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.