EVERYONE remembers the mass lunacy that struck Kansas not too long ago, which resulted in the infamous Kansas evolution hearings. Those gloriously goofy days were almost three years in the past when we began this blog, but we were able to enjoy some nostalgia when we wrote Kathy Martin, Kansas Creationist, Up for Reelection.
Late in 2008, when we reported Kansas Creationist School Board Election Results, creationist Kathy had won her race, but the pro-science majority on the board remained in place. Since then, although we’ve made a few posts about Kansas, that state hasn’t given us much creationism news. Until today.
We have two news stories of interest. First, at the website of TV station FOX4ks from Kansas City, Missouri, which sprawls across the Kansas River into the state of Kansas, we read State school board member Cauble seeking re-election in western Kansas district. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
A western Kansas member of the State Board of Education is running for re-election. Republican Sally Cauble, of Liberal, filed Friday for a second term in the 5th District, which covers 43 counties in western and north-central Kansas.
Why do we care? Let’s read on:
Four years ago, Cauble won a Republican primary over incumbent Connie Morris, of St. Francis, a conservative who backed anti-evolution science testing standards.
Whoa! Connie Morris was another hard-core creationist who was always mentioned along with Kathy Martin. That Wikipedia article on the Kansas evolution hearings reminds us:
Board member Connie Morris sent a taxpayer-funded newsletter to constituents calling evolution an “age-old fairy tale” that was defended with “anti-God contempt and arrogance.” Describing herself as a Christian who believes in a literal interpretation of Genesis, Morris wrote that evolution was “biologically, genetically, mathematically, chemically, metaphysically and etc. wildly and utterly impossible.
And that means we heartily support the re-election of Sally Cauble.
The other news item about Kansas is in the Wall Street Journal, where we read Kansas GOP Could Be Its Own Worst Enemy. The article discusses a lot of issues and candidates that don’t interest us here, but we’ll give you the excerpts that mention creationism. We think there’s something of significance going on. The bold font was added by us:
In two Congressional districts, the Republican Party is expected to field as many as 10 candidates. In a state where an abortionist was murdered last year, and where creationists once seized control of science textbooks, a heated Republican primary in August could mean that the most moderate conservative on the November ballot will be a Democrat.
Well, that’s Kansas. We continue:
During a year in which Republicans nationally hope to make major gains, the best hope for Democrats may be a revival of the Republican civil war between fiscal and social conservatives.
Right. We’ve been calling those two factions the traditional “I like Ike” Republicans and the relatively new Noah’s Ark, Missionary position wing of the party. Here’s more:
“Republican primaries in Kansas are expensive ideological warfare,” Tyler Longpine, spokesman for the Kansas Democratic Party, said in an email. “A Republican candidate eventually emerges battered, broke and defined by ideology.”
Kansas Republicans insist this year will be different. They say their state is no longer ground zero for debates about whether the economy matters more than the teaching of creationism in public schools. At this weekend’s gathering in Topeka, the party will unveil a mission statement that emphasizes economic growth, innovation, an improved system of health care, small government and family values. “This plan represents what has been missing for Kansas Republicans: a unified vision,” says Amanda Adkins, a Kansas City-area health-care executive who chairs the state Republican party.
It’s possible that sanity will dominate the party in Kansas. That’s what worked in the recent Massachusetts election of Scott Brown.
Anyway, that’s the news from Kansas that interests us here. If the GOP can dump creationism and the rest of the social conservative issues — or at least keep them deep in the closet where they belong — they have a chance, not only in Kansas, but nationally.
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