ADL Seeks Apology for Memo Linking Evolution to Kabala.
The Anti-Defamation League is calling on Georgia State Rep. Ben Bridges to apologize for a memo distributed under his name that says the teaching of evolution should be banned in public schools because it is a religious deception stemming from an ancient Jewish sect.
Bridges (R-Cleveland) denies having anything to do with the memo. But one of his constituents said he wrote the memo with Bridges' approval before it was recently distributed to lawmakers in several states, including Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
"Indisputable evidence - long hidden but now available to everyone - demonstrates conclusively that so-called 'secular evolution science' is the Big-Bang 15-billion-year alternate 'creation scenario' of the Pharisee Religion," the memo says. "This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic 'holy book' Kabala dating back at least two millennia."
The memo calls on lawmakers to introduce legislation that would end the teaching of evolution in public schools because it is "a deception that is causing incalculable harm to every student and every truth-loving citizen."
It also directs readers to a Web site www.fixedearth.com, which includes model legislation that calls the Kabala "a mystic, anti-Christ 'holy book' of the Pharisee Sect of Judaism." The Web site also declares "the earth is not rotating . nor is it going around the sun."
The Anti-Defamation League said the assertions in the memo border on anti-Semitism. "Your memo conjures up repugnant images of Judaism used for thousands of years to smear the Jewish people as cult-like and manipulative," Bill Nigut, the ADL's southeast regional director, wrote in an e-mail to Bridges Thursday. "I am shocked and appalled that you would send this anti-Semitic material to colleagues and friends, and call upon you to repudiate and apologize for distributing this highly offensive memo."
Bridges denied writing or authorizing the memo. "I did not put it out nor did I know it was going out," Bridges said. "I'm not defending it or taking up for it."
The memo directs supporters to call Marshall Hall, president of the Fair Education Foundation Inc., a Cornelia, Ga.-based organization that seeks to show evolution is a myth. Hall said he showed Bridges the text of the memo and got his permission to distribute it.
"I gave him a copy of it months ago," said Hall, a retired high school teacher. "I had already written this up as an idea to present to him so he could see what it was and what we were thinking." Hall said his wife Bonnie has served as Bridges' campaign manager since 1996.
Bridges acknowledged that he talked to Hall about filing legislation this year that would end the teaching of evolution in Georgia's public schools. Bridges said the views in the memo belong to Hall, though Bridges said he doesn't necessarily disagree with them.
"I agree with it more than I would the Big Bang Theory or the Darwin Theory," Bridges said. "I am convinced that rather than risk teaching a lie why teach anything?"
Bridges sponsored unsuccessful legislation in 2005 that would have required Georgia's teachers to introduce scientific evidence challenging evolution.
Asked about the ADL's call for an apology, Bridges said: "I regret that these people have been offended, but I didn't offend them because I didn't put the memo out."
The National Center for Science Education, an Oakland, Calif.-based organization that defends the teaching of evolution in public schools, said the assertion that evolution is linked to an ancient Jewish sect is "bizarre."
"Evolution is recognized as a central unifying principle of the biological sciences by the scientific community and the education community," said Glenn Branch, the center's deputy director.
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|Date:||Feb 16, 2007|
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