Monday, July 28, 2008

Creation in the Public Schools? What the Courts Say...

In the landmark ruling of 1963, the Supreme Court stated, "It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historical qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may be effected consistently with the First Amendment."(1)

The Supreme Court said, "The Bible may constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the like."(2) [emphasis added]

The 8th Circut Court found that allowing public school observances which include religious elements promotes the secular purpose of, "...advancing the student's knowledge and appreciation of the role that our religious heritage has played in the social, cultural and historical development of civilization."(3)

In 1987 the Supreme Court said, "Teachers already possess" the flexibility to present "a variety of scientific theories of humankind" ... and are "free to teach any and all facets on this subject." [emphasis added]

They further said, "Teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of mankind to school children might be done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction."(4)

After the 1987 court case when Louisiana had passed a law requiring creation to be taught, and the court struck that law down, Stephen Gould (who hates creationists, but still knows how his own belief is faulty) said, "No statute exists in any state to bar instruction in 'creation science.' It could be taught before, and it can be taught now."(5)

The court simply said that creation cannot be required to be taught, they didn't say you couldn't teach it. That was it!

The California State Schoolboard today says, "Discussions of any scientific fact, hypothesis, or theory related to the origins of the universe, the earth and of life are appropriate to the science curriculum."(6)

Creationism has always been able to be taught in public schools in the science classroom! But down throught the years, the ACLU has learned that they only need to threaten a suit for the school to stop teaching creationism. They know they will lose the lawsuit, but it doesn't matter. The average principal who is threatened tells the average teacher to stop teaching creation or he/she will lose her job.

Now here the teachers have a problem. The Supreme Court says they can, the State Supreme Court says they can, the Circut Court says they can, even the California State Board of Education says you can, but their boss says you can't. This is what's breaking down the schools: gutless principals that won't stand up to the ACLU, and say, "Sue me!"


(1)School District of Abington; Township vs. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 225, (1963)

(2)Stone v. Graham, 449, U.S. 39, 42 (1980)

(3)Florey v. Sioux Falls School District, 619 F.2d 1311, 1314 (8th Cir, 1980)

(4)Edwards vs. Augiliard, 482 U.S. 96 (1987) p. 8-9

(5)Stephen Jay Gould, The Verdict of Creationism, New York Times; July 19, 1987, p. 34

(6)California State Board of Education Policy on the Teaching of Natural Sciences

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