The Purpose of Alabama’s Creationism Bill

We found some good background on the subject of our recent post, Alabama Creationism Bill for 2012. At the website al.com, the online presence for three Alabama newspapers, the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and Mobile’s Press-Register, we read: Alabama legislation proposes off-campus religion classes for public school students. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Joseph Kennedy, 84, got fired in 1980 for reading the Bible and teaching creationism at Spring Garden Elementary School when parents of the public school sixth-grade students objected and he refused to stop.

But he said he still has a dream of teaching public school students about creationism, so he asked his legislator to help him encourage the Etowah County School Board to offer “release-time” classes, in which public high school students could go off campus to study creationism and get an elective credit for it.

[…]

Rep. Blaine Galliher, R-Rainbow City, said he introduced the bill at the request of Kennedy, a member of his district.

Interesting, isn’t it? The bill pending in the Alabama legislature had its genesis — so to speak — in the dream of a fired teacher who is still obsessed with teaching creationism. We rarely find this kind of background information. Here’s more:

Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, said Galliher’s bill would be debated the week of Feb. 28 in the House of Representatives’ Education Policy Committee, which she chairs.

“It looks like it’s a very viable way to offer some elective courses for kids that have many opportunities for electives,” McClurkin said. “To me, this would be a real good one, to be able to study religion.”

How does someone like Mary Sue get to be chairman of an education committee? Well, we’ve seen such things in other states. Let’s read on:

Kennedy, a member of Southside Baptist Church near Gadsden, said he and his supporters have formed a board of directors for the Institute for Biblical Studies, which would offer a creationism class if a released-time class law were passed.

Isn’t that great? Even now they’re getting ready to teach the kiddies. We continue:

Kennedy, who was a principal at Hardin Elementary School in Centre in Cherokee County during the 1970s, said he has a doctorate in Christian education from Freedom Seminary in Jacksonville, Fla., and is qualified to teach the classes. He also has a master’s degree in school administration from the University of Alabama and has written 15 books, seven on creationism, he said.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He wrote seven books on creationism! Did we say he was obsessed? That word wasn’t strong enough.

This is a long article, and it’s rather informative about the legal pros and cons of the pending legislation, but we’ll skip most of it. The last paragraph, however, is one you must see:

“We need a school bus and we need a building and textbooks,” Kennedy said. “The textbook will be ‘The Defender Study Bible,’ with notes by Henry Morris, author of ‘The Genesis Flood,’ who started the creationist movement.

Henry Morris? The kids are going to get school credit for that? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

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

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8 responses to “The Purpose of Alabama’s Creationism Bill

  1. Joseph Kennedy has his own blog! http://josephsalabasterbox.com/ Click on the “about” link to see his bio, which is pretty interesting.

    His writing is completely YEC supported by misunderstood science, and lots of biblical quotes and analysis.

  2. I like this cute little notion by creationists that they can offer school credit for creationism if they hold the class off-site by a non-acredited, private “teacher.” As if the establishment clause is somehow related to real estate.

    I say go for it! We need some entertainment in court.

  3. BFD. Basically every kid gets a free credit should this bill pass, and nobody can do a thing about it. It’s when credits are denied that it becomes a problem: “we don’t recognize your church of Spiritual Playtime.”

  4. What good would an elective credit in creationism do for a high school graduate? What college, what employer is going to be impressed by it?

    My guess is such a transcript record would serve the same function as my college theology credits when I transferred from one religious college to another and then to a state school. None. They were deemed irrelevant and they disappeared, leaving no trace on my final graduation transcript. Didn’t need to. It was the education that mattered, not the transcript credits. The best thing about those courses was that they developed and refined the religious skepticism I have enjoyed ever since.

    High school students are free to take extra enrichment classes off-campus right now–music, karate, yoga, fly-tying . . . and creationism. They and their parents should appreciate that fact and drop the silly record-keeping idea. If applying to a college or for a job where it seems to matter, the kid can list the class among the extracurriculars and call attention to it in the application essay.

  5. “…public high school students could go off campus to study creationism and get an elective credit for it.”

    What’s the difference between this and Sunday school, besides the day of the week? So why should students get public school credit for what they hear in Sunday school?

    The nation is in the worst economic shape since the Depression, and state legislators are wasting their time and our resources on THIS???

  6. Can we figure out a way for my kids to get credit from watching cartoons on T.V. here at home? If they don’t get some sort of credit for it, it almost seems like all the time they continually invest is WASTED! How about, “Entertainment Studies”?

  7. Rob Garren said:

    Can we figure out a way for my kids to get credit from watching cartoons on T.V. here at home?

    Makes sense. Think about it. You can learn a lot by watching cartoons, especially the old Looney Tunes. When Wile E Coyote ran off the edge of a cliff, he fell (physics and gravity). This would be followed by him being bandaged up (medicine). Then Wile E would come up with an ingenious plan that used a catapult (designed with mechanical engineering) and hitting a particular spot (more physics and some trignometry).
    Frankly, I think there’s more evidence you’d get a better education with Rob’s idea than with Alabama’s current plan.

  8. The sad part is that China, India, Brazil, Vietnam and other countries we are competing against are not wasting time on this nonsense. In a global competition, the Bible will not drive innovation and creativity to create the next big thing that will drive jobs here in the USA. Not everyone can work in a hardware store or be a teacher in a rural area.