Beliefnet
Bryan Rehm is one of 11 parents who, together with the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, have sued the Dover, Pennsylvania area school district over its policy of presenting intelligent design as an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution in ninth-grade biology class. On Sept. 27, Rehm, a physics teacher in a neighboring district, testified as a witness for the plaintiffs, saying that the teaching of intelligent design theory is a harmful policy because it conflates religion and science. The following excerpts from Rehm's full testimony, reflect his personal objections, as a person of faith, to the district's policy.

On Oct. 17, the defense opened its case, beginning with testimony from Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University and a leading proponent of intelligent design theory. As the case progresses, Beliefnet will post intriguing excerpts from testimony on both sides of the isssue.

ATTORNEY: And can you please tell us how the Board'sactions have harmed you?

REHM: There are a lot of different ways. I'll simplystart with professionally. When I went to Dover, Ithought that was going to be my teaching home. Ienjoyed working with the faculty. I enjoyed thestudents I had. It was my home district. It's where Ilived. I was looking forward to that.

Within those two years I was in the district, Isaw a totally different side. I saw a district inwhich teachers were not respected for their educationalexpertise. Their educational background was notrespected. Science teachers were not respected. And itwas all, as far as the science teachers not beingrespected, out of religious ideas.

I sat in a meeting when [school board member] Alan Bonsell told me hedidn't agree with evolution because of his religiousbackground. He may not have been aware of it, because Iwas teaching evolution as well, because naturalselection was part of the curriculum for theenvironmental course that I had to teach.

So, therefore, even though he was addressing thecurriculum change in biology, he was addressing thecurriculum change in something that I also had to teach.How long is it until he changes my environmental [course] andtells me what I have to do?

They don't know me. They don't know that I'm theco-director of the children's choir at church, or that Irun the music at the second service, or that my wife and I run Vacation Bible School. Yetthey have no problem going around calling me an atheistbecause my particular religious viewpoint doesn't agreewith that of the school board, which is a public entity andnot a religious one.

In addition to that, if his religious beliefs ofyoung earth creationism that he expressed are indisagreement with evolution, what happens when we get tothe big bang theory and I'm teaching in physics that theearth is billions of years old? I saw my head onthe chopping block and my curriculum as being the nextto be altered when they realized what was there.

Personally, I live in the neighborhood, you know.I live within the school district where I taught. Youused to be able to go out to any restaurant, sit down,not worry about who was next to you. You could walkdown the street and say hi to everybody and get a nicepleasant return.

Now people stare. They know I'm a Plaintiffor they know in this particular case that I'm acandidate opposing the school board, and you can't sitthere and not worry about who's looking at you or what'sgoing to happen, you know. You'll go out and regularlybe called inappropriate things centering around theconcept of atheist.

They don't know me. They don't know that I'm theco-director of the children's choir at church, or that Irun the music at the second service, or that my wife and I run Vacation Bible School. Yetthey have no problem going around calling me an atheistbecause my particular religious viewpoint doesn't agreewith that of the school board, which is a public entity andnot a religious one.

"It has filtered down to the kids"
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