American Atheists Media Alert
“OKLAHOMA OUTRAGE,” DISCRIMINATION
AGAINST ATHEISTS TOPIC OF ABC PROGRAM
This Friday, May 11, 2007 ~ Kagin, Smalkowski Family
WHAT: A special two-hour ABC Network program scheduled to air this Friday, May 11 will discuss prejudice against Atheists in America, particularly in the city of Hardesty, Oklahoma, where Nicole Smalkowski was expelled from public school on false charges when she refused to stand in a circle on the auditorium floor with the girls’ basketball team and recite the “Lord’s Prayer.”
Her father Chuck Smalkowski was falsely indicted on criminal charges, all because of prejudice against their assertion of their rights as Atheists. American Atheists participated in Chuck’s criminal trial that resulted in three “Not Guilty” verdicts by a jury. Edwin Kagin, National Legal Director for American Atheists, persuaded the jury to swear to believe an Atheist under oath over a Christian if the facts so warranted. Following the verdict, American Atheists and the Smalkowski family filed a lawsuit for civil rights violations by state actors, under color of state law, in the Federal Court of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Smalkowskis, Edwin Kagin, and Richard Dawkins share a nine minute segment of this program that was recorded in ABC’s studios in New York City, and on location in Hardesty and Guymon, Oklahoma. Richard Rice, a Christian, who has agreed to serve as Oklahoma local counsel in the lawsuit, was interviewed on camera in Oklahoma. The four days of filming, condensed to nine minutes, will of necessity omit many things and one or more of the persons filmed may be cut.
WHO: American Atheists members Nicole Smalkowski and Chuck Smalkowski and Edwin Kagin, National Legal Director for American Atheists.
WHEN: Friday, May 11, 2007 for two hours, starting at 9:00 pm (EDT).
WHERE: 20-20 show on ABC television, thought to be titled “Religion in America.”
(AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for Atheists; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.)
The following two op-ed pieces appeared in the Boone County (Kentucky) Recorder on May 10, 2007:
God and natural law
JASON LISLE, PH.D. | COMMUNITY RECORDER GUEST COLUMNIST
It is common today for people to attemp
t to use science to disprove the Bible, especially its creation account of origins. Many have claimed, for example, that science supports evolution. Some have suggested that science requires a belief in naturalism – the notion that nature is “all that there is.”
In reality, however, and as we will proclaim in our new Creation Museum, science comes out of a biblical worldview. It is because the biblical God created an orderly, logical universe, and made our minds able to reason, that science is possible. Science works because the Bible is true. If the universe were merely the accidental by-product of a big bang, then why should it obey orderly principles – or any principles at all for that matter?
The Law of Life (Biogenesis): The law of biogenesis states simply that life always comes from life. This is what observational science tells us: organisms reproduce other organisms after their own kind. Historically, Louis Pasteur disproved one alleged case of spontaneous generation; he showed that life comes from previous life. Since then, we have seen that this law is universal – with no known exceptions.
This is, of course, exactly what we would expect from the Bible. According to Genesis 1, God supernaturally created the first diverse kinds of life on earth and made them to reproduce after their kind. Notice that molecules-to-man evolution violates the law of biogenesis. Evolutionists believe that life (at least once) spontaneously formed from nonliving chemicals. But this is inconsistent with the law of biogenesis.
Indeed, real science confirms the Bible.
The Laws of Physics: Life depends on chemistry, which is based on physics. The science of physics describes the behavior of the universe at its most fundamental level. Laws of physics describe the way the universe operates today. Some laws describe how light propagates, how energy is transported, how gravity operates, how mass moves through space, and many other phenomena. The laws of physics are usually mathematical in nature; some laws of physics can be described with a concise formula, such as E=mc2. The simple formula F=ma shows how an object with mass (m) will accelerate (a) when a net force (F) is applied to it.
It is amazing that every object in the universe consistently obeys these rules. If the laws of quantum physics were just slightly different, atoms might not even be possible. God designed the laws of physics just right so that the laws of chemistry would be correct so that life would be possible.
Laws of nature do not make sense in a big bang/evolution-driven worldview. However, the consistent Christian would expect the universe to be organized in a logical, orderly fashion and to obey uniform laws because the universe was created and is upheld by the power of God. Furthermore, whether the field is astronomy, geology, or biology (see www.CreationMuseum.org), the creation account in Genesis – as we will show in our museum – explains the facts better than evolution.
Dr. Jason Lisle is director of the planetarium at the Creation Museum set to open May 28 in Petersburg. He received his Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Colorado.
Dumbing down of society
EDWIN KAGIN | COMMUNITY RECORDER GUEST COLUMNIST
Throughout human history, people have queued up into one of two great lines. The first is composed of those who understand that science, reason, and critical thinking lead to meaningful lives and healthy communities. In the other line are those who hold that their religious views should be made law universal. If their particular revealed dogma and ancient sacred text conflicts with the discoveries of reason and science, then the dogma should win and the facts should lose.
Those in the first line have brought us civilization and progress, while those in the second line have attempted to hold us back, insisting we accept their mythologies. If those in the second line had won in the past, people would be taught that the earth is flat, they would write on rocks, huddle by fires at night, and tell stories of how people were magically made from dirt. Great courage and sacrifice has been required of those who dare defy those in the second line.
Charles Darwin was studying to be a cleric when he discovered the fact that all living things had evolved from simpler forms of life. This had occurred by a process known as “natural selection,” over billions of years of very slow change. Those creatures that were better adapted to their environment lived and reproduced, while those life forms not so well adapted did not.
This process is seen in the fact that some bacteria that make us sick – that were once cured by a shot of penicillin – are now immune to penicillin. This is because when penicillin was effective against most infections, a few bacteria, which were slightly different from the bacteria penicillin could kill, survived and reproduced to the degree that a whole new life form evolved that could eat penicillin for breakfast. There are many such examples.
The theory of evolution is the foundation of all modern medicine, and it is confirmed by all sciences. Without the knowledge evolution has provided, people would die while some religious medicine man chanted over them. A “theory” in science is not a wild guess. It is a complex body of knowledge. Gravity is a “theory.” Most people do understand that things will not fall up, no matter what their religion might say. Evolution is not so obvious. But it is just as true. Some details regarding evolution are still open to debate. The fact that evolution occurred is not.
Yet some still want everyone to believe that science is wrong and that Bronze Age myths are true. They have built a multimillion dollar sideshow called “Creation Museum.”
We who object to this dumbing down of our society do not contest creationists’ rights to believe what they will. We find it offensive that nonsense is taught as truth, supported by stupid arguments like, “Were you there?”
However, those who fear that they would rob, rape, and kill if they accepted evolution should go right on believing humans were magically made out of dirt.
Which line are you in?
Edwin Kagin of Union is a local attorney.