Keeping Up With the Creationists, Vol. I, Issue 1: Ain’t Just Private Schools, Kids


Hello and welcome to what I hope will be a weekly feature, Keeping Up With the Creationists, in which we peruse some creationist news and remind ourselves that, no, alas, creationism isn’t dead. It’s not even sleeping. It’s wide-awake and kicking in not only Christian private and home schools, but in our very own public school systems.

Yes, public.

If you haven’t already, read Zack Kopplin’s eye-popping exposé of supposedly-secular charter schools busily teaching kids (using government monies, let’s not forget) “that the fossil record is ‘sketchy.’ That evolution is ‘dogma’ and an ‘unproved theory’ with no experimental basis. They will be told that leading scientists dispute the mechanisms of evolution and the age of the Earth.” This is bog-standard creationist crap. I’ll be filing an Open Records request of my own to see what they’re doing to the earth sciences, but as we can tell from what Zack’s uncovered, there’s a major problem there. Those who thought creationism was beat need to go have a re-think.

As if that wasn’t enough to make you pop an extra blood pressure pill or two, here’s another bit of outrageousness: Louisiana public schools are openly teaching creationism. And they’re belittling Buddhist kids to boot. This isn’t a rogue teacher, mind, this is an entire school, up to and including the superintendent, and they’ve got Jesus hanging over the door, just to ensure the kiddies know who their lord n’ master is. The public school kiddies.

Amanda Marcotte makes an excellent point in a post about this: “bullying is a weapon that the Christian right loves and does not want to give up.” Because they adore school situations like this:

Students are frequently led in prayer, and students are required to attend an annual “See You At The Pole” prayer event. Teachers routinely hand out Christian pamphlets that [father of the bullied child] Lane describes as featuring “[t]he entire New Testament of the Bible as well as cartoons that denounce evolution and trumpet the evils of birth control, premarital sex, rock music, alcohol, pornography, homosexuality, sorcery, and witchcraft.” Needless to say, when he told the superintendent about his concerns about his stepson being routinely bullied and humiliated for being Buddhist, the superintendent “was dismissive and told us that we live in the ‘Bible Belt’ and that this is just how things are.”

So yeah, no, creationism’s not the least bit dead, and Christianists are busy undermining public school education and ensuring kids who don’t believe right are made miserable. Because Jesus.

Image is a giraffe, looking as if it's pointing to a duck that's waddling away from it. The caption is "Shun! Shun the non-believer! Shuuuunnnnnn!!"

They’re busy in not one, not two, but three state legislatures, trying to get creationism in through the backdoor. It’s not even the end of January, and nearly 10% of our states have jackasses jacking up science education. Local elections matter, folks. So does political participation. If you live in Virginia, Oklahoma, or Missouri, raise merry hell with your elected officials. Remind the saner ones that what the fuckwads are trying with these bills is the same type of shitty legislation that got Louisiana in a position where teachers are teaching creationism with impunity.

For a good editorial on the Virginia situation, one that pertains to all three bills, see here. I can forgive the tongue-bath they gave Del. Bell at the end in light of the full-throated defense of science and evolution at the beginning.

Turning now to Christianist schools, we’ve got some excellent insider tales from students a student* suffering ACE. A student at Gospel Haven Academy woke up halfway through his sophomore year in high school to realize, horrified, he’d been “taught pseudoscience, revisionist history, [and] right-wing propaganda.” Wait until you see what they’ve done to music. *shudder*

One of our own is also stuck within an ACE school: Tyler is a 17 year-old atheist who has discovered the joys of debunking the dreck he’s being taught. This line will remain one of my favorites of all time: “If teaching God’s point of view requires you to teach blatant mistruths, maybe it’s time to rethink God’s point of view.” I want this on t-shirts. I’ll see if I can in touch, and work out a nice little arrangement for a line of clothing to feature this quote, plus a humorous picture, suitable for wearing to your next church school potluck.

PZ has an excellent post on “engaging silly beliefs in multiple ways” that I urge you to consider. Those interested in Noah’s Ark might like to know it’s actually round.

