The National Atheist Party Blasts NH Republicans Jerry Bergevin(District 17), Gary Hopper(District 7), and John Burt(District 7) for putting forth anti-evolution legislation in New Hampshire.
Introduced by Jerry Bergevin (R-District 17), New Hampshire House Bill 1148 would “[r]equire evolution to be taught in the public schools of this state as a theory, including the theorists’ political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism.”
The first question this proposal brings to mind is, “What does atheism have to do with the Theory of Evolution?” Apparently, Congressman Bergevin holds a personal opinion that anyone who accepts the Theory of Evolution is an atheist. As Dr. Kenneth Miller has proven in Kitzmiller vs Dover, this could not be further from the truth.
Second, this bill exemplifies Bergevin’s complete ignorance of the field of science. The teaching of science does not include a scientist’s personal bias. Furthermore, scientists must leave their “political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism” at the door when they put on their lab coats. We would strongly recommend that Congressman Bergevin purchase any basic, grammar school science textbook to learn more about what a scientific theory really is and how the scientific method allows for no bias in the scientific process.
To further add insult to injury, R-Gary Hopper and R-John Burt would like to interject their beliefs with House Bill 1457. This bill would “Require science teachers to instruct pupils that proper scientific inquire results from not committing to any one theory or hypothesis, no matter how firmly it appears to be established, and that scientific and technological innovations based on new evidence can challenge accepted scientific theories or modes.”
While this bill may sound plausible at first, after a careful read it becomes clear that this bill would force science teachers to tell their students no scientific theory is sound or valid. This is an indirect attack on the theory of evolution and the big bang theory, as it is quite certain that both Congressmen would not suggest there are alternate theories for gravity, thermal dynamics or relativity. Clearly, the purpose of this legislation is to create a loophole for bringing intelligent design and creationism into the public classroom.
The question of teaching evolution versus intelligent design and creationism has long been settled through numerous court cases, ranging from the infamous Scopes trial to the Kiztmiller case. Obviously, Bergevin and his colleagues have not read through the volumes of information or numerous court cases available on this subject.
When it comes to upholding the Bill of Rights and the 1st Amendment for his constituency, Congressman Bergevin and his colleagues are setting a very sad example of a what it means to be a public servant. House Bill 1148 is nothing more than Bergevin’s personal, religious attempt to circumvent the 1st Amendment’s Establishment Clause by interjecting his favored religious dogma into the public school system. The introduction of the bill is just one example of why the National Atheist Party was formed: to combat those who would bring their religious beliefs to the political arena and to keep religion out of our government and public schools. Congressman Bergevin and his colleagues should not be wasting valuable legislative time and money on such ludicrous, nonsensical bills when there are so many more pertinent issues that must be dealt with in our country.
The National Atheist Party condemns these pieces of legislation and casts shame on those Congressmen who put them on the dockets in New Hampshire. These bills are in direct violation of the separation of church and state and show the continued need for a checks and balances system that will prevent the insertion of religion into our children’s public schools and daily lives. It is a sad day when our own elected officials do not seek to uphold our Constitution and Bill of Rights, but the N★A★P is here to continuously remind them of these essential documents, which were created to ensure the rights of all Americans are protected. Keep religion out of our government and our schools!
Vermont State Chapter Leader
NE & AK Regional Membership Coordinator
National Atheist Party