Florida Creationism: Rove Favors Rubio

LURKING within Florida’s Republican primary contest between Marco Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist for next year’s Senate race is a juicy story about Rubio’s creationism. For a while, we had that issue all to ourselves.

Back in May we wrote Fla Senate Race: Crist, Rubio & Creationism. Then on 12 August we wrote Creationism in Florida’s US Senate Race, in which we mentioned Rubio’s bizarre and very troubling opposition to “separation of church and state.” We also said:

To see Rubio’s intense involvement in the 2008 Florida legislative battle over evolution, see: Rubio: Florida House open to legislative fix on evolution in the Florida Baptist Witness.

We were so concerned with what we had learned about Rubio that the next day — 13 August — we posted our Open Letter to Marco Rubio, saying, among other things:

So here’s our advice: Drop the Dark Ages theocracy. Just drop it. That means you’ll need a Sister Souljah moment in which you publicly repudiate the extremism of Senator Ronda Storms, whose creationist legislation you supported last year.

Since then we’ve been waiting for the media to pick up on the issue. So far they haven’t. But we suddenly found ourselves scooped by Little Green Footballs who just posted this article: Karl Rove Endorses Creationist Florida Candidate Rubio.

It’s one thing for LGF to be ahead of us with the news that Rove is supporting Rubio. MSNBC just reported it. See: Rove for Rubio, which says:

Over the past few weeks, Florida GOP Gov. Charlie Crist has found himself being put on the defensive more and more in the primary thanks to the challenge by ex-state House Speaker Marco Rubio. While Crist has financially overwhelmed Rubio to date, there are many Republicans — particularly those in Florida that are close to former GOP Gov. Jeb Bush — who have publicly become more comfortable airing their skepticism about Crist in public.

One of those Republicans with close ties to the Bush family, Karl Rove, has signaled his preference with his wallet. Rove confirms to NBC News that he has contributed a $1000 to Rubio’s campaign, the donation will be made public when Rubio files his next FEC report (due Oct. 15).

Interesting, but MSNBC didn’t mention Rubio’s creationism, or his weird theocratic leanings. We probably wouldn’t have noticed the story. But Little Green Footballs has not only jumped on it, they’re also emphasizing Rubio’s creationism. Okay, when we’re scooped, we’re scooped Hat tip to LGF.

The good news is that the media probably can’t ignore the issue much longer. Will the Florida GOP nominate a hard-core, full-blown, theocratic creationist, or will they go with a bland fellow like his opponent, Charlie Crist? Stay tuned.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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36 responses to “Florida Creationism: Rove Favors Rubio

  1. It will come out when the political situation calls for it.

  2. The Gadfly says: “It [Rubio’s creationism, presumably] will come out when the political situation calls for it.”

    Maybe. It’s tricky for Crist to come out and say that Rubio’s creationism is idiotic. He wants the votes of those people, but he wants the sane voters too. Not an easy issue to deal with.

  3. Gabriel Hanna

    Will the Florida GOP nominate a hard-core, full-blown, theocratic creationist…

    No. There aren’t enough “theocrats” in this country to fill the seats at a basketball game. Let’s not be dramatic.

    We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is least in danger and fix its approval on the virtue nearest to that vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them running about with fire extinguishers whenever there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under. Thus we make it fashionable to expose the dangers of enthusiasm at the very moment when they are all really becoming worldly and lukewarm; a century later, when we are really making them all Byronic and drunk with emotion, the fashionable outcry is directed against the dangers of the mere “understanding”. Cruel ages are put on their guard against Sentimentality, feckless and idle ones against Respectability, lecherous ones against Puritansm; and whenever all men are really hastening to be slaves or tyrants we make Liberalism the prime bogey.

  4. Gabriel Hanna quotes CS Lewis to hint that I’m raising a false alarm. It’s a good quote at all times, but not applicable to my posts about Rubio. I think it’s proper to point out Rubio’s peculiarities. Were I one to focus on non-existent dangers, I’d be gearing up for the annual outcry about the War on Christmas.

  5. No, the Democrats will reveal the information. The Reps will ignore it as much as possible.

  6. Gabriel Hanna

    I think it’s proper to point out Rubio’s peculiarities….

    Certainly, he’s a creationist and none of us here like creationism. Is he a theocrat? Not in any meaningful sense.

    Were I one to focus on non-existent dangers, I’d be gearing up for the annual outcry about the War on Christmas.

