Creationism in St. Petersburg Mayor Campaign

YOU know about the Tulsa mayoral race (see: Anna Falling: Tulsa’s Creationist Savior), but did you know that something similar is going on in Florida? Not only that, but it’s happening in that blessed region we’ve been calling The Florida Ark (defined here).

The St. Petersburg Times reports St. Petersburg mayoral candidates have few, but sharp, differences.

The campaign is between Kathleen Ford and Bill Foster. Each is a lawyer and both have been City Council members. We’ll spare you the details of their differences on the issues (police tactics, finances, a new sports stadium, etc.), and get right to the issue that interests us. We added the bold font:

Foster, who infamously sent a letter to the Pinellas County School Board last year that promoted creationism and linked acclaimed biologist Charles Darwin to Adolf Hitler and the Columbine High School massacre, said he would not opine on school curriculum as mayor.

Ford said she accepts Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. “I just don’t think theology should be taught in science class,” she said.

Your Curmudgeon didn’t report about the Foster letter last year because it hit the news before we started this blog. Unwilling to allow such a treasure to escape us, we searched around until we found a St. Petersburg Times story about it, dated 12 January 2008: Foster links Darwin, Hitler.

That article quotes from Foster’s letter, but they only give us bits and pieces. We don’t have the entire composition in its brilliant totality. Anyway, the portions they quote for us have made our search well worth the effort — Foster’s letter is a spectacular example of full-blown creationist derangement. The St. Petersburg Times story starts like this:

Darwin’s theory of evolution helped fuel the rise of Hitler and contributed to the school-shooting massacre at Columbine, a former St. Petersburg City Council member wrote in a letter urging the Pinellas County School Board to expose students to alternative theories.

“Evolution gives our kids an excuse to believe in natural selection and survival of the fittest, which leads to a belief that they are superior over the weak,” Bill Foster wrote board members in a letter received this week. “This is a slippery slope.”

He continued: “One of the Columbine shooters wrote on his Web site, ‘You know what I love? Natural selection! It’s the best thing that ever happened to the Earth. Getting rid of all the stupid and weak organisms.'”

This is pretty much standard Discoveroid propaganda. See: Discovery Institute: Columbine Was Darwin’s Fault! Let’s read more from the St. Petersburg Times account of Foster’s letter:

After the Columbine shooting in 1999, then-U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay cited Darwin’s theory as a contributing factor, reading a letter into the Congressional Record that said public schools “teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes who have evolutionized out of some primordial soup of mud.” This summer, Fort Lauderdale’s Coral Ridge Ministries aired a TV special on Christian cable called Darwin’s Deadly Legacy.

“To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler,” said the group’s late founder, D. James Kennedy.

Foster echoed those words in his letter: “Adolf Hitler duped an entire generation using Darwin’s evolution,” he wrote. “He sought to preserve the ‘favored’ race in the struggle for survival.”

There’s much more in that article from January 2008, and it fills in some background details about the evolution battles that were being waged in Florida that year. Good stuff to read.

As for Bill Foster, what can we add? His letter says it all. If the people of St. Petersburg want that kind of nonsense — and we suspect that they do — then Foster is their man.

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

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7 responses to “Creationism in St. Petersburg Mayor Campaign

  1. I’m starting to get this creationist “logic”: The Rays lost the 2008 World Series because those mean conservatives wouldn’t buy them a new stadium.

  2. Obama’s Green Job Czar just lost his job for saying that only white people did mass shootings (like Columbine) – he didn’t mention Darwin, but I bet he just forgot.

    Sure some black gang might wipe out another that was trying to horn in on their drug scheme, but that doesn’t count, and that’s not Darwinism, just inner city crime.

    “No Darwin. No Hitler” – BS

    These people are really just plain evil.

  3. Sometimes, just for kicks, I like to put this challenge to cdesign proponentists: given that some people have argued that ‘Darwinism’ entails homicide and genocide, how do you know that this entailment is correct? Thus far I haven’t received a fully satisfactory answer. Maybe I just haven’t asked the right people?

  4. Carl Sachs says: “Sometimes, just for kicks, I like to put this challenge to cdesign proponentists …”

    I long ago realized that I can’t get any kicks by talking to creationists. When it comes to that subject, there’s just nobody home.

  5. Carl Sachs: “Maybe I just haven’t asked the right people?:

    If you ask those who just mindlessly parrot the sound bites, you’ll have to explain the “is/ought” fallacy among other things, before they get the picture. And according to my rough estimates, ~1/2 of them will never get the picture.

    If you ask the scam artists, they know they’re lying, but will never admit it. Maybe if you talk to one privately (no audience) and feed him many drinks he might slip up.

  6. Yes, they never seem to get that any and all ideas can be misapplied. So, social darwinism and eugenics happened. So did the crusades. What is the point?

    We humans make mistakes and if our society progresses enough, we learn from those mistakes. Good Christian folk need to remember that they used their Bible to justify the enslavement of black people for 400 years. Further, they used the Bible to remain prejudiced against Jewish people for way longer than that. They continue to use the Bible to persecute gay people.

    So what is this culture war about really?

  7. LRA asks: “So what is this culture war about really?”

    Working on a new post that will give you the Curmudgeonly answer.