It appears Mike Huckabee can’t win either way regarding religion. His far-right, evangelical base is likely to abandon him if he doesn’t say he supports creationism in public education. Those not on the far-right are likely to avoid him if he says religion-based education belongs in public schools. He doesn’t need to worry about me. I don’t intend to vote for him, regardless of his position on creationism in school.
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist preacher who has surged in Iowa with evangelical Christian support, bristled Tuesday when asked if creationism should be taught in public schools.Huckabee â?? who raised his hand at a debate last May when asked which candidates disbelieved the theory of evolution â?? asked this time why there is such a fascination with his beliefs.
… [H]he expressed frustration that he is asked about it so often, arguing with the questioner that it ultimately doesn’t matter what his personal views are.
“That’s an irrelevant question to ask me â?? I’m happy to answer what I believe, but what I believe is not what’s going to be taught in 50 different states,” Huckabee said. “Education is a state function. The more state it is, and the less federal it is, the better off we are.”
I disagree with Huckabee when he says his personal views are irrelevant. On the contrary, the personal opinions of Presidential candidates are always highly relevant regarding Constitutional rights and the controversies that follow them.
He’s absolutely right about education being a state function. Education has always been and should remain the domain of the states. The Federal government is involved in education for two major reasons: money and the Constitution. First, we don’t need to look further than the “No Child Left Behind Act” to see the role money plays. Nobody wants to see government money given away without strings attached and accountability mechanisms in place. But even if the Federal government stopped spending money on education and withdrew its related tentacles, the Constitution will require the Federal government to remain involved in education. The First Amendment says that the government “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” (Establishment Clause). The Supreme Court held 20 years ago, 7-2, that teaching creationism in public education violates the establishment clause. For that reason, States still won’t be able to teach creationism in schools.
[Huckabee] told reporters that the theory of intelligent design, whose proponents believe an intelligent cause is the best way to explain some complex and orderly features of the universe, should be taught in schools as one of many viewpoints. “I don’t think schools ought to indoctrinate kids to believe one thing or another,” he said.
This goes to my previous comments regarding the creationism versus evolution debate (Science, houses, stones, and creation). Intelligent Design is not science, rather another phrase for creationism that was coined in an attempt to skirt Constitutional Law.