Creationist Wisdom #199: Kitzmiller is Malarkey

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Journal Times of Racine County, Wisconsin. It’s titled Intelligent design, and if you click over there, it’s the third letter down at that link.

This letter isn’t really great creationism, but it’s all we could find today so it’ll have to suffice. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and as we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Here we go, with a bit of bold font added for emphasis.

It begins, as these things often do, by referring to an earlier letter with which today’s letter-writer disagrees, so that prior letter is a good place to start. It’s the third letter here: Pseudoscience, and after discussing the Kitzmiller case it says:

Every couple of years this comes up, and needs to be challenged immediately, lest it be believed that there is new, unrefuted evidence supporting the pseudosciences of Creationism or Intelligent Design. When you look behind the curtain of Intelligent Design Theory, you will always find a Creationist or someone who wishes to reinsert Christian dogma and worship into public schools and insisting we all believe an idea that long ago was found to be false.

Well! Today’s letter-writer didn’t like that at all. After referring to that earlier letter and the Kitzmiller case, today’s letter says:

Malarkey. Teaching intelligent design, among other theories, may lead to acknowledgement of a creator. It does not lead to any specific religion, and those who live in fear of the spread of Christianity need not fret.

Aha! The Kitzmiller case is “malarkey.” Today’s letter-writer has found a way around it. Teaching ID doesn’t lead to any specific religion, so if it it only leads to religion in general, then it’s okay. Good point!

We note, however, that the First Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion …” without referring to any particular sect, but perhaps today’s letter-writer has a transcendent source of information about such things that isn’t available to us. Let’s read on:

The U.S. Constitution promises freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion, nor freedom from facts.

What it promises is that the government won’t establish a religion — any religion. And since today’s letter is published in Wisconsin, we looked to see what that state’s constitution says on the subject. This is Article I, Section 18:

The right of every person to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any person be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, without consent; nor shall any control of, or interference with, the rights of conscience be permitted, or any preference be given by law to any religious establishments or modes of worship; nor shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of religious societies, or religious or theological seminaries.

We hate to disappoint the letter-writer, but it appears to us that the state schools in Wisconsin can’t teach either creationism or its mutant love-child, intelligent design. We continue:

There is a significant amount of factual evidence supporting intelligent design.

Yeah, okay. There is an equal amount of evidence that your Curmudgeon is the Queen of Sheba. Here’s more:

Judges should not be telling schools what to teach.

Judges don’t tell schools what to teach. But sometimes they have to remind schools about what the Constitution says they can’t teach. This is the letter’s concluding sentence:

This demand for “separation of church and state” has reached a new level of foolishness.

Ohhhhh! “Separation of church and state” in scare quotes! That’s a new one. So there you are. Not a great letter, but not all that bad, really.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #199: Kitzmiller is Malarkey

  1. Tomato Addict

    Right in my own back yard too. What can I say? Some Cheeseheads have more cheese in the head than others.

  2. SC said:

    There is an equal amount of evidence that your Curmudgeon is the Queen of Sheba.

    Just remember to be fair and wise with us subjects.

  3. @SC:

    Don’t you get tired of those bedwetting “liberals” who throw tantrums when they are reminded that if they want to mislead students about science and give them credit for wrong answers on a test that they have to do it on their own dime?

  4. “Freedom from facts?” Creationism in a nutshell!

  5. My “religion”, secular humanism, is protected under the establishment clause. So are other non-theist religions like Buddhism. Duh.

  6. Do people still say “malarkey,” outside of Ned Flanders?

  7. I’m not surprised Christians, who get their moral values from the supernatural genocidal maniac of the Bible, are pathological liars.

    I wrote a post about their problem here:

    http://darwinkilledgod.blogspot.com/2011/08/christians-if-youre-too-cowardly-to.html

  8. “The U.S. Constitution promises freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion…”
    Please, not this meaningless, self-serving, hair-splitting bull AGAIN. I am so tired of hearing this cool-sounding, sound-bitey drivel. It’s not even logical. If you deny someone the choice to be free FROM religion, then you’ve contradicted the basic idea behind freedom of religion by forcing them into the postition of choosing one. You’ve forced them into a belief, or at least the appearance of one.
    I’m putting this badly, but it is so frustrating to have to explain the obvious to the obtuse, and it’s hard to put into words a concept that shouldn’t need any further explication than its own bare statement.
    Freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion are THE SAME THING. You can’t have one without the other, and you won’t have either without both.

  9. Dear Curmudgeon,
    I’ve been following you avidly for two years. Are you slipping a little? Not that bad, really? Yes, it’s that bad, its attack on science endangers all the hard earned progress from the Enlightenment you are sworn to to uphold. Science is complicated, hogwash is easy. Let us uphold the line against IDiots.

  10. Steve says: “Not that bad, really?”

    When I said “bad” I meant that it wasn’t what I always look for — it wasn’t a great example of creationist foolishness. But when I was done writing the post, I felt it wasn’t really a bad addition to my collection.

  11. I understand. My apologies.