I don’t know whether it’s by design or fortuitous incompetence, but creationists are masters of the fuzzy statement that opens the doors to all kinds of new opportunities for ignorance. Missouri, for instance, just passed a law giving themselves the freedom to pray (a freedom they already had, which is not in peril) and at the same time, just had to toss in this lovely and dangerous clause: no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs.
Raise your hand if you think you can spot the potential problem there.
Missouri has just passed a law declaring that students can opt out of any part of the curriculum that they find objectionable to their faith, and we all know what that means: evolution and climate change are all now optional. And you know that that’s what this clause will be used for, to shut down big chunks of science that contradict religious idiocy.
And look at this. This is why I can’t tell sometimes if creationists are just incredibly stupid or incredibly cunning.
Mike Hoey, a supporter of the amendment and executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, thinks that Rosenau is “overanalyzing” the language in the amendment. “I don’t think this will affect science in the classroom in any significant way,” he says. “I think the vast majority of students will want to participate in all units of their science classes.” The amendment makes no mention of providing an alternative curriculum, Hoey adds. So any student who opts out of a biology lesson, he says, “will need to face the consequences” of missing those lessons.
Right. So putting that ‘objectionable’ material on the exams and making grades dependent on learning it will not be considered a way to compel students to perform or participate in work that goes against their religious beliefs? Nonsense. Hoey is being disingenuous here. Of course it will affect how science is taught. There are students who will, even in the absence of deep religious belief, use this clause to exempt themselves from difficult bits of their classwork.
Not only will it affect science teaching, its proponents intend for it to cripple instruction in evolution and any other science that crosses their benighted worldview. Hoey is either a liar or so brainless his eyes probably roll back into his cranium every time he looks up.