California Class Linkage

The details of the lawsuit:

http://www.au.org/site/DocServer/Final_Complaint.pdf?docID=541

A brief overview:

http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/ap/2006/01/17/ap2455311.html

Depending on the judge, the Dover decision could have acted as a precedent and the motivations of the teacher would have been analyzed:

Sharon Lemburg, a social studies teacher and soccer coach who was teaching “Philosophy of Design,” defended the course in a letter to the weekly Mountain Enterprise.

“I believe this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach,” she wrote.

The original syllabus for the class:

http://www.mountainenterprise.com/IntelDesignSyl/IntelDesignSyllabus051209.htm

While it’s nice that Mr.s Lemburg wanted to teach such a class it’s rather obvious she isn’t familar with the subject matter. Though with some help she submitted a revised version:

http://www.mountainenterprise.com/IntelDesignSyl/Syllabus-051229.html

Better but it still manages to conflate Young Earth Creationism and Intelligent Design within a topic heading.

The initial thoughts of Discovery Institute staff member Casey Luskin:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/01/dogmatic_darwinists_strike_aga.html

The official response of the Discovery Institute:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/01/discovery_institute_statement.html

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28 Responses to California Class Linkage

  1. Here’s a quote from one of those taking part in the lawsuit: “This sends a strong signal to school districts across the country that they cannot promote creationism or intelligent design as an alternative to evolution, whether they do so in a science class or a humanities class,” said Ayesha N. Khan, legal director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which represented the parents.

    As the Casey Luskin has already pointed out, first the Darwinists say that ID isn’t science and cannot, therefore, be taught in classrooms–unless, of course, it’s in a religion class or a philosophy class. And yet when it comes to talking about ID in a ‘Philosophy of Design’ course, that isn’t acceptable either.

    How do you spell ‘censorship’?

  2. To be fair Darwinists aren’t a hive mind that agree on everything. I imagine many out there would hate to see ID taught in any form. I’d appreciate it if you could find quotes from those who initially claimed ID should be relegated to philosophy classes but have now changed their tune.

  3. May the Good Lord protect ID from A)those who invoke his name at every turn, and B)teachers who aren’t qualified to teach philosophy.
    Though I did like this quote from the original syllabus:”… Why is it so threatening to society?” Why indeed?

  4. >How do you spell ‘censorship’?

    That doesn’t seem quite fair to me. The course seems plainly intended to teach a particular religious doctrine (Christian Creationism) and to denigrate a particular scientific theory (Evolution). It’d be different if the class was about religion and science, or about creation myths, or the history of the ID movement. But it’s hard to interpret that class description, syllabus, and the teacher’s remarks, with that much latitude. The state simply cannot promote religion, and when the teacher of the course states “I believe this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach,” it’s hard to see how the course could not be in violation of the constitution.

  5. “It’d be different if the class was about religion and science, or about creation myths, or the history of the ID movement.”

    As in, teach it with a negative slant?

    “The state simply cannot promote religion”

    Then why did the early US federal government appoint chaplains for itself and the armed forces, sponsor the publication of a Bible, impose Christian morality on the armed forces, and grant public lands to promote Christianity among the Indians?

    Now I don’t want to see the state treating non-Christians differently like in the 1811 case of The People v. Ruggles:

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu.....ons62.html

    “Kent, Ch. J. delivered the opinion of the Court. The offence charged is, that the defendant below did “wickedly, maliciously, and blasphemously utter, in the presence and hearing of divers good and christian people, these false, feigned, scandalous, malicious, wicked and blasphemous words, to wit, “Jesus Christ was a bastard, and his mother must be a whore;” and the single question is, whether this be a public offence by the law of the land. After conviction, we must intend that these words were uttered in a wanton manner, and, as they evidently import, with a wicked and malicious disposition, and not in a serious discussion upon any controverted point in religion. The language was blasphemous not only in a popular, but in a legal sense; for blasphemy, according to the most precise definitions, consists in maliciously reviling God, or religion, and this was reviling christianity through its author.
    …….
    The free, equal, and undisturbed enjoyment of religious opinion, whatever it may be, and free and decent discussions on any religious subject, is granted and secured; but to revile, with malicious and blasphemous contempt, the religion professed by almost the whole community, is an abuse of that right. Nor are we bound, by any expressions in the constitution, as some have strangely supposed, either not to punish at all, or to punish indiscriminately the like attacks upon the religion of Mahomet or of the Grand Lama; and for this plain reason, that the case assumes that we are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply ingrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those imposters. Besides, the offense is crimen malitiae, and the imputation of malice could not be inferred from any invectives upon superstitions equally false and unknown.”

