At the recent League of Women Voters forum, candidates for state House were asked if they believed that the state legislature should be involved in deciding whether schools teach evolution or creationism. Some candidates took this question as an opportunity to trumpet their personal religious beliefs—Republicans Mark Crawford and John Carroll led by asserting their Christianity and then said that the state should not be involved in this discussion. Carroll essentially said that he believed that the Bible was literally true and that “how we got here is in the Bible,” implying that he believes that children should be taught in public schools that the world and humankind were created in six days sometime in the past 10,000 years.
Kudos to Patsy Keever and Rep. Susan Fisher for being voices of reason. Both Keever and Fisher reminded the audience that the State Board of Education makes curriculum decisions, not the legislature. Susan Fisher added that she believes that what is taught in our schools should be based on science. Fisher is a devout Episcopalian, but she clearly does not believe that public schools should teach religious doctrine.
Susan Fisher has shown that she is willing to stand up to the religious right and fight for science-based information in our school systems. She championed the Healthy Youth Act to make medically accurate information about sexuality, pregnancy prevention, and STDs available to students, effectively overturning abstinence-only sex ed in North Carolina. When the bill didn’t pass the first time, in part because of opposition from the religious right, Fisher did not give up. She reintroduced the HYA this year, fought for it and won.
I will be voting for Susan Fisher this year for many reasons, including her clear-headed, courageous willingness to stand up for science and separation of church and state.
— CoreyPine Shane