Saturday, February 17, 2007

Just when I thought Georgia lawmakers couldn't be any more stupid, a memo gets distributed under the name of State Rep. Ben Bridges saying that the teaching of evolution should be banned in public schools because it is a religious deception stemming from an ancient Jewish sect.

“Indisputable evidence — long hidden but now available to everyone — demonstrates conclusively that so-called ‘secular evolution science’ is the Big-Bang 15-billion-year alternate ‘creation scenario’ of the Pharisee Religion,” the memo is reported to say. “This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic ‘holy book’ Kabbala dating back at least two millennia.”

Brilliant. The ignorant, anti-scientific school meets the Anti-Semites. The National Center for Science Education, a California-based organization that defends the teaching of evolution in public schools, said the assertion that evolution is linked to an ancient Jewish sect is “bizarre.” “Evolution is recognized as a central unifying principle of the biological sciences by the scientific community and the education community,” said the center’s deputy director.

The memo calls on lawmakers to introduce legislation that would end the teaching of evolution in public schools because it is “a deception that is causing incalculable harm to every student and every truth-loving citizen.” It directs readers to a Web site which includes model legislation that calls the Kabbala “a mystic, anti-Christ ‘holy book’ of the Pharisee Sect of Judaism.” The Web site also declares “the earth is not rotating … nor is it going around the sun.”

They're not only opposed to Darwin, they haven't even got around to accepting Galileo yet. Check their site out; it would be funny if it weren't so scary, but then it would be scary only if it weren't so pathetic.

The memo directs supporters to call Marshall Hall, president of the Fair Education Foundation Inc., a Georgia-based organization that seeks to show evolution is a myth.

Mr. Hall said he showed Rep. Bridges the text of the memo and got his permission to distribute it to lawmakers in several states, including Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio. “I gave him a copy of it months ago,” said Hall, a retired high school teacher. “I had already written this up as an idea to present to him so he could see what it was and what we were thinking.” Hall said his wife Bonnie has served as Bridges’ campaign manager since 1996.

Rep. Bridges, who's district is based in Cleveland up in the north Georgia mountains, denies having anything to do with the memo. “I did not put it out nor did I know it was going out,” he said. “I’m not defending it or taking up for it.” However, Rep. Bridges acknowledged that he talked to Mr. Hall about filing legislation this year hat would end the teaching of evolution in Georgia’s public schools. Rep. Bridges said that although he doesn’t necessarily disagree with the views in the memo, they belong to Mr. Hall, not him. However, “I agree with it more than I would the Big Bang Theory or the Darwin Theory,” he said. “I am convinced that rather than risk teaching a lie, why teach anything?”

Rep. Bridges sponsored unsuccessful legislation in 2005 that would have required Georgia’s teachers to introduce scientific evidence challenging evolution.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Southeast regional director noted that the memo conjures up repugnant images of Judaism used for thousands of years to smear Jews as cult-like and manipulative. “I am shocked and appalled that you would send this anti-Semitic material to colleagues and friends, and call upon you to repudiate and apologize for distributing this highly offensive memo,” he said.

In reply, Rep. Bridges said, “I regret that these people have been offended, but I didn’t offend them because I didn’t put the memo out."

Right. He just agrees with it, and who could be offended by that?


Anonymous said...

Amazing how desperately some will
cling to their fragile world views
despite all evidence to the contrary.

The Scopes monkey trial and
Spencer Tracy's wonderful
"Inherit the Wind" apparently failed
to convince the idiotic to give up
their idiocies.

Anonymous said...

at least you get to live in Atlanta. You should try having these weirdos for neighbors.

GreenSmile said...

That is incredible. Aren't Georgians embarrassed? The Onion wouldn't make up a story that far fetched.

Looks like we are headed to Atlanta for a bar mitzvah in April. I'll know to be careful what I say.