Saturday, November 04, 2006
There are only a few days left before the elections. From the point of view of keeping science and science education, if not healthy, at least still breathing in America, there are some races you should be interested in:
Tom Sawyer versus Deborah Owens Fink for the Ohio Board of Education
Ms. Owens Fink is one of the architects of the recently ousted "teach the controversy" ploy to "backdoor" the religious doctrine of Intelligent Design into the public schools of Ohio. She is continuing to push yet another substitute scam consisting of "guidelines" to teach "controversial topics" that amounts to nothing more than expanding the "teach the controversy" misdirection to -- quelle surprise -- other bugaboos of the Righteous Right, such as global warming, cloning and stem-cell research. Owens Fink is a particularly ignorant example of pious politician who has regularly denigrated scientists and science, while Mr. Sawyer, on the other hand, is a former teacher, State Representative, Mayor of Akron and Congressman, whose qualifications make his choice over Owens Fink such an obvious one that the creationism issue is almost an afterthought.
Bacon and Willard are members of the group of radical religious conservatives whose single-minded intent to turn Kansas into an educational laughingstock may play a significant role in turning that reliably red state more than a little purple. Their little domino helped touch off quite a few defections of Kansas Republicans to the Democratic party because more rational members of the party are tired of being tied to the lunatic social agendas demanded by the religious right. That, in turn, might just spark a wider national rejection of the Righteous Right's kool-aid. The people of Kansas should thank Bacon and Willard by giving them the time to contemplate their role in recent events in a suitable location ... at home.
Sandy Garrett versus Bill Crozier for Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction
Crozier, besides wanting to incorporate intelligent design material into classrooms, is the bright light who also proposed employing used textbooks as shields for children in case of armed invasions of the schools and topped that by suggesting that book covers be made out of Kevlar. 'Nuff said.
Other races where the fight against turning our public schools into madrasas is at least a consideration:
Jennifer Granholm versus Dick DeVos for Governor of Michigan
DeVos tried to hide his social agenda of promoting sectarian religious positions with taxpayer money but, much to the chagrin of his Republican handlers, he let slip his support of teaching Intelligent Design Creationism in Michigan's public schools.
And let's not forget:
Bob Casey Jr. versus Rick Santorum for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania
Santorum has been a long-time supporter of ID and tried to sneak a provision promoting the teaching of ID into the No Child Left Behind Act.
I'm sure I'm leaving out many contests where creationism is or should be an issue. Find out what your local candidates' position is on creationism and education and vote accordingly.
As to the above races, if you are in the jurisdiction, Vote! If you are nearby, Volunteer! Wherever you are, Donate!