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Creationism in School: ACLU vs Hugoton

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On April 22 and 23rd Hugoton Public Schools of south-western Kansas sponsored an in-school assembly called “Dinsosaur Lyceum.”  Designed for middle and high school students, the hour long assembly offered a detailed introduction to Paleontology and Earth Science complete with a mobile museum containing dinosaur skeletons, fossils and other pertinent replicas. On the surface the concept is excellent especially when you consider that rural Hugoton is a 3 hour drive from the nearest natural history museum.

D3-Public-Auditorium

However, there is one big problem. The program was developed and hosted by The Creation Truth Foundation (CTF), an organization whose purpose is to help bring about “a return to all of realities of Biblical Creation” through education.  According to its mission statement, the non-profit’s goal is to combat what founder Dr. Thomas Sharp repeatedly labels a growing “paganistic” lifestyle in America.  “The West has become Pagan,” he warns, using the term pagan as a synonym for secular.  Together with his colleagues, Dr. Sharp has produced “a host of support materials and services to aid your delivery of a sound science curriculum based in Biblical Creation.”

A week prior to the Hugoton assemblies, the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri received a complaint from a concerned Hugoton citizen whose identity has never been publicly revealed. Shortly after, the ACLU’s Legal Director Doug Bonney and Attorney Heather Weaver sent a letter to Superintendent Mark Crawford calling for the immediate cancellation of CTF program.

Based on the review of the website of the Creation Truth Foundation, the ACLU is concerned that these mandatory school assemblies will spread creationism to the Hugoton Public Schools in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Unites States Constitution…

We respectfully request that the District take immediate and concrete steps to remedy these problems.  The first step would be to cancel the planned mandatory school assemblies now set for next week.

Despite the ACLU’s strongly worded request, the Board did not cancel the assemblies. CTF arrived in Hugoton that weekend, made some local Church appearances and set up its mobile museum.  On Monday and Tuesday, CTF ran the school assemblies in the morning, and then in the evening opened the auditorium up for public presentations.

9205907

Superintendent Mark Crawford
Hugoton Public Schools

It appears that Superintendant Crawford was undaunted by the ACLU’s threat.  In fact, he fired back telling the Topeka-Capital Journal that, “he had a duty to show his students ‘how to handle a bully.” He also corrected the ACLU saying that the events were not mandatory but not one student or faculty opted out.

The Hugoton controversy has attracted a good-deal of media coverage much to the displeasure of the School Board. Crawford insists that the Board has nothing to hide.  He explains that CTF’s presenter, Matt Miles  was instructed to avoid mention of “creationism or any topics related to the age of the Earth or the Bible, according to district officials”  and has signed a memorandum as such. However, he did confirm that the public evening programs would indeed have Biblically-based content.

Despite his confidence, Crawford refused to allow any non-school personnel into the school day assemblies to verify his account.  As a result, the ACLU remains unconvinced.  Bonney stated, “The opportunity for a constitutional violation is too high because their whole evangelical reason for being is to promote Biblical creationism.”  Now, the ACLU is requesting all communication, documents and CTF materials in order to assess the legality of the situation.  Did the school system violate the Constitution?  The ACLU wrote:

Even if Miles never overtly mentions the Bible or creationism…public schools are not permitted to present students with false information, which the legitimate scientific community has universally rejected, as part of an anti-evolution, pro-creationist effort.

Matt Miles Creation Truth Foundation

Matt Miles
Creation Truth Foundation

Can a Christian missionary – a passionate believer in and teacher of creationism – lecture public school students on dinosaurs without crossing the line?  Yes, it is possible for someone to keep from spewing religious rhetoric in inappropriate situations. I can talk about herbs, for example, without discussing their magickal properties.  However, it is not my personal mission, nor the mission of my employers to teach about herbs. So the question remains: did Matt Miles, a man whose life and career are focused on the promotion of creationism, censor himself?

