Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Teach your children well

On this day in 1925, John Scopes was arrested for teaching about evolution in his high school science class. The end result was what was officially known as Tennessee vs. John Scopes, but was dubbed by the press as "The Monkey Trial." At the request of the defense, the jury found Scopes guilty and fined him $100. As hoped, the verdict went to the State Supreme Court, who dropped the case due to a technicality. But the trial and its publicity proved to help those wanting to bring the teaching of evolution into the school system, hastening what was perhaps by then inevitable.

Now, eighty years to the day later, the Kansas Board of Education will begin to hear testimony about scientific controversies over evolution. The hearings were called by a three-member subcommittee of the State Board of Education that thinks students should hear more criticism of Darwin's theory of how species originate. Groups opposed to mandatory criticism of evolution are boycotting the hearings. So the group will only hear from those who advocate "intelligent design," which posits that an intelligence is the best explanation for the complexities found in nature.

Of course, most people in the world believe in a God who created all that is. This is true for the 2 billion Christians, the 1 billion Muslims, as well as Jews and many others of faith. Knowledge of evolution has not caused mass disbelief. Darwin himself seems to have seen evolution as not being incompatible with faith. In the close to his Of the Origin of the Species he wrote,
There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved
Yet what was being considered in Tennessee in 1925 and is now being reconsidered in Kansas, is what our children are to be taught. When it comes to faith in God, we can not count on the school system to teach our children. We were never supposed to do so. Scripture places teaching faith into the hands of parents and grandparents.
But watch out! Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the LORD do for you. Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.—Deuteronomy 4:9

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.—Deuteronomy 6:4-7
No matter what happens in the debate about intelligent design, the job of teaching our children and our children's children was never meant to be left to the school system. Or in the words of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young,
Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why,
if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh
and know they love you.


  • At 5/07/2005 7:29 PM, Blogger Celeste said…

    All this having been said, I have to give praise and thanksgiving for the teachers and adminstrators that we have at Camden County Schools. It is daily that they send and receive prayer requests for family members who have seen God's glory and they are not afraid to share it. They have been with the dying and are touched enough to share it with "All Mail Users".
    While things aren't always perfect with them, they know who they answer to.
    Thanks be to God for them,


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