Home State Woes

It’s been a crazy news week for my home state of Louisiana. These stories are the reason why I will never return to live there. I lived there for the first 25 years of my life, going to school, then college until I went into the Air Force.

Wacky Pentecostals in Shreveport, LA had themselves a book burning, a real good old-fashioned mini Nazi-style book burning. The guy on the right needs to close his fingers to give a proper Nazi salute. And a burning cross or a couple of swastikas would give the book burning that special fascistic atmosphere. Hitler would feel so at home there.

According to the preachers at this insane church:

“It is allowed for Harry Potter to be taught in our schools, but not the Bible,” International House of Prayer pastor James Crawford said during the Shreveport Regional Unity of Faith Revival.

The book burning was a statement to reach out to people in Shreveport-Bossier City against sin, Crawford said.

Yeah, reach out and scare someone shitless. And some of the comments on the Shreveport Times website are scary indeed.

And on the creationism front, the NCSE has the latest news about the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act. La Senate Bill 733 singles out evolution from any other scientific theory and lets teachers use non-scientific materials to critique it.

After the bill passed the state Senate, Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, wrote to the New Orleans Times-Picayune (May 6, 2008), and echoed the same sentiments. “Proponents offer deceptive arguments about encouraging students to think critically,” he observed. “But Louisiana’s education standards already do that. The real intent is to introduce classroom materials that raise misleading objections to the well-documented science of evolution and offer a religious idea called intelligent design as a supposed alternative. That would unleash an assault against scientific integrity, leaving students confused about science and unprepared to excel in a modern workforce.”

When I attended high school in Louisiana, evolution was not taught. Our biology teacher told us he was not allowed to teach about evolution. He said that out of class he could discuss it and answer any questions. I feel I was lucky that my parents encouraged questions and learning about science.

We watched science shows at home and my favorite books were the Time-Life Nature series that came in every month. That was my favorite present at Christmas. Those books taught me more about biology than ever I learned in high school. To me, evolution was a basic fact of biology. How could it not be? There is simply too much evidence in favor of evolution and no evidence for any alternative.

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7 Replies to “Home State Woes”

  1. Thanks for bringing us this one. I just blogged on it, amazed that the arm waver published his cell pphone and email in the comments because he wants other book burners to contact him.I thought I’d help him by republishing his details

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  2. Exactly in what class are Harry Potter books “taught”? That’s what I thought. Anyway, I know that in many southern states the “Bible as Literature” is an elective. But hey, you’d have to be…you know…educated to know these thingsAnyway, burn away! As long as those idiots are paying for the books, porn, and CD’s they burn it is just puts more money in the pockets of the artists and publishers. Take that Satan!(Oh, and as to the porn, I bet they just burned the articles and the pics are hidden in an attic).

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  3. Yeah, its really funny that the artist will make more money. Today book burning is not the censorship it used to be. Now, everything is backed up electronically or found in multiple places on the internet.

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  4. I have noticed a real shift back to expressions of faith, here in Australia, in recent times. High School for me in the late 70’s & early 80’s was mandatory Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths, English & History/Geography up to the 4th year, in a State School system that educated 80-90% of all students. Today up to 50% of students attend Catholic or Protestant Grammar schools all partly state funded, with my taxes.Politicians on both sides talk of faith openly & often, nowadays. This would have been political suicide up until the end of the 90’s.For me, as an observer, the catalyst for this swing back to religious expression across the nation was September 11. It emboldened many faithful & compelled the oblivious too choose sides. Religion makes it easy & acceptable to express hate! Gimme Bon Scott rasping “Highway to Hell” over the current crop of crucifix wearing Idols, who turn my stomach & assault my senses, with thanks to family & God! In my State School they would’ve had God knocked out of them pretty quick! Ohhh the good old days.Great Blog, thanks!

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