It’s about a debate among the four candidates running for two seats on the Williamsburg-James City County School Board. Only a tiny portion of the article is of interest to us — the part about candidate Heather Cordasco. Here we go, with bold font added by us:
The candidates also fielded pointed personal questions. Cordasco, who believes in intelligent design, was asked if she would try to implement the teaching of intelligent design over evolution. She responded, “Absolutely not,” reminding the audience that the state Board of Education dictates the curriculum.
We don’t believe her, of course. In our long experience in writing about The Controversy between evolution and creationism, we’ve learned that it’s unwise to ever believe a creationist about anything. Our guess is that if Heather thought she could, she’s ram Noah’s Ark down the kiddies’ throats all day every day. Anyway, here’s the one other excerpt we found interesting:
She is also a board member of The Family Foundation, a nonpartisan pro-family coalition that has advocated for the posting of the motto “In God We Trust” in public schools, the Student Religious Liberty Act, Internet filters on public libraries and against abortion and riverboat gambling.
Riverboat gambling? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! So we did some looking around.
Here’s the website of the The Family Foundation of Virginia. Yes, in the right margin of this page, Heather L. Cordasco is listed as a director. You know what we say about organizations with the word “Family” in their names — if they’re not about family planning or Charles Manson, then they’re flaming creationists and theocrats.
On this page of their website they list their “Victories.” Among them are not only the expected activities opposing abortions and same-sex marriages, but also this item: “Protected Public School Students’ Religious Liberty Rights Allowed.” What’s that?
We did a lot of Googling, but found only information about nearby Tennessee, for example: Protecting the Protected. It says:
In case they didn’t know it already, Tennessee public school students have the right to pray in a public school, vocally or silently, alone or with other students; the right to express religious viewpoints in a public school; the right to speak to and attempt to persuade other students in a public school about religious viewpoints the same as they can about other topics; the right to distribute religious literature in a public school, subject to the same reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on those distributing secular material …
Where did these rights come from? Most would say that they are found current U.S. Supreme Court religion clause jurisprudence made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. However, that protection wasn’t enough for some Tennessee legislators, who got the Student Religious Liberty Act passed through the 1997 Tennessee General Assembly.
Is that the kind of “Victory” the Family Foundation of Virginia is talking about? Probably, although we didn’t find anything about such a law in Virginia. No matter, really.
But what about riverboat gambling? That’s what got our attention in the first place. Among the Family Foundation of Virginia’s “Victories” is this item: “Outlawed River Boat Gambling.” Wow! That’s a new one for us. We didn’t know that creationists were concerned with that vice. Well, why not? They’re the holiest folks in the world, so they’re naturally concerned with protecting us not only from “Darwinism” but from all other kinds of sin and vice.
Apparently, riverboat gambling was a hot issue a year ago. The Washington Post wrote about it: Sink riverboat gambling in Virginia, and although they don’t mention the Family Foundation of Virginia, that virtuous organization is claiming credit for defeating it. How wonderful for them!
It’s amazing what can be learned from a local school board election debate, provided we know how to connect the dots — and we do. If one creationist outfit with “Family” in its name is opposed to floating games of chance, then probably all of them feel the same way. And for good reason — the theory of evolution can turn you into a riverboat gambler!
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