On The Radar (archives)
August 3, '05. A Boy Scout was killed, three others were injured by lightning on a Utah Mountain. In Utah, the Mormon Church advances Scouts more quickly to prepare them for proselytizing missions, but sadly it seems that belief in god and the will to turn more people to the Church of the Latter Day Saints didn't save the lad.
Sept. 26, '05. "Intelligent design" (ID) trial began in Pennsylvania, where 11 parents sued to stop the teaching of intelligent design in Dover's high school. While the rest of The World's 1st World countries look on in scorn, it's hard to believe that some parents, and members on a school board, once again want dilute knowledge and teach ignorance to America' schoolkids. AtheistBible.net had hoped that the morons who fought against teaching Darwin's theories back in the days of the "Scopes Monkey Trial" had been embarrassed into silence, but with an Administration laced with Born Again fanatics what can you expect?
September '05. Former Education Secretary William Bennett links the crime rate with abortion of black babies, saying "if you wanted to reduce crime ... you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." Although he also said that it would be a "morally reprehensible thing to do," his later attempts to rehabilitate himself failed. I guess he forgot to include babies of the poor and feeble minded. AtheistBible.net is appalled, even though it supports the right of women to get an abortion it also wants to remind Bennett that there are decent law abiding people and geniuses born to blacks (and to the poor and even the feeble minded) in this country, maybe a future Einstein.
Dec. 20, ’05. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III rules against the school board in the Dover, Pennsylvania public school district, disallowing mention in biology classes of intelligent design. His decision included the following: “The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, … “ and “Our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science class.” Voters in Dover had already ousted eight school board members who had supported teaching of ID in a Nov. 8, 05 school board election. Thank goodness for a level-headed judge. Ditto for a case in Georgia where evolution disclaimer stickers calling evolution a theory, not a fact, were placed on the schools system’s biology textbooks. The Judge ordered them removed.
January 2006. Judge Alito hearings for Supreme Court position: If Alito is confirmed for Sandra Day O’Connor’s place on the Supreme Court there is concern that he may take an activist position in religion cases coming along, including one on the docket for this session. The case involves whether the federal government can block importation of a hallucinogenic tea used by a religious sect. Future matters could include challenges to the Bush administration’s policy of directing tax dollars to “faith based” charitable groups. In 1985 he stated that he disagreed with Warren Court decisions applying the First Amendment requirement that Congress “make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Also, based on cases that have come before him in the past, he appears to fall to the right of Justice O’Connor. It could be a mixed blessing that his record shows that he has come down strongly for protection of the free exercise of faith. But of course that coin has two sides, protecting the free exercise of faith should also mean protecting the right of atheists to not be required to join the majority when such matters as some employer or school requiring religious pledges comes up. We shall have to see, since it looks as if Alito will win confirmation.