Thursday, October 27, 2005

More from the Christian values crowd

To anyone with a conscience, it must be the pinnacle of embarrassment to champion the cause of Christianity, be caught red handed in a bald faced lie and then to have this definitively un-Christian activity broadcast about the national media. Further consideration of this premise is belied by the constant drumbeat of news of this nature, and the fact that right wing zealots continue to pursue this seemingly embarrassing course of action while brazenly proclaiming their holiness.

Here is a shining example of this holier than thou mendacity as related on MSNBC.
A former school board member who denied advocating that creationism be taught alongside evolution in high-school biology classes changed his story Thursday, after lawyers in a federal courtroom played a TV news clip that recorded him making such a comment.

William Buckingham explained the discrepancy by saying that he "misspoke."

...The clip that was shown later in the day came from an interview that he gave to a news crew from WPMT-TV in York later in the month.

"It's OK to teach Darwin," he said in the interview, "but you have to balance it with something else, such as creationism."

Earlier in Thursday's court session, Buckingham claimed that he had been misquoted in stories from two newspapers that reported his advocating the teaching of creationism to counterbalance the material on evolution.

"It's just another instance when we would say intelligent design and they would print creationism," he said.

When Stephen Harvey, the plaintiffs' lawyer, noted the similarity of the newspaper reports to what he told the TV crew, Buckingham replied, "That doesn't mean it's accurate."

Erm... actually Mr. Buckingham, that is PRECISELY what it means. It means the reporters were accurate and you quite simply were busted lying. Pretty embarrassing considering the ninth of the ten commandments. I'm certain if Mr. Buckingham were asked, he would also advocate the posting of the ten commandments in the classrooms. Even as he so blithely breaks the ones that don't fit his agenda.

Also, if it is your opinion, own it. These wingnuts have decided that since they can't railroad the teaching of creationism into schools they will change the word from "creationism" to "intelligent design". Both of these terms are part and parcel of the same belief. Stand for what you believe in rather than parsing words. I can just imagine the confusion if Jesus had seen fit to use this tactic when spreading his word. Instead of teaching us to turn the other cheek he could have instructed us to rotate the fleshy side of the face below the eye and above and to the side of the mouth. (To quote the Merriam-Webster online dictionary) Just because you gussy up your language that doesn't mean it changes what your advocating. And what these wingnuts are advocating quite simply is not science, but dogma. Pure and simple.

The very 1st post I ever blogged here covers my belief in this regard. Before you condemn me for being a atheistic commie check out the archives please.

I'm not going to try to justify Mr. Buckingham's false testimony, but I think his school's actions are justified. According to the article, all they required was that a statement on intelligent design be read. This is a good idea on many levels.

1. Children who believe in a god will feel validated.

2. There are some scientific facts that have no explanation other than the hand of an intelligent being. Until another explanation is found, it is reasonable to mention that fact.

3. Deliberately avoiding any mention of the possibility that a god exists, and banning any discussion of it or prayer or the Bible, has the effect of advocating atheism, which the government should not be doing.

4. Religious beliefs exist, and although the schools should not advocate one belief system over another, it should acknowledge that they exist.

5. Reading a single statement acknowledging the possibility of an intelligent being having taken part in the creation of the world, does not pressure anyone into religion. Rather, it frees children to feel accepted with whatever beliefs they have.

6. There is no constitutional mandate for a "separation of church and state." (Read the first amendment if you don't believe me.) This school's statement doesn't establish religion or prohibit it.

I agree that I don't want government schools teaching my kids religion, but to read a statement admitting that religious beliefs offer an alternative to some scientific THEORIES is sensible, and logical. For example, evolution is a fact, but the evolution of man from pond scum is theory. It is important that kids learn to tell the difference. But if all they are allowed to hear is the pond scum theory, they tend to take it as proven fact.
Bhfrik, you atheistic commie!

Jeff, one is a theory, one is theology. I do hope in the future you are able to tell the difference.
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