To: All Msg #135, May2193 04:04PM Subject: Re: News: School board eases creationism stand

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From: Bruce Salem To: All Msg #135, May-21-93 04:04PM Subject: Re: News: School board eases creationism stand Organization: Stanford Univ. Earth Sciences From: salem@pangea.Stanford.EDU (Bruce Salem) Message-ID: <1tjqli$> Newsgroups: Again, there is the question about how much extremism is concentrated in San Diago and Orange Counties, and why. Even if Right Wingers and Conservative Christian groups are not a numerical majority down there, they seem to be particularly well funded and organized and are part of a long tradition of extremism that goes back to Nixon and Reagan in their younger days and before. The overall effect is not confined to So. Cal, as evidenced an interview I heard with Pat Robenson of the Christian Coelition that was aired on CNN about two sundays ago. This was on the eve of a vote for School Boards in New York City. It seems that the Archdiocese of New York had formed an, ahem, unholy alience with the Protestant groups favoring a conservative agenda, antigay, anti-abortion, pro Creationist, and allowed their literature on public policy matters to be distrubuted in Catholic churches. I do not have a transcript of what Robenson said, but he was very careful and at one point said that he favored a discussion of origins which included "The Cosmogeny in Genesis." without mentioning either the words evolution or creationism. BTW what was the result of that referendum. Did the CC get what it wanted? The political strategy of the Conservative Christian Groups is well known. It has been discussed in many articles in the press and is evidant in their efforts to take over the Republican Party. It is a grass roots effort aimed at local government, whose candidates have the least resources to resist a well-funded and nationally mobilized effort. It is aimed at School Boards, presumably to get Creationism into the schools, and County Bds. of Supervisors, to get discriminitary ordinances passed. The reason for this attack is that these groups have failed to some extant to get state and national power. In article <> (Brett J. Vickers) writes: >SCHOOL BOARD EASES CREATIONISM STAND > >By Michael Granberry, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer >May 21, 1993 > >OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Hundreds of parents crowded into a middle school >gymnasium Thursday night and shouted opinions about whether their >children should be taught creationism in the public schools of nearby >Vista. [...] >Near the end of the nearly three-hour meeting, board President Deidre >Holliday agreed to soften the language of the policy that she and >another member had introduced. Instead of finding "weaknesses that >substationally challenge theories of evolution," Holliday said the >policy should explore weaknesses that challenge "any theory of >science." Of course she means any doctrine that challenges her religion. This is code for prejudice. If she could challenge science on the terms of science or challenge it with a opinion openly stated and free of prejudice and rhetoric, that is different. As this group is testemony, no person has ever challenged evolution with Creationism through an argument that is not fonded on mere reliigous prejudice. If someone (e.g. Bales) has a hidden agenda he does not talk about, we have inferred, in almost every case, that his view relies on assumptions based on religion of some sort. As such views may be guessed but cannot be openly and honestly discussed, they are in these cases, prejudices, by definition. [...] >It has also brought national attention to Vista, a San Diego County >bedroom community of 76,000 being viewed as the bellwether of >fundamentalist Christians' attempts to influence school curricula. Does anyone know what religious groups are active in Vista, and whether the place has a high percentage of funnymentalists? My guess is that it is a hot bed of same. Does anyone know how well these groups are funded and if it is possible that their influience violates any election finance laws? Also, lets debate whether chruch assets not used directly to maintenence of a place of worship or cherity are properly taxed, and whether these groups are properly regulated as PACS. I do worry that they have inordinate influience because of loopholes in the law that ought to be plugged. Making a guess about Televangalism, this arena must be chock full of abuses, given that there are probably tens of millions of dollars involved, more than enough to dominate the regional politics. Of course, I would like to see unfair advantage given to some group I oppose curtailed, and I would expect groups I support to obey the same rules. I am concerned that because of their free speech or freedom of worship protections that some of the more radical churches have cynically taken advantage of the law to raise funds and to wield political influience they shouldn't have. Bruce Salem


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