I have a new column up on the wave of pro-creationism bills showing up in state legislatures this year alongside categorical sharia bans:
Even framed as “intelligent design,” creationism is a distinctly Christian idea that commands no respect in the scientific community, including among most credentialed Christian scientists. Asking that this particular religious narrative be taught alongside serious science should strike Americans as no less alarming than U.S. courts looking to the Koran for their legal reasoning. It’s dangerous not only because it’s hypocritical to welcome government collusion with one religion while banning it from interacting with another. Religious believers of all types should be concerned that government stay out of their business, because getting government mixed up in your religious affairs in ways you like is the surest route to having it involved in ways you don’t.
Americans’ freedom of speech and religion are protected to an extent almost unheard of elsewhere in the world, even in the democratic West. This month, France’s ban on Muslim women wearing traditional religious dress in public—a shocking infringement on individual and religious freedom—went into effect. The fact that we can scarcely imagine something similar happening in the U.S. is a testament to how vigilantly the courts have guarded those freedoms in our country. But the flip side of keeping the government out of religious practice is keeping our religious practice out of the government. One cannot exist without the other; change that balance, and the state becomes the tool of religious interests, or vice versa—the exact situations the American constitution was devised to prevent.
The whole thing is here.
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