    Interesting how things have changed…that was from the Supreme Court of New York.

    Anyway, even a handful of Muslims, Jews, atheists, agnostics, etc. should be entitled to be equal citizens, not second-class citizens tolerated by the first-class members of the community. The same should be the case if Christians ever become the minority. The US is a Constitutional Republic and not a theocracy as the Tripoli treaty of 1796 made clear:

    “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,–as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,–and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

  6. >As in, teach it with a negative slant?

    No, and that is an unwarranted parsing of what I said.

    With reference to the rest of your remarks in response to

    >“The state simply cannot promote religion”

    I think you’ll simply have to take it up with the Supreme Court, whose job it is to interpret the constitution, and things have changed a bit since 1796 and 1811. In 1811 slavery was the law of the land, women couldn’t vote, etc. For instance, 1971, Lemon v. Kurtzman; in 1987, Edwards v. Aguillard.

  7. 1. Unwarranted? Perhaps. You wrote: “religion and science, or about creation myths”. I took what you wrote to mean that you’re equating ID to “creation myths” and you used “religion and science” as if intending to frame the debate in favor of a certain belief system.

    2. I have no problem if people say they want to CHANGE the Constitution to support their specific views on Separation of Church and State. I just have a problem when people claim that view is already supported by the document that lays the framework for the US government.

  8. 1. I also listed “history of the ID movement”. Clearly, the class was deliberately designed not only to discuss a particular religious belief but to promote it. I seriously doubt you want the government doing that as much as I do.

    2. It’s not my claim. It’s the claim of the Supreme Court of the United States whose job it is to interpet “the document that lays the framework for the US government.” You might want to read the two cases I cited.

  9. Patrick: “To be fair Darwinists aren’t a hive mind that agree on everything. I imagine many out there would hate to see ID taught in any form.”

    Yes, they aren’t a “hive” mind; I bet there are some who would like to see ID taught.

    But anyone following the Dover trial, and the pronouncements made in that decision, would realize that the tact they took was that ID shouldn’t be taught as science, but that a class on comparative religions or a philosophy class would be O.K. Do you hear any of the Darwinists now saying, “Aw, shucks, they went too far”?

    Gary Glass: “That doesn’t seem quite fair to me. The course seems plainly intended to teach a particular religious doctrine (Christian Creationism) and to denigrate a particular scientific theory (Evolution).”

    My response is: So what if it takes a religious stance; and so what if criticizes (denigrates–your word) Darwinism (evolution is a different matter). If Darwinists harp that ID is not science, and then it is taught in a non-science class, then why should that bother them? Unless, of course, they don’t want these kinds of ‘ideas’ aroung–hence ‘censorship’.

    Let’s wake up and smell the coffee.

  10. Gary Glass: ” It’s not my claim. It’s the claim of the Supreme Court of the United States whose job it is to interpet “the document that lays the framework for the US government.” You might want to read the two cases I cited. ”

    Oh right Glass give me break… What a fine job the supreme court has done interpreting the constitution in this matter. The case should of been thrown out as soon as the words were uttered allowing this course ( Philosophy of Design ) violates the’ separation of church and state that is in the U.S. constitution’ .
    Correct me if im wrong Glass, how the heck can you violate something that doesn’t exist in the free-gin constitution ?. Perhaps you guys are just waiting for the evolutionary amendment for such a thing. Then point your finger @ me and say see i told you it was there?. Wonder how i could of gotten things so backwards…

    Charlie

  11. I think whe whole thing was motivated be religion, not ID. If it was not, the school board would not have backed off, would they?

