Word about Rep. Hays’ movie invite to his fellow Florida legislators is filtering out to the media. Newspaper blogs are talking up a storm on the event.
The House General Counsel’s office cleared the showing Wednesday night at the Tallahassee IMAX because it’s being paid for by Motive Entertainment, a company that doesn’t employ a Capitol lobbyist, and it’s “a film presenting information about an issue affecting the legislature.”
The Miami Herald posts on this at their Naked Politics blog:
Stein, a comedian and former speechwriter for Richard Nixon, will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Tallahassee to make an “important announcement,” which probably means he will talk about his film, which has its public debut in April.
And the Miami Herald already has a full story up on their website. It follows the dirt trail behind the creationism bills and Ben Stein’s movie. The story mentions the Dover, Pa. intelligent design trial, and continues with:
The ACLU and the judge noted that the Intelligent Design backers, the Discovery Institute, had written something called the ”Wedge Strategy” document, which laid out a multiyear plan to introduce “theistic and Christian science.”
In that light, the documentary and legislation appear to go hand in hand with phases II and III of the wedge document, which seek to build up popular support and then provide legal assistance to help “the integration of design theory into public schools.”
Trailers show images of Hitler when Stein talks about evolution supporters, and the documentary clearly presents Stein’s argument in religious terms.
The press and public are banned from Wednesday’s prescreening at the Challenger Learning Center.
”It’s kind of an irony: The public is expelled from a movie called Expelled,” said House Democratic leader Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, who summed up the legislation as “problematic.”
And the St. Petersburg Times education blog digs into the issue, too:
Challenger Center Director Norman Thagard (left) told The Gradebook this afternoon that the center was not in any way endorsing the movie, and that not allowing its IMAX movie center to be rented for the showing of “Expelled” could open the door to a discrimination lawsuit. “I just don’t want the center to be portrayed as sponsoring this,” Thagard said. “We’re just allowing our facilities to be used per our policies.”
ABC Action News has a short story posted:
Actor, writer, and comedian Ben Stein will be in Tallahassee this week for what’s believed will be an endorsement of a proposal sponsored by Senator Ronda Storms and Representative Allen Hays.
Many feel the bill has little chance of making it through the full legislature as most lawmakers are highly reluctant to tinker with the teaching standards approved by the Board of Education. As a compromise, the Board last month approved compromise language calls for teaching the “scientific theory of evolution.”
A news releases says Stein will appear “along with Florida Legislators, public school science teachers, and concerned parents for an important announcement.”
And an interesting tidbit here: a site called Offensive Christians is rallying its troops in defense of the creationism bills. They accuse Florida Citizens for Science of mobilizing the humanists. Funny. Many of our members are Christians. For example, our president is a deacon in his church and in the church choir. One of our board members is president of Pacesetters Bible School, Inc. Groups like Offensive Christians really need to get the message that our side of the fight is focused on science education. That’s our motive. It’s not about fighting for or against any religion. Unfortunately, many of those on the other side of the fight are focused on religion to a fault. Science education is just a cover story for them.