Creationist Lawsuit Dismissed in Pennsylvania

We found this amusing news item at the website PennLive of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, which says it’s “the leading local news and information website in central Pennsylvania,” Their headline is Taxpayer can’t sue school district for teaching theory of evolution, Pa. court says, and they have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

For the second time in a decade, a state appeals court has told a taxpayer that he can’t sue his school district because it teaches the theory of evolution in science class.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then it says:

That reminder came Friday when a Superior Court panel again denied an appeal from Thomas J. Harclerode. Harclerode was asking the court to revive a lawsuit he lodged against the Everett Area School District. He appealed after a Bedford County judge ruled that he lacked legal standing to even bring the case.

Egad! A county judge said Harclerode had no standing to challenge evolution? That’s outrageous! The news story tells us:

Harclerode was asking the court to revive a lawsuit he lodged against the Everett Area School District. He appealed after a Bedford County judge ruled that he lacked legal standing to even bring the case. Senior Judge Dan Pellegrini backed the dismissal in the state court’s opinion.

The judges are all in on the conspiracy! We searched for the opinion at the Superior Court’s website, but couldn’t find anything. [Addendum: Thanks to one of our readers, here’s the court’s opinion.] The news continues:

This was the second time Harclerode has sued the Everett district over the teaching of evolution. His first suit was killed by the state courts in 2008. In each suit he has acted as his own attorney.

He’s been representing himself. Smart man! Let’s read on:

Harclerode has asserted in his complaints that he “is a taxpayer…and is extremely distressed that part of his tax money is going to perpetuate (the theory of evolution) that has been scientifically discredited and that the knowledge proving it has been withheld from students.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Another excerpt:

[Judge] Pellegrini noted that Harclerode’s first lawsuit and the second one he filed in 2016 are “essentially identical.” The judge observed that Harclerode did add issues in the latter suit, insisting the theory that humans evolved from lower life forms has “been shown to have a detrimental effect on society.”

“Detrimental effect”? What detrimental effect? Here it comes:

He claimed Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the Columbine school shooters used evolutionary theory as an “excuse” for their crimes. Teaching evolution at Everett “could spawn individuals, similar to those above, to commit crimes locally,” Harclerode insisted.

Yes, those things happened after Darwin published Origin of Species — way back in 1859. If you want to play the game of blaming bad things on prior events, consider this: A century after Darwin’s book, Henry Morris, the founder of the Institute for Creation Research, published The Genesis Flood in 1961. That book is considered to be the start of the “modern” creationist movement. If you’re looking for cause-and-effect, think of all the terrorist bombings and school shootings that have occurred since the Morris book appeared. Are they Darwin’s fault, or should they be blamed on creationism?

Anyway, here’s the end of the news item:

[Judge] Pellegrini gave Harclerode the same answer this time that his court handed down in the 2008 case. He backed the county judge’s finding that Harclerode’s mere distress about how his tax dollars are being spent does not give him legal standing to sue.

The courts are so insensitive! We think Harclerode should sue again — and then again if that’s necessary. He has the Curmudgeon’s full support.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Creationist Lawsuit Dismissed in Pennsylvania

  1. Thanks, Glenn. That’s now an addendum to the post.

  2. Derek Freyberg

    And the courts didn’t even have to touch the merits – or lack thereof – of Harclerode’s claim: it’s well-settled law that taxpayers generally lack standing to sue on how their taxes are spent.

  3. Holding the Line in Florida

    Tell the boy to come to Florida. He would have better luck!

  4. Michael Fugate

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA! indeed!

  5. “He appealed after a Bedford County judge ruled that he lacked legal standing to even bring the case.”

    But did he tell the judge he ain’t no kin to no monkey? Because he should tell the judge he ain’t no kin to no monkey.

  6. Michael Fugate

    If the Google hit is correct, he is 88…

  7. “If the Google hit is correct, he is 88…”

    And apparently rapidly approaching the “terrible two’s” in age.

  8. “he is 88”
    Given “Adolf Hitler …. used evolutionary theory as an “excuse” for their crimes” the symbolism of this fact is highly ironic. For neo-nazis 88 is a sacred code number. See, H is the 8th number of the alfabet, so HH stands for a then popular, but now in Germany forbidden way to greet each other.

    Also 88 refers to one of the most successfull weapons of the Wehrmacht.

    Coincidence? When a conspiracy thinker like TJH is involved?

  9. But the court refused to even discussthe merits of the case. Shock, horror! More evolutionist censorship! Perhaps the DI should look into it

  10. Ceteris Paribus

    Truly Harclerode should sue again. But bring along some heavy hitters from the D.I. to back up his case. Next time, they should remind the court that America and Americans were specially chosen by God. And suggest that the United States has role as an exemplar to the world.