Friday, September 12, 2008

Can you put brains in a creationist?

This little diddy appeared in the Sept. 11 column of Debra Saunders, one of the right-wing representatives in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Obama just can't help himself. The Democratic nominee brought up the "Swift boat" ads again Wednesday - undeterred by the left's series of scurrilous personal attacks against GOP vice presidential candidate Palin and her family. It started with a Daily Kos story alleging that Palin was actually the grandmother of her infant son Trig.
But it didn't end there. The folks at felt compelled to respond to a flood of falsehoods being spread about Palin. As the organization reported, "She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library."
"She was never a member of the (secessionist) Alaskan Independence Party."
And: "Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools."
Straight news stories have probed meetings in which Palin, then a rookie mayor, asked Wasilla librarian Mary Ellen Emmons about removing books from the library. Palin never named any specific books. No books were banned. The librarian kept her job. But none of that matters.
In a 2006 gubernatorial debate, Palin said she believed in a "healthy debate" in public schools between creationism and evolution - and that reasonable view has been contorted into Palin wanting to force her creationist views down others' throats. Actually, it is the side that wants no debate that is intolerant.

Wow -- nice cutting around the words, Debra.

• Palin did not "demand" banning books but she inquired about it. If Hillary inquired about health care reform, the GOP would be crying "socialized medicine."
• Palin was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. She didn't ignore the idiots, either.
• Palin did not push for teaching creationism in Alaska's school. She merely wanted a "healthy debate."

This is where Saunders' (and the nut-job creationists') arguments fall apart, because there is NO NEED for a debate in public schools between creationism and evolution. Evolution is fact.

Calling for "healthy debate" legitimizes creationism. Just like inquiring about banning books is an implied threat to the librarian to fly-right or get checked out of her job, and not reminding the Alaskan Independence Party that they should be considered traitors and that they are a couple snowflakes short of a snowball is tacit approval of their mission to secede from the United States.

If you want your kid to learn creationism, 'intelligent design' or whatever name fundamentalists are putting on it today, send him/her to a parochial or private school. Just like if you want school-sponsored prayer.

It's a nice followup strategy by the GOP, though: criticize the tolerant for appearing intolerant and paint the intolerant as tolerant.

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