Georgia doesn’t have the best track record on church-state separation, but the state is working to revise its public school science curriculum to make sure students have an understanding of natural selection and evolution.
Good news from Alabama! A backdoor creationism bill has failed.
According to our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), “When the last day of the regular legislative session of the Alabama legislature ended on May 16, 2012, a bill that would have established a credit-for-creationism scheme died.”
Recently a bill reached the desk of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam that would encourage public school teachers to discuss the alleged “controversy” over evolution and offer them legal protection if they teach creationist concepts.
Haslam indicated that he opposed the so-called “monkey bill,” but he refused to veto it. Instead, he allowed it to become law without his signature.
The wall of separation between church and state is under tremendous fire in Tennessee, and we are asking Gov. Bill Haslam to help us defend it.
The state legislature has passed three measures that undermine religious liberty in public schools, and they are now sitting on the governor’s desk. One promotes creationist concepts in science classes, another allows teachers to participate in student-led religious activities and a third allows Ten Commandments displays at public schools and other public buildings.
The Supreme Court has been pretty consistent in saying that public schools may not sponsor prayer, Bible reading and other religious activities.
There is, however, a legal loophole. In a 1952 decision called Zorach v. Clauson, the high court permitted a scheme whereby public schools can allow students to leave school during the day for religious instruction elsewhere. It’s known as “released time.”
Ding, dong, the bill is dead, the creationism bill is dead!
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma has decided to table legislation that would have mandated the teaching of “creation science” in public schools. The bill had passed the Indiana Senate, albeit with a modification requiring the teaching of other theories on the origins of life on Earth from several religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Scientology.
Whenever we debate a church-state issue like religion in public schools or the use of sectarian prayers before government meetings, we must always remember there is a human face behind every one of these controversies.
Someone’s rights are being violated. Someone is being treated like a second-class citizen. Someone is being singled out because of what he or she believes about theology.
A group of religious leaders is working to dispel that idea that religion and science don’t get along.
Evolution Weekend is sponsored by the Clergy Letter Project, which seeks to inform the public that numerous clergy of multiple denominations support the teaching of evolution. To date, the project has gathered more than 13,000 signatures in support of sound science.