Another religious threat to education April 11, 2010Posted by michaelmussachia in Uncategorized.
Tags: Education, politics, religion
Simon Gardner posted a commentary on RichardDawkins.net (http://forum.richarddawkins.net/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=110266) about a proposed “Religious Bill of Rights” in the U.S. senate:
“Colorado Senator, Dave Schultheis proposed a bill, SB089 (1), this past week, which would have undermined important democratic institutions. Fortunately, poor negotiating skills made killing the bill in committee possible(2). The vehicle for this subversion was a Religious Bill of Rights, that, in addition to being an insult to the First Amendment, was deemed generally redundant to the ‘real’ Bill of Rights.
This Bill was purportedly necessary for the protection of religious persons from attacks on their religious rights in the public school system despite the fact that there was no evidence or even anecdotal testimony to support such ridiculous claims. The particulars of the Bill and it’s outrageous demands have been well covered (3)(4). The two most controversial areas of concern are first, that teachers would not have to teach anything that may disagree with their religious views, and that they could openly display their own religious material in their classrooms and, second, that students could refuse or oppose course material for the same irrational reasons(1). The part of the story that I would like to draw attention to is the resulting affect any such Bill would have on the ability of the elected officials of the school board to implement the wishes and demands of the electorate. What is the affect on our democracy if the curriculum of our public school system is influenced by dictates from either one, or even several competing, religious theologies?”
While it looks as though the bill isn’t going anywhere, it’s nature reveals the degree to which religious zealots in this country are still trying to undermine education. It’s 2010. We’ve sent space probes beyond the solar system, explored the nature of matter down to the subatomic level, and gained tremendous insight into the evolution of life, including ourselves, and yet we still have to defend scholarship, science and reason against religious fundamentalists. I wish some of these people could crawl back to the Dark Ages where they would feel less threatened in their beliefs.