For a bit of background that our regular readers can skip, these two indented paragraphs should bring you up to speed:
Louisiana is the only state in the US that can boast of passing an anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism “Academic Freedom” bill modeled after the Academic Freedom Act promoted by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids).
That bill, now known as the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which permits unspecified “supplemental materials” — wink, wink — to be used in science classes, was signed by governor Bobby Jindal, also known as Bobby Jindal, the Exorcist, who is perhaps the world’s only creationist who majored in biology at Brown University.
The players seem to be warming up for what should be an interesting year in Louisiana. The website of Americans United for Separation of Church and State has this news release: Americans United Warns Louisiana Education Board Not To Adopt Review Policy That Favors Creationism. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
A new policy under consideration by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is slanted to favor creationism and should be revised, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Due to lobbying by the Religious Right, Louisiana legislators approved a law in 2008 that allows for “supplemental materials” to be used in public school science classes. The Board has developed a policy for reviewing these materials that is seriously flawed, says Americans United.
For a thorough background on these developments, see Barbara Forrest’s press release from a few months ago: Creationists Continue to Dictate BESE Science Education Policy
Continuing with the Americans United news item:
“It’s obvious what’s going on here,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Louisiana elected officials are once again trying to undercut the teaching of evolution and slip creationism into science classes. This effort must fail.”
In a letter sent to the Board, Americans United warns that the proposed review policy is constitutionally suspect because it appears to open the door for creationist concepts to be taught in public schools.
Here’s a link to the letter they sent. It’s good. Let’s read more from Americans United’s news item:
The Louisiana Family Forum, a state affiliate of Religious Right leader James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, pushed for adoption of the new law and will likely try to use it to smuggle creationist materials into public schools.
Why not? From where we sit, it would appear that virtually all of Louisiana is creationist. One last excerpt:
In fact, AU’s letter points out, the U.S. Supreme Court and several lower federal courts have struck down the teaching of creationism in public schools. The Board’s proposed policy, AU says, is “unfair and illogical” and “appears to have the unconstitutional purpose of promoting religion.”
Will they pay any attention to this in Louisiana? Probably not. Creationists aren’t very interested in reality. But we shall see.
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