I hesitated before posting this, since it’s almost off-topic for this blog on curriculum.
Regrettably, however, exorcism is not so irrelevant to public education as we might hope, given the signing of the anti-science education law by the Louisiana Governor Jindal who also, by the way, has written a published article retelling his participation in an exorcism.
Here’s the news: On June 27, 2008 the Supreme Court of Texas, reversing a court of appeals judgment, voted 6-3 to dismiss the case of a Texas woman seeking civil damages for injuries suffered in a forced exorcism conducted under the auspices of the Pleasant Glade Assembly Of God (majority and dissenting opinions are available here). The case might well be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, keeping the issues alive in the public discourse.
While the case does not directly involve schooling, it could be indicative of the judicial climate that would await litigation over any anti-evolution “Academic Freedom” bill to pass in Texas. It could affect how at least some legislators think about how much they can get away with.
The general atmospheric effect could be like that of a US Supreme Court opinion on seminary curriculum that is thought to have some potential bearing on the handling of the petition by the Institute for Creation Research to get accreditation from the state of Texas for its distance education graduate degree program for science teachers.
And you know what is even more scary? The AOL poll on this story showed about 52% of voters agreed with the ruling, and about 58% believe in demonic possession. What is America coming to?