Friday, September 30, 2005


How Christian Fundamentalists Buy Textbooks

Having observed the Kansas science curriculum hearings first hand, we already knew that Christian fundamentalists are process oriented. We just didn't understand the process.

Now, having read the testimony of Carol "Casey" Brown, a Dover resident and former school board member who, until her resignation, opposed efforts to introduce creationism and intelligent design into the curriculum there, we think we finally see what that process is.

According to a report on the Speaking Freely blog by Amy Laura Cahn, a Community Education Organizer for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, "Mrs. Brown stated that teachers had stopped using the old [biology, RSR] books because they were not in accordance with the state mandate. They had requested the purchase of Biology by Miller and Levine. The request was denied due to budget concerns... "

At the next meeting, Mr. Buckingham continued his objections [to the Miller and Levine Biology textbook, RSR].

In addition, Mr. Bonsell [board chair, RSR] allowed Mr. Buckingham's wife to speak for 10-15 minutes, in a manner described by Mrs. Brown as akin to an "old tent revival."

"She described how to accept Christ as our personal savior. She spoke very vehemently in favor of creationism...she read from Scripture." Mrs. Brown recalled that "there were muttered amens" from board members, including Mr. Buckingham.

In the meeting, Mr. Brown [Mrs. Brown's husband, also a board member, RSR] raised concerns about the legality of bringing the subject of creationism into the schools and was called a coward by Mr. Buckingham.

Here is the process as we now understand it...

  1. Deny students and teachers the textbooks they need because there isn't enough money.
  2. Turn a public board meeting into a revival meeting and make a decision based on scripture.
  3. Vilify those who disagree with you by calling them cowards.
  4. Make a decision that will insure a long and costly court battle.
  5. Cast yourself as a representative of all Christians -- or even better, a representative of all good Christians.
  6. Cry loudly about how god's people are being victimized by heartless secularists and the media.
  7. Deny ever having made any of the statements above.
  8. Assure one and all that your decision was based solely on the best science available at the time.


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