    Because you don’t focus on ONE non-existent danger, you therefore never focus on any of them? Come, sir, you can reason better than that.

    You can be a single-issue voter if you wish. I don’t live in Florida. Rubio may have many other qualities that make him overall a better GOP candidate, from your point of view, than Crist. Or he may not.

  7. Gabriel Hanna says: “Is he a theocrat? Not in any meaningful sense. … You can be a single-issue voter if you wish.”

    Rubio doesn’t accept the concept of separation of church and state. He’s a theocrat. That said, regarding several other issues he’s better than Crist. Decisions, decisions …

    I am a single-issue voter — well, I have one principal issue. The issue is freedom. All candidates fail to meet that standard, but for a multitude of reasons. So for me it’s always a matter of picking the lesser of two evils.

  8. Gabriel Hanna

    Rubio doesn’t accept the concept of separation of church and state.

    You SAY this. What does this even mean? Is he trying to set up the Church of America, which we all will have to pay tithes to? I concede that he is religious, and that his religion will influence his decisions as a lawmaker. My lack of religion would influence mine.

  9. Gabriel Hanna

    See, your characterization of Rubio as “against the separation of church and state” is as fair and fact-free as my characterization of you as “Sensuous Curmudgeon wants poor people to starve and not have health care”.

    Of course you don’t want that. What you disagree with is your political opponents’ methods of achieving what everybody wants.

    Rubio is not ever going to be in a position to establish a state religion in any meaningful sense.

  10. Gabriel Hanna says: “Rubio is not ever going to be in a position to establish a state religion in any meaningful sense.”

    That’s true, which is why I consider him a possible choice. He’s a bit crazed on that issue, but at least half of Congress are crazed about some issue or other. Voting is an exercise in picking the least dangerous candidate.

  11. Gabriel Hanna

    That’s true, which is why I consider him a possible choice. He’s a bit crazed on that issue, but at least half of Congress are crazed about some issue or other. Voting is an exercise in picking the least dangerous candidate.

    Now how can we have an argument if you’re always going to be so damn reasonable? Do I have to go back to sharpening my fangs on David Klinghoffer (about as effective as Jello for that purpose)?

  12. Benjamin Franklin

    Gabriel Hanna says: “Rubio is not ever going to be in a position to establish a state religion in any meaningful sense.”

    Probably not. However, he might very well foster a governmental attitude that permits public school administrators in Santa Rosa county such as Ken Frank Lay and the teachers at Pace High School to promote their personal religious beliefs to the students, who are in no position to avoid such unconstitutional proselytizing.

  13. Benjamin Franklin

    Make that Frank Lay – I must have Enron on the brain.

  14. Gabriel Hanna says: “Now how can we have an argument if you’re always going to be so damn reasonable?”

    There are things we could probably argue about, especially politics, but those issues are all off topic items. (It’s a matter of self-preservation — the broader the subject area, the greater the likelihood of an embarrassing blunder.) Stick with Klinghoffer. Easy target, but that’s why you’ll get very few points for scoring a direct hit.

  15. Gabriel Hanna

    However, he might very well foster a governmental attitude that permits public school administrators in Santa Rosa county such as Ken Lay and the teachers at Pace High School to promote their personal religious beliefs to the students, who are in no position to avoid such unconstitutional proselytizing.

    What constitutes “unconstitutional proselytizing”? Creationism certainly doesn’t. Muslims and Jews can, have, and do get on board.

    Prayers led by the coach before games, prayers offered at graduation, are they proselytizing too? And how did you resist them, as a student?

    You have to be careful not to let your defense of the establishment clause come at the expense of the free exercise clause.

  16. Gabriel Hanna

    Stick with Klinghoffer. Easy target, but that’s why you’ll get very few points for scoring a direct hit.

    Klinghoffer is a liar and ignorant, which is one reason why it is not healthy for me to argue with him.

    I like to argue with reasonable people with whom I disagree.

  17. Benjamin Franklin says: “Make that Frank Lay – I must have Enron on the brain.”

    Fixed it. I dated a girl who might have been his sister — Elizabeth Zelda. She liked to be known by her initials.

  18. SC:”I dated a girl who might have been his sister — Elizabeth Zelda. She liked to be known by her initials.”

    That joke only works with the way you Americans have twisted the English language. (It took me a minute to figure it out)

  19. Tundra Boy says: “That joke only works with the way you Americans have twisted the English language.”

    Go back to your igloo and don’t come out for an hour!

