Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Conservative Christian takes the helm of the Texas school board

Transcript of today's show:

Don McLeroy, the new chair of the Texas state Board of Education, is threatening to throw out high school biology books because they don't list weaknesses in Darwin's theory of evolution. McLeroy’s opponents accuse him of harboring a shocking hostility both to sound science education and religious tolerance. Meanwhile, Texas parents and educators brace themselves for a new round of antievolution activity.
[source: National Center for Science Education]

Listen to the 1-minute broadcast of this story [mp3]

Sound Off: Science & Faith. Our point/counterpoint regulars Shelley (the voice of science) and Peter (the voice of faith), comment on the story.

The Voice of Science: Shelley Greene, Ph.D., comments:
These accusations come from the Texas Freedom Network. If you think these folks are a bunch of left-wing atheist-non-believers giving believers a hard time, here is what they say about themselves right on the home page of their own website.

Founded in 1995, the Texas Freedom Network is “a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of more than 26,000 religious and community leaders. Based in Austin, the Texas Freedom Network acts as the state’s watchdog, monitoring far-right issues, organizations, money and leaders. The organization has been instrumental in defeating initiatives backed by the religious right in Texas, including private school vouchers, textbook censorship and faith-based deregulation.”

The Voice of Faith: Peter Williamson, M.Div., comments:
This story needs to be seen in the context of
Mr. McLeroy's remarks during a recent lecture about Intelligent Design. Following the ideology of Phillip Johnson (the father of Intelligent Design), McLeroy portrayed ID as a “big tent,” explaining, “It’s because we’re all lined up against the fact that naturalism, that nature is all there is. Whether you’re a progressive creationist, recent creationist, young earth, old earth, it’s all in the tent of intelligent design.”

McLeroy was referring to how Intelligent Design can encompass all creationist positions in way that is easy for even secularists on the Texas State School Board to understand. It should be clear to readers of this blog by now that my commentary comes from a place that welcomes anyone under McLeroy’s “Big Tent” of Scripture. I’ve even supported Muslim Creationism as portrayed in the Atlas of Creation because I find that even a faith very different from mine, a faith that historically is antithetical and violently opposed to mine, is still closer to the Word of God than secular naturalism.