March 11, 2008

Oklahoma Follows Texas' Stupid Lead: Religion Over Science

The Oklahoma House of Representatives just approved House Bill 2211.

The bill states:

A school district shall treat a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the district treats a student’s voluntary expression of a secular or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.

The "otherwise permissible subject" part of the bill makes it really sticky. That can easily be interpreted as meaning tests, besides just normal classroom discussion. The intent is that a student can say the Earth is 6000 years old and still get a passing grade. The bill itself says that a student cannot be graded down if they say that what they are being taught interferes with their religious beliefs.

I am patently against anything of this sort and can't believe that people give ridiculous ideas as much standing as reality. One problem with this is when you open the door to fantasy you have to let any and all flavors walk on through. But it also elevates fantasy to reality, and that is wrong.

If I was teaching and someone answered that the Earth is 6,000 years old they would be wrong, regardless if they wanted to have me meet their parents, lawyers, supreme court, whoever. I don't care what your religious beliefs are, there are some things that are simple facts. An object with mass has gravity. A lump of lithium dropped into water will create heat and hydrogen gas. An accelerating charged particle will emit radiation. These are facts. It doesn’t matter what you believe: reality is that which, when you go to sleep, doesn’t go away.

What's really bad is that a bunch of conservatives who care little for relativism and political correctness are the ones who pushed this through. They want all religious rights to be accepted but the author of the bill, Sally Kern, has clearly spoken about being against the "gay lifestyle" and that being gay compares to cancer.

o look at what a disaster this kind of bill will be you don't have to look very far, right here in the lone star state we're in a heap of trouble for passing the same bill.

After this bill passes the Oklahoma Senate all those folks north of the Red River can join us down here in Texas in the Dark Ages, huzzah conservatism!

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