Proposed Creationism Ban In Scotland Schools 'Bigoted, Anti-Religious,' Says Church Leader

Asher Bayot

A Scottish campaign to ban the teaching of creationism in Scotland schools has irked local creationists, who have described the controversial proposal "bigoted and anti-religious." Church leader David Robertson of the Free Church of Scotland called campaign frontliners "militant atheists" who allegedly use the "false bogeyman of creationism" to attack Christianity.

Robertson particularly named the Glasgow-based Scottish Secular Society (SSS) -- Scotland's largest secular organization -- in his comments, describing their request to have creationist teachings removed from science lessons in publicly-funded schools "anti-religious." Earlier this year, the organization sent a proposal to education secretary Mike Russel that discourages schools in Scotland from teaching "creationism and related doctrines as viable alternatives to established science."

Last year, the SSS claims that at least three different schools in Scotland have been discovered to promote creationism and evolution denialism. According to Scotsman, the SSS petition will not ban creationism from being taught in religion classes, although if approved by the Scottish parliament next week, the proposal will effectively remove all kinds of creationist teachings in Scotland's science-related classes.

Robertson, who is set to be appointed the new moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, has expressed his dismay over the proposal, saying that the SSS seeks to "impose an atheistic philosophy on children."

"The Scottish Secular Society is so terrified that children might be infected by the idea that God the creator actually had something to do with creation that they are asking politicians to decide what should be taught in science lessons. Since when was science determined by MSPs? Once we have politicians telling science teachers what to teach, on the advice of one particular faith belief, then we are in real trouble."

The minister also accused the secularist society of trying to impose their own "religious view" upon the Scottish society.

"The secularist faith tells them that there can be no intelligent design, because of course they do not want to believe even in the possibility of a designer. However in this they are not being scientific - they are just seeking to impose their religious view upon the whole of society and turn their philosophy into a state doctrine imposed by force. We agree entirely that science should be taught in science classrooms and not religious or philosophical viewpoints, and the basic principle of modern empirical science is that it is open to question and change. But here we have militant atheists using science as a kind of Trojan horse to get their philosophical and religious views taught and to discourage questioning."

Creationism is the belief that a supreme being is the primary mover behind the birth and origin of the universe and of life on Earth. Although not exclusively a faith-based idea, creationism is one of the doctrines of many major religions around the world.

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