To date, Hugoton’s Superintendent has done an impeccable job of holding his position with the public.  However, he did make one statement that feeds the cynically-minded.  Of the school assemblies, Crawford remarked,  “… parents and citizens here in this community want their children to also be curious about other viewpoints of creation and origin.”  Did the assembly mention these other viewpoints?

Hugoton is a small close-knit rural town. After scanning online comments from locals, I do believe that Crawford has strong community support.  CTF Pastor Matt Miles himself was in fact a resident of the city at one time. However, whether or not Hugoton citizens believe in creationism is not the point.  The teaching of any Biblical-based concepts violates the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. While CTF is perfectly within its right to share its material, its fantastic mobile museum, and its beliefs within the private sector, the organization cannot do so in the public schools.

hugotonschoolFortunately for Kansas and similar states who have been struggling with this issue for decades, America’s public education curriculum is undergoing a national change.  Over the last few years, an organization made up of educators and administrators has created something called the “Common Core Standards. (CCS).”  The goal is to strengthen American education by developing consistency across the country in the basic disciplines of language and math.  Its popularity has led to several independent organizations creating additional “tack on” programs for science, art and world languages.  Individual states can elect to adopt the programs.  To date, Kansas is one of the 45 states* that has indeed adopted the CCC as well as the science program, which, incidentally, teaches evolution and not intelligent design.

I’m personally undecided as to the overall merits of the CCS from an educational standpoint. However, such a program does shift the center of accountability. As such, the new national standards may help to curtail the attempts of these radicals to push religion into the public schools under the pretense of science. CCS won’t stop the extra-curricular activities like the Creation Truth Foundations assemblies.  But it may make it easier for a wolf to be called a wolf no matter what clothes he is wearing.

lt is important for Pagan parents or anyone who supports religious equality in the schools to remain vigilant and to be aware of these smaller religious freedom cases.  I will be watching as the Hugoton situation plays out.

*The five states that have not adopted the CCS are Texas, Alaska, Minnesota, Virginia, and Nebraska.

http://wildhunt.org/2013/04/hugoton.html

by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 1:35 AM
Replies (191-197):
romalove
by Roma on May. 2, 2013 at 1:27 PM


Quoting ShannaBee:

You don't know me or anything about me to assume anything. I have not been smug, condescending or arrogant. I do not feel as if I am perfect or better than anyone. I have not bullied anyone on here, I shared something I recently learned. You do not know me to know if I'm compassionate, knowledgeable, smart or not. You want to believe what you want about me and Christians so you will find the worse that you can.

And it's true, I used to reject the word of God, I used to try to disprove the Bible. I did not believe in God, in Heaven or Hell.

Then I had an urge to actually find the answers. I found enough to confirm in my heart and mind that God is real.

I'm not going to argue back and forth online. Arguing is a stupid waste of time. If people want to be offended and upset and pick apart every little thing then that's their time and their prerogative. I know who I am. Those who matter to me know who I am. And when it comes to online arguments and bullying, yes, I am above and better than that.


Quoting romalove:


Quoting ShannaBee:

Yeah I'm not going to argue either. I was like that once. You can lead a horse to water but cannot make it drink. You can provide knowledge yet cannot make someone believe. It has to be a concious decision and one from the heart. It took me actually sitting down and reading the Bible for me to understand. The one who seeks finds!





Quoting BestestMom11:

Thank you ShannaBee, for having my back. Unfortunately, she's going to argue it to death, and can't see the forest for the trees. I just had to walk away (pearls before swine).





I am glad that you were able to find answers to your questions, and I wish you the best in your study of the bible! :-)







Quoting ShannaBee:

The first chapter of Genesis is written chronologically: day one this happened, day two that happened, and so on.







Chapter two is a detailed account. It does not say God created animals because Adam was lonely. It says he brought to Adam animals he made of the dust to have Adam name them.







BestestMom is right, there is not two creation stories.







I just converted from Atheist to Christian. I have been reading the Bible. I used to think the Bible untrue and full of holes, but I began reading and actually found the answers to my questions.









Quoting Raintree:

No, you simply don't know the story you want taught in public schools.

