McLeroy Loses Texas Board of Education Election

| 232 Comments

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Thomas Ratliff has narrowly defeated Don McLeroy in the Republican primary race for Texas State Board of Education. McLeroy is the right-wing extremist who wants to doctor the state science standards so they reflect his own disbelief in the theory of evolution. Since there is no Democratic candidate, Ratliff will automatically assume McLeroy’s seat.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Ratliff had received the support of “mainstream public education groups” and quotes him as saying, “I want to take politics out of our public schools,” and added that Ratliff

told gatherings across the district that Texans are tired of political posturing on the board as the social conservative [sic] bloc – led by McLeroy – tries to impose its views in history, science and other areas of the curriculum.

“Our kids don’t go to red schools. They don’t go to blue schools. They go to local schools,” he said, also criticizing attempts by some board members to inject their religious beliefs into what children are taught.

The News reports further that McLeroy was “unapologetic about the actions of the social conservatives” and bragged about the “incredible accomplishments that will help our children.”

Thanks to a commenter known to me only as Aagcobb for the tip.

232 Comments

Awww…I feel so…bad. For. Him.

Oh…nope, that was just gas. Now I just feel relieved. Go Texas!

Bravo, Texas. Welcome back a little closer to reality.

Happy day indeed.

See also a recent comment here.

washingtonmonthly.com:

I don’t care what the educational political lobby and their allies on the left say,” he declared at one point. “Evolution is hooey.”

This bled into a rant about American history. “The secular humanists may argue that we are a secular nation,” McLeroy said, jabbing his finger in the air for emphasis. “But we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan—he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes.”

McLeroy’s target was as much history as science. He and the fundies want to rewrite American history so that we are a “xian nation” and Ronald Reagan was a prophet of god. I suppose that makes Nixon a martyr.

It has as much to do with extremist christofascist politics as cult religion.

He also hated astronomy because of the Big Bang and all other sciences because they are all consistent with themselves.

When the fundies aren’t rewriting history and destroying science, they are rewriting the bible. The fundie translation, the New International Version deliberately mistranslates some passages to make the inerrant book seem less wacko.

In another 100 years, jesus and his gang will end up wandering through the chosen land now known as the American south and central regions. Sending scientists, gays, Democrats, liberals, pointy headed intellectuals, Buddhists, Unitarians, and other assorted riff raff to hell early with his trusty Colt .45 Soulmaker and his horse Angel’s Vengeance.

This is xian Presuppositionalism at its finest. Decide what you want reality to be and then working backwards, lie a lot.

Oops… I originally posted my comment on the blackbird thread, where we were talking about this, apparently just moments before this thread was established and the moderator there suggested that we post on this topic here instead of there.

Sorry about that, Matt.

So, um, here’s my comment, in a more appropriate venue.

Aagcobb said:

It gives me great pleasure to write that Don McLeroy lost in the Texas GOP primary for his state board of education seat! Hopefully that will help prevent the dumbing down of biology textbooks nationally to meet Texas creationist standards.

Good news certainly, but sadly, down here in District 5 (basically, a big semicircle bisecting Austin and heading west) Ken “teach the controversy” Mercer has successfully defeated his primary challenger, a respected, moderate, professional educator named Tim Tuggey with what was (for a school board election) a remarkably large and nasty campaign.

Ken Mercer for those not following the minutia, is easily as batshit nuts as McLeroy. His campaign literature (which, sadly I have here on my desk) proudly brags that among the victories he’s won for Texas is “World class science standards that allow our students the freedom to ask honest questions about evolution and global warming”.

Not only has he been on Mcleroy’s quest to remove evolution, paleontology, deep time geography and certain aspects of celestial mechanics from science textbooks, but, since they’re on social-studies texts this year, of late he’s been spearheading spearheading the effort to rewrite the way American history is presented to emphasize that America is a nation based in and of Christianity.

Of course, this election was a bit odd, since a contentious battle for the republican gubernatorial slot brought out the red meat in the party.

Republican turnout swamped Democratic turnout, even by Texas standards. The tea party wing, fielding a candidate who spouted 9-11 conspiracy theories, got 19% of the vote while Rick “let’s secede” Perry got 51%.

A down-ticket item on the Republican primary, demanding the re-establishment of prayers in public schools and the display of the 10 commandments in public spaces, handily won with 95% of the vote, never mind the fact that none of the current regulations are based on, or subject to, state law.

Clearly, Republican primary voters were not in the mood for subtle introspection.

Fortunately, the Democrats elected a very strong candidate for governor the former mayor of Houston, Bill White, and that is expected to energize Democratic turnout in the traditionally progressive Austin area for the general election.

This, in turn, should give Mercer’s democratic challenger, a serious and well-regarded professional educator named Rebecca Bell, a serious down-ticket boost.

raven said:

I don’t care what the educational political lobby and their allies on the left say,” he declared at one point. “Evolution is hooey.” …

Raven, I enjoyed the rant.

Could have tightened it up a bit with just, “I’m glad the lying SoS is gone”, but I understand the excess.

Dunbar is gone too. She was the “I don’t believe in public education” member of the school board. Her replacement will be decided by runoff so hold the cheering for a bit until we can be sure of sanity in the replacement.

As a registered Republican and a former evolutionary biologist, I am especially ecstatic hearing the good news about McLeroy’s defeat. Not only was McLeroy interested in teaching creationism in Texas schools, he was also actively involved in trying to have the state’s history curricula revised to show that ours was founded as a “Christian nation” (There is an interesting, if flawed, article which discusses McLeroy at some length, written by author Russell Shorto that was published in The New York Times Magazine several Sundays ago.).

