'Designed to replace God'
The state Board of Education will be endorsing an "anti-religious movement designed to replace God" if it adopts science standards that embrace Darwin's theory of evolution as the fundamental concept of modern biology, says a new legal memo from the law firm of David C. Gibbs III (left), the Pinellas attorney who represented Terri Schiavo's parents and siblings.
The new memo, sent to BOE member Linda Taylor yesterday, is intended as a supplement to an earlier missive, which argued that the proposed standards had crossed the line from science into a "philosophical faith-based belief system" (see St. Petersburg Times story on that here). The first memo was co-written by Gibbs and Francis Grubbs, a curriculum expert who's working for Gibbs' firm and the Seminole-based Christian Law Association. The new memo is from Grubbs alone. He provided this copy to The Gradebook.
The nine-page tract cites prominent atheist Richard Dawkins and two other scientists, and then concludes: "Ponder carefully that these three evolutionary scientists have summarized the dangerous educational outcomes if Evolution, as a fact, is allowed to become the 'fundamental concept' by which all of life is interpreted and understood. It will demand that the concept of 'God' be banished from the mind and replaced by atheism; It will displace any idea that there is purpose for man except to discover what it means to be human; It will demonstrate that other species of animal life has as much value and right as man; and it will require a mind devoid of biblical theism – devoid of any concept of God."
"The courts have decreed that evolution is not a religion, but even its own advocates declare that it is antireligious and atheistic leaving no room for religion in the life of the mind (emphasis added by Grubbs). It is not a religion – but if it is allowed to become educational Benchmarks – it will be a government sanctioned anti-religious movement designed to replace God, a Biblical worldview, and spiritual and ethical values in the minds of our children."
A cover letter asks the BOE to give the new memo "considerable weight" as it discusses the issue. (The board is slated to vote Feb. 19.) The letter is cc'd to state Sen. Daniel Webster, R-Orlando; state Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico; BOE member Donna Callaway; and Terry Kemple, a Christian community activist in Brandon.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter