Sedalia Democrat Editorial About the Evolution Band Shirts

I mentioned yesterday a high school band in Sedalia, Missouri that had $700 worth of t-shirts revoked because they featured the “evolution of a trumpet player” and religious parents complained about the “evolution” aspect of it.

An editorial in The Sedalia Democrat gets it partly right…

We find nothing wrong with the T-shirts and believe the students should be able to continue wearing them if they choose to. It’s a play on words that did not endorse or blaspheme any faith.

… and partly wrong:

School administrators overreacted to the pressure from some parents who obviously saw the image as promoting the theory of evolution and a threat to their own Christian beliefs.

We have to wonder how these same parents would react if the T-shirts contained images depicting the resurrection of Christ or the letters WWJD. Would they then be willing to bow to the pressure of disapproving nonbelievers?

Probably not, we suspect.

I know what they’re trying to say. But that’s a bad question to ask. This isn’t about a battle between atheism and theism. It’s just a cute little band shirt. The people who are opposed to it are religious nuts who think reality is one big conspiracy against their faith. In this case, those people deserve to be ignored.

I’m all for religious neutrality in public schools. But this has nothing to do with faith, so let’s not engage the fundies who are trying to spin this that way.

(Thanks to Sackbut for the link!)

  • mikespeir

    It could easily be considered a spoof of evolution.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    While I was reading through the comments on the original story, I noticed one from a teacher who said it wasn’t her job to comment on religion, but rather to teach the controversy so that students can hear both sides of the story and make up their own minds.

    Hopefully I’m not the only one who finds it profoundly disturbing that a teacher thinks it’s her job to equate nonsense with science.

  • Richard Wade

    MikeTheInfidel,
    Yeah, “teach the controversy” my ass. I hope that teacher is also teaching the controversy about microbes vs. evil spirits causing disease, or the controversy about gravity vs. the Earth just sucks, or the school science teachers are spineless, incompetent buffoons vs. superstitious bumpkins.

    Let the students hear both sides of those stories and make up their own minds.

    Hemant said,

    The people who are opposed to it are religious nuts who think reality is one big conspiracy against their faith.

    It is.

    Or else their faith is one big conspiracy against reality. It all depends on which end of the tube you’re looking down.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    I think Stephen Colbert said it best: “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

  • Sackbut

    I wonder if the school would consider selling the T-shirts? I imagine they could make back the $700 and then some.

  • Defiantnonbeliever

    It’s a dangerous slippery slope. What’s next, schools teaching math?

  • fastthumbs

    “Pollitt said the district was required by law to remain neutral on religion.”

    However, evolution is NOT religion – it’s SCIENCE! I understand that Pollitt as an administrator doesn’t want the headache dealing with ignorant religous fucktards, but tough – there is no violation of the establishment clause here.

    Sherry Melby, who is a teacher in the district said, “I don’t think evolution should be associated with our school.”

    So does that means that the science courses (assuming there are any) should be dropped? The school should be associated with the dark ages????

  • ChameleonDave

    I get how they are saying these T-shirts contradict their religion. A T-shirt depicting stars and planets in a non-earth-centric universe would do the same. (Ask Galileo. ;-) )

  • medussa

    I LOVE that line, that reality is one big conspiracy against faith…

  • Kate

    I wish people would realize that there is a way to “teach the controversy”. My high school biology teacher taught us about many objections to religion…and then systematically refuted them all, one by one. It was MUCH more effective than just glossing over arguments as if they never existed. It was so much better to see them refuted.

    If these opponents want students taught about gaps in current evolutionary theory thinking, then I say go for it. No science is without its unsolved problems – maybe by highlighting those questions, some student will come up with the brilliant research to answer those questions someday. :)

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Except that we both know that all they want to do is focus on the flaws, then talk about how silly people are to believe evolution at all.

  • Neon Genesis

    I love how fundies want the freedom to wear anti-Islam shirts but a shirt that mentions evolution is evil and should not be worn.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    We have to wonder how these same parents would react if the T-shirts contained images depicting the resurrection of Christ or the letters WWJD. Would they then be willing to bow to the pressure of disapproving nonbelievers?

    We can’t promote, or even mention, science because it offends someone’s religion? OK then, the germ theory of disease is off the table, it is not accepted by the Church of Christ, Scientist (oh what an ironic name).

  • Brian Westley

    Here is an excellent response, illustrating how a public school could not use a moon landing motif, because that contradicts the beliefs of Hare Krishnas.

  • Sackbut

    You can get the T-shirts from Main Street Logo.

    Here is a link to an article in The Pitch (Kansas City) about how the T-shirts are flying off the shelves.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    I heard about this story from a co-worker and then figured this blog would have a post on it as well.

    Sometimes bad press is good press, when it comes to reverse irony and t-shirt sales.


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