And, finally, get your Sunday fix of Christianist history with Doktor Zoom. Today, we learn some very interesting… um, facts (if you can call the fucked-up things Christianists believe about FDR, Hitler, and Japan “facts”)… about WWII. Such as:

As for the Nazis’ racism, well, that’s just the inevitable result of Darwinism (never mind that the Nazis banned Origin of Species, shhhhh):

Hitler combined Marxist-socialism with Darwin’s theory of evolution, proclaiming that the German people had evolved into a superior or master race. He called for a world war to kill off the weaker races (especially the Jews) and assure the “survival of the fittest” (the German people). Because many Germans believed the notion of evolution, they accepted Hitler’s ideas. Soon public hospitals began to practice euthanasia (killing the terminally ill, the mentally retarded, and those with physical handicaps) and abortion (killing unborn babies).

That’s all for this week. Join me for more creationist shenanigans next Sunday. I’m sure we won’t lack for material…

 

*Derp. As Jonny points out, they are the same kid.

Comments

  1. Al Dente says

    Hitler combined Marxist-socialism

    National socialism had nothing to do with Marxism. National socialism was top-down corporatism, an economic theory which involved management of sectors of the economy by government or privately controlled organizations (corporations). Each trade union or employer corporation would theoretically represent its professional concerns by negotiation of labor contracts and the like. This method, it was theorized, could result in harmony amongst social classes. The corporatist economy was supposedly collectively managed by employers, workers and state officials by formal mechanisms at the national level.This non-elected form of state involvement of every part of the economy was supposed to reduce the marginalization of special interests). Corporatism would allegedly totally incorporate divergent interests, thus being the inspiration for the use of the term “totalitarian.”

    In reality, the state controlled the economy through allocation of resources and labor. In 1942 when Albert Speer became the Minister of War Production, the control became absolute.

    Marxism prophesied the “withering away of the state.” National socialism made the state the ultimate authority for almost everything.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    So sad: para-fascists who don’t know the history of fascism. Won’t somebody please think of the wingnuts!

  3. mck9 says

    Gack. The anti-evolution bill in Missouri is co-sponsored by my very own representative, the estimable Andrew Koenig (not that he actually represents me in any useful sense). I just sent him the following email, whose formatting will apparently be mangled by WordPress:

    I am writing about your sponsorship of House Bill 1472, concerning the teaching of evolution by natural selection.

    My only concern is that this bill doesn’t go far enough.

    It’s all very well to protect our schoolchildren from exposure to the basic tenets of modern biology. However similar protections should be extended to other segments of the science curriculum, where the doctrines of elitist, self-styled experts may conflict with the beliefs and values that parents wish to transmit to their children.

    For example, the following scientific principles (many of them firmly grounded in Holy Scripture) should be restored to their rightful place in Missouri education:

    — The Geocentric Theory of the universe

    — The Flat Earth Theory of geography

    — The Demonic Possession Theory of disease

    — The Four-footed Insect Theory of Entomology

    — Astrology

    — Divination

    — Baraminology

    — The Curse-of-Ham Theory of racial diversity

    — The Phlogiston Theory of heat

    — The Luminiferous Ether Theory of light

    — Spontaneous Generation

    — Phrenology

    — The Magic Vagina Juice Theory of contraception (as famously championed by your Republican colleague Todd Akin)

    — The Leprechaun Theory of gold deposition

    — The Porridge Theory of ursine nutrition

    Why settle for half measures?

    Thanks for the heads-up.

  4. lpetrich says

    I’ve seen an interesting theory about the full name of the Nazi Party, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. That it was intended to bridge the Left and the Right by using both sides’ favorite words. On the Left, Socialist, Workers. On the Right, National, German. Something like a US party called the Democratic Republican Liberal Conservative Party.

  5. says

    So sad: para-fascists who don’t know the history of fascism.

    Not surprising. Most Holocaust deniers are fascists themselves. They similarily believe that a new holocaust would be a good thing and that the first one didn’t happen at all.

  6. says

    I have some (slightly) disappointing news, in that the ACE survivor you linked to on my blog, and the one you linked to at AlterNet, are in fact one and the same person: Tyler Stoltzfus. He’s remarkable, but regrettably there is only one of him.

  7. rq says

    They ruined music. That is all.
    Also, now that hilariously cute frightened giraffe will always be associated with creationists in my mind. A pity, really.