Brett J. Vickers Marian Bergeson and Californian Creationism Marian Bergeson, the nominee
Brett J. Vickers
Marian Bergeson and Californian Creationism
Marian Bergeson, the nominee for California's state school
superintendent, was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times on April 11,
1993. Why is this in talk.origins? Because Bergeson admits to being
a Creationist, and because her predecessor, Bill Honig, was ousted in
what some have called a vendetta by Creationists and conservatives.
The interview took the form of a question and answer session. Only
one question pertained to Creationism:
Q. As a devout Mormon and a believer in Creationism, do you
think the theory of creation [?] should be taught alongside
evolution in science classes? Is there another place in
the curriculum for it?
A. Separation of church and state is something I strongly
adhere to. Creationism and the teaching about religion
belong in the social science and history framework. The
scientific theory of evolution belongs in the science
Good sign, right? But here's another Q&A:
Q. You have said you are opposed to prayer in public schools,
but that you favor students observing a moment of silence.
A. I think it should be allowed if it's the wish of the
local district. It would not be a denominational thing
or anything that would be construed as advocating a
religious belief or principle. It would be a moment
So much for her strong adherence to separation of church and state.
She's also a flip-flopper whenever it suits her political aims:
Q. You advocate continuation of the half-cent sales tax
[to support public education]. But as a legislator
you opposed continuing that tax.
A. You take on a different role when you're superintendent.
When I looked upon it as a senator, you're looking at a
lot of things, and you need to look at the complexity of
developing a budget. As superintendent, I would be an
independent advocate for kids, and in that regard I would
advocate the continuation -- at least until such time as
the economy picks up -- of that tax, with a proviso that
60% of that would go to education. The other 40% would
probably go to local government.
So, can anyone trust Marian Bergeson not to turn on a dime once she
is appointed and Creationists begin pushing their agenda on her?
No biggy, anyway. Like I said earlier, it's doubtful that she will be
elected when she has to be confirmed by the people of California. The
governor that appointed her is despised by Republicans and Democrats
alike, and her challenger is expected to do well given his record and
It was not my intention to frighten you about Marian Bergeson, but
merely to highlight what I felt were inconsistencies in her answers
and in her record. What I think you should ask yourself is why Ms.
Bergeson wants to impose a moment of silence on some children. What
educational purpose would it serve? I argue that it serves none.
Instead, the "moment of silence" is just a cheap attempt to smuggle
religion into the classroom in the most subtle way possible. The
fundamentalists know they cannot put prayer into the classroom; the
Supreme Court has already said as much. So what do they do? They
notch their hopes down one mark and request a so-called moment of
silence. Cheap facade. When you look at the people who are pushing
it, you observe that they are the same people who were pushing school
If Bergeson cannot see that a "moment of silence" is tantamount to a
watered down version of school prayer, what is to prevent her from
seeing "scientific Creationism" as a watered down version of the book
I think that the appointment of Bergeson reeks. I hope that the
legislature fries her and the governor. I should think that Pete
Wilson's hidden ajenda for wanting to get rid of the former
superintendant, Bill Honeg, that it would appease the Far Right
factions in the Republican Party of California, which include known
Creationist sympathizers, should be sufficient cause to oppose
Bergeson BECAUSE she is a Mormon, and probably agrees with some
of those religionists who are sympathetic to Creationism. The
matter is purely political, and what Bergeson says doesn't matter
that much because she can be coopted by the governor and her
political party to act out a plan. The governor may be trying to
cozy up to the Far Right because of its new power in his party
because if he doesn't he will surely be out of office next year.
He may be out of office anyway as one of the must unpopular
governors in the state's history...you talk about gridlock!
Remember that Honeg riled (is that an unintended pun?) Wilson
by being aggressive on budget matters, and Wilson, looking over his
right shoulder, heard all the Moromons, Seventh Day Adventists, and
God knows whatever strange Christian sects and televangistist down
there in Orange and San Diago Counties, Wilson is a former mayor of
San Diago, carp about Honeg's views on teaching Evolution, had Dan
Lungrin, the Atty. General. pursue the conflict of interest case, on
a tip from a State School Board member who is from "Down There" and
is on record for being sympathetic toward Creationism.
I hope that Bergeson is crucified before the Confirmation
Board, and the Governor next year, and the GOP in California after
that if it is not resuced from Right Wing Christian groups. In fact
what I hope is that the U.S. would give a few southern counties of
California, is that Alta Caliornia?, back to Mexico with the idea
that this Catholic country has a reinactent there of the Spainish
Inquisition on a few of those wierd Christian, and other strange
sects "Down There", you know those Wacco types. :-) After all it
is the 500th anniversery of the Inquisition! :-) Maybe it would
be fun for the Mexicans to turn the tables on Gringos with strange
ideas :-) :-)
I am only half laughing. It is clear that there are alot of
people in the southern half of the state who got a little soft in
the head, you know: Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Pat Brown Jr.,
George Dukemaigian, Paul Gann. Time to split California North and
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank