State University Professor Sponsors Religious Discrimination in Texas
Contact: Lawrence Ford, Director of Communications, Institute for Creation Research, 214-615-8300
DALLAS, Dec. 1, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ – A University of Texas biology professor is hoping that he can tell all Texas state employees where they can and cannot give their own money this Christmas.
Professor David Hillis, who teaches integrative biology at the school, said that no state employee in Texas should have the right to donate their own gifts to the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), a 41-year-old non-profit educational organization based in Dallas. State employees are allowed to designate charitable gifts as deductions from their payroll each year through the State Employees Charitable Campaign. ICR has been an approved charity in this program for the past two years.
Professor Hillis, in his role as a representative of the university, stated of ICR's educational programs to the Austin American Statesman: "They work to undermine the mission of the university and of science in general...."
It is unclear if Hillis was acting on his own initiative or if his public statements were sanctioned by UT administration officials.
The University of Texas does, in fact, teach religion, and has an established Department of Religious Studies, which instructs students every day about various religions around the world, including evangelical Christianity, but all of which invoke some sort of supernatural deity into their belief systems. Evolutionary biology teachers like Hillis believe science has no room for a supernatural deity or designer.
ICR is concerned that a state employee is attempting to dictate to his fellow state employees how they give their own money to charities, or whether it is ethical for a state employee to sponsor discrimination against a Christian or other religious entity.
Whether UT officials will hold a formal hearing on Professor Hillis' conduct is yet to be seen. It is also unclear what steps state educational agencies will take against the UT professor or the school if it is shown that a state employee or entity sought to sponsor religious discrimination against an approved charity. ICR also wonders if Professor Hillis or other UT employees have previously attempted this type of discriminatory action, essentially trying to make Christian organizations "back of the bus" charities.
The Institute for Creation Research, founded in 1970, conducts scientific research in geology, genetics, astro/geophysics, and much more, communicating its results through a variety of degree and non-degree programs, and through books, magazines, videos, and radio broadcasts.
For more information, visit www.icr.org.