Dunbar is gone too. She was the “I don’t believe in public education” member of the school board.

Cynthia Dunbar also sent out a flyer claiming that, “the teaching of evolution leads to cannibalism.” She quotes Jeffrey Dahmer as a moral authority.

She also teaches a class at Liberty university that claims that separation of church and state is a myth that isn’t in the US constitution.

In for a penny, in for a pound. If people are just going to lie, might as well lie about everything. It is a fundie thing.

As I commented on the Curmudgeon’s blog, let’s not be too quick to celebrate. McLeroy may no longer be controlling the board, but if anything he’ll have even more time on his hands to spread anti-science propaganda. And there is no shortage of activist groups willing to give him a forum. Probably not the DI, though. I think they wish he would shut up, as he undermines their “ID is not creationism” strategy better than any “Darwinist.”

raven Wrote:

Cynthia Dunbar also sent out a flyer claiming that, “the teaching of evolution leads to cannibalism.”

Either she stole that idea from the inimitable David Klinghoffer, or he’s getting some serious competition. It’s almost sad that that’s the kind of insanity that one must resort to when one hasn’t a prayer at an alternate theory, and knows it.

My apologies, but I almost overlooked this paragraph

In an upset, long-time Republican board member Geraldine Miller of Dallas lost to Dallas high school educator George Clayton. Miller outspent Clayton in the race and had been favored to win another term.

in the Dallas Morning News article. If I learn anything more about this race, I will pass it on. In the meantime, please feel free to comment on it.

You’re welcome! Love being the bearer of good news! I have noticed time and again in Kansas, Dover, Pa. and even now in Texas when creationism is clearly on the table as a prominent issue, voters have rejected it, which gives me cause to hope.

You have to remind me of my least favorite fellow Brunonian (He’s in good company though with the likes of Bobby Jindal and Chuck “Watergate Plumber who found GOD” Colson.):

Frank J said:

raven Wrote:

Cynthia Dunbar also sent out a flyer claiming that, “the teaching of evolution leads to cannibalism.”

Either she stole that idea from the inimitable David Klinghoffer, or he’s getting some serious competition. It’s almost sad that that’s the kind of insanity that one must resort to when one hasn’t a prayer at an alternate theory, and knows it.

Sure McLeroy will have ample time on his hands, but the great news is that he won’t have a state government position from which he can try to do something to advance his bizarre, thinly-disguised, Xian Fascist agenda:

Frank J said:

As I commented on the Curmudgeon’s blog, let’s not be too quick to celebrate. McLeroy may no longer be controlling the board, but if anything he’ll have even more time on his hands to spread anti-science propaganda. And there is no shortage of activist groups willing to give him a forum. Probably not the DI, though. I think they wish he would shut up, as he undermines their “ID is not creationism” strategy better than any “Darwinist.”

Matt Young said:

My apologies, but I almost overlooked this paragraph

In an upset, long-time Republican board member Geraldine Miller of Dallas lost to Dallas high school educator George Clayton. Miller outspent Clayton in the race and had been favored to win another term.

in the Dallas Morning News article. If I learn anything more about this race, I will pass it on. In the meantime, please feel free to comment on it.

Clayton had this to say on his website:

“As an educator I see the question of curriculum and textbook content as a simple task; both should be agenda free. Personal political views of board members should play no part in their decision regarding text content or curriculum. Students, teachers and parents have a right to expect their board members to provide the fairest possible education in the state.”

If he means it, and isn’t a stealth fundie, it looks like the loss of Geraldine Miller won’t hurt too bad.

I was taught in school that the founding fathers did not want the religious wars which had wracked Europe and England. So they were firm that no religion should be favored by the state.

Fundamentalist schools often teach that myth that American was founded to be a “Christian nation.” Pat Buchanan, a Catholic, actually said that once on the radio. (Later denied he said it, but he did). This is part of the push back after Jesus’s prayer was removed from public school. (As a little kid who had to say it every day, many of the words and thoughts made no sense.)

One of George Washington’s generals wrote a book retained in the family until my grandparents time. The general wrote a letter to George Washington complaining there was no religious test for President. “Why,” he said, “a Hindu, or Moslem, or even a Unitarian, can become President.” George wrote back a curt response: “That is what we said, and that is our intent.”

What many of my fellow “conservatives”, especially Republicans, tend to forget is the fact that the Founding Fathers had no intention of creating a “Christian Nation” when they drafted the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. This is one of the points often stressed in the writings of eminent American historian Gordon Wood, often viewed as the foremost historian on the American Revolution and the drafting of the United States Constitution. And this very sentiment is made so manifestly clear in the opening paragraphs of the 1796 Treaty with Tripoli - our first treaty with a foreign state - which was subsequently ratified by Congress and signed by President John Adams. In that treaty it states quite explicitly that the United States was never established as a “Christian Nation”:

veritas36 said:

I was taught in school that the founding fathers did not want the religious wars which had wracked Europe and England. So they were firm that no religion should be favored by the state.

Fundamentalist schools often teach that myth that American was founded to be a “Christian nation.” Pat Buchanan, a Catholic, actually said that once on the radio. (Later denied he said it, but he did). This is part of the push back after Jesus’s prayer was removed from public school. (As a little kid who had to say it every day, many of the words and thoughts made no sense.)

