Flash forward to April 20th 1,2 —the year really doesn’t matter—and imagine that you are a fly on the wall of either one of two federal district court judges’ chambers. A news bulletin interrupts normal broadcasting to announce that this sad anniversary has been marked by yet another “Columbine copycat” school violence episode, and the authorities are now on the scene investigating the carnage.3
Fly Number One is on the wall of unelected Georgia federal district judge Clarence Cooper’s chambers. In January of 2005, Cooper agreed with the ACLU in the case of Selman v. Cobb County 4 that an insert placed in the front of biology textbooks by elected school board members constituted an unconstitutional establishment of religion in violation of “separation between church and state.” The offending phrase read:“This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.” Judge Cooper opined that “… the sticker would appear to advance the religious viewpoint of the Christian fundamentalists …” thus offending folks sensitive to criticizing 5 Charles Darwin—who might today be dubbed the patron saint of school violence. More on this later.
Never mind that the state-sponsored biology textbooks’ evolution chapters are propaganda tools for the religion of secular humanism 6 and contain outright falsehoods involving numerous subjects 7 (e.g., moths and fruit flies that are cousins to the critter on his wall). 8 Having reviewed over twenty of the last crop of science textbooks proposed for adoption in Louisiana, I have firsthand knowledge of these purposeful errors.9
Meanwhile, buzz over to Fly Number Two, eavesdropping on the wall of unelected Pennsylvania federal district judge John Jones’ chambers. Jones, in December 2005, issued a 139-page diatribe in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District 10 blasting the elected (notice the pattern here?) Dover, PA School Board’s decision to order a cautionary statement about Charles Darwin to be read to students before delving into their biased biology textbooks. Contemplating the sheer size of the opinion, I’m reminded of the litigators’ maxim that “If you’ve got the facts, then pound the facts; if you’ve got the law, then pound the law; if you’ve got neither, then pound the table.” The judges’ corollary might end, “Pound the keyboard!”11
And again, never mind that the biology textbooks’ evolutionism chapters contain stunning falsehoods that—like overruled case authority—if knowingly argued by an attorney in the context of litigation, would likely constitute a violation of lawyers’ ethical standards. 12
If these two insects were to elude court security flyswatters and rendezvous to compare notes in, say, Dayton, Tennessee, home of the much-misunderstood Scopes Trial of 80 years ago,13 the conversation might go something like this:
Georgia Fly: “My judge sure was shocked at the news of this new Columbine-like rampage! He said he just can’t understand where this ‘kill or be killed’ mindset comes from. What did your judge say?”
Pennsylvania Fly: “My judge was upset, too. He wonders if bullying is at the root of these senseless acts of violence. He said he is anxious for humans to evolve past this stage of life on earth.”
Georgia Fly: “You’d think they’d know a few things, being judges and all… . ”
Pennsylvania Fly: “Like what?”
Georgia Fly: “Well, you know. The obvious! That ever since the beginning, God’s invisible hand has been clearly perceived in everything around us! These people are really without excuse!”14
Pennsylvania Fly: “Yes, that’s true… . But although they do know God in the deepest part of their hearts, they don’t honor him or give thanks to him. They refuse to think clearly. They think they’re wise, but they’re really fools.”
Georgia Fly: “It’s such a shame! Here we are, buzzing, breathing examples of His Creation, and yet they’ve chosen to exchange the glory of God for the fairy tale of evolving birds, animals and reptiles.”
Pennsylvania Fly: “Even a fly knows it.”
Georgia Fly: “Yeah. But we can be honest. We’re just flies. You don’t have an agenda.”
Of course, the common denominator is that both judges—quite unlike America’s founders—are vexed with tin ears and moral laryngitis regarding how men are hardwired. Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV) offers clear insight about the depravity of human nature. America’s founding generation unmistakably knew this and took great pains to shape our governing documents taking man’s sinful nature into account. 15 We have been surviving on the residue of their deposit of wisdom for some time now and are ripe for a reawakening.
