More on ReligionGate Kevin Drum of The Washington Monthly has weighed in with some further thoughts concerning the allegation that the NCSE/Berkeley evolution website is using taxpayer money to promote religion. He is responding to a comment made on his earlier post that the religious right has no real power in our society, and that bashing them is just a form of sport for mean old lefties like Drum. Drum's reply:
I am really, really tired of hearing this. It's true that Republicans often pander to the religious right with purely symbolic actions, such as constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage that everyone knows will never get adopted. But at levels ranging from school boards all the way to the presidency the religious right has tremendous influence on a wide variety of policy issues in the Republican party, from abortion and gay rights to welfare policy and stem cells.
Evolution in public schools is perhaps the most chilling example of this. It is a big issue, the same as teaching kids that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor rather than the other way around is. And while it's true that creationism and its bastard cousin Intelligent Design haven't gotten far in our public school system, the only reason for that is the unceasing efforts of liberals and scientists to keep them out. It has nothing to do with a lack of influence, but rather to the fact that groups like NCSE fight them hammer and tongs every time they pop up.
Exactly right. This is something the “ignore them and they will go away crowd” need to wake up to.