Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Separation of Church and State Lives In Michigan

It may not be in the Constitution, but the often popular and always controversial statement by Thomas Jefferson that there should be "a separation between Church and State" is a very good idea. The problem is that too often lawmakers overlook this good idea in favor of pushing their own religious and political agendas on the American people. This has been most evident in the fight in many states to keep evolution in science classes and keep "intelligent design" out.
Recently, Michigan has been the site of a battle over what should be taught in a science classroom. Conservative Christians that do not know or care to know anything about science have been trying to remove evolution from schools for years. The reason it has stayed, is because someone making the decisions has sense. For example, the members of the Michigan State Board of Education. This week, they "approved public school curriculum guidelines that support the teaching of evolution in science classes -- but not intelligent design." This is a great thing because evolution is science and it is expected that those learning science learn about evolution.
For too long, it has been seen as an affront to God to teach evolution in schools. This is a ridiculous idea spread by lawmakers that want nothing more than to turn the United States into a theocracy ruled by crazy conservative Christians. This is obvious because they are the only ones complaining about the teaching of evolution.
The State of Michigan has made a great step in approving a science curriculum that requires teaching evolution. It needs to be taught because it is tested science theory. Intelligent design is not science. It is a belief that "living organisms are so complex they must have been created by a higher force rather than evolving from more primitive forms." And while this makes for great discussion in a religion class, it has not place in a science class.
Although conservative Christians would say otherwise, the teaching of evolution has nothing to do with trying to remove God from the minds of children. The purpose is to "make students more knowledgeable about science." That cannot happen if evolution is removed from curriculums around the country. This boils down to ignorant people trying to make decisions for the rest of us. The cases around the country dealing with evolution prove again and again that lawmakers are to stupid to make the rules for education. They don't want the opinions of educators and they don't want to be educated themselves. At least Michigan has the right idea about all of this.

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