Stop the Madness!!!
It is hard these days to keep track of which State is in the lead in the move to drive our country backwards…to the 19th Century. Surely, we are all aware that Arizona, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, and Missouri are on the list. A quick re-cap of the current standings:
Arizona: While the majority of my post will deal with evolution and creationism, I would be remiss if I included AZ off of this list. To the best of my knowledge, AZ does not have any anti-evolution legislation currently in play. (Someone please correct me if am wrong on this). AZ is moving at light speed to ensure that women lose pretty much all control of their own body. If Gov. Jan Brewer (the irony being that she is a woman) had her way, women and cockroaches would be on equal footing over their future reproductive status. Pregnancy starts at the time of a woman’s last period? WTF is that? By that logic, I guess my wife is pregnant…yay us! I think I will wait another few weeks before painting a baby room though….
Tennessee: I already wrote a post on the lunacy occurring in Tennessee which you can read here. What I would like to highlight today is the passing of House Bill 368 which allows teachers to criticize “controversial” science such as global warming and evolution. It is a license to teach creationism.
Louisiana: For many years, Louisiana was a leader in anti-evolution/pro creationism legislation. Not much has changed. Kudos to high school student Zach Kopplin for challenging Louisiana Science Education act, which is quite similar to TN Bill 368.
Texas: This state is full of fundie nuttery. What I would like to call your attention to specifically is the GOP platform’s wording that states:
“Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”(Valerie Strauss, Washington Post)
Missouri: Who can forget the insane Amendment 2 that passed a few months ago. I recently blogged on that topic which you can read here.
Not a bad list when it comes to promoting ignorance. By no means is the list complete, but I am writing a blog post and not a book. For those of you looking for additional reading on States’ challenging evolution I would point you to the American Geosciences Institute: Political Challenges to the Teachings of Evolution. It is a great site that outlines all of battles fought on this nonsensical topic.
My purpose today is to highlight a new entry into the race for Christian Fundamentalist Ignorance. Today’s contender is no stranger to the topic, as it is the home of the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. Yes, we are talking about Kentucky.
Rob Boston discussed some new developments in Kentucky in his blog on Americans United which you can read here. Boston discusses two specific state legislators who are in a tight race to keep their constituents ignorant. First we have Sen. David Givens whom Boston quotes as stating, “I would hope that creationism is presented as a theory in the classroom, in a science classroom, alongside evolution.” Face meet palm. Boston accurately points out that this has been tried in numerous other states and has failed to be upheld in court—every time.
Boston then turns to Rep. Ben Waide. Waide sees Givens’ stance and decides to up the ante of idiocy. From Boston’s blog:
“The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science – Darwin made it up,” Waide said. “My objection is they should ensure whatever scientific material is being put forth as a standard should at least stand up to scientific method. Under the most rudimentary, basic scientific examination, the theory of evolution has never stood up to scientific scrutiny.”
(In case you’re wondering, Waide is not a biologist, an anthropologist or a scientist of any kind. He is a physical therapist with a bachelor’s degree in health science.)
Wow, that must be on a list of the most idiotic and ignorant statements made by a politician on this topic. What is maddening is that Waide is in a position of power in his State and could actually effect KY’s education policies.
This entire conversation is one of my main problems with Fundamentalist Christianity. It promotes ignorance—and is not shy about doing so. Can you imagine what would happen to our society if policies such as these are a) allowed to pass and/or b) allowed to stand if they have already passed? Each of these States are accomplishing two things. First, they are promoting a specific religious viewpoint. Second, they are hurting the future of the U.S. Neither is acceptable in my opinion.
It is incumbent upon the rest of us to point out the lunacy and prevent it from becoming policy.
The citizens here in the U.S. had better wake up. This type of legislation is being proposed at an alarmingly increasing rate. We cannot solely rely on organizations like Americans United, the FFRF, etc to fight all of the battles. We need to take it upon ourselves to oppose legislation of this nature.
It matters not what your religious views are (unless of course you are a Fundie). The rest of us, secular Americans, Catholics, moderate/liberal Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc need to oppose the wave of ignorance that is threatening to extinguish the light of science and leave future generations in the dark.
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