One of George Washington’s generals wrote a book retained in the family until my grandparents time. The general wrote a letter to George Washington complaining there was no religious test for President. “Why,” he said, “a Hindu, or Moslem, or even a Unitarian, can become President.” George wrote back a curt response: “That is what we said, and that is our intent.”

veritas36 said: One of George Washington’s generals wrote a book retained in the family until my grandparents time. The general wrote a letter to George Washington complaining there was no religious test for President. “Why,” he said, “a Hindu, or Moslem, or even a Unitarian, can become President.” George wrote back a curt response: “That is what we said, and that is our intent.”

Cite? Are these two correspondences in the National Archives or some other public collection (where, say, they could be scanned and put on-line)?

I would love to see such a letter, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of it existing, and frankly it seems a bit too good to be true.

“Why,” he said, “a Hindu, or Moslem, or even a Unitarian, can become President.” George wrote back a curt response: “That is what we said, and that is our intent.”

google search:

Religious Affiliation of U.S. Presidents * ReligionJul 7, 2006 … Yet there have been 4 Unitarian presidents. … religious group is Catholicism, which has had only one U.S. president (John F. Kennedy), … www.adherents.com/adh_presidents.html - Cached - Similar

The religion of John Adams, second U.S. President John Adams, the second U.S. President rejected the Trinity… and became a Unitarian. It was during Adams’ presidency that the Senate ratified the Treaty of …

George Washington might have been on to something there. Four US presidents including John Adams were.…Unitarians.

Something they will never learn in Texas if the fundies have anything to say about it.

raven said:

google search:

Religious Affiliation of U.S. Presidents

Now that’s an interesting list.

Especially Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Religious affiliation - Eh.

Sadly, a president simply could never get elected today if his answer was the same as mine to the question of “Where do you go to church?”; “Depends on who’s getting married or buried”.

Raven wrote:

“Cynthia Dunbar also sent out a flyer claiming that, “the teaching of evolution leads to cannibalism.” She quotes Jeffrey Dahmer as a moral authority.”

Really? I guess she doesn’t like the competition. Seems to me that “..take, eat, this is my body broken for you…” is a lot stronger incentive to cannibalism than natural selection and survival of the fittest.

Naturally, the Proud Proponents of Panda would be happy about Don McElroy’s defeat. What else would anyone expect?

However, my understanding is that the current excellent Texas Science Standards will stay in place for 10 years after they were passed under McElroy’s leadership.

If that’s true, then things are okay. What matters now is what non-Darwinists choose to do with the time that’s been given to them.

You can plant a lot of seeds in 10 years (or even one year) if you’re properly motivated, and the current Texas and Louisiana science standards will help greatly during planting season.

If Non-Darwinists use all their opportunities well under the current science standards, McElroy will go out a winner despite the recent political outcome.

Footnote: Please forgive the spelling typo, it’s “Don McLeroy.”

FL said: You can plant a lot of seeds in 10 years (or even one year)

And you can poison a lot of fields so that nothing will grow.

Gee funny how brains are like agriculture, huh, FL.

If Non-Darwinists use all their opportunities well under the current science standards, McElroy will go out a winner despite the recent political outcome.

It’s a nice creationist wet dream, FL, but it won’t work. McElroy failed in his quest to add ‘teach the controversy’, and the board is swimming uphill against public sentiment in it’s quest to rewrite history.

The damage to Texas textbooks, while real, is constrained, and by shooting their wad so publicly the creobots have brought unanticipated attention and scorn on their project from professional educators and editorial boards across the state.

There will be no ‘10 year’ rewrite.

Texans are actually a fairly reasonable lot, and most of us understand the importance of getting our kids a decent education. Support for creationism is mighty wide, but not deep enough to combat the reaction to having our Luddite school standards publicly mocked by an endless line of serious professional educators from within and without the state.

The attention Mcleroy brought on himself made it impossible for him to fulfill his 19th century fantasies.

Once again, proving that the best disinfectant is sunlight.

FL said:

You can plant a lot of seeds in 10 years (or even one year) if you’re properly motivated, and the current Texas and Louisiana science standards will help greatly during planting season.

Kind of like “Expelled” was going to be the Waterloo of “darwinism”?

Fat Load is right - It’s kind of like the way Bush stacked the Supreme Court with corporatist jesus fascist scumbags, so he can continue to be the worst president ever for maybe three decades after leaving office. And that is why I am convinced the human race will go extinct within a few thousand years… The reasonable are headed off by the insane at every pass. We’re outnumbered. -

veritas36 said: … The general wrote a letter to George Washington complaining there was no religious test for President. “Why,” he said, “a Hindu, or Moslem, or even a Unitarian, can become President.” George wrote back a curt response: “That is what we said, and that is our intent.”

Like eric said, this needs support. Google couldn’t find anything close.

Please do not feed the Shelton troll or the FL troll. Further unproductive comments such as those by Mr. Shelton will be sent to the bathroom wall.

If this is true - and, I might add, share your skepticism - I wonder whether it might have been one of Washington’s most important generals, since that I know of were as religiously intolerant as the letter writer apparently was:

Pierce R. Butler said:

veritas36 said: … The general wrote a letter to George Washington complaining there was no religious test for President. “Why,” he said, “a Hindu, or Moslem, or even a Unitarian, can become President.” George wrote back a curt response: “That is what we said, and that is our intent.”

Like eric said, this needs support. Google couldn’t find anything close.

