Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
This is, of course, one of the six sources of our Living Tradition as Unitarian Universalists. When a state decides to teach the Biblical account of creation in public schools (disguised through coded terms such as Intelligent Design) then we are confronted with an idolatry of the mind and spirit, not to mention a violation of the separation between church and state.
This is where we’re currently at in Louisiana, courtesy of the Clergy Letter Project (CLP sponsors Evolution Sunday each February) and a letter to them by Dr. Barbara Forrest, a prof at Southeastern Louisiana University. The CLP notes that Forrest is
The co-author of Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design (Oxford University Press 2004). Additionally, it was her lecture in Texas that Christine Comer, the former Director of Science in the curriculum division of the Texas Education Agency, mentioned in an e-mail that led to Comer’s removal from her job.
SB 733, the LA Science Education Act, has passed both houses of the legislature and the governor has indicated that he intends to sign it. But we don’t have to be quiet about this. There is something that you and everyone else you know who wants to help can do:
The LA Coalition for Science has posted a press release and an open letter to Jindal asking him to veto the bill. http://lasciencecoalition.org.
It is time for a groundswell of contacts to Jindal, and *this must be done immediately* since we don’t know when he will sign the bill. The vote in the legislature is veto-proof, so any request for Jindal to veto the bill *must stress that the governor can make this veto stick if he wants it to stick*. Please contact everyone you know and ask them to contact the governor’s office and ask him to veto the bill. If you have a blog, blog this. If you have friendly contacts in your address book, please ask them to also contact the governor’s office.
The contact information is at the LCFS link above. We want people all over the country to do this, as many as possible. Here are the talking points:
Point 1: The Louisiana law, SB 733, the LA Science Education Act, has national implications. So far, this legislation has failed in every other state where it was proposed, except in Michigan, where it remains in committee. By passing SB 733, Louisiana has set a dangerous precedent that will benefit the Discovery Institute by helping them to advance their strategy to get intelligent design creationism into public schools. Louisiana is only the beginning. Other states will now be encouraged to pass such legislation, and the Discovery Institute has already said that they will continue their push to get such legislation passed.
Point 2: Since Gov. Jindal’s support for teaching ID clearly helped to get this bill passed in the first place, his decision to veto it will stick if he lets the legislature know that he wants it to stick.
Point 3: Simply allowing the bill to become law without his signature does not absolve the governor of the responsibility for protecting the public school science classes of Louisiana. He must veto the bill to show that he is serious about improving Louisiana by improving education. Anything less than a veto means that the governor is giving a green light to creationists to undermine the education of Louisiana children.
I have given you the talking points here. You can pull additional ones from the LCFS press release and our online letter.
Now let’s get them out! Contact the governor. Then contact your friends, and ask them to contract the governor and to ask all of their friends to do the same. We need to create a huge network of e-mails asking people to do this. Where they live does not matter at this point. What is happening in Louisiana has implications for everyone in the nation
Please contact Governor Jindal.