A quick post in order to share a letter with my readers that really got me thinking.
This letter was originally sent to the Kansas City School Board. It demands, in accordance with the dictates of the writer's religion, that The Flying Spaghetti Monster be included in public school textbooks as one of many viable theories of intelligent design (which is meant to be offered as an alternative to more "science-based" explanations of the universe, such as evolution and The Big Bang).
Personally, I grew up in a church which tried to find some harmony between the teachings of the Bible and advances in scientific discovery. I learned science in school and religion at home and in church. The people who taught me about religion were intelligent and wise enough to realize that the two paradigms (religion and science) were not mutually exclusive, and that strong beliefs in one did not preclude strong beliefs in the other (i.e., the religious believers of my childhood didn't feel threatened by science). For those people who insist upon the fact that the Bible is to be taken 100% literally, however, (demanding that scientific theories which "contradict" the Bible be dismissed out of hand or characterized as "mere" theory) may I at least insist, by way of fairness, that the "intelligent design" theories of all religions be treated equally? I believe that the Judeo Christian accounts of "intelligent design" need to be taught side by side with the creation tales of the Flying Spaghetti Monster so that the profound and deeply held beliefs of the FSM followers are not denigrated. Scoff at the FSM at your own peril. He's out there, somewhere, waiting to strike you down with his noodles for your heresy.