Jesse, I know you didn’t mean it that way, but you could be taken as implying that the PULITH-M theory is not the simple and blindingly obvious truth, but some sort of religion on a level with fundamentalism.

If Robert Byers was advocating that nothing be taught which contradicts PULITH-M, he would be correct. Or at least, that’s how I read the First and Tenth Amendments.

If our children aren’t taught about the pink unicorns, they’re going to be at a severe disadvantage thinking the things that happen to them are by pure chance.

If they are taught that the moon is not hollow, future engineers will make possibly fatal errors if we restore the space program - provided, of course, the PULITH-Ms permit it, which I believe it can be shown scientifically that they are currently not doing.

I should add that i find it scandalous that churches are tax exempt, yet no law forces them to either preach PULITH-M alongside, e.g., Genesis, or preach neither, to keep their tax exempt status. I hope Robert Byers will join me in urging Congress to examine this oversight. I think most ethicists and ecumenical experts would accept one sermon a week on the unicorns as adequate - perhaps an off day like a Tuesday.

Marion Delgado said:

Jesse, I know you didn’t mean it that way, but you could be taken as implying that the PULITH-M theory is not the simple and blindingly obvious truth, but some sort of religion on a level with fundamentalism.

If Robert Byers was advocating that nothing be taught which contradicts PULITH-M, he would be correct. Or at least, that’s how I read the First and Tenth Amendments.

If our children aren’t taught about the pink unicorns, they’re going to be at a severe disadvantage thinking the things that happen to them are by pure chance.

If they are taught that the moon is not hollow, future engineers will make possibly fatal errors if we restore the space program - provided, of course, the PULITH-Ms permit it, which I believe it can be shown scientifically that they are currently not doing.

Pink Unicorns have thick skin. They evolved from horses. They can take it.

Wow, that’s embarassing. It’s such an obvious point, too.

Anyway, the comforting thing is that it’s all science so far.

Good grief.

Robin said:

Robert Byers said:

We’ve been around the block here. The law is being applied is loud and clear . Separation of both parties from each other.

No idea what you mean by this. There is no ‘other party’ - there is only no State support of religion. That doesn’t mean that secular concepts have to be separated from your church. It doesn’t mean that the State can’t teach concepts that conflict with your particular beliefs. It only means that your particular religious beliefs can’t be supported by the State. Period.

Therefore if a subject is discussed that crosses both parties then there must be mutual censorship or equal time.

False. See above.

What is being banned is not religion but ideas on a particular point in origins.

You earlier stated that you understood that your ideas on origins were religious and that’s why they are banned. Are you now changing your statement? Here’s your quote from March 10 above: “Creationist concepts are based on God/Genesis. Its the same thing. These are religious doctrines to many. They are banned because a law is invoked saying these are religious concepts and so illegal.” So no - what is being banned from State support are religious claims. It makes no difference they they are about origins.

To ban the ‘religious’ idea on origins but allow a idea that teaches the religious idea is wrong is a clear breaking of the separation concept.

What idea that teaches a religious idea is being allowed in public schools?

The concept as used is simply that religion and state should not interfere with each other. SIMPLE.

More or less correct.

Yet in origin subjects there is a crossing of this line. It can’t be helped. The state is teaching to the people the truth on origins and so to ban creationism is clearly a state opinion Genesis is false. To teach without creationism is a further statement its false.

Incorrect. The State is not teaching that Genesis is false. The State is teaching that evolution occurred - a scientific theory. Genesis does not say anything about evolution and presents nothing that conflicts with evolution. That creationists - a minority subculture within the religious institution known as Christianity - believe that the Genesis story represents a literal event that known facts conflict with is a problem for creationists. It’s not the State’s fault that your beliefs conflict with reality.

Why is my logic wrong?

See above. Your premises are erroneous, both about your understanding of Genesis and about what the State is teaching. Nowhere does the State say that Genesis is false; it merely presents known concepts that happen to conflict with *your* minority belief about Genesis.

How can anyone claiming to be teaching the truth on a subject, who then bans one opinion, not be saying that opinion is false? How?

Strawman by way of generalization. No one is banning an opinion. The State is banning ALL religious claims from State-funded institutions, not just your particular one. And all religious claims are banned BECAUSE of the First Amendment, not because it is necessarily false.

Freedom of inquiry and speech will return to American classrooms and right soon.

We have freedom of inquiry and speech here in the US right now. That your freedom of speech has to be balanced against all other people’s rights in school, both to freedom of speech AND freedom from speech that distracts from the actually being taught does not in anyway contradict this.

The other party is the state teaching on origins that teaches evolution. Yes the law (as used) means no teaching that contradicts religious doctrines. Its not just one way as you think. Its mutual non interference. Separation period. If the state is teaching genesis is false directly and indirectly then the state is not separate from religions.

Creationists mean that origins from God/Genesis is a true secular facts. It being connected to religion is a coincedence. Yet since its banned on the premise that its religious therefore i use the term of it being religious. It only means a legal term to me. Creationism is not from religious ideas but from natural history reality. Its just that we have a witness to speed up conclusions. In this area religion as a concept is murky.

If the subject is about some point in origins and the Genesis etc point is banned the surely the state is making a official statement that Genesis is false and so a comment on religion. Otherwise everything would be on the merits. Teaching evolution etc also is teaching religious doctrines are false. How can you get around this??

In Byerbabble, the “witness” referred to is God, despite the fact that He can’t be examined on this or any subject, “fact” means “a literal reading of Genesis, plus whatever other miracles I need to make it work”, and “secular” means “religious”, because everything in Byerland is religion. “Murky” means “I don’t know what I’m talking about”, and “reality” means “any daft notion that enters my head”.

