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ICR Launches Lawsuits

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Dear ICR Friends:

The Institute for Creation Research Graduate School (ICRGS) has filed two lawsuits against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) defendants as of Thursday, April 16. Commissioner Raymund Paredes was formally served at his offices in Austin yesterday afternoon.

Many of you will remember the intense efforts ICR made to respond to the THECB demands related to ICRGS’s application to grant degrees in Texas, even after the Commissioner formally rejected the recommendations for approval from his own Site Team and Advisory Committee, and then denied ICRGS the right to move its Science Education Master’s degree program to Texas.

As you read through the press release below that was sent out to the national media, please remember to pray with us that the Lord will receive honor to His name through all of this.

ICR has agreed to accept this challenge because of the blatant misuse of power—and because, if successful, the THECB (and other government agencies) will feel empowered to undermine and potentially destroy Christian institutions that take a strong stand on the authority of Scripture—especially those institutions that attempt to negate any of the ”idols” of evolutionary humanism.

Much of the focus of our world today is on “science”—and its endorsement of godless activities like abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, sanctioned promiscuity, legal pornography, no-fault divorce, genetically engineered babies, and same-sex “marriage.” The list seems endless.

Today, science attempts to provide a “rationale” for such wickedness. Tomorrow, science—“back in its rightful place” (as Barack Obama said in his inaugural speech)—will further its attack against “religion,” led by well-placed spokesmen like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and others whose hatred for Christianity is seething out everywhere.

Of course, the real battle is a spiritual one (Ephesians 6:12), with the enemy’s ruthless “roar” (1 Peter 5:8) trying to shout down the absolute truth that the Lord Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Thanks for reading through this. Thanks for praying for us. Please remember to intercede for us as often as the Holy Spirit brings ICR to your mind. Blessings.

Henry M. Morris III

Institute for Creation Research

Chief Executive Officer


Graduate School Sues Texas Agency Over Academic Discrimination

Contact: Lawrence Ford, Director of Communications, Institute for Creation Research (ICRGS), 214-615-8398, press@icr.org

DALLAS, April 21 /Christian Newswire/ – The Institute for Creation Research Graduate School (ICRGS), a California-based science education institution established in 1981, has filed suit in both federal and Texas state courts against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), its commissioner, and some of its board members, for interfering with the constitutional rights of ICRGS in its application to move the school to Texas.

Named as defendants in the suits are THECB Commissioner Raymund A. Paredes, Lyn Bracewell Phillips, Joe B. Hinton, Elaine Mendoza, Laurie Bricker, A. W. "Whit" Riter III, Brenda Pejovich, and Robert Shepard, in both their individual and official capacities, for discriminating against the private school's academic and religious viewpoint.

ICRGS additionally names as defendant in the state lawsuit the THECB agency itself, which has a prior record of abusing the constitutional rights of other private educational institutions in the state, as determined by the Texas Supreme Court in 2007.

Since 1981 ICRGS has offered the Master of Science degree in biology, astro-geophysics, geology, and science education, and recently consolidated its four majors into a single Science Education major on a predominately distance educational platform, except for required science labs and/or field studies. Since its inception, ICRGS faculty members have been highly credentialed science professionals with terminal degrees from such schools as UCLA, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and other competent institutions, along with noted experience in science research at top private and government laboratories in the United States.

In fall 2007, the THECB Site Evaluation Team and Advisory Committee recommended approval of the ICRGS application to grant degrees in the state of Texas. However, both agency recommendations were subsequently rejected by Commissioner Paredes after evolution-only activists pressured the commissioner to deny ICRGS a degree-granting license in the state.

After twice convening ex parte advisory committees of his choosing (both of which included no committee advisors with special competence in the private sector Christian education school market served by ICRGS), Commissioner Paredes recommended on April 23, 2008, that the THECB deny a Certificate of Authority to ICRGS, which the voting members did on April 24, 2008.

Since June 2008, ICRGS has worked through the administrative appeal process with the THECB, and the controversy is pending in the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

ICRGS is a private, non-profit graduate school that receives no state or federal funding.

For inquiries, contact the ICR Press Office at 214-615-8398 or write to press@icr.org.

[text taken from email]

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The Masters Degree that is in question here is a degree for science teachers teaching science in private Christian schools. This is not an issue of involving teaching creation in public schools. Simply put, many Christian schools would like their science teachers to have a masters degree. ICRGS has been offering a master degree since the early 80s. They were located in California and since relocating to Texas they have had problems getting the program accredited by that state.

The religious liberty issue here is that the State of Texas is trying to prevent science teachers in private Christian schools from getting a masters degree in science education from a school that teaches creation in conjunction with evolution. They were able to get accreditation in California by agreeing to teach evolution along side of creation so that students graduating with the "science" degree would be fully educated in evolution, which is the overwhelming majority of scientists believe. California made an exception (or compromise) with them because they are an religious school. Thus California allowed them to teach their religious beliefs in a science course. Texas is unwilling to make that same compromise.

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