Spencer Iowa School Board Update (09 Jul ‘09)

ANOTHER quickie. The Des Moines Register has an editorial on the topic about which we’ve been reporting: Teaching religion can’t include pushing it.

The editorial is well done and comes to the correct position, but it’s oh-so-sensitive to all concerned. A helpful feature is that they give us a link to the Spencer school district’s draft policy on religion (Word document). We haven’t had time to read it yet, but we’ll get to it if this issue persists.

For convenience, we’ll repeat here what we added to yesterday’s post — a link to the website of the Spencer School Board. It has minutes of their meetings that can be downloaded.

Here are just a couple of excerpts from the Des Moines Register‘s editorial, with bold added by us:

Give the Spencer School Board credit for boldly striding into a cultural and legal minefield by considering an aggressive approach to religion in public schools.

Yes, they can have credit for audacity — but only if they understand what they’re getting into. That’s an assumption we’re unwilling to grant.

Let’s skip over most of the editorial. For our readers, what’s said there won’t be news. Instead, we’ll jump right to their final paragraph:

Back to Spencer’s draft proposal: Its plans for “Religion in the Curriculum” do give us pause because the only proposed electives are a Bible course and a headlong confrontation of Darwinism. If the goal of its proposal is to accommodate any and all expressions of faith and to promote understanding of all religions, fine. If the goal is to endorse or advance one religious belief, then it will surely fail legal challenge. And it should.

That’s it for now, but look for the issue to heat up. We’ve all seen this sort of thing before.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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One response to “Spencer Iowa School Board Update (09 Jul ‘09)

  1. My personal approach to such situations is to ignore the “pushing religion” aspect. Not because I’m in any way sympathetic to it, but because I’m fairly confident that it will be shot down, even by a Christian Republican judge like Dover’s Judge Jones. Let the legal experts take care of the legal issues, I’m concerned about the moral ones.

    My main concern is with the “critique of ‘Darwinism’,” and indeed the very use of the misleading word “Darwinism.” Whether or not these people have any particular alternatives in mind (as if the Bible thing leaves any doubt), alternatives have been proposed – and neatly falsified. Where’s the “critical analysis”of them?, including how they come in mutually contradictory versions?? They have no place in science class of course, but the fact that these people aren’t demanding them anywhere shows clearly that they – or their “mentors” if they are indeed just clueless rubes – deliberately want to mislead students. Someone is bearing false witness.