The last paragraph means “I am perfectly happy to make two mutually opposed statements - ie that Genesis both is and is not religion, and believe both of them at once. Why are you looking at me so strangely?”

The last sentence means “You have no hope of convincing me otherwise, because I’m a complete fruitloop.”

Robert Byers said:

The other party is the state teaching on origins that teaches evolution.

False as I noted previously. Unless the other party is religous (which you’ve admitted it isn’t) doesn’t matter what the other party’s take on origins is.

Yes the law (as used) means no teaching that contradicts religious doctrines.

Nope. Doesn’t mean that at all as I demonstrated. Wrong again.

Its not just one way as you think.

Doesn’t have anything to do with what I think. It has to do whether what I think is founded in religion or not and whether what I think is scientifically supported or not. That which is founded in religion (such as your thinking as you’ve admitted) cannot be taught. Evolution otoh is not religious and thus can be taught. It also happens to be scientifically supported, thus it can be taught as science.

Its mutual non interference. Separation period. If the state is teaching genesis is false directly and indirectly then the state is not separate from religions.

False again Robert. Of course, as I demonstrated the State isn’t teaching that Genesis is false, but that is irrelevant.

Creationists mean that origins from God/Genesis is a true secular facts.

You may well believe such and even insist such is true, but since you can’t support such a belief with any kind of objective substantiation, such is a moot and irrelevant claim.

It being connected to religion is a coincedence.

It may well be coincidence, but since this is the only part that can actually be established by evidence, this is the only part that anyone can use to make any decisions.

Yet since its banned on the premise that its religious therefore i use the term of it being religious. It only means a legal term to me. Creationism is not from religious ideas but from natural history reality. Its just that we have a witness to speed up conclusions. In this area religion as a concept is murky.

This makes utterly no sense. See above for the actual issues.

If the subject is about some point in origins and the Genesis etc point is banned the surely the state is making a official statement that Genesis is false and so a comment on religion.

Wrong-o. See above.

Otherwise everything would be on the merits.

Everything is on merit - evolution actually has merit and creationism has none.

Teaching evolution etc also is teaching religious doctrines are false. How can you get around this??

I already demonstrated how this is valid - nobody is teaching that Genesis is false. Evolution being true only conflicts with your false reading of Genesis. Other Christians note that Genesis does not conflict at all with evolution. Thus there is no teaching that Genesis is false.

Robin said:

Robert Byers said:

The other party is the state teaching on origins that teaches evolution.

False as I noted previously. Unless the other party is religous (which you’ve admitted it isn’t) doesn’t matter what the other party’s take on origins is.

Yes the law (as used) means no teaching that contradicts religious doctrines.

Nope. Doesn’t mean that at all as I demonstrated. Wrong again.

Its not just one way as you think.

Doesn’t have anything to do with what I think. It has to do whether what I think is founded in religion or not and whether what I think is scientifically supported or not. That which is founded in religion (such as your thinking as you’ve admitted) cannot be taught. Evolution otoh is not religious and thus can be taught. It also happens to be scientifically supported, thus it can be taught as science.

Its mutual non interference. Separation period. If the state is teaching genesis is false directly and indirectly then the state is not separate from religions.

False again Robert. Of course, as I demonstrated the State isn’t teaching that Genesis is false, but that is irrelevant.

Creationists mean that origins from God/Genesis is a true secular facts.

You may well believe such and even insist such is true, but since you can’t support such a belief with any kind of objective substantiation, such is a moot and irrelevant claim.

It being connected to religion is a coincedence.

It may well be coincidence, but since this is the only part that can actually be established by evidence, this is the only part that anyone can use to make any decisions.

Yet since its banned on the premise that its religious therefore i use the term of it being religious. It only means a legal term to me. Creationism is not from religious ideas but from natural history reality. Its just that we have a witness to speed up conclusions. In this area religion as a concept is murky.

This makes utterly no sense. See above for the actual issues.

If the subject is about some point in origins and the Genesis etc point is banned the surely the state is making a official statement that Genesis is false and so a comment on religion.

Wrong-o. See above.

Otherwise everything would be on the merits.

Everything is on merit - evolution actually has merit and creationism has none.

Teaching evolution etc also is teaching religious doctrines are false. How can you get around this??

I already demonstrated how this is valid - nobody is teaching that Genesis is false. Evolution being true only conflicts with your false reading of Genesis. Other Christians note that Genesis does not conflict at all with evolution. Thus there is no teaching that Genesis is false.

Well where can we go here.

I understand it makes sense in your mind that a origin conclusion founded in religion can’t be taught but one founded otherwise can even if it contradicts the former.

Yet the law, as presented, is not about religion, to use this idea, bring exclusivilly prohibitive on origins but the law is about mutual exclusivity. If the law says the state is illegal to teach religion then its illegal to teach religion, on the same subject, is false. The state cannot be neutral on the subject of religion here if it admits banning the religious idea on a topic where whats true is the objective of the class. In banning creationism as a option the state is making a opinion on its truthfulness.(by further teaching evolution it is more saying the bible is false as many see it) The state is interfering with religious ideas while telling religion it can’t interfere in the state on a mutual separation concept.

I don’t see how anyone can get around this equation. If somethings banned then either its because its not true or regardless of its truth its banned. Either way a discussion on the topic thats allowed without the banned material and where the truth is the objective means a opinion is being made by the authority. in this case the state.

