The Darwinist's Blinders
by Matt Kaufman
"This will be a nice slap in their big fat face."
The words sound like something you'd hear on a grade-school
playground, but they actually come from someone a little higher up
the educational chain: one Paul Mirecki, chairman of the University
of Kansas religious-studies department. And just which faces does he
delight in slapping? Why, the faces of Christians — and not just
because he wants to see if they'll turn the other cheek.
Mirecki, you see, is a faculty adviser to something called the
Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics. A few weeks back he e-
mailed members of that group telling them he'd be teaching a class
titled Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationisms
[sic] and Other Religious Mythologies." Note that last word, because
Mirecki stresses it. "The fundies [fundamentalists] want it all
taught in a science class, but this will be a nice slap in their big
fat face by teaching it in a religious studies class under the
category mythology," he smirked.
You may be wondering whether this is the sort of attitude befitting a
man who claims to be "open-minded," much less one who's overseeing a
whole department of religious studies. But it turns out to be par for
the course for the good Dr. Mirecki: He likes to address e-mails to
this group to "my fellow damned," and to close with "Doing my part to
____ off the religious right, Evil Dr. P."
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