Blindly Supporting Blind Faith


American taxpayers are supporting more and more private faith-based schools, including anti-science creationist curricula, whether you like it or not.

Consider this, from an article draft that I am currently writing with Sir Harold Kroto:

From 1980 to 2001, the opening of private schools outpaced public schools by nearly two to one (15,131 vs. 8,130). During the same period, the number of private schools increased by 73% whereas the number of public schools only increased by 9%. Current data show that about two out of five schools are private, compared to one out of four in 1980. Three out of four private schools are faith-based and they serve more than 6 million children.

From a post by Rachel Tabachnick:

...the state of Pennsylvania and its Education Improvement Tax Credit program or EITC, the oldest and second largest corporate tax credit program in the country. Pennsylvania was the site of Kitzmiller v. Dover, which unfolded in 2005 in the full glare of the press. Meanwhile an end run has been made around this case and other well-publicized battles over curriculum. The EITC program, with little press or controversy, is providing taxpayer funding for private schools that have no accountability to the public whatsoever. Taxes of all types owed by businesses to the state, are diverted to "scholarships" for private schools. In Florida, the largest of these programs, over 80% of the students subsidized by tax credits are attending religious schools, many of them using fundamentalist curricula.

This 5 3/4 minute video is a preview of the 34-minute video "School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias."

"School choice" programs are diverting taxpayer funds to private schools that teach young earth creationism, hostility toward other religions and other sectors of Christianity, and a version of history that is biased and often factually incorrect.

I would like to thank Chris Rodda, author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History, for bringing this video to my attention:

This is a preview of a must see video by two of my friends and Talk2Action colleagues. You ain't gonna believe what they found being taught in taxpayer funded schools!

What can be done to stop such madness?

More like this

But they don't pay 1,000th as much as for the catastrophic global warming scam do they?

By any objective standards the warming fraud is costing many orders of magnitude more and has the potential to do far more harm to science because many of the prime propagandists on it are passing themselves off as scientists. Is it possible for somebody who respects scientific principles to spend more time questioning creationism, or even homeopathy than warming alarmism?

"What can be done to stop such madness?"

Make a dent in superstition-based thinking? I don't know, there's a whopping big chunk of sanctimonious humanity out there that's mighty fond of its right to be vile and ignorant. They even consider it a public good.

Just keep hammering away, showing it in simple terms for what it is. (The terms have to be kept clear, simple, friendly, and dramatic, because part of this foolishness is a brain clogged with misdirection and pious-sounding mumbo jumbo. No small part of the problem is the tendency to speak in archaic and holy turns of phrase that preclude thoughtful engagement, followed by a headlong dive into the weeds arguing finer points of crap that doesn't mean anything.)

By I. Snarlalot (not verified) on 30 Jun 2011 #permalink

Man, Neil, you don't give up, do you?

Anyhow, the more disturbing thing to me is the American History curricula. I shudder to think what they have to say about Native people. And I'd be curious as to what they have to say about slavery.

I missed the bigotry, but the bias and scientific misinformation are indeed appalling.

Also it is a little misleading to say/imply as the video does in the beginning 'many think private religious schools provide a superior education but here's what's actually going on'. Yes, Catholic schools have an good academic reputation and they do teach evolution.

It is hard to understand how this is legal, that taxpayer money is diverted to religious schools. According to the video, businesses can choose to have their taxes diverted to the program. Really? We can set up programs so that people can CHOOSE where their taxes go? And it is legal to use taxpayer money to teach a particular religious view?

I usually avoid all the religious-hate on the sci blogs, but this is downright child abuse, to keep everyday scientific knowledge away from children.

As far as the cultural stuff, I think there are already so many biases that it is hard to parse out. The scientific side is almost frightening, the training of children to be idiots that believe fairy tale versions of science in the 21st century.

At the same time it's frustrating to see things like a recent facebook link to a story about an atheist group that wants a street sign commemorating seven brothers that died in 9/11 as fire-fighters (something like that anyway) that said "Seven in Heaven" taken down. of course this demand outrages the community, and religious groups, and they dig in their heels and feel under attack.

Why are people protesting a stupid sign when this travesty is going on? And in my opinion protesting the sign only inflames the situation.

Jesse's complaint is that I have asked these 7 questions on a number of "scienceblogs" sites and received no answers which were both factual and supportive of thw warming scare. Lots of replies that would fit schoolyards n some of the lower achievment schools though and a lot of censorship, both of which show the alarmists defining themselves.

By Neil Craig (not verified) on 01 Jul 2011 #permalink

I'll bite Neil. What are the seven questions? As someone who is currently studying meteorology and has had prominent climatologists as professors I am far from an expert but I do get some info into the study of climate change. The problem with many is the thought that this is a static situation with no thought as to how the atmosphere will respond to the continuous pumping of CO2 in the air. Those with no atmospheric science training are quick to say there is no AGW but have no clue as to what they're talking about. In your opinon should we abandon climate research altogether since so many have rendered their opinion or do we do what we do in all scientific endeavors and continue to do research?

Sorry guys, I fell for it but it's because of my love of weather and such. Seems to me all scientific discussions get derailed by the global warming discussions. Back OT, this should not surprise anyone as this has always been an angry, ignorant and superstitious nation. I submit that the only reason we became a leader in science and technology was because of Sputnik and the infomation we were able to get after WWII from German scientists. Without Sputnik there would have not been so much money being spent on engineering, science and schools in general. I could be wrong but as the baby boom generation does off we will see more creationism and ID.