What’s true, in the limited sense in which the word can be used in science, is “that which can be demonstrated from objectively observed physical evidence in nature, plus rigorous logic.”

That may be taught.

Religious dogmas that cannot be so demonstrated cannot be taught.

What’s so hard about this, Byers, apart from the fact that you don’t like it?

Robert Byers said:

Well where can we go here.

Depends on whether you have decided to pay attention or not…

I understand it makes sense in your mind that a origin conclusion founded in religion can’t be taught but one founded otherwise can even if it contradicts the former.

…and sadly that would be a “no” from you on the paying attention part, Robert.

Once again for complete clarity - this has nothing to do with origins. Neither the law nor the schools have said anything about origin conclusions. That concept is only an issue for you, Robert.

The only issue on the table is one of two parts - that what you want to have taught in public schools is religous (and thus against the Constitution of the US and likely Canada as well) and is not science (and thus is against school curriculum). I don’t really care that you feel this about origin conclusions Robert since the fact remains that your conclusions have no supporting evidence and thus are not credible.

Bottom line: Your comment above is incorrect - I’ve never even thought about making sense of an origin conclusion founded in religion can’t be taught but one founded otherwise can even if it contradicts the former because such isn’t an issue to me.

Yet the law, as presented, is not about religion, to use this idea, bring exclusivilly prohibitive on origins but the law is about mutual exclusivity. If the law says the state is illegal to teach religion then its illegal to teach religion, on the same subject, is false.

The law isn’t about ‘origin conconclusions’, Robert. That’s something you don’t seem to grasp at all. It is quite specifically about religion however, something else you seem to be having trouble grasping. I provided the direct quote in fact. Nothing in the law about ‘mutual exclusivity’, particularly wrt ‘origin conclusions’.

Of course this is all academic really since I’ve already demonstrated that this is all a moot point. The fact is, what you are claiming isn’t even Christian doctrine - it’s an erroneous interpretation a small minority of misguided religous fanatics have embraced. So your beliefs are not even protected as religious doctrine within the separation clause, Robert.

The state cannot be neutral on the subject of religion here if it admits banning the religious idea on a topic where whats true is the objective of the class.

It quite easily can since your beliefs are not seen as accurate by most Christians. Indeed, you could insist just as easily that your God requires you to sacrifice all first borns in your community and the State would not have to respect that ‘religous’ belief either.

In banning creationism as a option the state is making a opinion on its truthfulness.(by further teaching evolution it is more saying the bible is false as many see it)

Wrong again. The majority of Christians insist your beliefs are erroneous. The State merely notes that such can’t be presented in a public school. That you insist evolution conflicts with your beliefs is your problem and your complaint should go to the majority representation of Christians, not the schools.

The state is interfering with religious ideas while telling religion it can’t interfere in the state on a mutual separation concept.

Incorrect. See above.

I don’t see how anyone can get around this equation. If somethings banned then either its because its not true or regardless of its truth its banned. Either way a discussion on the topic thats allowed without the banned material and where the truth is the objective means a opinion is being made by the authority. in this case the state.

Nope. See above.

I have told Robert repeatedly, if he wants to teach religion in US public science classes he can go right ahead, He has not done so. All of his impotent whining amounts to nothing. Let him rant and rave so that others can see the absolute moral bankruptcy of his position. Fortunately, this guy is not getting anywhere near a US classroom. If he did he would wind up in court and he would lose. Until then, all he can do is spout nonsense on web sites in the vain hope that someone somewhere will be fooled.

Dave Luckett said:

What’s true, in the limited sense in which the word can be used in science, is “that which can be demonstrated from objectively observed physical evidence in nature, plus rigorous logic.”

That may be taught.

Religious dogmas that cannot be so demonstrated cannot be taught.

What’s so hard about this, Byers, apart from the fact that you don’t like it?

This is about law. The law was not put in to deal with science. The law claimed is a law based on a concept where the state and church must not interfere with each other. The state is not to be involved in religious ideas. Yet in origin issues this is a problem. A law is invoked to censor origin conclusions involved with God/Genesis. Well then. Origin conclusions taught that reject same ,or where the banning itself is a statement when dealing with subjects that are claimed to be about truth ,is ALSO by this law illegal. There is no problem. Its just they invented a law in the 60’s to stop creationism. just get rid of this and let the people vote on the subject.

The law doesn’t say the State is “not to be involved in religious ideas”, Byers. It says that the State cannot favour one religion over another, which what is meant by the term “establishing” religion.

The objection you have to the Theory of Evolution is precisely that it isn’t your religion. It isn’t any religion at all. That’s why it can be taught in public schools, Byers, and your religion, or any religion, can’t be.

The day your religion - literal Bibliolatry - gets taught in public schools, Byers, is the day the US ceases to be a secular democracy. Americans won’t let that happen. You’ve lost; you lost fifty years ago, and all the bluster and falsehood and self-delusion you can throw isn’t going to change that.

Robin said:

Robert Byers said:

Well where can we go here.

Depends on whether you have decided to pay attention or not…

I understand it makes sense in your mind that a origin conclusion founded in religion can’t be taught but one founded otherwise can even if it contradicts the former.

…and sadly that would be a “no” from you on the paying attention part, Robert.

Once again for complete clarity - this has nothing to do with origins. Neither the law nor the schools have said anything about origin conclusions. That concept is only an issue for you, Robert.

The only issue on the table is one of two parts - that what you want to have taught in public schools is religous (and thus against the Constitution of the US and likely Canada as well) and is not science (and thus is against school curriculum). I don’t really care that you feel this about origin conclusions Robert since the fact remains that your conclusions have no supporting evidence and thus are not credible.

Bottom line: Your comment above is incorrect - I’ve never even thought about making sense of an origin conclusion founded in religion can’t be taught but one founded otherwise can even if it contradicts the former because such isn’t an issue to me.

Yet the law, as presented, is not about religion, to use this idea, bring exclusivilly prohibitive on origins but the law is about mutual exclusivity. If the law says the state is illegal to teach religion then its illegal to teach religion, on the same subject, is false.

The law isn’t about ‘origin conconclusions’, Robert. That’s something you don’t seem to grasp at all. It is quite specifically about religion however, something else you seem to be having trouble grasping. I provided the direct quote in fact. Nothing in the law about ‘mutual exclusivity’, particularly wrt ‘origin conclusions’.

Of course this is all academic really since I’ve already demonstrated that this is all a moot point. The fact is, what you are claiming isn’t even Christian doctrine - it’s an erroneous interpretation a small minority of misguided religous fanatics have embraced. So your beliefs are not even protected as religious doctrine within the separation clause, Robert.

The state cannot be neutral on the subject of religion here if it admits banning the religious idea on a topic where whats true is the objective of the class.

It quite easily can since your beliefs are not seen as accurate by most Christians. Indeed, you could insist just as easily that your God requires you to sacrifice all first borns in your community and the State would not have to respect that ‘religous’ belief either.

In banning creationism as a option the state is making a opinion on its truthfulness.(by further teaching evolution it is more saying the bible is false as many see it)

Wrong again. The majority of Christians insist your beliefs are erroneous. The State merely notes that such can’t be presented in a public school. That you insist evolution conflicts with your beliefs is your problem and your complaint should go to the majority representation of Christians, not the schools.

The state is interfering with religious ideas while telling religion it can’t interfere in the state on a mutual separation concept.

Incorrect. See above.

I don’t see how anyone can get around this equation. If somethings banned then either its because its not true or regardless of its truth its banned. Either way a discussion on the topic thats allowed without the banned material and where the truth is the objective means a opinion is being made by the authority. in this case the state.

Nope. See above.

You didn’t reply to my point that in banning the “religious” idea the state is making a opinion on the accuracy of that idea and so breaking the very law it invokes for censorship!!

It is about origin issues.It is about the presumptions of where origin conclusions come from . Origin ideas are the discussion. Real true things. So if one position is banned and a opposite position is taught then it must be that officially the state has made a statement on the banned position. Therefore the state has officially announced the bible is false on some doctrines. Again I ask how can it be got around this equation.?! How can a position be banned by the state because it religous friendly and yet not be a statement by the state that the religious idea is false. So breaking the law. All this from very Protestant American folks in the 1700’s. (By way of the constitution). Is there anyone on the pandas forum who can show where my math is wrong. I never lose on this point where ever I roam

Sorry Byers, the state is not required to avoid an idea or subject that is not a religious one because it offends a religion. Evolution is not a religious idea.

Robert Byers said: You didn’t reply to my point that in banning the “religious” idea the state is making a opinion on the accuracy of that idea and so breaking the very law it invokes for censorship!!

Its not banned. You can set up an elective bible study course and teach creationism until you’re blue in the face. But you can’t teach Genesis in algebra because its not algebra; you can’t teach it in phys ed because its not phys ed, and; you can’t teach it in biology because its not biology.

Is there anyone on the pandas forum who can show where my math is wrong. I never lose on this point where ever I roam

Yes: bible study isn’t banned. Its as simple as that.

Robert Byers said:

You didn’t reply to my point that in banning the “religious” idea the state is making a opinion on the accuracy of that idea and so breaking the very law it invokes for censorship!!

Indeed I did. Here it is again:

“Wrong again. The majority of Christians insist your beliefs are erroneous. The State merely notes that such can’t be presented in a public school. That you insist evolution conflicts with your beliefs is your problem and your complaint should go to the majority representation of Christians, not the schools.”

It is about origin issues.It is about the presumptions of where origin conclusions come from .

Wrong-o Robert. See above and note particularly, “The majority of Christians insist your beliefs are erroneous.” That is neither the States’ problem nor science’s problem. The State is not obligated to accommodate religious beliefs that conflict with reality.

Origin ideas are the discussion. Real true things. So if one position is banned and a opposite position is taught then it must be that officially the state has made a statement on the banned position. Therefore the state has officially announced the bible is false on some doctrines.

Wrong again. It is your own religion - Christianity - that says your views on origins and your understanding of the bible passages are wrong. The State is merely supporting the majority of Christians and scholars who insist that Genesis is an allegorical fable. That you insist otherwise is your problem.

Again I ask how can it be got around this equation.?! How can a position be banned by the state because it religous friendly and yet not be a statement by the state that the religious idea is false. So breaking the law. All this from very Protestant American folks in the 1700’s. (By way of the constitution). Is there anyone on the pandas forum who can show where my math is wrong. I never lose on this point where ever I roam

See above.

Robert Byers said:

Robin said:

Robert Byers said:

We’ve been around the block here. The law is being applied is loud and clear . Separation of both parties from each other.

No idea what you mean by this. There is no ‘other party’ - there is only no State support of religion. That doesn’t mean that secular concepts have to be separated from your church. It doesn’t mean that the State can’t teach concepts that conflict with your particular beliefs. It only means that your particular religious beliefs can’t be supported by the State. Period.

