Hobby Lobby wants the Bible taught as scripture in public schools

Just days after winning their Supreme Court case, Hobby Lobby sponsored an ad in multiple newspapers across the US. Titled “In God We Trust,” it’s a collection of quotes from the “Founding Fathers” and others that purports to show that the United States was founded as a Christian nation with a Christian government. None of this is new or surprising. But one of the quotes caught my attention. More about that in a minute.

If you follow the link above, you’ll see many of the usual quotes from the usual suspects. But my purpose here isn’t to show how Hobby Lobby is guilty of quote-mining, or to show that an honest assessment of the Founders would lead to different conclusions. (If you’re interested in that, see the Treaty of Tripoli, for instance; also see the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s comments on the ad here.) Continue reading

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Why creationism is bad for America: we aren’t the only game in town

Dan Colman at Open Culture has posted a link to a two-minute video in which Bill Nye (The Science Guy) explains why teaching creationism to kids is a bad idea. It’s a good, concise explanation of the real-world consequences of failing to grasp the unifying theory of biology.

But one of Colman’s own comments is worth repeating:

Now you might be inclined to say that America has always had creationists, and that didn’t stop the country from becoming an economic and military superpower. Perhaps that’s true. But you need to recall this. America reached its zenith when every other power had blown themselves to smithereens. We were the only game in town. And it almost didn’t matter what we thought, or how much we thought. We just needed to show up to work. Nowadays, we don’t have that luxury. We face stiff competition from ambitious nations that take science and education seriously. A country that scoffs at scientific reasoning, that dismisses it all as “elitist,”  has only one way to go, and that’s down.

Open Culture is such a cool site. A few days ago they posted a link to this killer Aretha Franklin concert from 1968, and today it’s the Talking Heads from 1975. (Just in case you’re not in the mood for anything sciencey, like blowing up asteroids with Neil deGrasse Tyson.)