To the editor:
With all respect to Venida Chenault, I believe the Kansas Board of Education's recent decision regarding intelligent design provides indigenous people an unprecedented opportunity.
First Nations people should begin lobbying now to insist on inclusion of the teaching of native creation stories in public schools. The same holds for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and all diverse cultures whose beliefs depart from Judeo-Christian creationism. (I hesitate to include the growing cult of the Flying Spaghetti Monster here, but I suppose their views deserve to be taught also).
Once the underpaid science instructors of Kansas are forced to teach the entire plethora of "intelligent design" alternatives in their biology classes, the board's conservatives will be forced into pursuing one of three options: Live up to their own rhetoric and accommodate all religions equally, an impossible task; admit their only intent from the start was to accommodate only their own particular religious belief and thereby reveal themselves as tyrants and hypocrites; or repeal this awful decision by rediscovering what the founders of this nation knew more than two centuries ago, namely, that the only way to avoid the Byzantine mess of accommodating all religious perspectives, and thus safeguarding religious freedom, is to keep religion out of the public sphere, and out of the public classroom, entirely.