Therefore if a subject is discussed that crosses both parties then there must be mutual censorship or equal time.

False. See above.

What is being banned is not religion but ideas on a particular point in origins.

You earlier stated that you understood that your ideas on origins were religious and that’s why they are banned. Are you now changing your statement? Here’s your quote from March 10 above: “Creationist concepts are based on God/Genesis. Its the same thing. These are religious doctrines to many. They are banned because a law is invoked saying these are religious concepts and so illegal.” So no - what is being banned from State support are religious claims. It makes no difference they they are about origins.

To ban the ‘religious’ idea on origins but allow a idea that teaches the religious idea is wrong is a clear breaking of the separation concept.

What idea that teaches a religious idea is being allowed in public schools?

The concept as used is simply that religion and state should not interfere with each other. SIMPLE.

More or less correct.

Yet in origin subjects there is a crossing of this line. It can’t be helped. The state is teaching to the people the truth on origins and so to ban creationism is clearly a state opinion Genesis is false. To teach without creationism is a further statement its false.

Incorrect. The State is not teaching that Genesis is false. The State is teaching that evolution occurred - a scientific theory. Genesis does not say anything about evolution and presents nothing that conflicts with evolution. That creationists - a minority subculture within the religious institution known as Christianity - believe that the Genesis story represents a literal event that known facts conflict with is a problem for creationists. It’s not the State’s fault that your beliefs conflict with reality.

Why is my logic wrong?

See above. Your premises are erroneous, both about your understanding of Genesis and about what the State is teaching. Nowhere does the State say that Genesis is false; it merely presents known concepts that happen to conflict with *your* minority belief about Genesis.

How can anyone claiming to be teaching the truth on a subject, who then bans one opinion, not be saying that opinion is false? How?

Strawman by way of generalization. No one is banning an opinion. The State is banning ALL religious claims from State-funded institutions, not just your particular one. And all religious claims are banned BECAUSE of the First Amendment, not because it is necessarily false.

Freedom of inquiry and speech will return to American classrooms and right soon.

We have freedom of inquiry and speech here in the US right now. That your freedom of speech has to be balanced against all other people’s rights in school, both to freedom of speech AND freedom from speech that distracts from the actually being taught does not in anyway contradict this.

The other party is the state teaching on origins that teaches evolution. Yes the law (as used) means no teaching that contradicts religious doctrines. Its not just one way as you think. Its mutual non interference. Separation period. If the state is teaching genesis is false directly and indirectly then the state is not separate from religions.

Creationists mean that origins from God/Genesis is a true secular facts. It being connected to religion is a coincedence. Yet since its banned on the premise that its religious therefore i use the term of it being religious. It only means a legal term to me. Creationism is not from religious ideas but from natural history reality. Its just that we have a witness to speed up conclusions. In this area religion as a concept is murky.

If the subject is about some point in origins and the Genesis etc point is banned the surely the state is making a official statement that Genesis is false and so a comment on religion. Otherwise everything would be on the merits. Teaching evolution etc also is teaching religious doctrines are false. How can you get around this??

Byers, are you so ignorant to think that there is only one kind of creationist/creation myth. There are thousands in the world, and they’re all very different from each other. If you believe that we should teach the “genesis” creation myth, then shouldn’t we teach all creation myths? Besides, evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life, that’s why Darwin called his book the Origin of Species. Evolution explains how life diversified, not how life began.

Robert Byers the idiot remains ignorant of the fact that most of the drafters of the Constitution were agnostic, not Christians. Many of them, in fact, found Christianity repugnant, as they were keenly aware of how churches in Europe used Christianity to preach hate and ignorance, as well as how governments would use the churches in keeping the populace subdued.

When political parties start dictating what historians should put into history books regarding religion than that’s when I abandon that party.

I have ready everything that Madison and Jefferson wrote regarding Separation of Church and State and it is clear to me what they meant. Some key documents include Jefferson’s original draft of the “The Freedom of Religion Act” of the State of Virginia and his letter to Nehemiah Dodge of the Danbury Baptists. Now religious conservatives want to change history to break down the wall of separation to make this a Christian Nation rather than a Nation of Christians. If this country is not a Nation of Christians it is man’s fault for having not done their job and not the constitution’s. Jefferson made it so clear in the referenced documents that there can be no mis-interpretation of what he meant. The word creator was used many times instead of Jesus Christ after much argument and debate in these and other documents for that very reason. Jefferson stated that our civil rights have nothing to do with our religious “opinions’. Our religious beliefs are just that “opinions” to which everyone is entitled. Jefferson clearly said that we should be able to come to our own religious beliefs and opinions not through any means of coercion but through “reason” alone, just our like Creator intended. Requirements, such as allowing prayer in the classroom violates this most fundamental right of man to reach his own opinions without coercian as God intended. I don’t know understand what about this that Religious Conservatives don’t understand. They want to go back to the Pope and Church of England. If we believe in complete freedom then we should believe in the wall of separation.

Stanton said:

Robert Byers the idiot remains ignorant of the fact that most of the drafters of the Constitution were agnostic, not Christians. Many of them, in fact, found Christianity repugnant, as they were keenly aware of how churches in Europe used Christianity to preach hate and ignorance, as well as how governments would use the churches in keeping the populace subdued.

And Jefferson said: that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time

What about separation of church and state is so hard to understand?

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on March 3, 2010 9:55 AM.

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