Archives - Al Weed Answers Questions About Separation of Church and State
November 2001
Letters to the Editor: Al Weed Answers Questions About Separation of Church and State
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Separation of Church and State Questionnaire

1. Vouchers: What is your position on tax-funded private school tuition vouchers?

Answer: I would oppose this unless taxes were raised specifically to fund it. Current inadequate levels of education funding should not be used to support private schools.

2. Creation Science: Do you feel that the study of 'creation science,' 'intelligent design,' and other religious explanations of universal origins have a place in public education and, if so, in which curricula should they be covered?

Answer: Not in any science curricula, but as a component of a comparative religion course it would be acceptable. It would be interesting to see how much consensus there would be among Christian groups on what actual components of Christianity would be taught and if, in having to select the most crucial elements as it relates to culture, how high creationism would rank. Interesting that one of the candidates for the Albemarle School Board denied that he is descended from an ape. The debate might have a little more relevance if people supporting creationism actually took the time to understand Darwinian evolutionary theories.

3. Government-Sponsored Religious Activities: What is your reaction to the current wave of government-sponsored religious activities such as official prayer services for victims of terrorism, 'God Bless America' signs on public property, and elected officials publicly extolling the power of faith during times of crisis?

Answer: Public officials are grasping for any tools they can find to help us all understand and cope with what has happened. These things help many of us -- the memorial service in the National Cathedral was a moving and comforting event. Culturally this nation is Christian and most of us, including the President, seem to understand the difference between calling on a higher power in times of crisis, and discriminating on the basis of religion. I think Jefferson understood this well -- at least as I understand Jefferson's take on religion and the state.

Al Weed (electronic mail, November 5, 2001)

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