Johnson's burning scientific issue

At a recent ID conference, Phillip Johnson was awarded the "Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth" (I know, creationists, irony, yadda yadda yadda). He spoke, and this is the subject he chose to bring up:

In accepting the award, Johnson noted the pending U.S. Supreme Court case over the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and said that the next burning issue in our culture will be the fundamental question of whether or not God exists. In fact, he said the ultimate question of whether God is real or imaginary—and whether God's moral authority has any standing in American society—"is the most important issue since slavery."

"It is the issue that divides our culture and it needs to be addressed," he said. "Every politician should address the issue of the existence of a Creator.

Ah, but of course Intelligent Design is an entirely secular, non-religious, scientific program of research.

I will address the issue, though. Every individual is free to decide whether god is real or imaginary. Personally, I've decided that he's a worthless fantasy, but I don't get to try and compel others to think likewise. Similarly, some may believe otherwise, but they don't get to tell me that I'm fired from my job or should be thrown in jail or should suffer some quaintly evil Old Testament torture for my beliefs—it's that "liberty and freedom" thing, Phil. And because we are a pluralist society that supports diverse religious beliefs, "God's" moral authority has no standing in American society. None at all. It can be a matter of private conscience, but not public policy.

Don't expect the theocrats at the Discovery Institute to grasp that concept any time soon, though. Making their interpretation of Biblical law the ruling principle of the United States legal system is their goal.