Last year, the Kansas State Board of Education was sued for — wait for it — promoting atheism by way of evolution. I know you can’t even say the words “Kansas” and “Science” in the same sentence without laughing, but that really happened.
The group Citizens for Objective Public Education, Inc. (COPE) filed the lawsuit because they believed the new science standards adopted by the Board of Education, which included the teaching of evolution, were endorsing an atheistic worldview:
The Complaint alleges that the Kansas Board’s adoption on June 11, 2013, of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (the F&S) “will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview” in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Riiiiight. Because if you’re not teaching Creationism or Intelligent Design, you must be pushing anti-Christian ideas… Let’s be clear: The state standards by no means pushed atheism. If you came to that conclusion because of what you learned in science class, you did it on your own.Earlier tonight, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree (who said last month that a gay marriage ban in Kansas was unconstitutional) dismissed COPE’s lawsuit:
… Crabtree ruled Tuesday that a nonprofit group and individuals challenging the standards did not claim specific enough injuries to allow the case to go forward.
Which is a fancy way of saying their religious beliefs weren’t really affected by the state standards.
It’s not very often we say it, but the Kansas State Board of Education is on the right side of the science debate here. Let’s hope COPE says nope to an appeal.
I apologize for that last line.
(Large portions of this article were posted earlier. Thanks to Brian for the link)