Religion "Neutrality" Bill in South Carolina

Republican Senator Michael Fair has introduced a new bill into the South Carolina Senate that would require the State Board of Education to look at the curriculum that “purports to teach students about the origins of mankind to determine whether the curriculum maintains neutrality toward religion, favoring neither one religion over other religions, nor religion over non-religion, including atheism. Related to non-religion, the examination must include a review as to whether the curriculum contains a sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus preferring those who believe in no religion over those who hold religious beliefs.” Any “offending” curriculum, the bill says, will then be revised or replaced as soon as is feasible.
Keep in mind two things: There are many scientists who assert that evolution is not an atheistic principle; you can both accept evolution and believe in God. And Fair has previously pushed for teaching alternatives to evolution (like the religious ides of “intelligent design”) in the state’s public school science classrooms.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education, likely for review next year. —Heather Wax

Category: Science Education


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