Fair doesn't mean equal time

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2005

In a letter published Aug. 17, Marlin Bricker says "The shocking thing to me is we allow an atheistic minority to dictate what is taught to our children in our public schools."

First of all, as Mr. Bricker himself states, 37 percent believe in a combination of God and evolution (evo-creationists) and 12 percent believe in evolution. In other words, 49% of Americans believe in evolution to some extent. Labeling them all atheistic is, by his own statistics, misleading.

Secondly, the question of this 49 percent minority is irrelevant. As Federal District Judge William Overton of Little Rock, Ark., stated in striking down the Arkansas "Balanced Treatment" Act 590 of 1981, (which ordered equal classroom time for scientific creationism or what is now known as intelligent design): "The application and content of First Amendment principles are not determined by public opinion polls or by a majority vote. Whether the proponents of Act 590 constitute the majority or the minority is quite irrelevant under a constitutional system of government. No group, no matter how large or small, may use the organs of government, of which the public schools are the most conspicuous and influential, to foist its religious beliefs on others."

Fair and balanced doesn't mean equal time for religion in science class, anymore than one would expect equal time for wizards in physics class, or a television news show to provide coverage to both the truth and propaganda.

Wait a minute.

Michael Christenson

Juneau



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