January 30, 2010

Those creationists in West Bend

[West Bend, WI school board candidates] Weigand and Marquardt have been endorsed by Common Sense Citizens of Washington County. Here’s what I want to know: how much common sense does it demonstrate to endorse candidates who publicly assert that their religious beliefs should be intruded into the school curriculum in a way that could cost the district millions in legal fees and international ridicule?
On the other hand, advertising oneself as a creationist is an appeal to a substantial portion of the electorate.* So while the prospective official may never once move against the district's science standards, professing "answers in Genesis" could be an effective springboard to officialdom, especially in conservative Washington County.

Moreover, millions in legal fees are an economic stimulus and international ridicule — while also undoubtedly entertaining — can be productive. When the Kansas State Board of Education embraced creationism in 1999, nearly the entire board was turfed out (by other Republicans) at the earliest available opportunity and the then-governor (Bill Graves, another Republican) reinforced the State's commitment to legitimate science at its public universities.

Gov. Graves was afraid tuition and research money was fleeing to the post-Enlightenment strongholds of Arkansas and Mississippi.

So one might concur with Mpeterson (and I certainly do) but at the same time extend an open invitation to "bring 'em on."

I know a few lawyers who'd be more than pleased to participate.

* How half of the citizens of the country that birthed both Edwin Hubble and his eponymous telescope believe the universe is 10,000 years old is a mystery equally profound as any existential dilemma.

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