Earlier this week, the Louisiana State Senate voted 36-0 to approve a bill that passed the House by a vote of 94-3. The bill would allow science teachers to use supplemental materials, in addition to state-issued textbooks, on issues like evolution, global warming, and human cloning. The purpose of the supplemental materials, the bill explains, is to encourage “critical thinking skills, logical analysis and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied.” The bill is particularly aimed at giving teachers the assurance of academic freedom to actually teach that there is such a thing as a controversy over these subjects (especially evolution), instead of simply being intimidated into silence.
Governor Bobby Jindal is expected to sign the bill.
As you can imagine the secular fundamentalists are in a tizzy. The bill—titled “The Louisiana Science Education Act”—allows the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to act upon complaints and toss out any supplemental material it deems to be inappropriate. But that’s not good enough for adherents to the reigning evolutionary orthodoxy. The Darwinian dogmatists have declared their unwillingness to allow any contrary views whatsoever. To do so, they say, amounts to smuggling religion into the classroom, which of course we can never, no never have.
Barry Lynn, executive director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, is ready to run to the children’s defense. “If this bill passes, and religious materials are brought into Louisiana public school as a result, we will go to court to seek justice for the state’s children.”
Never fear! Barry Lynn will protect the students from exposure to religious materials; but alas, who will protect the children from Barry Lynn? He’s seeking to impose his religious views on the children of Louisiana. The people of Louisiana have acted through their elected officials by an overwhelming margin. But Barry Lynn says, “No, sorry, your religious viewpoint is invalid. Mine is the only one that counts.”
I know he would protest my putting it in this way, but this really is what it amounts to. It’s never a question of whether or not a religious viewpoint is going to predominate in the classroom, only a matter of which religious viewpoint is going to predominate. Make no mistake. Secularism is as much a religious point of view as Christianity is. And as matters stand now, only secularism’s religious point of view is allowed. Only the secularist’s view of God may be presented in the classroom, namely, that (if he exists) he’s irrelevant to the discussion (that’s why we don’t talk about him). Only secularism’s view of origins may be taught (big bang, Darwinian evolution). Only secularism’s view of morality may be taught (everything’s relative).
The legislation in Louisiana is about to upset the apple cart, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and the ACLU and are both looking to make some applesauce. Already they are threatening lawsuits.