The slime is being slung, the poop is being flung. The creationists are getting down and dirty, revealing their true nature. And they look like deranged street-brawlers.
Today is the day that Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) begins the process of approving biology textbooks. In a normal state run by normal people, this would be a relatively simple process. But we’re talking about Louisiana. The biology texts have been challenged by the state’s well-organized creationists on the grounds that — well, they teach science! By golly, they don’t want any of that stuff — not in Louisiana! The kids might actually learn something, and once that happens … well, who knows?
Here’s some background. Our regular readers can skip the next few indented paragraphs:
Louisiana is the only state in the US that can boast of passing an anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism “Academic Freedom” law modeled after the Academic Freedom Act promoted by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
The Louisiana Science Education Act (the “LSEA”) was passed in 2008. It encourages the use of unspecified “supplemental materials” — wink, wink — in science classes. We refer it as Louisiana’s “Every Child an Idiot” law; but we also deploy other pejorative labels. The LSEA was enacted notwithstanding a landmark decision from the US Supreme Court striking down Louisiana’s earlier creationism law (see: Edwards v. Aguillard).
Virtually the entire state of Louisiana is a creationist wasteland. That includes their governor, Bobby Jindal, the Exorcist (who is also a winner of your Curmudgeon’s coveted Buffoon Award). Although he had been a biology major in college, Jindal signed the bill after it was passed almost unanimously by the state legislature, led by the bill’s sponsor, senator Ben Nevers. (See Louisiana’s Ben Nevers: Creationist Doublethink.)
Let us not forget the state-level promoters of the LSEA, who appear to function as fellow-travelers and obedient servants of their Discoveroid puppet-masters in Seattle. There is Darrell White, founder of the Louisiana Family Forum (the “LFF”), and also Gene Mills, president of the LFF.
Almost the lone voice of sanity in that benighted state has been philosophy professor Barbara Forrest, a star witness for the winning side in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. She is founder of the Louisiana Coalition for Science.
That’s enough; now you know what this is all about. In the Advocate, the major newspaper in Louisiana’s capitol city of Baton Rouge, we find a letter from Gene Mills, president of the Louisiana Family Forum. The paper titled it Mills criticizes professor, texts. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
In “Rules for Radicals,” Saul Alinsky advises leftist organizers to “antagonize opponents.”
The creationists are easing their way into this battle by starting out with Alinsky. You’ll know they’re getting to phase two when they move on to Hitler. Let’s read some more:
Well, the radicals are busy in Baton Rouge! Evidenced by Friday’s letters to the editor in yet another shameful mischaracterization of Louisiana Family Forum by Dr. Barbara Forrest, professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University and self-described expert on religion.
Yeah, that Barbara’s a real radical. She actually wants science to be taught in the public schools. We continue:
Barbara Forrest, it seems, has made it her life mission to put the religious belief of all Louisianians on trial. Her conclusion: LFF advocates the teaching of religious creationism in the science classroom alongside evolution.
Observe, dear reader, what Mills is doing here. Attempting to demonize Dr. Forrest is his sole theme today. He’s sufficiently cunning to avoid talking about science or the theory of evolution — about which he knows nothing. Today’s letter is entirely about Barbara. Either that’s his plan for dealing with the issue, or it’s evidence of a mind that is totally unhinged. The more of Mills’ letter that we read, the less certain we are.
Click over to the Advocate and read the whole thing. After that, ponder the reality that Mills and his organization have enough political power to get their creationist bill through the Louisiana legislature and then have it signed by Bobby Jindal, their pandering Governor.
So the fun is beginning. Pull up a seat. The BESE hearing starts today and the creationists’ opening salvo is calling Barbara a Saul Alinsky radical. What’s next — will they accuse her of witchcraft? This is Louisiana, so anything is possible.
Update: See Committee of Louisiana’s BESE OKs Biology Books.
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