The discussion about the separation of church and state started when Coons asked O'Donnell whether she believes in evolution, a question she repeatedly skirted during two debates last week.
"What I think about the theory is irrelevant," O'Donnell said.
Coons went on to say that schools should not be permitted to teach creationism. O'Donnell replied that his view violated the Constitution and imposed his beliefs on local school districts.
"You have just stated that you will impose your will over the local school district and that is a blatant violation of our Constitution," O'Donnell said.
Not in this case. The freedom to teach creationism would only stand if creationism was accepted science. It is not. O'Donnell is correct in that the "separation of church and state" is not in constitution. The problem is that what the constitution does say is that congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. That means not promoting state-sanctioned religion. Creationism is patently religiously based and, as such, is a clear violation of the First Amendment. This has been shown in numerous court cases dating back thirty years.
A further problem is this notion that one’s beliefs are being imposed upon by the teaching of accepted science. One only takes this perspective if they are completely ignorant of mainstream science and view it adversarially. This is not confidence-inspiring. We will see on Tuesday.
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