Christian Threats of Violence

I never would have guessed that the judge in the Dover, Pennsylvania case striking down 'intelligent design' would have Christianists threatening to kill him. From the Witchita Eagle:

LAWRENCE, Kan. - A judge who struck down a Dover, Penn., school board's decision to teach intelligent design in public schools said he was stunned by the reaction, which included death threats and a week of protection from federal marshals.

Pennsylvania U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III told an audience in Lawrence Tuesday that the case illustrated why judges must issue rulings free of political whims or hopes of receiving a favor.


Jones didn't focus on that debate but instead discussed the fallout, which included the death threats and a verbal lashing from conservative pundits around the country.

He said much of the criticism showed a lack of understanding about the role of judges, who he said should rule based on the Constitution and legal precedence - not on personal whims or political favors.

Jones said many people expected him to rule differently because he is a longtime Republican and was appointed by President Bush.

"These criticisms point at something in the way that both the pundits and the public tend to perceive judges," he said. "It is false, it is debilitating and if unchallenged, I believe it will ultimately tear at the fabric of our system of justice in the United States."

People have a right to disagree with judges, particularly by filing appeals, but the level of debate needs to rise above personal attacks, he said.

"As we spend time, as we did in the Dover case, debating what to put in the science curriculum in our schools, we had better start paying attention to the curriculum of civics and government, as well as history," he said.
First, it's good to see a judge, especially a Bush appointee, standing up for an independent judiciary. He should be on Sunday morning talk shows, bringing that message to the people. Actually, if he's going to actually reach voters, he'd do better on Oprah.

That said, even if new guidelines for civics and government classes in public education were drawn up, they would be subject to the same underlying problem that forced John Jones to rule that science is science and religion is religion and the two shouldn't mix in publicly funded schools.

Forces on the Right are intolerant of anything presented in a public school with which they disagree. I can't imagine that any examination of civics and government drawn up by sane people could possibly do anything but enrage them.

My high school government class (I didn't have civics) was great. I spent a month learning (and reading) the Constitution. I read some of the Federalist Papers. My teacher, Miss Beaver, was great. We examined all three branches independently, throughout their history.

This was as Republicans were jockeying for the nomination in 2000. We discussed how these abstract ideas, some hundreds of years old, fit into modern politics. Miss Beaver was tremendously even handed. She had no agenda other than education. I credit her class, plus George W. Bush, as the reason why I'm a political junky.

This post is suffering subject drift.

When Pam wades into Freeper Land for "Actual Freeper Quotes" if the subject touches on education, there's always a comments encouraging parents to get their kids out of public schools, invariably called 'government schools' and into (presumably) a home-schooling situation.

Do we run the risk of having a generation of Americans of which a significant portion have a 'Madrasah' education?

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