The teaching of fundamentalist Christianity in public schools is being promoted all over the United States. Funded by wealthy religious-right groups, fundy Christianists are angling to get their primitive and non-scientific agenda accepted in our public schools. Where they are unable to do that, they insist on setting up charter schools or private schools funded with public monies to accomplish their purposes. (Check out Louisiana, one of the most backward states in the nation, where this kind of thing has gained a lot of traction with the blessing of the governor and his minions in the legislature!)
One of the latest of these scams has come to fruition in another backward state, Kansas. According to Right Wing Watch, a group called Citizens for Objective Public Education has filed suit "contesting science standards in Kansas schools, arguing that lessons on evolution represent an unconstitutional establishment of religion."
Notice the Brave New World language: "Citizens for Objective Public Education." We have reached the time, foretold not so many years ago, when words come to mean the opposite of their traditional meaning; when language no longer clarifies but muddies the waters. These are not "citizens" involved so much as fundy Christianist groups with a lot of money and their agenda has nothing to do with "objective public education." Indeed, it is the opposite. The want the right to impose their particular religious views on every school child in the state of Kansas.
As a former teacher, this is hard to believe. Evolution is no longer in question except by people who continue to hang on to old Semitic mythologies created by ancient ignorant desert tribesman. But even those tribesmen were not so ignorant as to take the creation stories literally. These were seen as paeans to the creator of the world, not scientific descriptions of how things came to be. They wouldn't know science from a kitchen appliance.
The people involved in this anti-education effort are fundamentalist Christians and that's an important point. Fundamentalists of any group are a danger and represent the most retrograde thinking. But millions of Christians have no problem with evolution. The Roman Catholic Church has no problem with evolution. Evolution, say these Christians, is simply God's way of creating life.
Evolution has been established for years; it is the foundation of all the sciences. It is the ONLY explanation that can be proven as to the origins of the earth. When scientists speak of the "theory" of evolution, they do not mean that it is not established or that it has yet to the shown to be true, but that it remains, as do all scientific endeavors, susceptible to change as we learn new things. It is based in reality not in theological fantasies!
It angers me that fundamentalist Christians become the benchmark for Christianity. Thus a conservative talk show host can say it's nuts to think public schools can teach evolution to Christian students. The only ones with a problem are fundamentalist Christianist activists who want the right to impose their religious nonsense to all students in the public schools. Most students from Christian homes have no problem with learning evolution.
And once again these right-wing nutcases twist language and its meaning. They argue that the state is teaching "religion" by teaching evolution and Christian students should not be indoctrinated by a state religion. Christian parents have the right "to direct the religious education of their children and a state interferes with that right when it seeks to promote an atheistic worldview."
What a load of crap. Evolution is not an atheistic worldview! But Creationism is an unreal, nonsensical, meaningless view of how things came to be; a crazy religious worldview! Fundy parents can teach such nonsense within the confines of their homes and their churches, but not in our public schools!
The group in Kansas is pushing for the courts to "at least enjoin the teaching of origin science in the primary school grades from kindergarten through the 8th grade."