Oklahoma: Josh Brecheen’s 2012 Creationism Bill

Josh Brecheen

Our clandestine operative in Oklahoma — code name “OO” — tipped us off that Josh Brecheen is at it again. When we left Josh last year (see Creationist Josh Brecheen Prays for Rain) he was totally out of his mind, and it appears that his condition hasn’t improved.

When we were writing last year about Brecheen’s creationist activity, his occupation was tractor salesman. That’s been changed. His official page at the Senate’s website — Senator Josh Brecheen – District 6 — indicates that his occupation is now Motivational Speaker. His new photograph which adorns this post is rather impressive too — nice idiotic grin above his black shirt and white necktie.

Anyway, he’s pre-filed another creationist bill for his fellow lawmakers to consider. It’s different from what he proposed last year (see Josh Brecheen’s Oklahoma Creationism Bill). Brecheen’s new bill is based on Louisiana’s Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which permits unspecified “supplemental materials” — wink, wink — to be used in science classes. The Louisiana law was inspired by the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act promoted by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids).

Brecheen’s latest bill is SB 1742. It says, with bold font added by us:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:

SECTION 1: Recognizing the importance of critical thinking, logical analysis and objective discussion in education it is the intent of the Legislature to foster an environment in public schools where such learning occurs. This act is modeled on a Louisiana law which has not been invalidated by the highest court of the State of Louisiana or a federal district court. Legal challenges to academic freedom bills have historically alleged that such bills are intended to allow the teaching of creationism or intelligent design. This bill does not propose that schools teach creationism or intelligent design, rather, it is the intent to foster an environment of critical thinking in schools including a scientific critique of the theory of evolution.

SECTION 2: A. The State Board of Education, upon the request of a school district board of education, shall allow and assist teachers, principals, and school administrators in creating an environment within the public school system that promotes critical thinking, logical analysis, open and objective discussion of scientific theories including, but not limited to, evolution, the origin of life, global warming, and human cloning. Assistance shall include support and guidance for teachers regarding effective ways to help students understand, analyze, critique, and objectively review scientific theories being studied, including those enumerated in this subsection.

SECTION 2: B. A teacher shall teach the material presented in the standard science textbook and may use supplemental textbooks and instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.

SECTION 2: C. This act shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine or set of religious beliefs. [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!]

SECTION 2: D. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this act.

SECTION 3: This act shall become effective July 1, 2012.

SECTION 4: It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.

Oklahoma’s legislative session starts on 06 February 6 and is scheduled to end on 26 May. This one will be fun to watch.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Oklahoma: Josh Brecheen’s 2012 Creationism Bill

  1. You can’t fault someone who names his child Colt Justice and
    insists on following the Constitution. You just can’t.

  2. The lawsuits will begin as soon as the “supplementary” materials are introduced, but the state legislature’s hands will be clean, since people will have to sue over the way a policy was implemented, I think. So the law won’t be invalidated even if every school district uses “Pandas and People” the next day.

  3. If multiple districts are successfully sued due to this bill, then the law itself may be challenged, according to the Lemon prong of “primary effect” of advancing religion.

  4. How appropriate — the traditional Al Capone gangster look from the days of William Jennings Bryan, the Scopes trial, that old-time religion revival, and the birth of American anti-evolution creationism.

    I wonder if he is wearing spats, too. Can anyone make out pin-stripes on that suit? He forgot the red carnation and a white handkerchief in the breast pocket.

  5. If you have to defensively specify in a bill that it’s based on another which, you know, MIGHT be ok because it hasn’t yet been invalidated, implying that both the other bill and yours could be, you might want to rethink the whole thing.

  6. Ceteris Paribus

    SECTION 4: It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.

    An emergency? Oh, damn. Another apocalypse is coming and I have been backsliding badly ever since Camping’s last rapture was a failure

  7. Ceteris Paribus says: “An emergency? Oh, damn. Another apocalypse is coming …”

    No, it’s some technical thing in Oklahoma. It came up last year too, and I’ve forgotten what it means, but it’s trivial.

    Ah, I found it. It means that, if passed, a bill becomes effective immediately.

  8. Ceteris Paribus

    Thanks! OK, now in context it makes sense as a separation of powers thing. Creationist legislators get to inflict pain and suffering on the populace, until sufficient harm is done that a sufficiently brave citizen is willing to come forward. Then after an indeterminate time in court a creationist judge holds hearings and either (a) determines that the plaintiff has no standing; or (b) rules against the plaintiff. Thereby giving the creationists two bites of the proverbial apple instead of one.

  9. Curmudgeon: “When we were writing last year about Brecheen’s creationist activity, his occupation was tractor salesman. That’s been changed. His official page at the Senate’s website … indicates that his occupation is now Motivational Speaker.”

    IOW, still a salesman. All pseudoscience peddlers and politicians are.

  10. Another request for fellow “Darwinists”:

    Whenever a politician peddles “unspecified supplemental materials,” ask him/her in public whether he/she would advocate this.

    Before you object that it’s inappropriate for science class – AIUI it is – my only point is to get their reaction on record. That link has every anti-evolution argument that they could ever dream of. But it also contains the refutations that they are hell-bent on censoring.