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Battleground : one mother's crusade, the religious right, and the struggle for control of our classrooms

Author: Stephen Bates
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Poseidon Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In Church Hill, a devoutly religious community in the mist-shrouded mountains of East Tennessee, housewife Vicki Frost detected the influence of Satan in her children's schoolbooks. Horrified, she complained to the school board that texts with such themes as evolution, feminism, and telepathy could turn children away from God. But the board members rebuffed Frost and her handful of allies. A principal ridiculed
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Bates, Stephen, 1958-
Battleground.
New York, N.Y. : Poseidon Press, ©1993
(OCoLC)624405255
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Stephen Bates
ISBN: 0671793586 9780671793586
OCLC Number: 28183997
Description: 365 pages, [4] pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Responsibility: Stephen Bates.

Abstract:

In Church Hill, a devoutly religious community in the mist-shrouded mountains of East Tennessee, housewife Vicki Frost detected the influence of Satan in her children's schoolbooks. Horrified, she complained to the school board that texts with such themes as evolution, feminism, and telepathy could turn children away from God. But the board members rebuffed Frost and her handful of allies. A principal ridiculed them. When she tried to remove her second-grade daughter from class, Frost was arrested and jailed.

So she and some other parents filed suit in federal court. What began as a ragtag schoolbook protest quickly escalated into a ferocious proxy war between two Washington behemoths, powerful outsiders who intensified, reshaped, and exploited the conflict. Concerned Women for America, a religious-right organization dedicated to "protecting the rights of the family," squared off against People for the American Way, the liberal, media-savvy organization founded by Norman Lear to combat "the greatest immediate threat to our pluralistic society: the growing power of the Religious New Right." At stake were profound issues that a democratic society must continually confront, among them the limits of tolerance, the separation of church and state, and the rights of parents in their children's education.

The dramatic, bitterly fought "Scopes II" trial (as journalists dubbed it) became front-page news across the country. The courtroom battle pitted one of the preeminent lawyers of the religious right, a scrappy former Moral Majority official with a quick wit and an even quicker temper, against a highpriced, smooth-talking Washington litigator. Star witness Vicki Frost and her allies were denounced by The New York Times, chided by George Bush, mocked by Lewis Grizzard, and lauded, to their dismay, by the Ku Klux Klan. With consummate skill and scrupulous fairness, Stephen Bates vividly recounts this riveting saga. He depicts the leading figures on both sides in full human dimension and lucidly explains the crucial political and legal issues involved. Timely, provocative, cautionary, this is a vitally important work that illuminates the central values of our democracy.

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