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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.