Archive for May 2nd, 2009
Should you ever talk to the police to exonerate yourself? Professor James Duane explains why you should never talk to the police. Ever. Even if you are completely innocent. Sounds like good advice to me.
It’s not just a clever defense lawyer tactic. It’s a Constitutional right that has been upheld repeatedly by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The next time someone says to you that religion is under attack by the courts in the schools because of the separation clause, consider this high school history teacher who has been found guilty of insulting Christians in class.
James Corbett, a 20-year teacher at Capistrano Valley High School, was found guilty of referring to Creationism as “religious, superstitious nonsense” during a 2007 classroom lecture, denigrating his former Advanced Placement European history student, Chad Farnan.
The problem with this is that, basically, Mr. Corbett only told the truth, and appears to have talked almost exclusively about Creationism, not Christianity. The judge made the immediate connection between the two, however. U.S. District Court Judge James Selna’s claim that he can find “no secular purpose” in Corbett’s statements is either thick-witted or disingenuous—it would seem to be a teacher’s job to point out to students something that is, well, idiocy.
However, I expect an appeal on this, because it is also clear that the judge in question has something of a bias here. But it’s instructive—rather than take the idea of Creationism as what it has lately been packaged, namely Intelligent Design, and examine it as a claim of “science” as its advocates insist it is, Selna understands immediately that this is a bogus proposition. That, in fact, Intelligent Design is a religious idea in a new wrapper. Corbett’s dismissal of Creationism can only then be an attack on religion.
Which, by the letter of the law, is a violation of the separation clause.
Those who advocate against secularism and insist religious ideas have no defense in this modern state should look at this as an example—not in their favor, because it still won’t allow for the introduction of religion into public schools—of the fact, oft-stated, that the Constitution requires even-handed exclusions. Secularists can’t even say nasty things about a bogus idea that has only association relevance to religion. You can’t even bring it up to say it’s wrong.
Personally, I do think this is a bit idiotic, but—what’s that old phrase—it is fair to a fault.