Perhaps the anti-evolution pressure groups that led the attack on honest science in Texas think that no one was paying attention to their repulsive tactics. Well, we were.
In one of its scathing attacks on pro-science members of the Texas State Board of Education, the Discovery Institute is accusing board member Geraldine “Tincy” Miller of Dallas of dragging religion into the debate over evolution. The level of hypocrisy in that sneering attack is off the scale:
In defense of her views, Mrs. Miller launched into a remarkable speech about how she is a Christian and “a student of the Bible,” as if her personal religious beliefs have any relevance to what should be taught in science classes. . . . Once again, a defender of evolution has appealed to religion rather than science to justify his or her views. Mrs. Miller is certainly entitled to her religious views, but she wasn’t elected to serve on a state board of theology. While the government has a legitimate secular interest in teaching the science of evolution, it has no right whatever to try to dictate students’ theological beliefs about evolution, pro or con. The fact that evolution defenders can’t stick to science when justifying their censorship of the science curriculum is telling.
Over the past two months, creationist pressure groups have bombarded pro-science board members with e-mails and calls demanding that they dumb down the science curriculum on evolution. Ms. Miller noted that many had attacked her religious faith, and she was rightfully upset.
One prominent e-mail tied teaching about evolution to serial murderers like Jeffrey Dahmer and implied that board members accepting the science of evolution either weren’t really Christians or were rejecting the teachings of their faith.
Board chairman Don McLeroy endorsed a vicious book charging that scientists who support instruction on evolution are “atheists,” parents who want their kids to learn about evolution are “monsters,” and pastors who see no conflict between faith and accepting the science of evolution are “morons.”
And board member Ken Mercer of San Antonio said he was “praying for” three Republican colleagues on the board who he suggested had come under the influence of atheists and secular humanists.
The Discovery Institute thinks people will forget all about those faith-baiting attacks. News flash: Texas Freedom Network won’t, and we’ll be making sure that no one else does either. Creationist pressure groups and their supporters on the state board have crossed a serious line. They viciously dragged the religious faith of anyone who disagreed with them through the mud. If they have a conscience, they should be ashamed of themselves.
TFN supports the right of families and congregations to educate their children in the tenets of their faith. Public schools have no business interfering by deciding whose religious beliefs also should be taught in science classrooms. Science classes are for science. Efforts to poison the debate by bashing the faith of those who disagree are as shameful as attacking the faith of those who reject evolution simply because of their religious beliefs.