(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

There's also this article about the sticker that the Cobb County BOE put on science textbooks, to the effect that evolution is a theory rather than a fact. I think that they should have gone farther, and would have been on firm constitutional as well as pedagogical ground: "STUDENTS: You should approach everything you read in your textbooks, and everything that your teacher tells you, with a reasonable level of skepticism. In fact, that's true of everything that you read anywhere. Think for yourself. This does not, however, give you license to pretend that you know everything or that other people know nothing."

On a more serious note, I can understand why some people who are more-or-less on the "left" think that the anti-sticker suit should never have been brought and that the sticker was no big deal. But they might well think differently if they lived in Alabama or Georgia. This is related, I guess, to the reason why my antennae pricked up at what turns out to have been a too-loose paraphrase of Justice Thomas, in the post below: I don't think it's exaggeration to say that there is a real political fight, at least in the deep South, between theocrats and non-theocrats. I am not talking about the passage of religiously-inspired laws; they've been around forever, which is why it's hard to buy beer on Sunday in many places. I'm talking about elected officials who ignore the rule of law in favor of religious belief. I mentioned, a few days ago, an Alabama judge who issued an outrageous decision on a minor's parental-notification-bypass petition; I'm still trying to find a freely-available internet copy of the opinion of the Ala. Ct. Civ. App. reversing that. The good news for now is that the rule-of-law side generally wins these fights in the end. But it's not obvious that that will continue to be the case, and that's why I can empathize with a Georgia parent who thinks it important to challenge the stupid sticker.

posted by sam 7:26 AM 0 comments


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