Kansas Creationists May Return to Power

Kathy Martin of Kansas

Kathy Martin of Kansas

YOU ALL REMEMBER 2005, when Kansas went collectively insane about teaching creationism in state schools. In those disgraceful days, the queen of the Kansas creationists was Kathy Martin, pictured above. It was often said of Kathy that “Her intelligence is exceeded only by her beauty.”

Kathy and the other creationists on the Kansas State Board of Education conducted the Kansas evolution hearings. With the assistance of the Discovery Institute, a creationist publicity shop in Seattle, they actually voted to change the definition of science so that it would include supernatural phenomena.

The voters elected a different majority of that Board the next year, and the creationist madness was reversed — but not permanently.

The Kansas City Star informs us: Once again, control of the education board is in the balance. Excerpts, with bold added for emphasis:

This may have a familiar ring to it, but several seats on the Kansas Board of Education are up for election and control of the 10-member panel is at stake.

[…]

The fight has often centered on how evolution is taught in the classroom. Conservatives on the board have pushed for standards casting doubt on evolution, and moderates have said intelligent design does not belong in the science classroom.

In 2005, with conservatives in control, the board passed standards critical of evolution. When moderates took over in 2007, the standards were changed back. It was the fourth time in eight years the science standards changed.

It is no exaggeration to say that such behavior is literally insane. The current placidity of the creationists is precarious at best. Their quiescent behavior will be quickly reversed if they achieve critical mass. The article continues:

The past year and a half has been rather quiet — no major hubbubs, with a board controlled by moderates, 6-4.

With several seats coming up for election, control could once again swing toward the “Noah’s Ark is darned good science!” faction. Speaking of which:

“Perhaps we’re working on less controversial issues,” said conservative board member Kathy Martin, the only incumbent running this year. She supported science standards critical of evolution.

Indeed she did. And does. And probably always will. What a woman!

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Addendum: We found this in the Manhattan Mercury, a Kansas paper: Financial reports released. Excerpt:

in the District 6 State Board of Education race, incumbent Kathy Martin faces Republican Bill Pannbacker in the August primary. Martin had $927 on hand and raised $5,940. She spent $2,784 and has $4,135 left. Major contributors include Don and Lois Martin, Clay Center, $500; and F.A.I.R. Committee PAC, $500.

Pannbacker had $0 on hand and raised $6,900, including $1,000 of his own money. He has spent $2,072 and has $4,818 left. Major contributors include Helen Pannbacker, Washington, $500; KNEA Political Action Committee, $500; Kansas Traditional Republicans, $500, and Mainstream PAC, $500.

The Martin/Pannbacker winner faces Democrat Christopher Renner of Manhattan in the general election. Renner raised $6,781 and has spent $6,275 with $506 left. Major contributors include Kansas National Education PAC, $500; and Linda and Gordon Penny, Lawrence, $500.

We decided to find the source of that information. Campaign reports are filed with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, and at this next link you can View Submitted Forms & Reports. Navigation is a bit tricky, but we found a link to reports filed by candidates in the election for the Kansas State Board of Education. Kathy Martin and all the others are listed there. And here, gentle reader, in PDF format, is Kathy Martin’s report for 28 July 2008. Boring, but authentic.

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One response to “Kansas Creationists May Return to Power

  1. longshadow

    Ahhh — Manhattan, Kansas — birthplace of Damon Runyon, author of the short stories on which the musical “Guys & Dolls” is based.

    We’ve all seen the fine job he did satirizing the uptight religious spinster character of “Miss Sarah Brown,” the Salvation Army matron. If Runyon were alive today, he’d dish up a characterization of busy-body Kathy Martin that would make even “Big Jule” from Detroit blush…