I'm trying to help the kids understand quadratic equations so they can do their math homework, the textbooks suck, it's been years since I've done this, I needed a refresher and so I turned to the net hoping to find some basics laid out in a straightforward manner. I found this:
Calculus, Quadratic Equations Split Pennsylvania Town
DOVER, PA- The serene ambiance of this small farming town was shattered by the shrill tones of picketeers and bullhorns Monday morning as the ongoing national culture war found a new front line. The source of the disturbance, according to locals, is a maverick high school teacher intent on injecting controversial non-Biblical math into his lesson plans.
Two weeks ago parent volunteer Holly R. Thanthow took a break from passing out Jack Chick tracts in the school's courtyard to visit her son's fourth period class taught by newcomer John Scopes. What she saw there shocked her to the core.
"He asked them to find the area under a curve- without using cubits at all. I raised religious objections since the lesson completely goes against Genesis 7:20, but he said my son had to do the work anyway. When I asked Mr. Scopes to refrain from teaching from his so-called 'math textbook' he flat out refused. I know, I couldn't believe it myself."
Parents and local church leaders held an emergency PTA meeting to get to the bottom of the issue, but their concerns went unheeded. Not only did administrators refuse to fire Scopes or prevent him from teaching the offensive material, they pointed to state regulations that required the school to push Godless mathematics on all students regardless of their faith traditions.
As a part of the state's new core curriculum guidelines, upcoming standardized tests will place an increased emphasis on advanced math concepts such as differential calculus and fractional division. In order to graduate, students will be required to demonstrate a mastery of the controversial subject, a notion that some parents find extremely upsetting.
For concerned residents, decades of mainstream acceptance are no reason to simply roll over and play dead on the issue. "I'm sorry, but they can all go back to hell and take their pagan differential equations with them," said Thanthow. "They just assume that we all subscribe to their own left-leaning beliefs, but we're a Christian community. These bizarre ideas might hold sway in the blue states, but here in- wait. This is a blue state? Either way, that quadratic crap won't fly here."
Thanthow later admitted that she isn't sorry at all but prefaced her soundbite with the offhand apology in an effort to soften her passive aggression.
"We've seen it happen in other communities and don't want to see it right here in Dover," said Reverend Sam Paris. "As modest Christian, I don't really want to get into the specifics of this, but I think we all know where this sort of thing can lead: agnosticism, back-sassing, even dancing."
Matters came to a head a few days later when Scopes reportedly presented an equation and asked the students to 'solve for the unknown,' a direct affront to parents who had spent years telling their children about the unknowable vastness of God only to have some big-city joker tell them that they can simply solve it with his demonic number magick.
After an intense legal battle in recent days, the God-fearing parents of Dover continue to face defeat. A group of parents secured a sponsorship deal with Fox News and appealed to the President to intervene on their behalf. Bush reluctantly passed on the proposal, admitting that he, too, does not believe in mathematics but that he could not directly intercede if the courts have sided against them.
However, no one is ready to give up the fight just yet. Representatives from both parties are continuing round-the-clock negotiations over the divisive issue in hopes of reaching a settlement soon. At first the school dismissed the parents' demand for special permission slips to allow their children to "opt out" of the controversial class, but sources now say they are close to an agreement on a new policy of placing stickers on all math texts disclaiming that calculus is "just a theory."
Even with all the uproar, the teacher at the center of the controversy is still amazed at the anger his class has generated. "I can't change the nature of advanced mathematics," said Scopes. "It would be nice if Pi were exactly three, for example, but that's not for me to decide. In fact, you could say that mathematics is the closest thing to a language of God you'll ever see." Suddenly the interview was interrupted by the sound of pitchforks and torches outside the classroom window. "Oh, crap. I probably shouldn't have said that."
After a local judge stipulated that Scopes could not be burned as a witch for his statements, Thanthow responded with the most hateful thing any fundamentalist Christian is allowed to say in public.
"I'll pray for him," she said.