I got a very annoying announcement on our university listserv today. Among the usual community and campus events, it says:
Please mark your calendars: Don Bierle, PhD in Biology, polar explorer, and former skeptic, shares FaithSearch Discovery at Morris Area High School Sunday, September 27, 6:30 pm. This event is sponsored by Stevens County Ministerial and area churches.
This really pisses me off.
Our local high school has problems. It’s underfunded, it’s academically compromised in many ways, and we were immensely relieved to get our kids out of there. It’s a small school, with a total of two science teachers, and one of them is openly creationist and openly dismissive of evolution in the classroom. If you want a good science education, Morris Area High School is not the place to go right now. And this doesn’t help.
Don Bierle is a creationist, a certifiable liar for Jesus, an evangelical, fundamentalist wackjob who is coming to town to lie to the community and to our kids. This FaithSearch program is undiluted Christian apologetics, and it’s going to be presented in our school building.
I called the school, and they gave me a runaround about how it wasn’t during school hours, and the churches were renting the room. I assumed all that; it doesn’t matter. This is a group promoting propaganda antithetical to the educational message of the public school. They are going to be teaching lies to the Morris community, and the school doesn’t care that their facilities are being used for this ghastly purpose. If it were the KKK asking to rent a room, there would be squawks and rapid backpedaling…but because this group is sponsored by a mix of our local churches, it must be OK.
It isn’t OK. It’s just more evidence that our theistically inclined brethren are happy to corrupt education and spread more ignorance through the area.
Any locals who happen to read this: if the school promotes this at all, if it’s mentioned in announcements, newsletters, or flyers; if our dear little creationist teacher, Mrs. Franey, even whispers a word about this dishonest performance in her class, I hope there are a few of you willing to spread the word and pound on the school hard. This is not the way to improve the academic status of our community. I also hope a few biologists and biology students attend, if it goes on, and puts a little public smackdown on this pious phony.
I’m also a bit peeved that my university sees fit to promote this garbage to our faculty and staff.