Friday, November 18, 2005


Awbrey: Gettysburg of the Culture War

"A year ago this August, the Kansas Board of Education fired a shot heard around the academic world," wrote Kate Beem in a July of 2000 article titled "In Kansas Board of Education races, more is at stake than seats" in the Kansas City Star,
The target was the teaching of evolution, and the board's vote to play down the importance of Charles Darwin's theory of how species changed over eons ignited a firestorm of debate across the Midwest and the world.

Applauded by conservatives but ridiculed by commentators, the decision by the state's top education governing body has become a battle cry. And now, as Kansas voters prepare to go to the polls in August to select candidates for the November election, conservatives and moderates are girding for battle.

"This is the Gettysburg of the culture war," said David Awbrey, a syndicated conservative columnist living in Lawrence. "It's that important. It really is. Kansas is an icon for the rest of the country for what middle America is."

It was Gettysburg, alright, and the conservatives were on the losing side. Angry voters swept conservative school board members out of office in that election.


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