Friday, April 17, 2009

Dred-ful Decisions

As described on Wikipedia, Dred Scott was a slave who sued for his freedom before the Civil War. He had lived several years in a free state, where slavery was illegal. His legal wranglings came later. He had won one trial, where a jury declared, "Once free, always free." But he lost on subsequent appeals. The case made it to the Supreme Court, where he lost. The majority opinion included this point, among others:
Any person descended from black Africans, whether slave or free, is not a citizen of the United States, according to the U.S. constitution.
As Wikipedia says,
In effect, the Court ruled that slaves had no claim to freedom; they were
property and not citizens...
Now, not all of us are legal experts, but we know a bad law or Supreme Court decision when we see it. And there are some on the books today which are just as bad as this one was.

I will not name them specifically, but comment generally on one set of decisions and laws--those which have to do with science and religion in the American classroom. The first mistake was to effectively ostracize a group of people who believe that God created the Earth directly in 6 days. Whether one believes that or not, the question of religion in the classroom is not handled properly.

We have got to realize that a religious person brings religion into the classroom when s/he walks into the classroom. Science and religion cannot be separated within the believing person. The Young Earth Creationist believes God made science directly and supernaturally.

Now, of course, there are people who do not agree. Unfortunately, with the help of the courts, they now behave, in relation to this subject, like they are the only ones living in this country and need to unequivocally have their own way. They don't make the effort, with their supposedly superior minds, to see how we can work together. I am sorry I am venting this way. Perhaps I should not in a public forum. One becomes very frustrated, but it is our work to keep trying to work out a solution.

The problem is not easy, I admit. But it does not pertain only to Young Earth Creationists. Many people are becoming increasingly insulting to anyone with any religious belief which clashes with the prevailing, culture-scientific dogma. (And I say "culture-scientific dogma" because the real science is often abused for the sake of the cultural and atheistic beliefs.) How do we handle Hindus, Muslims, and others who believe God supernaturally created? Will all religious mothers be forced to home-school their children? We need wise guidelines from the courts.

Science can be learned by all. I think very few parents would protest having their children (safely) put chemicals into a test tube to see what happens. Experiment and discovery cannot be denied. What must be sorted out and dealt with, all around, are interpretations that do not show up in the scientific test tube.

There are other Dred-ful laws and decisions in other areas, including those for abortion. We all hope someday that they will be reversed and revised in a sensible way.

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