Quoting BestestMom11:

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I do not agree with your reasoning.














Quoting Raintree:

So you don't even know the story.

They worked in the second account BEFORE the fall.

After the fall they were kicked OUT of the garden.

Quoting BestestMom11:

The Garden of Eden becoming a place of work and toil, as you put it, was a direct consequence of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Initially it was a paradise.











Adam was given direction, as well as a warning of what would happen if directions were not followed (Gen 2:15-17).











Adam and Eve chose not to obey (Gen 3:6), and then in 3:16-19 the consequences were reiterated.























Quoting Raintree:

It isn't just a story telling point of view. The story changes. The order changes. Eden becomes a place of work and toil, when before it was simply 'good'. 

Which one?

Quoting BestestMom11:

I'm not sure that I understand your reasoning on why you feel that these are two different accounts.













As a reader of many books and a writer, I see it from a literary “story telling” point of view. It’s reiteration, taking you farther back to give more detail—kind of like the methods employed in the flashback (with more details) story telling of the show LOST.




















Quoting Raintree:

No. The accounts are different. Read it again.

Here- I'll give you a rundown- 

Creation story one- 

Day 1- heavens, earth, light, day/night

Day 2- the sky (separates the waters below from the waters above the sky)

Day 3- dry land/plants

Day 4- stars, sun, moon (where DID that light come from on day one?)

Day 5- fish/birds/assuming water mammals

Day 6- land animals, humans- both male and female. Number of human beings isn't said. Also, people are supposed to eat fruits and nuts (no where mentions the evil-tree), while animals get the grass and other vegetation to eat.

Day 7- God rests and tells creation to do same.

Creation story 2- 

No daily rundown, but a different sequence.

earth, heavens- no rain but there are springs that water the earth.

man is created from dust- no woman.

garden of eden- man is placed here with the tree of knowledge of good and evil

Got tells the man to tend the garden and not to eat fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Woman still not present.

God notices that Man is lonely, so he makes animals and birds- and the man names them.

When the man falls asleep, God takes his rib and creates a woman.


So which story?

Quoting BestestMom11:

2:4, and on is a continuation of 1:1.























Quoting Raintree:

There are two- 

Genesis 1:1-23 and Genesis 2: 4-25

Which one?

Quoting BestestMom11:

There's only one. Start at Genesis 1:1.


























Quoting Raintree:

Which creation account in the Bible?

Quoting BestestMom11:

I'm not close-minded. I've considered that possibility, and compared it with the creation account that is recorded in the bible.



















The bible indicates that He created each animal according to it's kind. That he created Adam and Eve as male and female, fully formed, not an organic soup that developed a tadpole, that turned into a fish, that grew legs, that walked out of the sea. Or a monkey, that turned into cro-magnon man, etc.



















There is no account of evolution that is congruent with the bible, or archaeological evidence either for that matter. Monkeys are still monkeys, and fish are still fish. So far, there have been no documented reports of anyone seeing a fish, get up and walk out of the water, while on holiday with their family.

















































Quoting illogicalkat:

Are you really so closed-minded that you cannot accept that God created the heavens and the earth, and evolution is the process by which he did so?

That's actually how my parents explained it when I asked them as a child.











Quoting BestestMom11:

I don't think it matters.





















Schoolbooks teach evolution, which I highly disagree with. Because of that, I teach my daughter that whatever she hears to the contrary of there being a creator that formed the heaves, earth, and all life, to disregard. Answer the way the school wants on a test, but know if your heart and mind the real truth.





















Cannot the same thing be done conversely?





















Kids are going to hear all manner of stuff that goes against a parent's beliefs. You can't shield them from everything that you don't personally agree with, but you can take the time to teach them at home what you believe.





















First and foremost they should be taught to respect other's beliefs and let them have them. Wrong or not.






































































You must be the best Christians, the both of you.

Smug, arrogant, knowing it all, condescending, telling others that before you were "perfected" you were just like them.

