Creationist Legislators: Who’s Who?

It seems like a good idea to have one post to which we can refer for information about various legislators in the states of the US who have a history of introducing and supporting creationist legislation. Some of these people will depart from office and others will take their places, so we’ll be updating this information from time to time.

For this initial version, we’ve only reviewed our archives for 2010 and 2011, and we’ve focused mostly on legislatures, only occasionally mentioning state school boards and governors. We’ve totally ignored local school boards and municipal officials — there are far too many of those to bother about.

Bear in mind that these people are not significant thinkers. Their bills are written by staff and their votes are dictated by interest groups. They’re the useful idiots who obey the commands of their masters. Nevertheless, it’s good to know who they are, because their names keep coming up year after year. Okay, here they are, conveniently arranged by state — an idiots’ hall of fame, a collection of crackpots, a catalog of kooks, a cornucopia of craziness:


Back in 2010, Senator Dave Schultheis introduced a really crazy creationist bill into the Colorado legislature (see Colorado’s Creationism & Theocracy Bill). It died in committee so we didn’t write much about it, or him. But he’s still there, and presumably he’s still a creationist.


We’ll lead off with our old creationist friend, Buffoon Award Winner — Ronda Storms. This is Her Most Rapturous Moment, and here is Ronda’s official page at the Florida Senate’s website. There’s also her dependable ally, Gary Siplin, who is, according to Wikipedia, “the first convicted felon to serve in the Florida Legislature.”

We can’t overlook Senator Stephen Wise, chairman of the Senate’s Education and Pre K-12 Committee. See Florida’s 2011 Creationism Bill: Probably Dead.

Two former Florida legislators have moved on to higher office. One is in the US Senate (see Marco Rubio: Creationist Theocrat for Senator). The other is Daniel Webster. During Florida’s 2008 creationism crusade, he was majority leader in the state Senate, and supported Rapturous Ronda’s creationist legislation. Now, having defeated the odious Alan Grayson, Webster is serving in the US House of Representatives.

A new name to watch is Scott Plakon. He’s the sponsor of Florida’s Theocratic Constitutional Amendment in the House. The Senate sponsor is Thad Altman.


Sen. Dennis Kruse, chairman of the Senate education committee, pre-filed a creationism bill (it would require teaching creation science) that will be considered in 2012. See Creationist Legislation for Indiana in 2012? This is his page at the legislature’s website: Senator Dennis Kruse. His occupation is one we haven’t seen yet for a creationist legislator — he’s an auctioneer.


The creationism is strong in Kansas. See Kansas Flashback: The Crazy Days. Some of the people from those fun times continue in office (see Kathy Martin of Kansas: Abstinence Queen). Their current governor, Sam Brownback, is a creationist. We haven’t heard much from their legislature — at least not yet. Steve Abrams is in the Kansas Senate now. He was a solid creationist member of the Kansas State Board of Education in the Crazy Days, so we expect to be hearing from him.


Kentucky’s most recent creationism bill was introduced into the legislature by Representative Tim Moore, but — like his bill the year before — it wasn’t successful. See Kentucky’s 2011 Creationism Bill: It’s Dead. Let’s not forget their Governor, Steve Beshear. We wrote that Kentucky’s Governor Is a Flaming Idiot for supporting Ken Ham’s Noah’s Ark theme park.


This state’s legislature is almost wall-to-wall creationist, so it’s pointless to list them all, but perhaps the worst is Senator Ben Nevers. Instead of running through all of them, we’ll mention the one sane member of that august body, Senator Karen Peterson, who sponsored a bill supporting Zachary Kopplin’s Campaign to Repeal Louisiana’s Creationism Law. Outside of the legislature, the big creationist players are the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), run by Rev. Gene Mills, and the state’s ambition-crazed governor, Bobby Jindal, the Exorcist.


Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage, is a creationist (see Paul LePage’s Creationist Train Wreck in Maine), but their legislature hasn’t been active about the issue.


Michigan has been quiet lately, but back in 2008 one of those “academic freedom” bills was introduced by Bill Hardiman, who later quit the state legislature to run unsuccessfully for Congress, and by John Moolenaar, who is still in the state Senate. Their 2008 effort failed. See Michigan Creationism: Update (14 December 2008).


In 2010 a creationism bill was filed by Gary Chism. It failed to become law (see Mississippi Creationism Bill: It’s Dead, Jim). He did the same thing the year before, and he’s still there; we haven’t heard the last of him.


The prominent creationist in Missouri for 2011 is Representative Andrew Koenig — a paint salesman who is licensed to sell insurance. See Missouri’s 2011 Creationism Bill: It’s Dead.

In 2010, as in several prior years in Missouri, Robert Wayne Cooper, a physician, has been sponsoring a number of creationism bills. See Missouri Creationism: New Bill for 2010. None of them go anywhere, but neither does Cooper. He’s still in the legislature.

New Hampshire

One might not expect creationist legislation in New Hampshire, but nothing surprises us any more. Two members of their legislature, Jerry Bergevin and Gary Hopper (you need to enter their names in that website’s search box) are proposing creationist bills for the 2012 legislative session. See New Hampshire Creationism: Early Warning.

