Thursday, August 04, 2005

"Speak No Evil"

I was a little upset, but not very surprised when I read about how President Bush supported the teaching of "Intelligent Design" in public schools, the camouflaged Bible story approach to the explanation of humans on Earth.

He stated:
During a round-table interview with reporters from five Texas newspapers, Bush declined to go into detail on his personal views of the origin of life. But he said students should learn about both theories, Knight Ridder Newspapers reported.

"I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought," Bush said. "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes."
That sounded so American! I mean what could be more important to students than hearing new ideas?

Equal time seemed reasonable.

Students could learn about the periodic table:

And then about Noah!

Children could learn about the multiplication tables:

And then learn about Adam and Ever!

The possibilities are endless!

But why is it, when it comes to Abstinence education doesn't this Administration oppose discussion about contraceptives in the classroom? Isn't that an idea that children should discuss in school?

Paul Palcko Illustration
As reported:
Programs funded through the welfare bill must teach that abstinence is the only "certain" way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and cannot discuss the "benefits" of contraception (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 1/31).
Clearly, this President is in favor of additional ideas being presented when those ideas are to his liking! Otherwise put that gag back on!

America needs a new President and new leadership! We need a President who will lead us forward into the 21st century instead of returning us to the Dark Ages of ignorance and fear. We need a President who understands the difference between Scientific Inquiry and Religious Dogma. A President who respects intellectual curiosity, scientific investigation, and the need to advance the rights of women and not keep them barefoot and pregnant!

John Kerry can provide that leadership! We have your back John!



Blogger Watch 'n Wait said...

A most excellent discussion of Bush's ideas of what children should learn and not learn, Bob. I'm really pleased that you drew it to my attention. Absolutely worst president we have ever been afflicted with.
I'm so glad that John Kerry didn't leave the Senate when he ran for president. A shame he didn't win. Wouldn't be in this situation if he were leading the nation.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Barbara Knotts said...

I'm not all that into religion (my dad doesn't go to church and my mom just went for the free donuts), but I don't have anything against the theory of creationism being taught alongside evolution theory. Big deal. What are people afraid of? Just because you hear something doesn't mean you have to believe it. It's just like any other theory. People SHOULD learn about the different theories of how life began. Why hide such a largely believed theory just because it's *gasp* religious in orientation. I just don't get why that's bad. I'm sorry.

As for teaching contraception ... That's not something I think should be taught by schools. Creationism is a theory and contraceptive use is not. Sure ... if they are in science class and talking about reproduction issues, telling kids there is such a thing as contraception is fine. But having a class about the different kinds and how to use them is not appropriate for a school to teach in my opinion. That should be the parent's job. Schools should cover the basics (reading, writing, math, etc.). Social, moral and behavior issues ought to be the realm of the parents, not the schools. I know I would rather teach my children their manners and values than have a school official tell my children how to behave and what values to possess. I don't understand why schools are having to be responsible for teaching our children everything under the sun. Don't parents have responsibilities to teach their children things? Or are parents just supposed to give birth to them and put clothes on their backs? Seems like people now just think they are responsible for giving birth and providing clothes for their children. Everything else is pushed on the schools (including providing food). If the kid doesn't turn out right ... just blame it on the schools for not teaching them. Kid got pregnant? Ooops ... school didn't teach them about contraception. Bah. Parents should take responsibility for thier children. :) Nothing wrong with that.

9:22 AM  
Blogger BobsAdvice said...


Thanks for your comments! I appreciate your sincerity and the time it took to put your thoughts down. Lively discussion is the essence of blogging and if we all agree, it wouldn't be very informative!

First of all, creationism isn't a "theory". Theories belong in the realm of science. Creationism, without minimizing its relevance to lots of people, is a religious idea. The belief that God created the world. It isn't science. Schools don't need to teach belief in God. THAT is the role of parents as you say.

On the other hand, when schools teach about abstinence, they are talking about a method to prevent unwanted pregnancy. In other words, don't do it. We do have studies out there that show that the teaching of abstinence results in a GREATER incidence of unprotected and dangerous sexual activity than teaching about a balanced approach of ALL the options of responsible sexual activity. In other words, just like learning about nutrition, learning about sexual function IS part of the curriculum in modern American public schools.

