Interfering Courts

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Once again the courts have overstepped in and pushed the secularist agenda.


A federal judge in Atlanta, Georgia, has ruled that a suburban county school district's textbook stickers referring to evolution as "a theory not a fact" are unconstitutional.

Now, I'm not in favor of these stickers, nor do I think it particularly helpful to muddy the waters about what the word "theory" means in science. Nevertheless, to put a sticker on a textbook that says something is a theory not a fact is not governmental support of religion. If the government said, "Evolution is wrong, God created all in seven days," then you would have a case. However, they did not. They said merely what is NOT usually said in textbooks--the theory should be critically evaluated on its own merits. They did not propose what the alternative might be to evolution nor did they encourage children to believe whatever alternative there might be.

Once again the courts are pushing the limits--suggesting that any demurral from the empiricists is a suggestion of religion. In other words, Science has become the state religion and to dissent from it in any way is now unconstitutional. This is sheer nonsense. To start with the establishment clause is invoked as the gag order is enforced and once again we look at the establishment clause which states specifically "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Now it seems to me that a school board posting a sticker is hardly congress (that's the first point). The second point is the second half of the clause which the court in fact violates. By removing this sticker, they are in fact establishing a religion and violating the free exercise of one already established.

Since when is a school board Congress? What happened to the idea that whatever rights were not granted the centralized federal government belonged to the states themselves. Will a sticker on a textbook lead to rampant theocracy and a subversion of the imagined separation between church and state? Hardly. Might it lead to subversion of free religious practice? No, because it already abrogates free religious practice.

I don't know what to do about activist courts. But if I were on the school board in that county, I would simply say with Andrew Jackson (with whom I disagree as to application) "Mr. Marshall has made his law, now let him enforce it." Are you going to send in police to confiscate textbooks and remove the stickers? The time has long since come when small acts of civil disobedience in defying the idiotic courts are in order. The activist judiciary needs to be defied right and left until they start interpreting law and cease making it. And their interpretation of that law should be confined to what is written, not what has been invented since FDR deconstructed the courts in the 1940s.

Okay, I'm over it. I don't agree with the message of the stickers. I think it is misleading and misrepresenting how science works and what science is. Nevertheless, I don't see the court stepping in to correct every ill-considered action of a school board. They need to keep their noses out of community affairs and learn what the word "interpretation" means. Interpretation does not equal reinvention.

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Although the Bill of Rights was not originally intended to apply to states (something the Supreme Court specifically affirmed in Barron v. Baltimore, in 1832), it has been so applied by the Court for several decades, beginning in 1937 with Palko v. Connecticut. I believe that the justification used had something to do with the 14th Amendment's "due process" clause. So this is how a school board is treated synonymously with Congress.

But I agree with you that this decision is outrageous, especially as it implies that skepticism has no place in science, and that science can never be friends with religion (read Christianity if you like, for what other religion do our courts ever bash?) I suppose the courts will next rule that textbooks cannot be changed to reflect recent discoveries that early mammals occasionally munched on dinosaurs (and while we're at it, let's bring back the Brontosaurus!) And after that, they'll oppose any mention of a common female ancestor (using evidence from mitochondria), on the grounds that this, too, unlawfully mixes church and state.

So I think you're right: what passes for science today is the new state religion. As one whose training was also in science, I find this deplorable, and agree with you that a little resistance might be quite salutary.


You make my point precisely. Dating from about the time of the Roosevelt courts, the judiciary has taken it upon itself to reinterpret the consitution and make of it what they wish. Note your date 1937--smack in the heart of the era. Isn't it a usurpation of power simply to take the establishment clause and suddenly decide some 150 years after the fact that the founders in fact meant it for any group of people?

Judicial usurpation by any other name, is still judicial usurpation. The disfigurement of the original construction and intent is precisely ONE of the many matters over which the civil war was fought. 1860 predicted 1937, predicted 2005, and who knows what lies ahead. Congress may not make any law establishing or preventing free practice, but the constitution certainly doesn't limit the judiciary. I have no crystal ball, but I don't think it takes any great leap of the imagination for us to see the next steps won't come by legislation but by judicial fiat.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 14, 2005 7:52 AM.

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