Over on Pharyngula, American blogger P Z Myers is getting justifiably annoyed that some US states seem determined to promote religious education in public schools. In the US this is prohibited by law but proponents are getting round it by having it included, bizarrely, in the science curriculum. The intention is clear and dishonest, to expose american kids to religious doctrine, masquerading as science.
I don’t think that american secularists have too much to worry about. US citizens already have a high proportion of faithful, and fundamentalist christians, and these would be unaffected by the change. Similarly atheist youngsters are unlikely to be swayed. That leaves those sitting on the fence. But young people are not stupid and are perfectly capable of recognising the ridiculous implausibilities and absurdities of religious dogma, and coming to rational conclusions.
As an illustration just look at the UK. In stark contrast to the US, British state schools are legally obliged to make all pupils engage in a daily act of collective christian worship. And yet this has resulted in Britain becoming the most irreligious country in the world. The young particularly have turned their backs upon religion so much that the anglican church has admitted that when the current generation of over 60s passes away the church will probably die with them.
So I think if legislators in these states succeed in their aims they are likely to achieve the opposite of what they imagine. Stupid buggers.