Two weeks ago, the moderator of a Republican gubernatorial debate asked candidate Paul LePage a simple and straightforward question: “Do you believe in creationism, and do you think it should be taught in Maine public schools?” Paul LePage’s complete answer:
I would say intelligence, uh, the more education you have the more knowledge you have the better person you are and I believe yes and yes.
Yesterday, Paul LePage won the Republican Party primary and will run as the GOP standard bearer in the race for Governor of Maine.
Paul LePage really answered “yes” to two questions, not just one. The first question asked, “Do you believe in creationism?” Paul LePage answered “yes.” Such an answer may seem odd to those who are aware of the strong empirical evidence for evolution, but as an individual citizen Paul LePage certainly has the right to believe whatever religious ideas he wants to believe.
What Paul LePage doesn’t have the right to do is to put his religious ideas into the curriculum of Maine’s public schools. And that’s why LePage’s second “yes” is much more important than the first. In a public debate, Paul LePage declared that creationism should be taught in public schools. As Governor of Maine, he’d be in a position to promote that notion. If you believe that creationism is for Sunday school and science is for public school, you might want to think twice before voting to put Paul LePage in the Governor’s seat.