I’ve neglected to update an issue raised in a previous post, so let’s seize the opportunity. Skeptics might say this alleged “update” is a poorly-disguised excuse for self-promotion, to which I’d firmly reply, “Hey, I think I hear an ice cream truck coming!”
Anyway, let’s get going, because there’s no time to waste like the present.
If you read my February Lens post on Baton Rouge high school senior Zack Kopplin’s quest to repeal the so-called Louisiana Science and Education Act of 2008, you were well-prepared for Gambit’s profile on Mr. Kopplin a month later. Conversely, if you somehow read the Gambit article but missed my original post, then shame on you. You should take an adult “time out” to contemplate your mistake and dwell on how insanely far-sighted my punditry can be, especially when it doesn’t involve observations about Katy Perry.
Seriously, though, it’s impressive to see Kopplin’s movement gaining momentum. On Sunday he sent out a press release informing us that State Senator Karen Carter Peterson introduced Senate Bill 70 to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which in essence permits Louisiana school boards to allow the teaching of creationism and other anti-scientific theories in the name of “academic freedom” and “critical thinking.”
According to the release, Carter Peterson said, “Louisiana’s top priority must be to educate our children so they can compete for the high-paying jobs that we want to create in Louisiana… [This] ‘job killing’ creationism law undermines our education system and drives science and technology based companies away from Louisiana.”
Kopplin, the son of Andy Kopplin, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s chief administrative officer, is holding a rally at the capitol in support of the bill at 11am on April 28th. And his opponents are taking notice, too. A group called the Intercessors for America told its members to
Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in Zachary Kopplin’s heart, granting him understanding that “the universe was formed at God’s command.”
Technically speaking, that prayer request isn’t in opposition to Kopplin’s work. Many scientists and educators believe God initiated the creation of a universe … billions of years ago. And that evolution, as understood by science, has had ample time to kick in since then.
The title of my post on Kopplin even got a mention in the prayer request, which stated “Kopplin’s supporters…. are… comparing him to David in a fight against the ‘Goliath’ of the Religious Right.” (Due credit for the David/Goliath comparison goes to my editor, Steve.)
Kopplin’s supporters and church-state separation proponents are praising his battle with the Louisiana Family Forum, (an affiliate of Focus on the Family and an advocate of Intelligent Design), comparing him to David in a fight against the “Goliath” of the Religious Right.
The odds are still heavily stacked against Kopplin, but hey, if the New Orleans Hornets can beat the Lakers in L.A. without their top scorer, who’s to say what’s impossible? To his credit, Kopplin understands that repealing the LSEA might not happen this time around. It may take years of concerted political pressure. However, if SB 70 fails to pass, Kopplin has created a useful template for repeal advocates to use in the legislative sessions to come. And he has done so in admirable fashion, I might add.