Dover Caused the Freedom From Religion Foundation?


Because of Dover legal decision, creationism being religion and not science is now law and precedence. Before Dover, TE/EC was being taught in most public schools across the country. Why? Because a preponderance of science teachers and administrator were Christians and Catholics. Dover woke up the Catholics, the Mainline Protestants, and the growing number of Nones to the danger of letting the “camel’s nose in the tent.” So after Dover, there are watchdogs like FFRF who will go after seemingly minor infractions like we saw yesterday. Christians who accept evolution is true (essentially what TE/EC is all about) have a lot to blame on the present environment on DI and the ID wedge document.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #2

So you are saying that Dover vaccinated everyone, and now we have a robust immune response that might be triggering an auto-immunity at times?


Dover shows what could happen if you let religion drift into public policy. Recall that a Board of Education was elected in a small town who essentially had a mission to get God back into the public schools. Keeping relgion out of government was a founding principle of the United States. No Baptist minister wants the Vatican teaching classes in US public schools. There are too many religions and within those religions too many religious views and opinions. To much religious divisiveness. Our children need to be taught science and other subjects free from religion. Look what is happening in the Dept of Education now with Betsy DeVos in charge.

(Edward Robinson) #4

Not strictly true. Originally the establishment clause applied only to the federal government. The extension of it to the states was considerably later. Also, the establishment clause was meant only to keep government free of specific denominational ties, not from all religious belief. The founding spiritual document of the USA, the Declaration of Independence, rests on belief in a Creator. The Founders never intended all talk about God to be banished from the public discourse of politicians or officials. They just wanted the government to be detached from any particular way of worshipping God, any particular church or sect. And rightly so. But the extension from hostility to sectarian domination to hostility toward even the mention of God by public employees was a later development, not intended by the Founders and not desired by the vast majority of the people inspired by them at the time.

Most of the Founders were Christians or Deists, and many of them were also Masons, and the Masons at the time believed in a sort of engineer-God. (The sort compatible with ID thinking, actually, but that’s a side-point.) Indeed, to this day, if my Mason friends are telling me the truth, it is still a requirement of those who seek membership in the Masonic order that they believe in a Supreme Being. (Where the understanding is that the Supreme Being is not “mindless matter in motion,” but someone intelligent.)

Of course science class should not promote Baptist or Catholic or Muslim or Jewish etc. views. Everyone agrees on that, even most fundamentalists and Bible literalists. The Seventh-Day Adventist fundamentalists don’t want the doctrines of the Christadelphian fundamentalists taught in schools, and vice versa. But the idea that a teacher of the science of Nature (which according to the Founders was created by an Almighty God), must never so much as allude sideways to the idea of a God behind Nature, is a modern fiction, imposed upon Americans by academics and journalists and lawyers and judges who don’t interpret the meaning of the Founders based in rigorous textual methods, but instead rewrite that meaning, based on their modern preferences. The Founders never intended public figures to have to walk on eggshells, terrified of lawsuits, regarding expressions of a generic belief in God.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #5

Where I will agree with you is that the last generation has not been wise in its use of power. When power is used against us, we tend to use it against others. If the only thing that protects you is the legal system, not the restraint of those with power, we become a litigious society. The anxiety and overreach of some in the prior generation has been part of what has left us with a broken society now.

I see those patterns, and I even understand how everyone seems reasonable in their own eyes. It is certain type of tragedy of the commons, which comes to degrade trust everywhere as we come to expect everyone will use power only for themselves.

I just want to find a better way. I doesn’t have to be this way. It is broken, but we could fix it.

(George) #6

Eddie, this is true about much of the modern interpretations of constitutional law.

It may be a MODERN fiction… but it has become a NECESSARY one because of the one-track political motivations of the Evangelical community… which has also complicated something as basic and as obvious as global warming issues!