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Religious Leaders Applaud Intelligent Design Decision

December 21, 2005

The Interfaith Alliance, a Washington, D.C., based, membership organization representing a cross section of religious orgainzations in the U.S. issued the following press release following a judge's decision in the Dover, PA, intelligent design case:

“We applaud the court decision in Dover, Pennsylvania,” said the Rev. Dr. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance, “not out of hostility to religion, but out of respect to religion and science. Both religion and science are hurt when the two subjects are confused.” The court ruling shares TIA’s values of inclusion, pluralism and religious liberty. Intelligent Design is a new way of teaching creationism, which promotes one specific religious belief. Teaching ID in science classrooms violates the Constitutional principle of religious liberty. The U.S. Constitution is clear: it prohibits public institutions from favoring one religion over others or religion in general over non-religious beliefs.

“Science and religion are not enemies,” said the Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, board member of The Interfaith Alliance. “The enemy is forcing a single religious perspective on students who come to class to study science, not religion. Our public schools must be free of teaching one religious belief above any other.” While The Interfaith Alliance is encouraged by this decision, this will not be the end of the debate on Intelligent Design. TIA calls on its members and all who value religious liberty to raise their voice whenever a teacher, board member or activist tries to push religious curriculum into science classes. “This discussion is not over and there will be other court cases,” said Gaddy. “The Interfaith Alliance will continue to fight for inclusion of all Americans in public education and other aspects of life.”

The press conference was co-hosted by The Interfaith Alliance and the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Other speakers at the press conference were: Dr. Joel Cracraft, spokesperson for AIBS; the Rev. J. Brent Walker, Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty; Dr. Kenneth Miller, Professor of Biology at Brown University and author of the biology textbook used in Dover; Dr. Francisco Ayala, biology professor at University of California at Irvine with expertise in evolutionary genetics; and Dr. Jonathan King, a professor of Molecular Biology at M.I.T.

The Interfaith Alliance (TIA) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the positive and healing role of religion in the life of the nation and challenging those who manipulate religion to promote a narrow, divisive agenda. With more than 150,000 members drawn from more than 75 faith traditions, and 47 local alliances, TIA promotes compassion, civility and mutual respect for human dignity in our increasingly diverse society.

More on religion and science, creationism, evolution, etc.

Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and author of Faith, Science and the Future, published in 1994 by CrossCurrents Press. He is also the author of God and Science (John Knox / Westminster, 1986) which he is now rewriting to incorporate more recent developments in the conversation taking place between scientists and theologians. He has also written widely for such publications as The New York Times, The Nation, Commonweal, The Christian Century and others.

For further information about Charles Henderson.