WHEN we wrote about the “Darwin’s Dilemma” Lawsuit, we assumed that it was a relatively minor contract dispute case. But the public relations offensive surrounding this litigation is causing us to re-think the situation. We now suspect that it represents a major piece of strategy for the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids).
If you’re already familiar with the facts you can skip over the next two indented paragraphs:
BACKGROUND: A lawsuit filed by the American Freedom Alliance (AFA) charges that the California Science Center (CSC) violated both the First Amendment and a contract to rent its theater when it canceled a screening of Darwin’s Dilemma. The AFA is an outfit promoting the controversy about evolution — in the interest of what they call “academic freedom.” The film they wanted to show is being heavily hyped by the Discoveroids. The theater owner getting sued is the California Science Center, which cancelled a contract for showing the film, alleging that a Discoveroid press release violated a contract clause requiring their prior approval of all promotional materials.
The AFA alleges that the contract violation was a “false pretext” for cancellation of the screening contract. It’s really discrimination and a violation of the First Amendment, thus a violation of the AFA’s constitutional rights. The National Center for Science Education has all the court pleadings available online. See: American Freedom Alliance v. California Science Center et al.
What’s this case really all about? Why is the AFA making such a big fuss about not showing a film at one location, when they turned around and showed it at another? What does this do for the cause of the creationists?
Here’s how we see it. First, the Discoveroids know that they have no science. Second, since the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, they realize they can no longer maintain the pretense that Intelligent Design is anything other then raw creationism. Yet they persevere. Why? Well, their benefactors keep funding them, so it’s a comfortable living. But they also have an additional trick or two left to play.
Recall that the Discoveroids’ founding mastermind is Philip E. Johnson: Godfather of Intelligent Design. Recall further that their goal, as revealed in Johnson’s Wedge Document, is social revolution. See: Intelligent Design: It’s Not About Science.
So what’s going on here? We suspect that the Discoveroids’ game has morphed again. Now the plan is to use the Bill of Rights — as leftists have done for the last couple of generations with spectacular success — to wedge their way into the media, academia, and ultimately into the law of the land. To do that they need court precedents establishing the “right” to promote their nonsense in all public facilities. The California Science Center happens to be a convenient target.
With that purpose in mind, consider the latest Discoveroid blog article: California Senate Minority Leader Launches Probe into California Science Center’s Alleged Violations of First Amendment Rights. It’s by John West, who says, with bold added by us:
California Senate Minority Leader Dennis Hollingsworth has sent a letter to the California Science Center (CSC) requesting documents related to the Center’s cancellation of a screening last October of the pro-intelligent design documentary “Darwin’s Dilemma.” The screening was sponsored by the American Freedom Alliance (AFA), a private group that had rented the Center’s IMAX theater.
Isn’t that nice? The Discoveroids have a creationist dupe in the California legislature to do their bidding. Let’s read on:
“The constitutional implications of [the California Science Center’s] actions are concerning” wrote Senator Hollingsworth in the letter, citing various court decisions protecting private parties against viewpoint discrimination. “It is fundamental that when a governmental entity or sub-unit (such as CSC) opens its facilities as a public forum, it is not constitutionally permissible to censor speech based on viewpoint or content.”
See how the game is being played? The claim is that creationists — and presumably astrologers, flat-earthers, moon-landing deniers, etc. — have a constitutional right to spew their nonsense at all governmental facilities. In due course that “right” will be pushed in the schools.
Does the Constitution give them that right? Maybe it does. The answer, of course, is to have no such governmental facilities, but very few people think like that any more (which is why we’re such a Curmudgeon).
Anyway, we continue with West’s blog article:
“The California Science Center’s assault on free speech should alarm everyone,” said Casey Luskin, Program Officer in Public Policy and Legal Affairs for the Discovery Institute. “If the government can ban a private group from renting a public auditorium to show a film favoring intelligent design, it can ban private groups from showing films in support of Darwin’s theory. Where does it stop?
Most impressive! West is quoting Casey Luskin.
But wait — it get’s better! The Discoveroids have managed to coordinate their publicity with another creationist organ. In WorldNetDaily — the rag of all rags — in a section they call “EVOLUTION WATCH,” we read Lawmaker demands answers over museum censorship. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
[AFA] officials said they believe their lawsuit is the first since 2005 to focus specifically on the public’s right to learn about intelligent design.
“AFA’s lawsuit alleges that the museum violated its First Amendment rights by caving in to demands within the scientific and academic communities to deny Intelligent Design a public forum for discussion,” the organization’s announcement said.
Here’s one more excerpt from WorldNetDaily:
His [Hollingsworth’s] letter requests copies of “all documents” that address the dispute, including papers or e-mails that reference intelligent design, the Discovery Institute, the American Freedom Alliance and other topics.
That’s just goofy. The AFA is already in court. They have the full range of discovery procedures available to them. They don’t need the help of a creationist in the legislature to get the documents they want. But as silly as Hollingsworth’s letter may be, it’s nevertheless useful. We like knowing who’s on the side of the creationists.
So there you are. The latest phase of the Discoveroids’ long-range campaign to wedge creationism — and ultimately theocracy — into mainstream American thinking is well underway. As Philip Johnson knows, there are precedents for this kind of generations-long effort.
There was once a time when trade unions were regarded as conspiracies in restraint of trade. There was a time when leftists were regarded as a danger to the republic, like anarchists and other crazed radicals. Now unions, leftists, and assorted counter-culture movements have achieved a place in the establishment.
The Discoveroids’ goal is to follow that proven path to accomplish the same for their own purposes. So although we originally thought this litigation was no big deal, we’ve changed our mind. We now see it as the start of a new campaign for the Discoveroids. We’ll be watching this with heightened interest.
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