Bowing to pressure, Republican senator David Vitter of Louisiana has backed off an attempt to steer $100,000 to a Christian group that supports teaching religious and alternative theories of creation alongside evolution in science classrooms.
Vitter has taken heat from educational, religious and civil rights groups for earmarking money for the Louisiana Family Forum in a fiscal 2008 spending bill—a bill intended “to develop a plan to promote better science education.”
The group has long challenged Darwinian theories explaining the origins of life, and the earmark was seen by some as an attempt to inject Christian doctrine into the classroom.
On the Senate floor October 17 Vitter announced that “to avoid more hysterics,” he wanted to shift the money to science and computer labs in schools in Ouachita Parish. He said the earmark had been misconstrued.