Except it would be your best day to be half as good as Raintree is, to be as knowledgeable and compassionate and interesting and smart.

What a shame that you are so blinded by the haze and glaze of religious zeal that you have nothing of import or interest to add to a conversation except for a backhanded slam of someone else.  

You must be bringing tons of people to Christ with an attitude like this.

How proud your Christ must be.


I only know what you project through your writings on here.

And I stand by my assessment of that.

You have a good day.

ShannaBee
by Member on May. 2, 2013 at 1:36 PM
And that's the problem with not being face to face with someone. But that's the territory of interacting online. Despite rain in the forecast, I hope today is a good day. You have a good day, also.


Quoting romalove:


Quoting ShannaBee:

You don't know me or anything about me to assume anything. I have not been smug, condescending or arrogant. I do not feel as if I am perfect or better than anyone. I have not bullied anyone on here, I shared something I recently learned. You do not know me to know if I'm compassionate, knowledgeable, smart or not. You want to believe what you want about me and Christians so you will find the worse that you can.



And it's true, I used to reject the word of God, I used to try to disprove the Bible. I did not believe in God, in Heaven or Hell.



Then I had an urge to actually find the answers. I found enough to confirm in my heart and mind that God is real.



I'm not going to argue back and forth online. Arguing is a stupid waste of time. If people want to be offended and upset and pick apart every little thing then that's their time and their prerogative. I know who I am. Those who matter to me know who I am. And when it comes to online arguments and bullying, yes, I am above and better than that.





Quoting romalove:


Quoting ShannaBee:

Yeah I'm not going to argue either. I was like that once. You can lead a horse to water but cannot make it drink. You can provide knowledge yet cannot make someone believe. It has to be a concious decision and one from the heart. It took me actually sitting down and reading the Bible for me to understand. The one who seeks finds!








Quoting BestestMom11:

Thank you ShannaBee, for having my back. Unfortunately, she's going to argue it to death, and can't see the forest for the trees. I just had to walk away (pearls before swine).







I am glad that you were able to find answers to your questions, and I wish you the best in your study of the bible! :-)










Quoting ShannaBee:

The first chapter of Genesis is written chronologically: day one this happened, day two that happened, and so on.









Chapter two is a detailed account. It does not say God created animals because Adam was lonely. It says he brought to Adam animals he made of the dust to have Adam name them.









BestestMom is right, there is not two creation stories.









I just converted from Atheist to Christian. I have been reading the Bible. I used to think the Bible untrue and full of holes, but I began reading and actually found the answers to my questions.












Quoting Raintree:

No, you simply don't know the story you want taught in public schools.

Quoting BestestMom11:

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I do not agree with your reasoning.

















Quoting Raintree:

So you don't even know the story.

They worked in the second account BEFORE the fall.

After the fall they were kicked OUT of the garden.

Quoting BestestMom11:

The Garden of Eden becoming a place of work and toil, as you put it, was a direct consequence of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Initially it was a paradise.













Adam was given direction, as well as a warning of what would happen if directions were not followed (Gen 2:15-17).













Adam and Eve chose not to obey (Gen 3:6), and then in 3:16-19 the consequences were reiterated.



























Quoting Raintree:

It isn't just a story telling point of view. The story changes. The order changes. Eden becomes a place of work and toil, when before it was simply 'good'. 

Which one?

Quoting BestestMom11:

I'm not sure that I understand your reasoning on why you feel that these are two different accounts.















As a reader of many books and a writer, I see it from a literary “story telling” point of view. It’s reiteration, taking you farther back to give more detail—kind of like the methods employed in the flashback (with more details) story telling of the show LOST.























Quoting Raintree:

No. The accounts are different. Read it again.

Here- I'll give you a rundown- 

Creation story one- 

Day 1- heavens, earth, light, day/night

Day 2- the sky (separates the waters below from the waters above the sky)

Day 3- dry land/plants

Day 4- stars, sun, moon (where DID that light come from on day one?)

