Orwellian Newspeak in Ohio
Here is the entry that Merriam-Webster has for "newspeak":
Usage: often capitalized
Etymology: Newspeak, a language "designed to diminish the range of thought," in the novel 1984 (1949) by George Orwell
: propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meanings
You cannot get a much better example of Newspeak than the op-ed piece by Martha Wise, who is a member of the Ohio Board of Education, and one of the chief proponents of banning any questioning of Darwinian theory in Ohio schools. We have all heard (a million times) the ridiculous assertion that intelligent design is nothing more creationism with a new label. She takes this a big, absurd step further. She asserts that the critical analysis of evolution is the same as creationism:
Until last week, Ohio had its own relabeling program for creationism, using the term "critical analysis" instead of ID.
Of course, her assertion could be true, and we would have to look at her evidence for it. You might think that she backed up her claim by citing examples from the Ohio Critical Analysis of Evolution lesson plan, which is where she claimed the "creationism" was lurking. But no, here is the "evidence" she provides:
At least one backer of "critical analysis" on the board expressed religious motivation.
Evolution was singled out, specifically targeted for disparaging and denigrating treatment. Other sciences were not.
The science lesson writing committee was packed with creationists.
Ah yes. But of course. Two ad hominem attacks and one assertion that evolution was "singled out," with nary a quote from the actual lesson plan. And note that Wise leads her piece with this nauseating flag-waving:
I believe in God the creator. I believe in freedom. I believe in America, and the state of Ohio, and the Republican Party, fiscal conservatism, fairness and honesty.
These values guided me last week to lead the Ohio Board of Education to remove creationism from our state's Science Standards and Model Curriculum.
So she can express religious motivation for her actions, but then attacks others who (she claims) are doing the same thing? What blatant hypocrisy.
Of course, we know why she fails to quote from the lesson plan. It says absolutely nothing about "creationism" or anything remotely approaching "creationism":
: a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis
That is pretty clear. And it is pretty clearly not "critical analysis of evolution."
Ohio should be ashamed to have such a person on its Board of Education, and extremely concerned for its children. That sort of hypocrisy, misinformation and propaganda should be voted out of office.
I was not surprised to see that someone else was independently struck by the Orwellian nature of her op-ed piece.