Monday, June 14, 2004

Alma Malder Going Ape over Adam and Eve

Yes... that is Adam and Eve, (not Steve). Forget about gay marriage, my former high school is deciding now if Evolution is appropriate.

This blog is pretty much used to share joy about entertainment and a venting outlet for the slippery slope George Bush has put us in. Sometimes, as is the case with The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 911, the two mingle. Today though, I feel the need to vent about the complete absurdity that is my hometown. Forget the segregation, anti-Semitic hate crimes, race riots, school shootings, and overall moral superiority that is flagrantly displayed by those proud Americans in my hometown. The school board of my alma malter is debating evolution... yes, monkeys.

Now, I remember being called a whole host of names in certain classes. The first reason being because I'm not "white", which at Dover meant German or Scotch Irish. Granted, I am mostly German, but my Asian heritage made me standout amongst all the Millers, Schumakers, Rohrbaughs, and such. Also remember, that my area of the county were Kaiser sympathizers during WWI. They still hate Japan, the Japanese, and foreign cars because of WWII, but Hitler and Germany, not so bad in their opinion. I was also ridiculed because I thought equal rights should be extended to everyone. The card carrying members of the KKK in my government classes were not too fond of me. Did I mention these boys would carry sawed off shotguns and confederate flags to school in their pick ups. Yes, and I lived only a 1/2 hour from Gettysburg. Okay, so there are a whole host of reasons why York, PA sucks. The band Live even wrote a song about it, Shittown. Regardless, maybe that's why I grew up so liberal, to offset the evil I felt I was surrounded with.

Okay, back to the monkeys. Now, I'm not some feed-the-Christians-to-the-lions type of girl that Fox News would paint me to be. In fact, I'm quit a big fan of Jesus. To quote the t-shirt, Jesus is my homeboy. I'm also a big fan of Martin Luther King and Ghandi because each of these men had the ability to change the world for the better without violence. It's a sad irony everytime the Roman Catholic Church, George Bush, Mel Gibson, or people in my hometown use Jesus as justification for their personal violence.

At a school board meeting last week, a board member, William Buckingham, said as part of a search for a new biology book, he and others are looking for one that offers balance between the Christian views of creation and Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

After the meeting, he also said there needn't be any other considerations for the beliefs of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims or other competing faiths and views.

"This country wasn't founded on Muslim beliefs or evolution," he said. "This country was founded on Christianity and our students should be taught as such."

Which is funny, because if you carefully study religion, most people would realize that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam while having vast differences, are more alike than not. They are monotheistic religions that stem from the same place on the planet. It's their followers, and governments of those followers, that are often different.

Is teaching creation a bad thing? No. In fact, every religion (mono and polytheist) has it's own creation myth. The book of Genesis isn't the only one. But, Buckingham doesn't want to hear any of that other bunk. I, unlike some liberals, do not feel that freedom of religion means freedom from religion. In fact, I would whole heartedly support a discussion day in science class comparing all the different myths and their similarities as well as differences. That's not what the school board wants though. I think this might be a better world if children where taught what other religions beliefs are and not just told to judge the people of those beliefs. There are people I dislike of all religions, but I dislike no one because of their religion.

"What I am saying is that when you teach only one theory (evolution), that theory becomes a fact," Wenrich said. "I'm not saying that students must believe in creation, but I do believe they must consider the possibility."

That's funny. I find it odd that Mr. Buckingham, a seemingly devout Christian, isn't aware of the "evolution" of Christianity's sanctioned beliefs. For instance, it was heresy to teach the Copernican theory that that Earth revolved around the Sun and not vice versa. Should the students of Dover be given the option they choose? The other Earth-centered theory was determined by Ptolemy who was Egyptian (and not Christian). The Roman Catholic church adopted that theory as their own. In fact, in 1992, the Pope apologized to Galileo for his work on Copernican theory. Galileo had been dead for over 350 years. Seeing that the Monkey Scopes trial took part in the early part of the last century, we have, I figure, about 250 or more years to go before my home town catches up with the rest of the progressive world.

I wonder if this man would support the teaching of the mass genocide committed by early "Americans" on the East Coast. How about teachings of the Civil War Draft, and the draft riots of New York City? Would he support the teaching of Japanese internment camps? Would he support teaching of opium and marijuana cases used simply to drive out the Mexicans and Chinese from our borders? There are many things I was and was not taught during my years at Dover Area High School, creation is just one of them. But, then again, I could recite the book of Genesis by the age of 5. (Yes, how many Christians know who Seth was, huh?) And guess what, I still believe in Darwin.

In the end, all teachings are a choice. I'm sure their are children who come home after studying WWII. Their grandfather sits them down and tells the child that everything they learned in school regarding the holocaust was a lie perpetuated by the Jews. We don't stop teaching the horrors of the holocaust, do we? Regardless of personal religious beliefs, this is a public school. What children are taught outside the setting of the school regarding religious views is completely protected by the first amendment. But, I will never allow my child to go to a school so dominated by such hypocrisy. Final note, I really hope Mrs. Keagy chooses "Inherit the Wind" as the school play this fall.


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