It seems that "Americans United for Separation of Church and State" have once again caught the subversive whiff of heterodoxy and rebellion. The current offender against evolutionary orthodoxy goes by the name of "intelligent design," and it refers to the notion that irreducible complexity is not the product of random action. The school district in question is obviously trying to sneak a fast one past right-thinking folk everywhere:
Superintendent John Wight, who did not immediately return a phone call for comment, said last week that the class, "Philosophy of Design," was not being taught as science and was an opportunity for students to debate the controversial issue.
But you have to get up a little earlier in the morning than that, to fool the watchdogs of vigilance at Americans United:
"The course was designed to advance religious theories on the origins of life, including creationism and its offshoot, 'intelligent design,"' the lawsuit said. "Because the teacher has no scientific training, students are not provided with any critical analysis of this presentation."
And, speaking of the teacher, we haven't heard the worst yet -- no, not by a long shot!
The class is taught by social studies teacher Sharon Lemburg, whose husband is an Assembly of God pastor.
Not only that, but the Sacred Principle of Equal Time is being violated:
The five-member school board was divided when it learned about the class last month and discovered three guest lecturers were scheduled in support of intelligent design but none for evolution.
A few questions occur to me.
If a class in which the words "intelligent design" were heard was taught by a teacher with "scientific training," would it be OK? (I didn't think so.)
In a typical righteous, upstanding, Darwinist biology class, are any lecturers scheduled to support a non-evolutionary position? (Yeah, right.)
Have any orthodox Darwinist biology teachers been subject to investigations of the occupations of their spouses? Could any of them be married to ... uh ... atheists, by any chance?
Why is it that so many right-thinking, progressive, rational, scientific heirs of the Enlightenment seem to think that the way to handle dissenting views is to suppress them, by force of law? Why do so many who claim to value a scientific viewpoint respond only with the "argument from authority," followed by McCarthyesque guilt-by-association (the teacher's husband is a pastor!!!)? Whatever happened to the glorious "marketplace of ideas?"
By the way, "separation of church and state" is probably a fine idea (I include the qualifier only because of the contemporary uncertainty about what is meant by the phrase). But it's worth wondering, I think, as the state claims more and more territory in our lives: if the church is to be excluded from every area in which the state asserts control or authority, what space, exactly, is going to be left for the church? While pondering that question, keep in mind that the flush capacity of the water closet in your home is determined from Washington.