The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a lawsuit that aimed to stop the teaching of evolution in public schools.
The case was brought by a group called Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE). In the lawsuit, members of the group asserted that the state’s science standards permit “only atheistic/materialistic answers to ultimate religious questions.”
A federal court didn’t find that argument persuasive and dismissed the case. That ruling was later upheld by an appeals court. The unsuccessful appeal to the Supreme Court means the legal action is over.
The state of Kansas has a complicated relationship with the theory of evolution.
In 1999, the state attracted international attention when the Kansas Board of Education voted to remove virtually all references to evolution from the science standards.
Over the weekend, The New York Times ran a story about a trend among far-right conservatives in Kansas who call public schools “government schools.”
The idea is that a shift in terminology will change opinions. After all, to many people, “public” equals good, while “government” equals bad.
As Erica Massman, a moderate Republican, told The Times, “They are trying to rebrand public education.”
A Kansas-based creationist group has lost its latest challenge to science curriculum standards that teach evolution as fact.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in April that Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) had not adequately proved its members were harmed by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A district court judge dismissed COPE’s original complaint in 2014.
A Kansas-based creationist group has lost a legal challenge to science education standards in public schools. Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) filed suit against the Kansas Board of Education in 2013 to block implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards because, COPE asserted, they encouraged schools to promote atheism to children.
Members of a motorcycle club called Journey 4 Justice pled not guilty to picketing a religious event in November. The group maintains a presence outside Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., where its members use a large American flag to hide the church’s offensive anti-gay signs.
Attorneys with Americans United recently warned Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach to stop using his office to promote Christianity and to cease coercing employees to attend religious services.
Let’s say some people at a company want to get together during lunch hour and hold a Bible study. It’s totally voluntary, and they don’t pressure anyone else to attend. This is not likely to cause any problems.
But let’s say the boss organized the Bible study and attends it regularly. Now we might have a problem if subordinates are coerced to attend overtly or even subtly. (If, for example, those who attend get in good with the boss and are first in line for promotions, raises, etc.)
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback today issued executive order 15-05, which purports to prohibit the state from discriminating against religious organizations that hold “the belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” What the order really does is sanction government-funded discrimination, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.