Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Slippery Slope

It is my hope that the American taliban can learn to accept that not everyone will accept their standards of morality, ethics, or religion. I shall turn to a story that made the rounds a week ago in Kansas where the State Board of Education recently voted to redefine the science standards that cast doubt on evolution.

I have no problem against Intelligent Design. If you believe in God, you should be free to believe that perhaps he steered the course of evolution. What I have a problem is the slippery slope.

Connie Morris, a member of the State Board of Education has requested that a middle school teacher take down a cartoon of the famous Flying Spaghetti Monster which was created to mock Kansas' debate on teaching evolution. Why? Apparently it offended her.

Which brings me to my point. Academic freedom. Apparently to the fundies and the more conservative factions, it means the freedom to impose their own views on everyone else. Right-wingers have always complained about the liberal bias in the schools whether it'd be civics or history. Well, I'm sorry to say but the facts throughout our history are biased towards liberals. Is it bias when you teach that there were some conservatives on Wall Street who urged Lincoln to appease the South because they feared war would bring about another crash? Is it bias to teach that conservatives were against federal anti-lynching laws being proposed?

If they want their academic freedom, let them have it but let them if they want to teach Intelligent Design, let them also teach that the Higher Power may not necessarily be God. It can be a bunch of other deities from whatever religion you follow. Perhaps it's a Great Cat who brought forth the universe with a meow. Perhaps the universe emerged from Chaos as in Hesiod's Theogony. Why not teach some of the Native American myths while you're at it? I mean the concept of an intelligent designer is supposed to be neutral right? Let's see how long it takes for the fundies to reject this compromise.

The danger is that there is a movement that is seeking to censor anything it deems offensive. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is deemed offensive because it mocks and parodies the Creation Myth of Genesis. In Alabama, they were contemplating removing all books by gay authors or that which contains gay characters from public libraries. Books like The Color Purple would have been gone under this new era of book-burning. The sponsor of the bill wanted to EVEN BAN Shakespeare who is a mainstay of any English class whether it's high school or college. Sure he backed down on that, but if we set a precedent, how are we to know that we won't fall down the slippery slope AGAIN?

As a Classics major who is considering going on in either Classics or Psychology, it is in my deepest interest to see that they do not touch the things I and countless other Classics majors hold dear. Is Greek Mythology to be banned? After all, there are episodes of mythological characters such as Zeus and Ganymede which probably would not meet the American Taliban's standards. Moving further on, is Classics also to be banned? After all, there are many examples of pederasty found in ancient Greece. So are we to ban Plato too? Are all references to Socrates who advocated chaste pederasty to be purged from our books?

The slippery slope is a scary place and if we don't stop the Taliban, we will just embolden them to reshape our society until there is nothing left of the institutions we hold dear. This movement would rather have thousands of women get cervical cancer than to vaccinate them against the HPV virus because it believes that if you allow them to obtain vaccinations, then women will think that it's alright to go out and screw anyone they please. (Notice they don't say much about condoms.) This movement would rather impose their abstinence programs than to educate youth about safe sex. This movement would prefer our public schools system done away with, replaced with heaven knows what, voucher systems that move towards a system where education will only be a gift of those who can afford it and those who are of the right faith (Another example of the National Litterbox Adminstration's desire to PRIVATIZE EVERYTHING). This movement would like to impose their own psuedoscientific "research" that "proves" that homosexuals are diseased while purging any research that suggests that homosexuality is NOT a choice. May we stop them in their tracks before they completely corrupt the minds of our youth in the name of God.
If they want their own standards, let them have them, but over my dead body will they impose it on all of society. Considering the many examples we have of fundies either murdering people, soliciting sex from prostitutes, divorcing, or molesting their own children, perhaps they should look toward themselves and work towards bettering themselves.

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