Joined: Nov. 2005
Some more news
|Provost tries to put class in context; conservatives threaten to attack funding for higher education|
By Sophia Maines (Contact)
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
A Kansas University official tried Tuesday to calm critics of a new religion class that labels intelligent design as “mythology,” but conservatives said they might take aim at the university’s funding.
“It is unfortunate that the course title’s reference to ‘mythologies’ has been misconstrued,” Provost David Shulenburger said in a written statement released Tuesday afternoon. “The terms ‘myth’ and ‘mythology’ are common in the academic study of religion and not an affront. A myth refers to the common use of stories or rituals to symbolize in a meaningful manner the core beliefs of a religion; it does not refer to any religion as a whole.”
But some conservatives, such as Sen. Kay O’Connor, R-Olathe, were unmoved.
“Why poke a stick in somebody’s eye if you don’t have to?” she said. “If you’re going to have an intelligent design course and call it mythology, I think in the very least it’s a slap in the face to every Judeo-Christian religion that’s out there.”
And John Altevogt, a conservative columnist and activist in Kansas City, said Tuesday that state officials should require the university to change the name of the Department of Religious Studies to the “Department of Religious Intolerance.”
“If we can’t do that,” Altevogt said, “maybe we settle for some cuts in spending.”