    Now I wonder. How would the ID supporters respond if ID was taught in schools but from a Muslim point of view. Would everyone be happy if the teacher was allowed to say “Allah used Inteligent Design to create”? If Lemburg stated that “Allah told her to teach it”, what would the response be? Just asking. Technically, it would/could be correct, from an ID point of view, since the Designer is not specified. How do you folks feel about this?

    Now, for those of Christian view with children, would you by okay with it if ID was taught in school, to your children, from a Muslim viewpoint? If not, would you be okay with it if it was taught from a Christian perspective? I don’t know, but the “do unto others” is a very good principle…

  12. In the case of this class the term “Design” was used to get young-earth creationism into the classroom, and as the sole subject of the class, not a part of a class that covered many creation myths. The course syllabus even listed Francis Crich(sic) as a speaker. Crick is dead. Luskin didn’t check these things before he started to accuse others of censorship because they criticized the class. But the issue is moot now because the class has been canceled, effectively settling the lawsuit.

  13. >Oh right Glass give me break… What a fine job the supreme court has done interpreting the constitution in this matter. The case should of been thrown out as soon as the words were uttered allowing this course ( Philosophy of Design ) violates the’ separation of church and state that is in the U.S. constitution’.

    You may not agree with the Court’s interpretation, but it’s the Court’s interpretation that matter.

    >Correct me if im wrong Glass, how the heck can you violate something that doesn’t exist in the free-gin constitution ?. Perhaps you guys are just waiting for the evolutionary amendment for such a thing. Then point your finger @ me and say see i told you it was there?. Wonder how i could of gotten things so backwards.

    You’re wrong. It may be your opinion that it isn’t in the constitution, but it’s the court’s opinion that it is. Simply asserting that it is not does not make much of an argument. Again, you might like to read the reasoning in the decisions of those two cases and others to better understand the arguments that lie behind the Court’s interpretation.

    http://www.infidels.org/librar.....sions.html

    Do you really want to live in a theocracy? I don’t. Though God may be quite capable of running the country, I don’t think Jerry Falwell or Pope Benedict or Ayatollah Whozits is up to the job.

  14. Gary

    It’s the court’s opinion that a wall of separation exists between the church and state since 1947. Funny it was not their opinion for the prior 150 years. Should I presume when the latest SCOTUS packed with Reagan/Bush era conservatives fail to agree with the modern interpretation of the establishment clause you’ll agree with them or does your respect for SCOTUS opinions only hold up when they happen to be the opinions you want?

  15. You may presume what you like about what the Justices believe, but in a nation of laws we go by what they write in their opinions. And they have not been rendering opinions dismantling that wall of separation.

    I disagree with some of the justices’ opinions. Nevertheless, I don’t think that mere disagreement constitutes an argument. And this is the problem. “The constitution doesn’t say what the Justices say it says,” is not an argument. It’s a conclusion.

    This is not much of an argument either:

    >It’s the court’s opinion that a wall of separation exists between the church and state since 1947. Funny it was not their opinion for the prior 150 years.

    If this were a legitimate argument then there would be no need for the SCOTUS to exist at all. We would simply abide by all the decisions made prior to 150 years ago. The American form of government was quite deliberately designed to be mutable, adaptible, flexible. However, like the mechanism of evolution itself, uncontrolled random mutation would be as deadly as an immutable, static government. The genius of our government is that it is both relatively dynamic and relatively stable. Maintaining that delicate balance is what makes our form of government hard work!

    If you really believe the court has lost its way with respect to the establishment clause, what are you doing to correct it? In my view, the best thing you could do would be to publicly advance a well-argued refutation of the relevant decisions. You’ve got the forum to do it right here!

  16. The correct answer: secede. Unfortunately, the War of Northern Aggression rather eliminated the good precedent set by the American Colonies during the Revolutionary war.

  17. 18

    “Jaredl: The correct answer: secede. Unfortunately, the War of Northern Aggression rather eliminated the good precedent set by the American Colonies during the Revolutionary war.”

    Are you saying that we should divide the country into “Christian” and “non-Christian” nations? That seems like a really bad idea. You’d inevitably wind up with some people living in the wrong country and they’d be miserable. We could force them to move to the other country, but that’s called “ethnic cleansing” and we’re not supposed to do it.

    Maybe we could have a compromise position, where Christians and non-Christians are all able to practice their religions in the privacy of their own homes/places-of-worship, and the government stays strictly neutral?

    I think the best way to do this would be to pass a Constitutional Amendment, saying something like, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” (The exact wording’s not all that important; we can work out the details later.)

    There’s still a risk that some of the state governments will try to get involved in the religion business, but I really don’t think that’s going to happen, so I’m not going to waste time worrying about it. If it ever becomes an issue, we can just pass another amendment.

    The states are bound by the US constitution through the auspices of the 14th amendment. Thus the 1st amendment prohibition against congress making no law regarding an establishment of religion also prohibits state legislatures in the same manner. I suggest you drop the sarcastic commentary on things you’re obviously ignorant of. -ds

    What does everyone think? Is this a good idea?

  18. Gary Glass wrote:
    The state simply cannot promote religion, and when the teacher of the course states “I believe this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach,” it’s hard to see how the course could not be in violation of the constitution.
    ….
    The insidiousness of Darwinian thought: evolution–the idea that life comes from non-life, that intelligence arises from unplanned and undirected combinations of chemicals, that Mother Nature, the “blind watchmaker” is the Creator of the Universe–is not religous, but any other explanation for existance IS religious.

    Evolution is a desperate theory. It must reach out and make every other field….CONFORM. Mathematics (throw out proability), Physics (throw out thermodynamics), Ethics (throw out absolutes, throw out ethics!), Art (can’t study Da Vinci), History (throw out the Declaration of Independence), Government & Political Science (throw out democracy, replace with dictatorship:voters can’t be trusted; elites must rule), Science (perceptions of design not allowed), name a field _____________; it cannot coexist with Darwinian evolution.

    In short, Darwinian evolution is a tyrannical dictatorship.

    Law, too, has fallen to the axe of evolutionary dictatorship.

    Gary Glass’s comment proves how far away from the principles of the Constitution this America has been blugeoned. The Courts have abrogated to themselves the powers of the Congress; the Courts have “made law” with respect to an establishment of evolutionary anti-theism in the schools, indeed in almost all public places.

    To mirror Gary’s comment “the state simply cannot…”: No, what the state simply cannot do is “PROHIBIT the free exercise [of religious views]” or “ABRIDGE the freedom of speech”. When the teacher states her personal belief, she is historically and constitutionally protected in doing so. The Constitution prohibits *CONGRESS* from making law respecting an establishment of religion. The Constitution does NOT prohibit the El Tejon Unified School District Board of Trustees (or any other) from teaching religous views.

    The VOTERS of the school district are the check on the school board’s decisions; the Constitution expressly allows the Trustees and the teachers of the district THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH regardless of whether they are public officials, non-public officials, students or parents in school, out of school, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Deist, Buddist, atheist, scientologist or whatever.

    We are currently living in a tyranny of Judicial Activism, an elitist minority rule, that cannot and must not stand.

  19. Addendum: The Constitution does NOT prohibit the El Tejon Unified School District Board of Trustees (or any other) from teaching religous views. The COURTS have instituted the prohibition on both religious views and on freedom of speech. That is not the same as saying the Constitution does so. And if the fickle winds of imperfect men sitting on a bench blew away from freedom of speech and religious liberty, then the winds can blow the other way, too. Were it Constitutional, the Law would not change except by National debate of Constitutional amendments.

    Please excuse the double post.

  20. “The correct answer: secede.”

