Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The Florida Baptist Witness displays two faces to the world:
Concerning the "academic freedom" bill, notably sponsored by legislators who are identified as members of Baptist churches:
Retired Polk County science teacher Robin Brown who taught science for 31 years, including 15 years of teaching Darwinian evolution, said without the academic freedom bill she is "very concerned about the chilling effect that Florida's new science standards might have upon teacher academic freedom."On the other hand, concerning the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, the Southern Baptist Convention's confession of faith:
Brown, a member of First Baptist Church of the Mall in Lakeland, added, "I believe in light of the new standards many teachers are presently unclear about the boundaries of how they can teach evolution."
She rejected critics' claims that the academic freedom bill will result in teaching Intelligent Design or creationism.
"I'm not talking about teaching religion in the science classroom. I would never support that and, in fact, this bill does not support that," Brown said.
[T]he Baptist Faith and Message affirms that God created humans. The issue of evolution precipitated the origin of the first edition of the Baptist Faith and Message in 1925. In the context of cultural wars over Darwinism fought in every major American Protestant denomination and the famous Tennessee "Scopes Monkey trial," Baptists denied humans descended from primates with the affirmation that "Man is the special creation of God." God made humans a little lower than Elohim (Ps.8:5), rather than a little higher than other animals. In fact, the Bible presents humans as the crown or apex of God's creation.Brown already revealed the level of the so-called "information relevant to the full range of views on biological and chemical origins" that will be foisted off on some Florida children as "scientific," if this bill becomes law. It is nothing but quote mining, misinformation and misdirection, borrowed wholesale by the "cdesign proponentsists" from "creation science" with nothing but a coat of cheap paint slapped on.
Anyone with the least lick of sense can see through this ploy as nothing more than an attempt to permit the use of taxpayer money and the power of government endorsement to support a narrow sectarian religious denial of the science of evolution. So, unless these people don't have a lick of sense, they are knowingly dissembling to the public and the very students they have a duty to educate.
But at the drop of a hat they'll tell you that, without religion, there can be no morality ... while striving mightily to demonstrate the exact opposite.
They really are hopelessly two-faced on these matters, and we have no reason to believe any better of the legislators who are pushing it.
And I'll repeat what I've written elsewhere: Anyone genuinely interested in the principle of academic freedom would not think to impose it merely with respect to chemical and biological evolution, it would cover all subjects. It's bizarre to claim a universal principle, then explicitly seek a specific, rather than a universal, application of that "principle."