Wednesday, October 03, 2007

So politics is on my mind right now. I guess it's 'cause our elections are rolling around soon (October 20 to be precise).

One of the big issues in both the governor's race and the state legislature race is whether or not to allow/require creationism/intelligent design to be taught in public schools. It has come up in every debate I've watched, listened to, or read about.

Personally, I believe in what I guess you could term intelligent design. I can't deny the science that evolution happened. There is hard, concrete, scientific proof of that. However, I can't deny that there was some kind of force, organization, direction guiding it along. I have no proof of that, except that I happen to not believe that such a complex series of events can happen by mere chance.

I believe, along with most Jews, Christians, and Muslims who believe in evolution, that that force is Yahweh/God/Allah, Father and Creator. God probably didn't manage the task in seven days, which contemporary biblical scholarship would agree with, but He (I'm using the male pronoun as a default because it's easier) did guide it along over millions of years. That belief doesn't invalidate the main point of the Creation stories in Genesis, that God created everything, and created it to be good (before humanity got a hold of it and mucked it all up).

Now having said that, I absolutely, positively, do not believe that creationism or intelligent design should be taught in any way, shape, or form in public schools. Contrary to what some conservative folk believe, this is not a Christian nation, and this is not a theocracy. There is a diversity of beliefs in this country, and we need to respect that. The schools should be teaching the facts; the parents who want their children to grow up with a certain belief about how the world was created should be teaching that, along with their respective faith groups, if that is applicable.

Now some would say, "I belive God created the world in seven days. Where is the respect for that?" It's respected in the same way every other belief is respected - by not being discussed and discredited by people who don't know what they are talking about. If we teach one religious belief about creation, we would end up having to teach them all. Not only is that confusing, but the discussion that would arise from people who are not comparative theologians (science teachers, in other words), would be lightweight at best, misinformed in the middle, and downright wrong at worst.

I don't even understand why this is an issue for discussion. Any legislation that would pass would end up going all the way to the Supreme Court, where it would be shot down anyway.

Sigh. My goal was to keep my blog non-political. I may not be able to do that through this election (not to mention the one to come next year).


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