Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) recently tried arguing in court that teaching the science of evolution in Kansas schools, without a “religious explanation” for how our universe was created, would turn kids into atheists. They billed it as indoctrination on the highest level into what they implied was the “religion” of atheism.
COPE’s central argument for this is a bit of a brain bender, but here it is:
The purpose of the indoctrination is to establish the religious Worldview, not to deliver to an age appropriate audience an objective and religiously neutral origins science education that seeks to inform.
COPE also said, “Kansas schoolchildren will be subtly manipulated into rejecting their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
It’s good Jesus has these people on his side, since he can’t deal with a textbook.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver disagreed with COPE when it upheld a lower court’s ruling that teaching science is not the same as teaching religion and that teaching religion in public schools is wrong because the Constitution of the United States still exists.
This whole sorry affair came about after Kansas adopted “Next Generation Science Standards” in 2013. No, NGSS isn’t some hokey name for a religious “anti-knowing things” agenda. It’s a legitimate program that was developed by actual scientific organizations and teachers, and yes backward red-state Kansas really did adopt it. It also does NOT include room for teaching magical mumbo-jumbo like creationism as an alternative to being smart and learning about evolution.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State had this to say:
It’s a nonsensical argument, which is why courts have unanimously rejected it. COPE, it seems, isn’t interested in promoting facts; it’s interested in forcing public schools to conduct far-right religious and political indoctrination.
If only “Christians” devoted one-tenth of the effort they put into getting into fights on Jesus’ behalf towards some actual things he said, like feeding the hungry. That’s too much to ask, though, because then they don’t get to hurt anyone in the process.
Featured image via Blue Cereal