Thanks again for participating! I look forward to your future posts.


10:55 AM  
Anonymous Barbara Knotts said...

Yes, yes ... it's not scientific ... but it's still one widely accepted idea (hence my use of the word "theory" ... although Intelligent Design IS a theory) about how we came to be. So frankly, I don't have a problem with it being talked about in school. No big deal to me. I don't have a big problem with it being NOT talked about in school either. I agree that parents should play a role in teaching their children. No disagreement there. It's just that I don't get how passionate people are about it being kept out of the schools. Big deal. People act like their children will die if the word "Creationism" is mentioned. I really think they need to take a "chill pill". My social studies teacher talked about creationism alongside Darwinism in public school (we had to have our parents sign a note *rolls eyes*) and I didn't turn into a religious fanatic. Anyway ... enough said on that subject. I'll leave it alone now.

As far as the contraception topic ... I didn't even bring up abstinence. I was talking about teaching about contraceptive use ... all kinds. I think if schools are going to teach about sexual function it should be a scientific approach of bodily function (the effects of puberty, the bodily organs, what purpose they serve, common diseases and prevention. Prevention being limited to a discussion of what preventative methods their are, but not how to use contraceptives. If you start talking about how to use contraceptives you are basically condoning sex as okay at their age (in my opinion). Regardless of what methods of birth control keep people from becoming pregnant or contracting disease ... how to use the different contraceptive methods is something parents or the child's doctor (in the case of diaphrams and such) should discuss with the child, not schools. Yes, learning about sexual FUNCTION is part of the curriculum in modern American public schools, as it should be, but how to use contraceptives is not part of sexual function and does not belong as part of that curriculum in my opinion.

9:08 AM  
Blogger BobsAdvice said...


I am glad you see that creationism is not "scientific." And I would agree with you that it is widely accepted religious viewpoint. But I also note that it is not science. Thus, we shouldn't be mixing "apples with oranges" so to speak. In other words, religion should be taught freely in the churches in the home, but religion should not be taught in the public schools.

No why is this so important to me? Because I am a very strong believer in the First Amendment. I don't want any government deciding what my own religious views or the views of my children should be. I don't want some watered-down Bible Story taught to my children. And I am aware that there are many religious views in this country, even those who have no religion. And every child should be protected.

That's why we keep religious education out of schools. Because we are a tolerant people who understand about the diversity of our children!

And contraception? Or Abstinence? The full range of options in birth control should be presented. You are just sticking your head in the sand if you think that if you don't tell kids about sexual hygiene, they will not become active. We need as a nation to educate a generation of sophisticated children. Not necessarily sexually experienced. As much as I would love to see all kids remain virgins until marriage, I don't believe it is going to happen. And in light of the HIV epidemic, the problem of STD's etc., we have a health-imperative to educate our young people to act responsibly.

I think it is that important!

Thanks again for writing!


6:56 PM  
Anonymous Barbara Knotts said...

I don't believe that providing a theory that is widely believed ... scientific or not, is teaching religion in the classroom. I believe it can be taught alongside Darwinism. I don't believe it is mixing apples and oranges to give different views of how life began. To me that is being tolerant of other people's diverse views on life. I don't think it would poison my children to hear it. There is our difference of opinion. Then again ... I'm not opposed to it not being talked about in school either ... being tolerant of the diversity of our children.

As far as contraceptive use ... I'm not saying don't talk about how to use contraceptives and I'm not burying my head in the sand. I realize kids are sexually active and can get pregnant and get diseases. I, myself, was one of those sexually active teens. I too, want to prevent this. However, the difference in our views is that I don't think it's the school's place to teach it. That is the parent's job or the child's doctor. We take away too much of the responsibility of raising children from the parents and give it to the schools. What exactly are parents held responsible for teaching their children anymore? Parents nowadays think they don't need to teach anything to their children. The school should do it! That's right, yeah! I'm too busy working. I have a life. I can't deal with my kids. That should be someone else's job. Bah. The school should teach the basics. Parents need to take responsibility for the rest of their child's growth.

I'm not going to comment any more on this topic because you haven't changed my mind (nor I yours) and I doubt that will happen anytime soon, hehe. But it's been fun. I love a debate. :)

9:00 AM  

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