Thursday, February 09, 2012

Indiana House may not vote on multi-Creation myths bill

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Rep. Brian Bosma (R-IN)
Rep. Brian Bosma (R-IN)

Last week, the Indiana Senate passed a Creationist bill they hoped would avoid constitutional issues by including language permitting the teaching of Creation myths from various religions in addition to the usual Christian variant (which, ironically and amusingly enough, would only make the bill all the more illegal). But now, the Republican House leader is showing signs of uncharacteristic sensibility, apparently unwilling to advance the legislation for reasons both political and legal:

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said he has not made a final determination on whether Senate Bill 89 will get a hearing and vote, but said he believes the General Assembly should not mandate what's taught in science classrooms.

"Delving into an issue that the United States Supreme Court has, on at least on one occasion, said is not compliant with the Constitution may be a side issue and someplace we don't need to go," Bosma said. "Parents, families have a choice on where their children go to school; it's an increasing choice now due to the legislation we passed last year."

The Republican-controlled Indiana Senate voted 28-22 this week to permit school corporations to teach "various theories of the origin of life," so long as multiple religious perspectives are presented.

The legislation has not yet been assigned to a House committee. State Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton, and state Rep. Eric Turner, R-Marion, the deputy House speaker, are co-sponsors.

The article notes that a Pennsylvania school that tried to sneak Christian mythology into science classrooms back in 2004 was later slapped with a federal lawsuit that ended up costing them a million in fines. As I’ve alluded to, in a (relatively narrow) way, I’m not overly concerned about individual school districts putting their pants on their heads and trying to corrupt science education with religious fables – they just inevitably end up being made into examples when the courts hammer them into bankruptcy. It’s a right shame, but it’s one they’ve eagerly brought upon themselves.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)