Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Haynes on NCBCPS Lawsuit

Charles Haynes of the First Amendment Center has a column about the ACLU’s lawsuit over the NCBCPS Bible curriculum in which he says that the outcome of this trial could be nationally significant:

Far more is at stake in this case than a couple of Bible classes in Odessa. That’s because the material used in the course is produced by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, a North Carolina-based organization supported by many conservative Christian advocacy groups.

The National Council’s Web site claims that its curriculum “has been voted into 382 school districts in 37 states.” Although these numbers are impossible to confirm (as the council won’t reveal locations), it is clear from news reports (and calls I get) that this curriculum is sparking controversy in a growing number of communities. A legal setback in Ector County could put the brakes on the National Council’s efforts nationwide.


He’s quite right. The parallels between this case and the Dover trial are many, not least because the push for getting the Bible in to public schools is part of a larger push that includes getting ID into public schools. For the religious right, these are two items on the agenda, each focused on “getting God back in the schools.” Like the push for ID, both sides have been looking for a test case where the facts are most favorable for the outcome they prefer. And as Haynes points out, like Dover, the case could be the first major blow to the nationwide push for the Bible curriculum.

Comments

  1. #1 Sean
    May 28, 2007

    Thank you. We mostly silently lurkers truly do appreciate your work.

    Any ideas on the timeframes involved in a case such as this? Is 2008 a possibility for resolution or is a more distant future likely.

    Generally I push for the wheels of justice to spin a tad faster, but after the entertainment value of Dover… I honestly have no problem with this stretching out for many years to come.

  2. #2 Ed Brayton
    May 28, 2007

    If it goes like the Dover case, expect a response in a few weeks from the school district. Then they’ll take a few weeks to see if they can work out a settlement, which doesn’t sound likely. Then they’ll spend a little time going back and forth with motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment. Then they’ll schedule things out. I expect a trial late this year or early next year, but that’s just based on the Dover trial, which was filed in December 2005 and took place in September and October 2005.

  3. #3 Callandor
    May 29, 2007

    Thanks a lot Ed for keeping an eye on this. Can’t wait for more updates.