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Dover Watch - ID Statement Will Be Read Next Week
2005.01.07 (Fri) 11:27
We saw an article this morning posted on the evangelical christian site WorldNetDaily with the title "ACLU backs off challenge to intelligent design." Disturbed, we read the article, and the press release at the Thomas More Law Center, the firm representing the Dover School Board. Both had this to say:
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center commented, "The ACLU pull back is clearly a good sign for the Dover School District. After several days of depositions it became clear that they simply did not have a strong enough case to ask that the policy be blocked. Clearly, if they thought they could have succeeded they would have asked the court to stop the policy before it was implemented."
Of course, we wanted to get the story from a source that doesn't believe that the world was created 6,000 years ago, and that doesn't believe that we at the Two Percent Company are damned to Hell for all eternity. It wasn't easy to come by. We were unable to find the story on most of the major news sites, and the blogosphere hadn't really caught up with it yet. We did find an AP story via the Centre Daily, a paper from Harrisburg, PA, that contained the following quote from the good guys:
Eight families who sued a school district over the presence of "intelligent design" in its curriculum will not ask a federal judge to block the lessons that are expected to start next week, an attorney said Wednesday.
Witold Walczak, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, said that during depositions this week, Dover Area School District officials "either denied or could not remember making statements at public school board meetings ... about a desire to find biology textbooks that discuss creationism," even though local newspapers reported their comments last summer.
Because the witnesses' statements raised questions about their credibility and because the case is so complex, the plaintiffs are asking a federal judge to schedule a trial in the spring instead of seeking an immediate court order that would prevent the lessons, Walczak said.
"While we believe the introduction of intelligent design next week is unconstitutional, we did not want to ask the court to decide the matter without a hearing," Walczak said.
Ah, so the Dover Board basically lied in order to achieve this result, and the plaintiffs asked to set a trial so that they could expose these lies properly. That's not quite the same as saying that the ACLU backed down, now is it?
The article goes on to say:
In December, attorneys for the district argued that the court order the plaintiffs were considering was unnecessary because reading the statement to students does not constitute teaching the concept.
"What is going on is a one-minute statement that's being made in a 90-minute section in a multiple-month subject," Turo said.
"The parallel I would draw would be, if a social-studies teacher teaching World War II would talk about the Holocaust and make a statement — just a couple paragraphs — that there are gaps in the historical records of the Holocaust, and you should know an alternative theory that the Holocaust never happened," he said.
We like the comparison between the tactics of Holocaust deniers and those of the Dover ID/Creationist morons. It works on so many levels.
While we're not thrilled with the fact that this religious propaganda statement will be read next week, this clearly isn't a sign of the plaintiffs or the ACLU backing down — it's a sign that the defendants are willing to lie and break their precious Ten Commandments in order to achieve their divine agenda. With any luck, they'll continue to lie in the trial, where they can be found guilty of perjury, and maybe do some jail time. Ah, we can dream.
For other breaking news on the Dover issue, see Pharyngula and The Panda's Thumb for posts on an open letter from UPenn faculty to the Dover school board — it is well worth a read.
[Update: Pharyngula also has a post about the Dover science teachers who have formally requested to opt-out of reading the ID statement. Put simply, they say "Students are allowed to opt out from hearing the statement. We should be allowed to opt out from reading it." Outstanding!]
[Update: A post on The Panda's Thumb addresses the UPenn letter referenced above, as well as the Thomas More Law Center response to that letter. Reed A. Cartwright over on the Panda's Thumb does a fine job of slicing and dicing the response letter, and showing it for the crap that it is.]
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In case you missed them, read our other Rants on Dover.
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[ Filed under: % Creationism % Government & Politics % Religion ]
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