A Lesson For the Children

At least a few supporters of Intelligent Design Creationism have taken it upon themselves to teach students another kind of lesson: if at first you don’t succeed, threaten violence.

The AP reports that Pennsylvania U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III received, in addition to verbal attacks from far right commentators, at least a few death threats which led to a week of protection by federal marshals after Jones ruled last year against a plan by the Dover School Board to require the teaching of Intelligent Design Creationism in the district’s schools.

“And if you would have told me when I got on the bench four years ago that I would have death threats in a case like this as opposed to, for example, a crack cocaine case where I mete out a heavy sentence, I would have told you that you were crazy,” he said. “But I did. And that’s a sad statement.”

Dover is the town whose residents were warned by Pat Robertson not to pray to God if they suffered a catastrophe because voting the pro-creationism members off the school board meant citizens were kicking God out of town.

PFAWF has already documented that the Creationism movement has tried a variety of tactics to force religion into public science classrooms over the years. And attacking judges as dangerous and un-American has become frighteningly commonplace. But death threats over a school science curriculum is a potent reminder that extremism is alive and well in 21st century America.