Day 5- fish/birds/assuming water mammals

Day 6- land animals, humans- both male and female. Number of human beings isn't said. Also, people are supposed to eat fruits and nuts (no where mentions the evil-tree), while animals get the grass and other vegetation to eat.

Day 7- God rests and tells creation to do same.

Creation story 2- 

No daily rundown, but a different sequence.

earth, heavens- no rain but there are springs that water the earth.

man is created from dust- no woman.

garden of eden- man is placed here with the tree of knowledge of good and evil

Got tells the man to tend the garden and not to eat fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Woman still not present.

God notices that Man is lonely, so he makes animals and birds- and the man names them.

When the man falls asleep, God takes his rib and creates a woman.


So which story?

Quoting BestestMom11:

2:4, and on is a continuation of 1:1.


























Quoting Raintree:

There are two- 

Genesis 1:1-23 and Genesis 2: 4-25

Which one?

Quoting BestestMom11:

There's only one. Start at Genesis 1:1.





























Quoting Raintree:

Which creation account in the Bible?

Quoting BestestMom11:

I'm not close-minded. I've considered that possibility, and compared it with the creation account that is recorded in the bible.





















The bible indicates that He created each animal according to it's kind. That he created Adam and Eve as male and female, fully formed, not an organic soup that developed a tadpole, that turned into a fish, that grew legs, that walked out of the sea. Or a monkey, that turned into cro-magnon man, etc.





















There is no account of evolution that is congruent with the bible, or archaeological evidence either for that matter. Monkeys are still monkeys, and fish are still fish. So far, there have been no documented reports of anyone seeing a fish, get up and walk out of the water, while on holiday with their family.






















































Quoting illogicalkat:

Are you really so closed-minded that you cannot accept that God created the heavens and the earth, and evolution is the process by which he did so?

That's actually how my parents explained it when I asked them as a child.












Quoting BestestMom11:

I don't think it matters.























Schoolbooks teach evolution, which I highly disagree with. Because of that, I teach my daughter that whatever she hears to the contrary of there being a creator that formed the heaves, earth, and all life, to disregard. Answer the way the school wants on a test, but know if your heart and mind the real truth.























Cannot the same thing be done conversely?























Kids are going to hear all manner of stuff that goes against a parent's beliefs. You can't shield them from everything that you don't personally agree with, but you can take the time to teach them at home what you believe.























First and foremost they should be taught to respect other's beliefs and let them have them. Wrong or not.
















































































You must be the best Christians, the both of you.

Smug, arrogant, knowing it all, condescending, telling others that before you were "perfected" you were just like them.

Except it would be your best day to be half as good as Raintree is, to be as knowledgeable and compassionate and interesting and smart.

What a shame that you are so blinded by the haze and glaze of religious zeal that you have nothing of import or interest to add to a conversation except for a backhanded slam of someone else.  

You must be bringing tons of people to Christ with an attitude like this.

How proud your Christ must be.



I only know what you project through your writings on here.

And I stand by my assessment of that.

You have a good day.


BestestMom11
by Member on May. 3, 2013 at 11:34 AM
All I am saying, is that because the theory of evolution is not an absolute, and cannot be proven, that textbooks should indicate that there are alternate belief systems, such as intelligent design.

They do not have to get into theology in order to do that. It would be respectful to the billions of people that do not believe in evolution &/or Big Bang theory. It is not just Christians that do not agree with the theory of evolution.

Again, no need to get into details in public school....just an acknowledgment that there are other possible explanations for how the universe, and life in it, started. If kids want to know anything beyond that, they can do their own research.

Does that make sense?


Quoting romalove:


Quoting BestestMom11:

You can believe in both. I simply do not.



There is no need for bitchiness.





Quoting illogicalkat:

Apparently you cannot read. I do believe God created the universe. I also believe in evolution. You can believe both, they are not mutually exclusive.




Quoting BestestMom11:

I am no different than anyone else on these boards, because everyone thinks that they are right and anyone else that doesn't share their view, is wrong.





Much like yourself. You're so convinced that evolution is how everything came about, that the bible must be inaccurate. I find that depressing.








