The discovery comes on the heels of the State Board of Education's approval of teaching "intelligent design." For decades, public educators were restricted to lessons on evolution, the theory that life began as a result of natural forces. In contrast, intelligent design holds that the universe was created by God -- only you just can't say His name, because it doesn't sound very scientific.
The board seemed to agree when it granted preliminary approval to a lesson plan that calls on 10th-grade teachers to "help students analyze theories that challenge Darwin's assertion that our ancestors were filthy apes."
Yet the document, unearthed this week, indicates that this is merely the first step of a far-reaching agenda to insert Christianity in public schools. Scientists say it's evidence that intelligent design is merely a "Trojan horse," to be followed by a push for full-fledged religious instruction.
Proponents were quick to denounce the claims, arguing that scientists are just angry because they're really smart but they can't get dates. "It's just crazy," says Douglas Rudy, professor of science at Xenos Christian Fellowship Church. "I've never seen such histrionics."
The memo describes the Board of Education's recent vote as a "victory," and calls for immediate action for the sake of the state. "We must move quickly to capitalize on this success," it reads. "God loves most of Ohio's children, and would rather not cast any more than necessary into the fiery pits of hell."
The memo goes on to describe the next push, "Smart Strategy," which will "breach the walls of the rest of the physical sciences."
"Smart Strategy" attempts to reassert the "true image" of God, who has been recast "by various special interests in recent years as black, a woman, even a transgendered sicko," the memo reads. "Just so we're all clear, God is a really big white man with long white hair. In the beginning, His hair was blond, and it was good. He could color it if He wanted to -- in fact He could have prevented it from turning white in the first place -- and that would have been good, too. But He let it turn white, so that we might recognize His supreme oldness. And so we could tell Him apart from Jesus, who has brown hair and is a little shorter, but still really tall."
The memo calls Smart Strategy "a must-win."
"Copernicus and Galileo may have had a point about the whole solar system thing, but piety hasn't been the same since," the memo reads. "So enough with the mysteries of the universe. If God wanted us to explore space, He wouldn't have made it so far away."
After successful implementation of "Smart Strategy," advocates would begin work on "Brilliant Blueprint," which reduces history to "an Old Testament-sanctioned 6000 years." For children who are disappointed by the elimination of dinosaurs, the memo suggests substituting passages from the Book of Revelations. "No child will miss T-Rex after hearing about the seven-headed beast. In fact, the marketing department is giddy over the plush toys possibilities. Think Chucky meets the Beanie Babies."
This is to be followed by "Clever Concept," which would "eliminate the study of languages other than Jesus's native tongue, English." Activists note that immigrants tend to be poor, amoral criminals because God only speaks English and doesn't understand their prayers. They further note that Heaven officially banned other languages in 1996, and that Ohio children should be trained to be productive citizens in the Hereafter.
The memo concludes with a section on "Ingenious Interruptus," which acknowledges the complexities of modern sex education: "Oy! as the Christ killers say. Kids get so many mixed messages these days, it's vital they get the straight facts in school. And we do mean straight. Heather may have two mommies, but she needs to know that they're both going to hell."
By getting Governor Bob Taft to include the religious tract Kids, Don't Be a Savya Hata! in his OhioReads program, and by requiring athletic coaches to report excessive use of hair-care products by boys, activists hope to "gouge the queer eye," according to the memo. "After that, the lesson is as plain as it gets: Who would Jesus do? No one!"
Case Western Reserve professor Patricia Princehouse, founder of Ohio Citizens for Science, said the memo proves that intelligent design is a "wedge for inserting Bible-based education into public schools."
"Nonsense," said Mark Hartwig, a psychologist who writes a column called "The Wedge Update." "That's Darwinist propaganda. They refuse to acknowledge the growing body of evidence culled from opinion polls in southern states, then accuse us of having an agenda."
Hartwig and others vowed to continue to use the science to prove their findings.
"This memo business is much ado about nothing," said Bob Lattimer, a chemist and prominent Ohio intelligent design proponent. "Who knows, the Darwinists might have written it, the same way Satan created the fossil record."