Sunday, May 22, 2005


Heresy Makes A Comeback

Let's say for a moment that the biblical literalists, aided of course by their intelligent design general staff, succeed in breaking down the wall between science and religion, and the separation between church and state.

What will our public schools look like afterward?

We don't need a crystal ball to find the answer to that question. We don't even have to guess. All we have to do is look at what happens to teachers who don't toe a strict biblical literalist line at religious colleges and universities. At those institutions, there's no such thing as academic freedom.

The Huntington College Board of Trustees, for example, recently fired John Sanders, a popular religion and philosophy professor for teaching "Open Theism." Huntington College, which is affiliated with the United Brethren in Christ, rejects "Open Theism" -- the notion that human beings have freewill and that God knows what has happened in the past, but does not know what will happen in the future.

Likewise Richard Colling, the chairman of the biology department at Olivet Nazarene University, is under attack for writing The Random Designer, a book in which he says evolution has stood the test of time and considerable scrutiny.

Anthony J. Diekema, the former president of Calvin College, has no problem with that. If you hire someone to promote Coca Cola, says Diekema, and they plug Pepsi, they won't be drawing a paycheck from Coke for very long.

In their own schools, fundamentalists dispense with all the "teach the controversy" nonsense they preach to the rest of us, and they will do the same thing in public schools if we are foolish enough to allow them to.


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