Monday, November 29, 2004
I was really happy to see that the school board in Dover, Pa., voted to alter the ninth-grade biology curriculum. It made way for some honest criticism of evolutionary theory, and allowed for the introduction of the theory of intelligent design – that life is too complex to have evolved by random chance.
It’s pretty hilarious to see the American Civil Liberties Union and other proponents of smelly anti-Christian, anti-American ideas get into a tizzy over this. Remember, it was the ACLU who paid for the Scopes monkey trial in 1925, fighting to get evolution into the schools. Now that evolution is ‘’in,’’ they don’t want the kids to learn any OTHER theories.
Censorship: it never makes sense.
I hope Nebraska school boards get a clue, follow suit, and get some academic freedom into our science classrooms. I also hope the next time Nebraska’s science standards come up before the State Board of Education, we bring them up to speed, too. Right now, the standards assume that evolution is true, a done deal, there are no problems with the theory, it’s the only possible answer to the perplexities of the origins of the universe, yadda yadda yadda. It’s embarrassing to see the misguided, secular dogma behind those standards. But the other side of the origins story has been censored out of our schools for years. So people just don’t know.
Again, I say, censorship never makes sense.
Along these lines, I was sad to see that a fifth-grade teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area had to sue his district for violating his First Amendment rights last week, and you won’t believe why. He was teaching the kids using the Declaration of Independence, the diaries of George Washington and John Adams, the writings of William Penn, and the wording of various early state constitutions. He was teaching his pupils truthful American history, which includes the writings of our founders, who repeatedly and passionately referenced God.
And that’s why he got into trouble: that ‘’God thing.’’
Since last May, he has had to turn in his lesson plans and supplemental handouts to the principal, and she finally had kiboshed him so much that he felt he had no choice but to file suit in U.S. District Court in San Jose, aided by the Alliance Defense Fund.
The teacher is Steven Williams of Stevens Creek Elementary School, Cupertino Unified School District.
Isn’t that silly? So his boss says he is supposed to put ‘’spin’’ on American history, and teach the kids something different than what our founders really believed? Censor God?
I say it again: censorship never makes sense.
A third example: the ACLU is forcing public schools in Boyd County, Ky., to put their students through ‘’tolerance training’’ on ‘’sexual diversity’’ and ‘’gender identity’’ issues, including an hour-long video, because the district refused at first to allow the Gay-Straight Alliance to meet on school grounds and got themselves sued over that.
The club can now meet after school, but the forced ‘’training’’ came as part of the lawsuit’s settlement aimed at reducing what the ACLU calls ‘’harassment.’’ However, in the 10 months since the punishment came down, more than one-third of the kids haven’t seen the film. Why not? Because their families object, that’s why. According to Sunday’s www.worldnetdaily.com, 105 of the 730 middle-school students opted out of the film, and 145 of the 971 high-schoolers did. On the day it was to be shown, 324 students didn’t show up for school. And the ACLU is all mad about it.
What are they going to do -- strap the kids down and pin open their eyes, as in the forced indoctrination sessions of the cult movie, A Clockwork Orange? Give them an ‘’F’’ if they won’t knuckle under and say that homosexuality is great?
We all know it: censorship stinks.
Here’s what school boards faced with these sorts of issues ought to do: simply invoke the principle of equal time. Let the free marketplace of ideas do its work.
Evolutionary theory has some features that are pretty convincing, but more and more are being soundly discredited as science advances. Intelligent design and creation science also have some fascinating and valid points, although these two theories have their clunker ideas, too. Just give the various scientific theories equal time in the classroom, with clear-eyed scientific scrutiny, and the kids will be brought a lot closer to the truth. Quit censoring ideas: it isn’t healthy. Instead, study them. Isn’t that what schools are supposed to do?
It’s the same thing with the teaching of American history. We can’t change what our founders said about God, but we certainly should teach our kids what they said. For a better understanding of our culture and what we’re going through right now, we need to understand THEIR culture and what THEY were going through. Good teachers are never afraid to do that. And if you’re worried that it is somehow establishing religion to allow speech about God in public schools, just give equal time to the other point of view – the agnostic but all-American thinker Thomas Paine springs to mind.
As for the gay-rights propaganda, the way out is simple: don’t force parents to opt their children OUT of such fare. Instead, offer the opportunity for parents to opt their children IN. And make sure that the other point of view is given equal time, for this issue and all others. In this case, if children are to be taught that homosexuality is OK, they need to hear the other side of the story, that it is not OK. Anything less than that is censorship, and political propaganda.
Free choice, fair play, equal time: isn’t that what we expect from our schools?
It’s all-American . . . and it makes sense.
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