Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Reaction to Cobb County Settlement

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports on the settlement of the Cobb County case and the reaction from some of the folks on the other side. The reactions are quite telling. Here’s the woman who led the fight for the stickers:

Marjorie Rogers, the Cobb parent who led the drive that resulted in the stickers’ placement, said she was disappointed.

“The stickers were just a compromise the school board made to satisfy those of us who were offended by the material in the textbooks,” said Rogers, a creationist. She added that “the textbooks are inaccurate and biased and unconstitutional.”

What is telling about that statement is this: one of the arguments made by the plaintiffs in the first trial was that the purpose of the sticker was just to placate those religious groups who oppose evolution and that it therefore did not have a genuine secular purpose. Rogers is essentially admitting that to be true. Of course, the whole idea that disclaimers should be put in textbooks to placate the ignorant is absurd. There is some religious group that objects to practically every well-supported idea in the world.

If you’re going to placate the anti-evolutionists and young earthers, why not placate the Christian Scientists and put disclaimers in the health textbooks saying that the germ theory of disease is “only a theory” and that one should approach it with an open mind? Why not placate the geocentrists and the flat earthers as well? Their religious views are just as strongly held as the anti-evolution crowd. How about disclaimers in history and anthropology textbooks to placate the Mormons who think that Jesus came here and preached to white people in the Americas 2000 years ago? Teach the controversy!

But by far, the best reaction is from one of the other sticker supporters:

Larry Taylor, one of the parents who originally lobbied the school board for the stickers, expressed frustration at the decision to settle. He blamed the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the parents who sued the school district.

“They were trying to do the right thing,” said Taylor, a parent of three Cobb students. “It’s terrorist organizations like the ACLU that are hijacking our country’s educational system by imposing their own secular agenda on the rest of us.”

Can we just get past comparing everything we don’t like to terrorists now? Seriously, it’s just idiotic rhetoric and it kills whatever little credibility you may have thought you had.


  1. #1 Lettuce
    December 21, 2006

    Just as an aside, it might be difficult to touch on psychology in a public school is the Scientologists got wind of it.

    As I get older I get more depressed, there is no concept so settled that it can’t be made “controversial” and subject to the “fairness” of “teaching the controversy.”

    For all the talk of “PC”, there is nothing so “PC” as a wingnut and his or her “fairness” arguments to bolster ginned up stupidity.

  2. #2 plunge
    December 21, 2006

    No, we cannot get past it, because Bill O’Reily and others keep reinforcing it and repeating it every chance they get.

  3. #3 dogmeatIB
    December 21, 2006

    Well I believe that the “theory” of aerodynamics is a farce, if G-d wanted us to fly, he’d have given us wings like birds have. Therefore I require that all airports be closed, since no one is really flying anywhere, and that the stamp “airmail” be declared unconstitutional, since it infringes upon my religious beliefs!

    I teach in a district that has a large number of YEC and other fundamentalist Christian belief structures. The counselors said, their #1 and #2 complaints that they get from parents are related to biology classes, and government classes respectively. The first because they “gasp” teach evolution, the second because, at times, we talk about pesky things like the 1st amendment, Dover decision, etc., and don’t condemn both when they don’t fit into their narrow interpretation of what is the Truth!

  4. #4 Rhampton
    December 21, 2006

    I would love to see a disclaimer on all of the nation’s stickers, stamps, tapes and glues:

    This material contains adhesive forces. Adhesive forces are theoretical, not fact, in regards to the stickiness of things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

  5. #5 twincats
    December 22, 2006

    Why do the schools have to “teach the controversy?” If not everyone finds something controversial?

    Parents should jolly well take the time to teach the controversy their own damn selves; then they would at least have to pay attention to what their kids are doing in school! Win – win situation.

    Yes, I know the real reason for the whole mess is to get religion in the classroom, but those who don’t want any part of that could adopt a “Teach the Controversy – At Home!” campaign.

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