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Archive for Saturday, February 19, 2005

Oregon opinion

February 19, 2005

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To the editor:

As a recent visitor to your fair city, I was intrigued by the question posed in your paper (On the Street, Feb. 11). Four residents were asked whether Kansas was getting a reputation for being antiscience. It was gratifying to read the responses. If these people are representative of the majority of Kansans, I'm inclined to conclude evangelical ultraconservatives will not succeed in forcing this state into the blind intolerance of the Middle Ages.

There will be some among you questioning anyone's right to criticize the path Kansas chooses to follow. Let me remind you that we are citizens of one nation -- the United States of America -- and one state's policies and practices reflect on all of us. This Oregonian believes in the separation of church and state. Placing stickers in textbooks stating that evolution is a theory is a thinly veiled attempt to introduce religious dogma into public schools.

Religious instruction should be the purview of church and home, not public schools. Just as it would be a misguided policy for the state to insist all Bibles contain a notation claiming creation is a theory, so it is wrong for the state to suspect that when legislators don't have the courage to deal with real issues, such as school financing, they bring out totally superfluous and emotional issues to cover up their inadequacies. If you care about your children's future, please don't let religious zealotry make Kansas a scientific wasteland.

Anna Slemmer,

Roseburg, Ore.

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