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Opinion | Science class: The ark, some dinosaurs and the ruler of a galactic confederacy

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

An Alabama lawmaker wants school teachers to incorporate the lessons of Scientology into public school science courses.

That’s right, Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Munford, wants teachers to mix crazy religious theories alongside scientific theories and then let kids decide which one to choose. And if those kids choose to answer quizzes by saying that life on this planet was, in some part, created when Xenu, tyrant ruler of the Galactic Confederacy, came to earth 75 million years ago and brought billions of people with him on Douglas DC-8 airliners, only to then use hydrogen bombs to blow up volcanoes, causing thetans to stick to living people, Hurst thinks such teachings should be given the same weight as decades of scientific research and progress.

And so, he’s introduced a bill in the Alabama Legislature to do just that.

Before long, your Christian sons and daughters will be learning all about their thetans, or immortal souls, that are intrinsically good and capable of unlimited creativity. If they’re lucky, they might advance through all eight of Scientology’s OT levels and receive the ultimate spiritual guidance on the deck of the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds.

If Steve Hurst has anything to do with it, the teachings won’t stop there.

His bill goes so far as to say that teachers, in an effort to better teach Scientology’s lessons, can read — and assign the kids to read — from Scientology’s holy book, “Dianetics,” by L. Ron Hubbard.

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And the teachers cannot tell the children that they’re wrong for choosing Scientology’s teachings over that of basic science. If a student, for example, decides that humans didn’t evolve into the intelligent beings of today, but were instead magically formed by space aliens and volcanoes, well, that could also be a right answer if you never plan to go to real college, so the teachers must mark that answer correct.

This is the stupidity brought about by Steve Hurst and his bill.

To be clear, Hurst’s bill doesn’t push the teaching of Scientology. But it does so by default, whether Hurst understands this or not.

Hurst’s actual bill, HB258, pushes Christianity and the thousands-of-times-debunked fairytale of Creationism, which is no more supported by facts, evidence and research than Scientology’s story of Xenu and the volcanoes.

The problem is: If Creationism goes into the classroom, so does Xenu.

And the teachings of every other religion.

Because this is America, and in America, no singular religion or religious story has more standing under the law than any other religion or any other religion’s stories. Which was part of the genius of this place — the single law that has prevented wars and constant fighting in this country since it was founded.

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But some people can’t grasp that simple fact.

And so, since it’s election time, here comes pandering Steve Hurst with a bill to rile up the season ticket holders to the creationist museum, without a care in the world if it’s unconstitutional or anti-American.

Because it is both of those things.

This country was founded by people who were trying to escape the injustices of religious persecution. And I’m talking about actual persecution. Not the “oh no, the Publix cashier said happy holidays” kind of persecution.

We agreed a long time ago to a separation of church and state and that we would be keeping religious teachings out of our public schools, relying instead on science. Real science. Which isn’t based on, and doesn’t agree with, the teachings of any religion.

And just to make sure, the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1987, ruled that laws requiring the teaching of creationism violated the Establishment Clause and were unconstitutional.

But that doesn’t matter to Steve Hurst. So, here we are, 30 years later, with the same sad attempt to undermine one of the founding principles of this country.

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To date, Alabama politicians are the only things that have ever made me doubt evolution.


Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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