversy,” our big issue isn’t religion, or even science — it’s freedom. Without that, nothing matters.
One more excerpt:
Spencer’s proposed policy says schools must let students talk about their faith, pray on their own and distribute religious materials if they want to.
This should be interesting. If things go postal, just remember that you heard it here first.
Addendum: Here’s the website of the Spencer School Board. We haven’t looked at anything, but it appears that they have minutes that can be downloaded.
Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
Oooh…I wonder, will they teach the “incompetence” or “conspiracy” model for why none of these arguments are in scientific research papers? Great training for Liberty U.!
I’m a bit confused about your idea of “freedom”. It seems to me I have seen a lot here of you arguing against state legislatures and state boards of eduction from allowing any form of ID/creationism into public schools. Other than being on a smaller scale, why is it OK in the Spencer public schools? And they seem to be heading towards more than just allowing ID/creationism in.
BTW, your example of the Amish isn’t on point as they don’t fund their schools with government money.
From the article: “The plan calls for elective classes such as ‘Critic of Darwinism,’ which includes arguments against the theory of evolution, and “The Bible in History and Literature’.
You sly dog. I know why you’re indifferent. If they pass anything like that, the DI, if even remotely consistent, would immediately demand a “critical analysis” of the (mutually contradictory versions of) Bible History, and “strengths and weaknesses” of those (long-refuted) arguments agains “Darwinism.”
And when the DI looks the other way (as we all expect), you’ll be all over them for the outrageous double standard.
Side thought: can you imagine being enrolled in both the biology class and the “critic of Darwinism” (I bet they meant “critique”) class?
Frank J says: “You sly dog. I know why you’re indifferent.”
Nothing very complicated. Spencer has a population of around 11K people. The Spencer School District is tiny. I think their high school has 161 students. If they’re all creationists, then it’s just not worth fiddling with. State-wide theocracy is different, because it’s going to affect a lot of unwilling people.
James F wrote: “Side thought: can you imagine being enrolled in both the biology class and the ‘critic of Darwinism’ (I bet they meant “critique”) class?”
So? The DI wants them in the same class. What they don’t want is the critique of the critique.
FYI: According to city-data.com, Spencer H.S. enrollment was 737 for 2006.