Whether on prayer in public schools or creationism in science classrooms, we heard plenty from politicians and activists who see no problem mixing religion and state. Our review of what the far right had to say in 2012 continues. You can read more quotes from 2012 and previous years here.

“In 1962 we kicked prayer out of the schools. In 1963 we kicked God’s word out of ours schools. In 1980 we kicked the Ten Commandments out of our schools. We’ve kicked God out of our public school system. And I think God would say to us, ‘Hey, I’ll be glad to protect your children, but you’ve got to invite me back into your world first. I’m not going to go where I’m not wanted. I am a gentleman.'”

— The always-thoughtful and compassionate (NOT) spokesperson of the American Family Association, Bryan Fischer, blaming the Connecticut school shootings on there being no government-forced prayer in public schools

“To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square… Read More

How badly has the State Board of Education wrecked the educational reputation of Texas? Pretty badly, if a policy adopted this week by the local school board in New Orleans is any indication.

On Tuesday the Orleans Parish Public Schools board passed the following policy:

“No history textbook shall be approved which has been adjusted in accordance with the state of Texas revisionist guidelines nor shall any science textbook be approved which presents creationism or intelligent design as science or scientific theories.”

Ouch.

The policy goes on to insist on the separation of religion and science instruction:

“No teacher of any discipline of science shall teach any aspect of religious faith as science or in a science class. No teacher of any discipline of science shall teach creationism or intelligent design in classes designated as science classes.”

That vote comes four years after the Louisiana Legislature passed the Louisiana Science Education Act, which opened the door to teaching creationism in the state’s public schools. Then in 2009 creationists on the Texas State Board of Education passed new science curriculum standards they hope will force publishers to challenge evolution in new biology textbooks for public… Read More

That’s the headline to a piece by New York Times columnist Charles Blow. Blow suggests that confusing comments by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, about his thoughts on the age of Earth are just another example of modern American conservatism trapped in the grip of anti-intellectual zealots. Money quote:

This anti-intellectualism is antediluvian. No wonder a 2009 Pew Research Center report found that only 6 percent of scientists identified as Republican and 9 percent identified as conservative.

Furthermore, a 2005 study found that just 11 percent of college professors identified as Republican and 15 percent identified as conservative. Some argue that this simply represents a liberal bias in academia. But just as strong a case could be made that people who absorb facts easily don’t suffer fools gladly.

Last month, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said on CNN:

“We need to stop being the dumb party. We need to offer smart, conservative, intelligent ideas and policies.”

Unfortunately, as Blow then points out, Jindal has signed into Louisiana law a voucher scheme for using public tax dollars to fund religious schools that teach, among other nonsense, that the

by Dan Quinn

When creationists on the State Board of Education consider new science textbooks for Texas public schools next year and make their usual arguments that supporters of sound science are “secular humanists” and “atheists,” perhaps we’ll remind them of what Pat Robertson (yes, THAT Pat Robertson) said this week:

“You go back in time, you’ve got radiocarbon dating. You got all these things, and you’ve got the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas. They’re out there. So, there was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth, and it was before the time of the Bible. So, don’t try and cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That’s not the Bible. … If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was.”

Maybe Robertson should have a nice conversation with Florida Senator Marco “I’m not a scientist” Rubio, too.… Read More

As we prepare for the 2013 session of the Texas Legislature — a session that could be one of the most difficult ever for supporters of public schools — it appears that creationists are redoubling their efforts to promote creationism in our nation’s science classrooms. This month a Montana legislator officially requested the drafting of a bill that would require “intelligent design” — creationism dressed up in a lab coat — be taught alongside evolution in his state’s public schools. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education have more about this development here. And read how the creationists’ war on science education is playing out in Louisiana. Publicly funded private school vouchers are playing a big role in the Louisiana battle.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that teaching creationism or so-called “creation science” in public school science classrooms is unconstitutional. A federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled in 2005 (Kitzmiller v. Dover) that “intelligent design” is essentially the same thing as creationism, making instruction about that concept in public schools also unconstitutional. But creationists keep trying.

The Texas Freedom Network is currently monitoring the filing of legislation in Texas for the 2013 session.… Read More

LGBT Foundation

Happy International #PronounsDay! Today is a chance for us to make respecting, sharing & educating about personal pronouns more commonplace Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity Find out more at lgbt.foundation/pron… pic.twitter.com/dy8l…