The “sowing and reaping” principle that follows naturally from denying the biblical worldview’s reality of sin is well-stated by C.S. Lewis in his 1943 book, The Abolition of Man: “In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and yet demand the function. We make men without chests and then expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and then are shocked when we find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings be fruitful.” In other words, sow secular humanism and survivalist mentality in the fall, expect a Columbine harvest in the spring. Having sown the seeds of godlessness for many years now, it should surprise no one that our jails are full, our families struggling, and our schools are now statistically the most dangerous place for a child to be. 16 How ironic it is that legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and not some theologian nailed the problem with his observation that, “The criminal is the product of spiritual starvation. Someone failed miserably to bring him to know God, love Him and serve Him.” 17
But then, ironies abound in constitutional jurisprudence. 18 For example, it was in Kentucky that one of the early student violence episodes occurred in 1997, resulting in the murder of three students and wounding of five others. And it was Kentucky’s (elected) legislature that had earlier enacted a law 19 requiring the posting in schools—at no taxpayer expense—of the Ten Commandments issued by the God-In-Whom-We-Say-We-Trust, including “thou shalt not murder.” 20
This state legislation was declared “unconstitutional” by an unelected SCOTUS 21 in a 1980 per curiam (unsigned) opinion, containing this lamentable declaration: “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the school children to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the establishment clause.” 22 Interestingly, the Kentucky legislature ordered an inscription to be placed beneath the posters announcing their educational purpose: “The secular application of the Ten Commandments is clearly seen in its adoption as the fundamental legal code of Western Civilization and the Common Law of the United States.” That this is an historically accurate statement is borne out by constitutional expert Justice Joseph Story’s observation, “There has never been a period of history, in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying at its foundation.” 23 Public outrage—but no impeachments—followed the decision.
Then in 1996, only a year before that infamous Kentucky murder rampage that targeted students at a school prayer gathering, Princeton professor John DiIulio, along with former anti-drug officials Bill Bennett and John P. Walters, published a sobering book entitled Body Count. The book described “the coming superpredators”: juvenile offenders who could become the most conscienceless, brutal criminals in recent history, because they have grown up “fearing neither the stigma of arrest, pains of imprisonment, nor the pangs of conscience.” What a crop!
How long will we continue in this downward spiral? Until men of courage begin to connect the dots and act … ideas have consequences, and some bad ideas produce really bad consequences. Darrell Scott, father of Columbine murder victim Rachel Scott, has produced solid evidence showing how the uncritical teaching of Darwinian evolutionism is one such bad idea. Anyone wondering why Eric Harris chose to wear a “NATURAL SELECTION” t-shirt on his day of infamy should find Scott’s An Open Letter to Louisiana Educators: Teach More About Darwinisms to be a real eye-opener. 24
In another touch of irony, it will likely be America’s judicial system that must sort through the aftermath that we can expect such future waves of senseless violence to produce. Victimized parents will, of course, seek to hold accountable the purveyors of the poisonous information that fuels such rampages. Known as “infotorts,” these new causes of action are based on the finding that information can harm people and that under some conditions the source of the information should be liable for that harm 25
More than 150 years ago, Alexis De Tocqueville, the Frenchman who carefully studied American culture, noted that “scarcely any political question arises … that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question.” 26 The two cases discussed above reflect the growing public sentiment that it’s time to separate science data from science philosophy.27 Americans weary of amoral outcomes are coming to the same conclusion as one incisive writer that “Evolutionists have ‘Physics Envy.’ They tell the public that the science behind evolution is the same science that sent people to the moon and cures diseases. It’s not. The science behind evolution is not empirical, but forensic. Because evolution took place in history, its scientific investigations are after the fact—no testing, no observations, no repeatability, no falsification, nothing at all like physics. … I think this is what the public discerns—that evolution is just a bunch of just-so stories disguised as legitimate science.” 28
As Mark Twain observed, “A lie can go halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.” But, to quote US founding father John Adams, “facts are stubborn things.” The fact is that no court ruling can change the inexplicably complex code in our DNA about which students need to know. Nor can a judicial opinion remove the breathtakingly intricate molecular machines from the cell.29 The Lord of those flies and the Creator of the universe is still—as my children like to say—“large and in charge.” 30
And even a fly can sense that intelligent change is in the air!