    I’d only consider going that far if the normal process had been followed and the legislative branch issued a new law with both the blessings of the judicial and executive branch. This is just an issue of courts running amuck and growing too powerful as Thomas Jefferson feared would happen.

    http://www.landmarkcases.org/m.....erson.html

    “The question whether the judges are invested with exclusive authority to decide on the constitutionality of a law has been heretofore a subject of consideration with me in the exercise of official duties. Certainly there is not a word in the Constitution which has given that power to them more than to the Executive or Legislative branches.”

    “The Constitution . . . meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other. But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”

    “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”

    “In denying the right [the Supreme Court usurps] of exclusively explaining the Constitution, I go further than [others] do, if I understand rightly [this] quotation from the Federalist of an opinion that ‘the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government, but not in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the judiciary is derived.’ If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de se [act of suicide]. For intending to establish three departments, coordinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this opinion, to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one, too, which is unelected by and independent of the nation. For experience has already shown that the impeachment it has provided is not even a scare-crow . . . The Constitution on this hypothesis is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”

    “This member of the Government was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all its organs. But it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is, ad libitum, by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution, can do what open force would not dare to attempt.”

    “My construction of the Constitution is . . . that each department is truly independent of the others and has an equal right to decide for itself what is the meaning of the Constitution in the cases submitted to its action; and especially where it is to act ultimately and without appeal.”

    I still believe the legislative and executive branch could still reign in this nonsense if they wanted to. But it seems no one has the guts to do it.

  21. Thank you, Patrick.
    Would you please post a reference to the quotes by Jefferson?
    Thank you again.

  22. Gray Glass, hope you weren’t serious with that link you provided. A joke or two is fine with me but common, i couldn’t agree anything that the supreme court voted for save minor exceptions. The majority of the cases listed there, should be revoked / overturned if the *correct* interpretation of the constitution is used. For a more accurate account what the ‘wall’ is all about check: http://www.christianlaw.org/se.....state.html

    Charlie

  23. They have pulled the course: http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCAT.....index.html

  24. 25

    PaV said,
    “As the Casey Luskin has already pointed out, first the Darwinists say that ID isn’t science and cannot, therefore, be taught in classrooms–unless, of course, it’s in a religion class or a philosophy class. And yet when it comes to talking about ID in a ‘Philosophy of Design’ course, that isn’t acceptable either.”

    Did you read the course content?

    It had nothing to do with what the Disco Institute says is ID. The course was going to rely heavily on YEC material and do nothing more than criticise evolution.

    For information on the intended sylabus follow the links in this article.

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispat....._twist.php

    Would you really consider that course to be philosophical?
    The course content in no way matches the course description.

    Oh and the teacher (who had no philosophical or scientific credentials) stated (roughly) “God wanted me to tech this”. How scientific/philosophical is that?

  25. “It had nothing to do with what the Disco Institute says is ID.”

    And that is why the DI decided to oppose this course…but I believe this has already been covered so why argue over it? Oh, and please refrain from using silly little nicknames like Disco Institute.

  26. 27

    And that is why the DI decided to oppose this course…but I believe this has already been covered so why argue over it? Oh, and please refrain from using silly little nicknames like Disco Institute.

    Comment by Patrick — January 19, 2006 @ 10:11 am

    I was responding to commenters like PaV, who seem to think the course had merit.
    BTW. Google Disco Institute. You will find I am not being silly but rather using an abreviation of Discovery Institute.

    Perhaps. I’ve seen it used at Panda’s Thumb and several other anti-ID sites. The usage of it even caused an argument on another forum:

    http://forum.ship-of-fools.com.....5;t=001866

    Besides, if all you’re looking for is an abbreviation wouldn’t DI work even better? Not to mention, everyone here should recognize that.

    –Patrick

  27. 28

    Besides, if all you’re looking for is an abbreviation wouldn’t DI work even better? Not to mention, everyone here should recognize that.

    –Patrick

    Yes you are correct. It would.
    Not sure what Google would bring up though. I will try.

    Search using DI=
    http://www.di.fm/

    Search using Disco Istitute=
    http://www.discovery.org/

    If you do not believe me. Try it. A repeatable test.

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