Stop whining and get with The Progromme

Stop whining and get with The Progromme

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What Happens When a School Board of Religious Zealots Will 'Lie for Jesus'?

By Onnesha Roychoudhuri, AlterNet
Posted on June 20, 2008, Printed on July 20, 2008
The intelligent design case in Dover, Penn., was the stuff of tabloid dreams: a community divided when a school board led by religious fundamentalists tried to bring creationism into the local biology curriculum. But look beneath the surface, and it was hardly the two-dimensional "science versus religion" narrative favored by the press. As Lauri Lebo, a local reporter who covered the trial, writes, the "'Darwinism'-spouting teachers were preachers' kids; the 'atheist' plaintiffs taught Sunday school; the 'activist' judge was a Bush-appointed Republican; and the journalists labeled 'liars' were willing to go to jail for the truth."

In her new book, The Devil in Dover: An Insider's Story of Dogma v. Darwin in Small-Town America, Lebo writes of her journey through a familiar town made alien by a handful of school board members willing to, as Lebo puts it, "lie for Jesus." Lebo closely follows the story of how a handful of fundamentalists, pushing to include the teaching of creationism in school biology courses change their tack when the conservative Christian Thomas More Law Center gets involved. School board members suddenly stop talking about Jesus and creationism, denying statements they made to local reporters, and saying instead they were advocating the teaching of the so-called science of intelligent design. The lies were outright enough to make the presiding judge flush with anger, who subsequently cited the school board's "breathtaking inanity," in his decision against them.


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