  20. Benjamin Franklin

    Yeah, just my luck, my girlfriend’s name was Vanessa Diaz.

  21. Benjamin Franklin

    Gabriel Hanna said-
    What constitutes “unconstitutional proselytizing”? Creationism certainly doesn’t. Muslims and Jews can, have, and do get on board.

    Prayers led by the coach before games, prayers offered at graduation, are they proselytizing too? And how did you resist them, as a student?

    According the lawsuit filed against Lay and the school district-

    Pace High faculty commonly promote their own religious beliefs and proselytize students during class and extracurricular activites by extolling their faiths to students, identifying the church to which they belong, assigning students religiously oriented school work and encouraging students to attend religious student clubs.

    The history teacher, who also coaches the girl’s cross country team preached to cross-country students and other students before school in the parking lot with the use of a bullhorn.

    I would say these are examples of unconstitutional proselytizing.

    Fortunately, as a student, the schools I attended never put me in a position to have to resist such actions as have transpired at Pace High School, which the Pensacola newspaper indicated is commonly referred to as “Baptist High”.

  22. Gabriel Hanna

    I would say these are examples of unconstitutional proselytizing.

    It would be hard to disagree. It seems that public high school is breaking state and Federal laws.

    If you have evidence that Rubio ever introduced legislation to permit that sort of thing in schools, or stated that he intends to introduce legislation that will permit that sort of thing in school, by all means share it with us.

  23. Gabriel Hanna said:

    If you have evidence that Rubio ever introduced legislation to permit that sort of thing in schools [unconstitutional proselytizing], or stated that he intends to introduce legislation that will permit that sort of thing in school, by all means share it with us.

    Consider this bill Rubio sponsored in the 2002 session of the legislature: HB 243 – School Prayer. This is the text of the bill.

  24. Gabriel Hanna

    SC, that bill allows for invocations at high school graduations and such. No more than state legislatures, the Supreme Court, and Congress have routinely.

    Not what BF was describing at all, where teachers actively proselytize in class.

    Quoting the text, since you won’t:
    (1) That the use of an invocation or a benediction shall
    15
    be at the discretion of the students.
    16
    (2) That an invocation or a benediction, if used, shall be
    17
    given by a student volunteer.
    18
    (3) That an invocation or a benediction shall be
    19
    nonsectarian and nonproselytizing in nature.
    20
    (4) That school personnel shall not participate in, or
    21
    otherwise influence the exercise of the discretion of the
    22
    students in, the determination of whether to use an invocation
    23
    or a benediction.
    24
    Section 2. It is the purpose of this act to provide for
    25
    the solemnization and memorialization of secondary school events
    26
    and ceremonies, and this act is not intended to advance or
    27
    endorse any religion or religious belief.

    This is free exercise, not establishment.

    Every high school graduation I’ve been to in North Carolina had benedictions anyway, no matter what the courts said.

  25. Gabriel Hanna

    Some theocracy.

  26. Gabriel Hanna says: “Some theocracy.”

    You’re very grumpy this evening.

  27. Gabriel Hanna

    You’re very grumpy this evening.

    Does my quote of Screwtape seem more appropriate now?

    It’s really very simple.

    Public school teachers preaching Jesus to captive kids during class time on the public dime is one thing. Kids having their own prayers at graduation are an entirely different thing.

    The difference of opinion between you and I here is the difference between “secular” and “secularizing”.

    I have no objection to people invoking imaginary beings at public events; it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket.

    It’s what the Supreme Court has called “ceremonial Deism”.

  28. Gabriel Hanna

    You’re very grumpy this evening.

    Maybe it’s your influence; my personality has a strong streak of plus royaliste que le roi.

    Anyway, do we all remember that ass, Michael Newdow? He sued over the Pledge of Allegiance.

    His kid didn’t have to stand for the pledge or recite it or anything. Jehovah’s Witnesses won that court decision in the Fifties.

    What he sued over was that his kid had to hear OTHER kids say the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Mandatory pledges limit our freedom, but so does giving a veto over our actions to any one person who might be offended.

  29. Gabriel Hanna asks: “Does my quote of Screwtape seem more appropriate now?”

    No. In one of my earlier posts on Rubio, I mentioned this article in Time: GOP at War with Itself in Florida Senate Race which says:

    … in talks in June to a chamber of commerce in Palm Bay and the Christian Coalition in Miami, he … noted that the words “separation of church and state” were nowhere in our founding documents.

