the dover evolution case and the ann arbor connection

There was one little thing that I forgot to mention yesterday when I told you about the pummeling that Intelligent Design had just taken in Pennsylvania… Remember that quote from Judge Jones, where he said, “…this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy”? Well, that “national public interest law firm” that was so eager for an Intelligent Design court case that they rushed in and fed the fire in Dover is none other than Tom “shitty pizza” Monaghan’s very own Ann Arbor-based Thomas More Law Center. (note: Even though Rick Santorum might be trying to distance himself from this case now, it’s worth noting that he sits on the board of the Thomas More Law Center.) So, when you read about this Creationist Trojan horse being pushed into the federal courts, wasting everyone’s time and money in the process, just keep in mind that it was constructed right here in our own backyard.

According to their website, the Thomas More Law Center is in the business of “defending and promoting time-honored family values.” Looking over their recent cases, however, it seems as though they’re more interested in stripping gay Americans of their equal rights, protecting the right of Christians to display plastic, glowing replicas of the baby Jesus on public property, and trying to sneak religion into the classroom under the guise of science. As for the recent finding in Pennsylvania, you can read their official response here.

Speaking of responses to Judge Jones’ decision, did you happen to hear what Karl Rove’s friend, Richard Land, the President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, had to say? Here’s a clip from the Washington Post:

“This decision is a poster child for a half-century secularist reign of terror that’s coming to a rapid end with Justice Roberts and soon-to-be Justice Alito… This was an extremely injudicious judge who went way, way beyond his boundaries — if he had any eyes on advancing up the judicial ladder, he just sawed off the bottom rung.”

Wow, that’s quite a recommendation for Alito, isn’t it? (If I wasn’t against his nomination before, I sure as hell would be after reading that. Hopefully others are having similar thoughts.) You can just feel the hate and venom oozing out of him, can’t you? I particularly like the phrase, “secularist reign of terror.” That’s good, isn’t it? And how about that threat to Judge Jones (a lifelong Republican and Bush appointee to the federal bench)? This guy is seriously pissed that Jones didn’t just set aside the law and decide in favor of Intelligent Design to appease his supporters… And, remember, these are the people who proclaim to be so much against so-called “activist judges” who “legislate from the bench.” The hypocrisy is hilarious.

One last thing… That Washington Post article starts out by quoting Lehigh University’s Michael Behe, one of the few academics in America who’s gotten on-board to champion Intelligent Design. Well, in poking around just now I discovered that one of Dr. Behe’s colleagues at Lehigh, Dr. Jill Schneider, has launched a site of her own to put forward the opposing view. I found her perspective on ID, and Behe, to be quite interesting. And, more importantly, I believe that she is the first academic to officially buy into my theory that the Discovery Institute’s Ken Ham is actually Dr. Zaius from Planet of the Apes. (She says so at the end of the piece.)

(note: The text above was taken from the court-issued report in the Dover, Pennsylvania case, which is available for download here.)

update: Today’s Washington Post picks up on what I was saying about the connection between Santorum and the Thomas More Law Center… It seems as though he’s walking away from them as fast as he possibly can. Here’s a clip:

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) withdrew on Thursday his affiliation from the Christian-rights law center that defended a school district’s policy requiring the teaching of “intelligent design”…. “I thought the Thomas More Law Center made a huge mistake in taking this case and in pushing this case to the extent they did,” Santorum said. He said he will end his affiliation with the center…. In 2002, Santorum said in a Washington Times op-ed article that intelligent design “is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes.” On Thursday, he said he meant that teachers should have the freedom to mention intelligent design as part of the evolution debate — not be required to do so. He added that his position has not changed.

Maybe the political winds really are shifting back toward the center.

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  1. j7uy5
    Posted December 23, 2005 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    The really bizarre thing is that the Thomas More center openly states that their mission is to “use the courts to change society.” I wonder how they can be opposed to “activist” judges, on the one hand, yet be in favor of using the courts to change society, on the other hand? Isn’t that contrary to the notion of judicial restraint.

  2. mark
    Posted December 23, 2005 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Yeah, you would think so.

    Words don’t mean anything any more. I know it gets said all the time these days, but Orwell was brilliant.

    Clear Skys, Healthy Forests, Activist Judges, Patriot Act, Death Tax…. all the way to Freedom Fries. There must be a hundred examples.

  3. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted December 23, 2005 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Ann Arbor may have Thomas More, but Ypsi is the home of the “Girls Crushing Cars” phenom.

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