New Mexico

Their creationism bill failed this year (see New Mexico’s 2011 Creationism Bill: It’s Dead). The proud sponsor was Representative Thomas A. Anderson.


There’s a lot of creationist activity in Oklahoma. Their leading legislative geniuses are Sally Kern, so far unsuccessful (see Sally Kern’s Oklahoma Creationism Bill — It’s Dead), and Josh Brecheen, an incredibly stupid man (see Oklahoma’s Senator Josh Brecheen: Totally Crazed). Back in 2009 we were writing about Senator Randy Brogdon, who is still in the legislature. See: Creationist Oklahoma Legislator Throws Tantrum.

South Carolina

Their legislature has been well-behaved since 2010, when they had a couple of creationism bills that were filed. See South Carolina Creationism Bills Go Extinct. Both bills were the work of Senator Michael Fair, who has been doing this sort of thing for years.


Tennessee is loaded with creationists. The governor, Bill Haslam, is a creationist. Their 2011 legislative attempt was sponsored by Bill Dunn. His bill actually Passed in the House by a vote of 70-23, which tells you all you need to know. The same bill was sponsored in the state Senate by Bo Watson. Fortunately, it didn’t become law (see Tennessee 2011 Creationism Bill: It’s Dead).


This is another state that’s riddled with creationists, and as Ben Franklin once wrote: “A fish rots from the head.” The rot in Texas begins with their Governor, Rick Perry. He has appointed three successive creationists to be chairman of the Texas State Board of Education (the SBOE). The first two suffered the disgrace of being rejected by the Texas Senate, and the third now occupies that post (see Barbara Cargill: Rick Perry’s Newest Creationist). In the legislature, in 2011 the only creationist star we’ve written about is Bill Zedler, whose bill failed to pass (see Texas’s 2011 Creationism Bill: Probably Dead).

Back in 2009, Leo Berman sponsored a creationism bill to benefit the Institute for Creation Research, but it died. Wayne Christian sponsored an “academic freedom” bill to allow creationism to be taught (see Texas Creationism Bill is Dead). Both of those geniuses are still in the Texas legislature.

So there you are. We’ve obviously only scratched the surface, so we’ll be adding to this post from time to time to maintain it as a current reference resource.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Creationist Legislators: Who’s Who?

  1. Looks like an epidemic of derp to me.

  2. Unfortunately this is mostly our fault. Yes, our job is much harder than that of anti-science peddlers – they have the luxury of exploiting the public’s misguided sense of fairness, while we “bad guys” demand that people “do their homework” and “take their medicine” – But the the scam artists are winning in the court of public opinion, and that is 100% unacceptable. They are winning the “swing vote” in all those states and localities and more. Yet when people do take the time to see how dishonest those scam artists are, and which side is truly promoting censorship, only the most hopeless 20-25% go along with them. And last I heard, that’s far from a majority.

    I don’t know if this will help or not, but we have nothing to lose. But I strongly recommend avoiding complaints about religion and “theocracy,” and concentrating on the underhanded tactics of the scam artists, especially the cover-up of the hopeless failures and contradictions in their pretenses of alternate “theories.” Most of the people we need to win over are religious, like it or not. Yet ironically unaware that most of their own religions have no problem with evolution.

  3. so where does Herman Cain stand on the issue? He’s suddenly coming up in the polls.

  4. TJW asks: “so where does Herman Cain stand on the issue?”

    I’ve been looking. It seems he hasn’t yet revealed his position.

  5. i’ve also been looking, I’ll let you know if I find something.

  6. New Hampshire

    One might not expect creationist legislation in New Hampshire, but nothing surprises us any more. Two members of their legislature, Jerry Bergevin and Gary Hopper (you need to enter their names in that website’s search box) are proposing creationist bills for the 2012 legislative session. See New Hampshire Creationism: Early Warning.

    I have just consulted my inside sources, and am advised neither of these bills, nor anything resembling them, are likely to go anywhere other than down the drain. They are unlikely to leave committee without the legislative kiss of death (“Inexpedient to legislate”) appended to them, and will not get more than 30% support on the house floor.

    Geek Alert: bills cannot be killed in committee in NH — all bills are eventually reported to the floor and voted on (unless withdrawn by their sponsors.) The committees simply vote to support or not support each bill each committee handles. When a bill gets an “inexpedient to legislate” determination in committee, it usually means the bill dies a quiet death on the house floor, unless one or more members want to pull it out of the hopper of bills to summarily killed and tries to shove it uphill against the tide. This is usually rare, as it almost never works.

    As an aside, the NH House has 400 members, and they are paid $100 per year, plus “mileage.” The legislator to voter ratio is roughly 1 for every 2000 registered voters.

  7. Per Wikipedia, Cain is an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church North. The “Baptist” part, not the minister part, suggests poor odds that he’s pro-science. One who is thoroughly confident that one of the mutually-contradictory literal interpretations of Genesis is validated by independent evidence would have nothing to lose and everything to gain by speaking out, however, so his silence is “interesting.”

  8. One would hope that Cain would be smart enough to answer questions about evolution with a correct answer: “I’m not a biologist and can’t answer questions about it. That’s not my expertise. Ask me about running a chain of crappy pizzerias.”