    That’s technically true (those specific words aren’t there) but it shows you how he thinks.

  30. Gabriel Hanna

    That’s technically true (those specific words aren’t there) but it shows you how he thinks.

    It shows you that he thinks there isn’t a Constitutional provision forbidding prayers at graduations and ball games; it doesn’t show you that he believes in “theocracy”.

    In fact, there WERE established churches in America right up until 1818, when Connecticut disestablished, so “separation of church and state” couldn’t have even IMPLICITLY been in the Constitution.

    Good of you concede that he’s right about that, even while you condemn him for saying so.

    But think-you’ve put up a scary “school prayer” bill which you must have read–so didn’t you see that it explicitly forbade proselytizing and was not to allow prayers in class?

    Then why did you cite it as evidence for Rubio’s Secret Theocratic Plan?

  31. Gabriel Hanna

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_religion

    From 1780 Massachusetts had a system which required every man to belong to a church, and permitted each church to tax its members, but forbade any law requiring that it be of any particular denomination. This was objected to, as in practice establishing the Congregational Church, the majority denomination, and was abolished in 1833.

    Until 1877 the New Hampshire Constitution required members of the State legislature to be of the Protestant religion.

    The North Carolina Constitution of 1776 disestablished the Anglican church, but until 1835 the NC Constitution allowed only Protestants to hold public office. From 1835-1876 it allowed only Christians (including Catholics) to hold public office. Article VI, Section 8 of the current NC Constitution forbids only atheists from holding public office. Such clauses were held by the United States Supreme Court to be unenforceable in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, when the court ruled unanimously that such clauses constituted a religious test incompatible with First and Fourteenth Amendment protections.

    The Constitution of 1789 didn’t have “separation of church and state” in it, either explicitly or implicitly. It also had slavery in it. Sometimes change is good.

    But there is a difference between “secular” government and “secularizing” government.
    You think Rubio is against a secular government, but you’ve only cited evidence that he is against a secularizing government.

  32. Gabriel Hanna says: “You think Rubio is against a secular government, but you’ve only cited evidence …”

    You really need to regain your composure, and save your Perry Mason moments for Klinghoffer. First, I know the history of the states and religion. In my earlier post that cited the Time article with Rubio’s comment regarding church and state, I also cited the Florida Constitution’s provision on the same subject. Rubio’s speech claiming that “separation of church and state” isn’t in the Constitution (presumably he meant the US Constitution) was technically true but utterly misleading, because the concept definitely is there. Rubio was using the sort of dishonest technique we customarily see used by creationists and other con artists. He was lying.

    Yes, I read the 2002 bill to which I linked. I know you’re not implying that I cited it as a bluff. It’s the only thing I could find on the topic that he had sponsored, and I checked everything. Upon a casual reading it doesn’t seem to be all that much, yet that bill or something like it has been introduced into the legislature every session. I posted about something similar here. And before that here: a bill from Ronda Storms. The courts have struck down such measures in the past. See: for example, here, and — calm down, Gabe — yes, I know that Rubio’s 2002 bill was before that particular court decision. Courts don’t discourage Ronda, and they probably don’t discourage Rubio either. They’re on a mission.

    I’ve been posting about these things for a while. I’m not going to re-post all of my earlier posts here to demonstrate that I don’t make wild accusations. By now you should know that I have at least some command of the subjects about which I write. For what it’s worth, I agree that Rubio probably doesn’t intend to introduce the Inquisition into our lives. But he’s in with a bad crowd, his “church and state” comments are misleading slime, and he panders. I suspect he’s a Republican very much like Bobby Jindal. I don’t trust him. But then, I don’t trust any of them.

  33. Gabriel Hanna

    It seems I’ve irritated you and I apologize. I suppose we have to agree to disagree on what constitutes “theocracy”.

    As you are a patient and kind host, I leave you the last word in the argument.

  34. Gabriel Hanna says: “It seems I’ve irritated you …”

    No problem. You’re a gentleman, and I value your presence here.

  35. Is Rubio a sincere advocate for ID or is he pandering for support from the omnipresent and obnoxiously loud fundies in FL?

  36. doc30 asks:

    Is Rubio a sincere advocate for ID or is he pandering …

    Who knows? It’s the same question with Bobby Jindal. Either: (1) he’s sincere, in which case he’s crazed; or (2) he’s just pandering, in which case he’s debased. Take your pick.