Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Buckingham’s Second Lie Under Oath

In addition to the first documented lie by former Dover school board member William Buckingham, there was another huge contradiction between his deposition answers and his testimony during the trial. This one involves the question of where the 60 copies of the book Of Pandas and People that were donated to the school actually came from. I’m going to post first Buckingham’s answers during his January 3, 2005 deposition on this subject. Then I’ll show you what he said during cross examination during the trial. When asked where those books came from in his deposition, Buckingham said that he didn’t know and didn’t care, but he thought they might be “tied to” board president Alan Bonsell. Beyond that, Buckingham was blissfully ignorant of where those books might have come from. The text of his deposition begins below the fold:

Q: Do you know where that came from, who donated them?

A: No, I don’t.

Q: You have no idea?

A: I have thoughts, but I don’t know.

Q: What are your thoughts?

A: I think it could have a tie to Alan Bonsell, who was board president at that time.

Q: Why do you think – I know you’re not saying it was, but why do you think it might have ties to Mr. Bonsell?

A: Because he was president of the board at that time, and I just deduced that from that…

Q: Were you ever at a board meeting where someone asked who donated the book to the school, in fact, Larry Snook, a former board member, asking who donated it?

A: I think he expressed a wonder type thing over where they came from. I don’t think – I don’t remember anybody asking directly where they came from.

Q: Were you curious to know where it came from?

A: I know they came from someone in the public sector. I know we didn’t use taxpayer funds to pay for it.

Q: Did you ask where it came from?

A: No.

Q: Why didn’t you ask?

A: Didn’t want to know.

Q: Why didn’t you want to know?

A: What purpose would it serve?

Q: Well, because you’re a board member and the school district is part of your responsibility as a board member, and maybe knowing where these books came from would be something that you should know.

A: No. I think it was a wonderful gesture, and I didn’t concern myself with where they came from.

Well reading that, you’d think that a basket full of copies of this book washed up on the shore of the river wrapped in swaddling clothes, with Buckingham having no earthly idea where they came from, or dropped from the sky like manna. Now here’s the York Daily Record’s report of his cross-examination in court on Thursday:

Former Dover Area School board member Bill Buckingham struggled to clarify Thursday how he raised $850 at his church for copies of the textbook “Of Pandas and People” even though earlier he gave a deposition saying he didn’t know how the books were donated to the high school…

Buckingham lobbied for the use of “Pandas,” which supports intelligent design, as a companion to the textbook “Biology.” But in the summer of 2004, the district decided not to spend taxpayer money on “Pandas.”

During testimony in federal court Thursday, Buckingham said he went to his church, Harmony Grove Community Church, for help.

“I said there is a need, if you want to donate that’s fine,” Buckingham testified. “There is a need.”

Buckingham specified that he never “asked” for money from the congregation. It gave $850.

Thursday, Buckingham testified that he wrote a check dated Oct. 4, 2004, to Donald Bonsell, the father of board member Alan Bonsell, for that amount with a note saying the money was for “Pandas” books.

The money had come from the congregation, Buckingham testified. Because it was in cash except for one check, he said he didn’t know the donors’ names…

He testified that he gave the check to Alan Bonsell to give to his father.

So in January, he’s as bewildered as all of us as to where they came from. He muses that perhaps there was some connection to Bonsell, but he doesn’t know for sure. And whoever did it, it was a kind gesture. But the truth is that he himself solicited donations to purchase the books and wrote a check to Bonsell for the purchase of the books himself. In fact, he knew precisely where the books came from. And remember, this lie is brought to you by the same folks who claim that evolution undermines morality. But apparently, lying for Jesus is perfectly okay.

Comments

  1. #1 Jim Anderson
    October 30, 2005

    I’m looking for some backers for “Breaking Wind,” a slightly fictionalized movie of the Dover Trial.

  2. #2 raj
    October 31, 2005

    This is positively devastating in regards this particular case, but it would be best if we could defeat them on the merits.

  3. #3 Ginger Yellow
    October 31, 2005

    Even as a militant atheist, I think “lying for Jesus” is unfair to him. Lying for Moses is much more accurate.

  4. #4 Dave S.
    October 31, 2005

    Interesting.

    If it was simply a kind gesture, you’d have to wonder why he wasn’t at least curious enough to ask who donated them, if only to make sure that person was thanked.

    Oh that’s right….it’s because he’s a lying dirtbag.

    raj makes a good point. Now the IDiots might well simply blame the local school board for the debacle. Assuming the case gets lost. But it’s still a debacle either way thanks to Behe’s lack of performance. Now if only Bill “I’d love to get evolution in court” Dembski would get on stand. There’s a show and a half.