Quoting illogicalkat:

All I have read from you, is that you believe you are right and everyone who does not believe exactly what you do is wrong.

This is no longer a back-and-forth, it has become the most depressing thing I have read this week.Which is pretty bad, considering some of the news stories.

There are so many more inconsistencies than just the three listed here. The Old Testament was a written history of the Isrealites, by the Isrealites. History books are written with a certain bias. There are many Biblical scholars, whose job is to read the original texts, in their original languages, and they freeely admit that the histories are not exact.

But somehow you, who went to a state university and refused to learn what a scientific theory is, know more than they do?





Quoting BestestMom11:

If you're truly interested in why I believe that there are no inconsistencies - specifically referencing the three examples that you've listed below, please PM me and we can chat.







If you just want to debate though, because you do not believe in the bible, I don't have time for it right now.











Quoting Clairwil:





Quoting BestestMom11:

There are no inconsistencies in the bible.








The



Great Drought

Who did the



Egyptians buy Joseph from?

Who moved David



to take a census?



















For the record, I personally don't care if you reject actual science.  It's not about believing it, it's either accept or don't.  There is nothing faith based about it.

I only care when people who ascribe to your beliefs want them taught in a public science classroom alongside actual science.  It is illegal, but it is also morally wrong to confuse children who may or may not be sharing your belief system with information that is not scientific in a science class, causing them to "choose" between religious belief masquerading as science and science proper.  Children in schools are particularly vulnerable because they see teachers as experts and weight what they say much greater than if they hear things in other places.  

As long as you're willing to keep religious belief taught in homes and churches and private schools and out of the public school, we're all good.


romalove
by Roma on May. 3, 2013 at 11:38 AM


Quoting BestestMom11:

All I am saying, is that because the theory of evolution is not an absolute, and cannot be proven, that textbooks should indicate that there are alternate belief systems, such as intelligent design.

They do not have to get into theology in order to do that. It would be respectful to the billions of people that do not believe in evolution &/or Big Bang theory. It is not just Christians that do not agree with the theory of evolution.

Again, no need to get into details in public school....just an acknowledgment that there are other possible explanations for how the universe, and life in it, started. If kids want to know anything beyond that, they can do their own research.

Does that make sense?



Intelligent design is not a scientific theory.

Creationism is not a scientific theory.

Any theory you wish to provide regarding either origins or evolution (they are not one and the same) that posits an unproven and unevidenced supernatural power that brought forth creation in any way, shape or form is religious in nature and not scientific.

Your assertion that evolution is not "proven" 100 percent flies in the face of what science is, does, and says.  Nothing is 100 percent proven in that regard.  Science talks about evidences and where they lead and what they show.  Science always leaves open the door to new evidences that take things in new directions.

This does not mean don't teach the best that we know.  It means teach it and know that there can be new discoveries.

It also doesn't mean teach stuff that isn't science.

bolz08
by Member on May. 3, 2013 at 11:43 AM


us too...sad, sad....

Quoting autodidact:

crap like this is one of many reasons I homeschool



BestestMom11
by Member on May. 3, 2013 at 12:23 PM
I think I'll be jumping on the homeschool train if this kind of attitude is representative of the majority. Children will behave as they see their parents, and I'd rather not see my dd exposed to such ignorance and hatred.


Quoting bolz08:


us too...sad, sad....


Quoting autodidact:

crap like this is one of many reasons I homeschool





..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on May. 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Who is ignorant and hateful? I don't think it's hateful to want to keep religion out of our public schools. No matter which way you slice it, Creationism is religion. Not only that, but there are far too many creation stories to spend time on them all. That's not ignorant nor is it hatred.


Quoting BestestMom11:

I think I'll be jumping on the homeschool train if this kind of attitude is representative of the majority. Children will behave as they see their parents, and I'd rather not see my dd exposed to such ignorance and hatred.




Quoting bolz08:


us too...sad, sad....



Quoting autodidact:

crap like this is one of many reasons I homeschool






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