Texas has McLeroy driving pro-science people out of the Texas Education Agency, so Florida must be feeling left behind: a member of their state board of education has recently declared her opposition to evolution in the schools.
State Board of Education member Donna Callaway says she’ll be voting against the proposed new state science standards because evolution “should not be taught to the exclusion of other theories of origin of life” and says she hopes “there will be times of prayer throughout Christian homes and churches directed toward this issue.”
“As a SBOE member, I want those prayers,” Callaway said, according to a Nov. 30 column in the Florida Baptist Witness, a weekly newspaper based in Jacksonville that is an official organ of the Florida Baptist Convention. “I want God to be part of this. Isn’t that ironic?”
Florida Citizens for Science has been on top of this for some time. It’s completely incomprehensible to me: the court precedent is very clear that you don’t get to insert your sectarian religious beliefs into the public schools, yet these bizarre creationist uprisings always begin with some clueless, bleating official on a school board babbling about bringing back prayer and god and appealing for Christian support. I thought for a while we might have to seriously worry about a new DI strategy of more effectively divorcing themselves from religion, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards: they are whining about religious persecution in the Gonzalez tiff, and we can reliably trust their followers to bring out the sacred, holy knife of their blessed lord Jesus and publicly slit their own throats with it, guaranteeing that the case will never be seen as a secular issue.
So now I’m wondering which state is going to have the dubious privilege of hosting the next spectacular time-waster of court case. Texas is looking good, and that would be a nice place to drive a stake into the creationist movement, but Florida is coming on strong. There are also tales of a few smoldering possibilities in Louisiana. Or perhaps some dark horse crazy will come galloping out of one of the northern states and surprise us. We should start a pool.