Christopher Hitchens Loves The Texas Evolution Fight

The genially acerbic controversialist was in Dallas for the Christian Book Expo (which, we have failed to mention, was a bust) and, naturally, got himself involved in the textbook argument. He now proposes a solution:

In the spirit of compromise, then, I propose the following. First, let the school debating societies restage the wonderful set-piece real-life dramas of Oxford and Dayton, Tenn. Let time also be set aside, in our increasingly multiethnic and multicultural school system, for children to be taught the huge variety of creation stories, from the Hindu to the Muslim to the Australian Aboriginal. This is always interesting (and it can’t be, can it, that the Texas board holdouts think that only Genesis ought to be so honored?). Second, we can surely demand that the principle of “strengths and weaknesses” will be applied evenly. If any church in Texas receives a tax exemption, or if any religious institution is the beneficiary of any subvention from the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, we must be assured that it will devote a portion of its time to laying bare the “strengths and weaknesses” of the religious world view, and also to teaching the works of Voltaire, David Hume, Benedict de Spinoza, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson. This is America. Let a hundred flowers bloom, and a thousand schools of thought contend. We may one day have cause to be grateful to the Texas Board of Education for lighting a candle that cannot be put out.

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Comments

4 responses to “Christopher Hitchens Loves The Texas Evolution Fight”

  1. caj says:

    Sounds good to me. Let’s teach them all. Thanks, Hitchens.

  2. Daniel says:

    Yeah, they’re going to teach Hume and Spinoza in the Texas public schools (or any American public school). Sure thing, Hitch.

    I knew a guy who taught senior English at Woodrow. While I’m by no means impugning that much-beloved institution, this fellow was told by his superiors that he shouldn’t so much as assign Cat’s Cradle. So, I mean, you know. Not sure Bacon or Bishop What’s-His-Face are going to exactly fly.

  3. Colonel Bat Guano says:

    Personally, I’d rather watch Dr. Strangelove than re-read Cat’s Cradle. They both make essentially the same points but Strangelove is pithier. Plus, I have starring role.

  4. Daniel says:

    And I’d rather get a root canal than re-read a single line John Milton. Come to think of it, I’d rather endure a depraved assault at the hands of Officer Robert Powell than be reminded which equation describes a parabola.

    But I’m glad I learned these things at one point. (Plus, to get pithier or easier to read than Cat’s Cradle, you’d have to break out the Dr. Seuss.)