More on KU

Recently, I posted on a class at KU called “Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationisms and other Religious Mythologies.” The class has raised the ire of the intelligent design community and conservatives in Kansas. Which is kid of shocking. ID advocates have made a big show of talking about how not teaching ID violates academic freedom and amounts to viewpoint discrimation. They constantly talk about how purveyors of “Darwinian ideology” are censoring and intimidating ID advocates into silence. Well:

And John Altevogt, a conservative columnist and activist in Kansas City, said Tuesday that state officials should require the university to change the name of the Department of Religious Studies to the “Department of Religious Intolerance.”

“If we can’t do that,” Altevogt said, “maybe we settle for some cuts in spending.”

*snip*

Sen. Roger Pine, R-Lawrence, said he doesn’t believe KU’s move to offer the course should have a negative effect in the Legislature as long as the course is handled in a serious and intellectually honest way.

“They should be commended for taking the challenge — if it’s done in that manner,” Pine said.

But O’Connor said anything was possible in the Legislature.

“If they press forward in this area and continue to kick sand, the ultimate will be a negative of some sort,” she said. “I don’t know what the negative will be … You can’t kick sand in someone’s face and then expect a positive. And that’s what this is — a sand-kicking contest.”

*snip*

“Why poke a stick in somebody’s eye if you don’t have to?” she said. “If you’re going to have an intelligent design course and call it mythology, I think in the very least it’s a slap in the face to every Judeo-Christian religion that’s out there.”

Gee, I though ID had nothing to do with any religion, much less Judeo-Christian ones.

Altevogt was still angry.

“There’s nothing intellectually honest about this at all,” he said Tuesday. “This is purely hate-mongering, just for the purpose of hate-mongering. It’s not a religion class. It’s a class of religious intolerance.”

So there ya go. Create a class to explore intelligent design in an academically meaningfull way and the prevailing religious orthodoxy circles the wagons, starts making threats and is trying to intimidate Professor Paul Mirecki into silence. It is interesting to note that ID advocates always protest when people say ID is a way of sneaking religion into science class. ID doesn’t say anything about who the designer is “could be space aliens” (if space aliens are the designers does that mean folks don’t have to worship God and Jesus anymore?) yet the response to Professor Mirecki’s class has come primarily from the conservative christian community. Why is that?

Red State Rabble has an interesting take on the subject as well.

Added slightly later: Thoughts From Kansa also has a couple of posts on the subject.

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