It's been a constant battle for rational people in states with heavily religious populations to keep creationism, in all its many cleverly disguised forms, out of our children's science classes — at least in Public Schools — but now for what might be the first time we see the religious zealots' next step once they taste success: move from the Science classroom to the History classroom.
Apparently religious activists in Texas succeeded in putting creationism into the science classroom and are now pushing to put Christianity into History class. I know I shouldn't be surprised but I guess I was so focused on their attempts to supplant science with science fiction that I never stopped to consider that once they'd managed to teach our kids they should consider biblical truths to be equal to or better than observable truths that can be proven, they would of course move on to shoving their religious education into other aspects of public schooling which are also tainted by too much accuracy and/or reality.
I want to say I don't have a problem with religion, because of course there are plenty of things people can point to (truthfully) where religion has done worlds of good. There are a vast majority of religious people who take their religion seriously and simultaneously have nothing but respect and tolerance (the good kind, not the veiled disgust kind) for people of other faiths, as well as understanding and respect for science. Yet, it seems an unavoidable conclusion to me that most religions encourage rigid thinking and adherence to their particular dogma, which inevitably brings many of their most devoted followers into direct conflict with people who are busy trying to learn verifiable truths about our universe and existence through experimentation and observation.
Ultimately, at least where conflict exists science logically must trump religion because different faiths have many completely different religious truths, but ultimately science offers the only truths people of all faiths can observe, understand and confirm for themselves. This is certainly not to suggest science has all the answers — science doesn't offer moral guidance, for one thing. Ultimately science really only intrudes on one area of traditionally (through the dark ages) religious turf: explaining how our world works.
The bottom line though, is that religious folks who can't tolerate this partial intrusion on their doctrine by things we've learned through science are working hard to undermine our public education system and ultimately make our nation's children dumber and even more ill-equipped — not just to properly understand the universe in which they live but from a pragmatic perspective simply to compete in today's global economy against countries that already have educational systems far superior to our own.
To those uber-religious I would simply say this: Adam & Eve ate the forbidden fruit — get over it. In the biblical story of the Garden of Eden the choice which confronts our species is knowlege or ignorance. Our "original sin" in tasting the fruit of the tree of knowlege of good and evil was to grant ourselves a level of understanding above any of God's other creatures. It's done, we have that ability now and to shove your head in the sand and wave your bible insisting that it's more true than things we can observe and understand for ourselves isn't going to atone for the sin, it isn't going to return man to Eden. In short, as mothers of all faiths and nationalities have said for time immemorial, God gave you a brain — use it!
…because what this agenda is doing to our educational system is illogical, immoral, harmful, dangerous and just downright stupid — which is exactly what future generations of Americans will be if we turn our educational system back 400 years to before Galileo was imprisoned for pointing out the earth was not in fact the center of the universe which all heavenly bodies revolved around.
Another way to put it is simply this: If you believe the sun revolves around the earth, as does Jupiter, all of Jupiter's moons, and everything in the whole of existence, then you're clearly very dumb but at least I would respect your desire to change our educational system. On the other hand, if you don't believe any of that but you're still trying to supplant other scientific education with teachings more consistent with your bible then you obviously haven't learned anything from history and are doomed to repeat it, making your sin of stupidity far worse than the first group. Of course this new push for religion in history classes will make your children even more doomed-to-repeat-ier — so, cheers!