Indiana Creationism: Dennis Kruse Again

The last time we wrote about Indiana Senator Dennis Kruse was Indiana Creationism: Plan B. The story then was that instead of introducing a bill allowing schools to teach creationism along with evolution in science classes, as he had done before, Kruse was planning to introduce a bill allowing students to challenge teachers on science issues, forcing the teachers to provide evidence to back up their lessons. We referred to it as a creationist Children’s Crusade.

Now he’s got other plans. We don’t know if Kruse’s latest scheme is in addition to or instead of his Children’s Crusade bill. In the Indianapolis Star we read Sen. Dennis Kruse files bill that would allow schools to require saying Lord’s Prayer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The chairman of the Senate education committee, who last year unsuccessfully sought the teaching of creationism in schools, now wants public schools to have the option of beginning each day with the Lord’s Prayer.

This guy is chairman of the Senate education committee! The story continues:

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, has filed a bill that would allow school districts to require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, though individual students could opt out if they or their parents preferred.

In addition to his other legislation, now Kruse wants mandatory prayer — mandatory! — in the tradition of a true theocrat. This shows that creationist legislators usually try to do more than one crazy thing during their careers, so the danger of electing them goes beyond silly stuff like Noah’s Ark. People like Kruse are crazed across the board.

Here’s a link to the bill’s information page at the legislature’s website: Senate Bill 0023, and here’s the text of the bill, to which we added a touch of bold font for emphasis. It has a section number because it will be added to an existing statute:

Sec. 4.6. (a) In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen, the governing body of a school corporation or the equivalent authority of a charter school may require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day. The prayer may be recited by a teacher, a student, or the class of students.

(b) If the governing body or equivalent authority requires the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer under subsection (a), the governing body or equivalent authority shall determine the version of the Lord’s Prayer that will be recited in the school corporation or charter school.

(c) A student is exempt from participation in the prayer if: (1) the student chooses not to participate; or (2) the student’s parent chooses to have the student not participate.

It’s not creationism, but it’s worthy of an exhibit in Stupidland™ — the theocratic theme park we’re planning to build (with your money and prayers). Okay, back to the news story:

Kruse’s bill may not have much chance of success in the legislative session that begins Monday. Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, has assigned it to the Senate’s rules and legislative procedure committee, often a burial ground for bills. “My initial instincts were that it was probably unconstitutional,” Long, an attorney, said. The Senate legal staff agreed, he said.

That’s good to hear. Let’s read on:

“It’s a clear violation of the interpretation of the First Amendment by the United States Supreme Court,” Long said, adding: “It’s not a personal opinion on my part.” Kruse, he said, may have filed the bill “to make a statement, not expecting a hearing.

Kruse did not return calls seeking comment.

What statement does Kruse want to make — that he’s crazy? Mission accomplished! Here’s one last excerpt from the Indianapolis Star. It’s old news, but worth repeating:

Kruse, a soft-spoken conservative who has been in the legislature since 1999, has already stirred controversy for the coming legislative session. In December, Kruse said he would not reintroduce his legislation to teach creationism alongside evolution but instead planned to seek a “truth in education” bill. That, he said, would require teachers to provide evidence if students challenge their science lessons.

We can’t locate the Children’s Crusade bill. It probably hasn’t been introduced yet. Anyway, this guy Kruse could be to Indiana what Ronda Storms was to Florida. He’s definitely a man to watch.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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25 responses to “Indiana Creationism: Dennis Kruse Again

  1. “Sec. 4.6. (a) In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen, the governing body of a school corporation or the equivalent authority of a charter school may require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day. The prayer may be recited by a teacher, a student, or the class of students. ”

    Would that be the RCC version or the Protestant version? When I was in school back in the Dark Ages, we had one (yes, all you fundagelicals out there — only one) teacher who insisted on praying before class. She used the Lord’s Prayer — the RCC version, because that’s mostly what everyone was. She would stand in front of the class and point her finger and say, “Now, all you Protestants, you just keep saying your ending, you don’t have to stop at the end of the prayer like the rest of us.” It was the beginning of my tendency to hold tight to the separation of church and state although I didn’t quite understand it that way at the time….and at the time, I was RC! This person is wrong, Constitutionally, and wrong according to the tenets of his proclaimed faith.

    BTW, I’m having trouble seeing and typing this AM and really wish there was a preview function. Oh well.

  2. Kruse, he said, may have filed the bill “to make a statement, not expecting a hearing

    This is what’s going on, I’d bet money on it. This bill is so out there in terms of legality that its got to be fodder for Indie voters. Its either a “look what I tried to do” bill or a “look what my opponents shot down” bill.

  3. If the Indiana bill allowing students to demand proof to back up the theory of evolution is passed, someone should provide the teachers a compendium of scientific review articles and original scientific reports with that information. The teachers should announce that special assignments would be given to those who demanded said proof – write a summary (with footnotes and discussion) of the evidence. It should be at least 20 pages long, single spaced.

  4. When I was in grade school back in the 1950’s, we didn’t have prayer in school. Even at graduation. Prayer had been banned at the insistence of one of the Lutheran synods – they didn’t want their members praying with members of other faiths, including other Lutherans

  5. Eric, I’m inclined to agree with you. For if this is not an exercise in “look what I tried to do” it’s a display of ignorance of what the Supreme Court has ruled on related cases. See for instance McCollum v Board of Education:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCollum_v._Board_of_Education

    As an aside… I had a 5th grade teacher who required us to say the lord’s prayer (this would have been in the late 1950s). That was my first exposure to this particular prayer. Since it includes the phrases “give us this day our daily bread” and “thine is the power” I concluded that it was more or less consistent with the practice of sun worship.

  6. Ellie says: “When I was in school back in the Dark Ages, we had one (yes, all you fundagelicals out there — only one) teacher who insisted on praying before class. She used the Lord’s Prayer — the RCC version, because that’s mostly what everyone was.”

    When I was a kid in public school, every day started with the pledge of allegiance and the Lord’s prayer, in every grade. We used the Anglican version out of the early 1900s Book of Common Prayer — ending with “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever.” I didn’t know there were different versions, and I don’t think any of the kids did either. It doesn’t mention Jesus, so I doubt if the Jewish kids even knew it was a Christian prayer. It was never controversial, and I don’t remember when the morning prayer ended (the pledge never did), but we had probably stopped by the time I finished high school.

  7. doodlebugger

    The “proof ” bill provides cover for creationist teachers to proselytize,
    and for misinformed or gullible teachers to be misled and give creationism equal consideration in class. On the other side, it gives good educators the opportunity to “nuke creationism till it glows and then shoot it in the dark ” metaphorically speaking. Charter schools would love the bill. A good fragging of creationist rhetorhic in class would be good for kids on the fence though. Overall I think implementation would make the stupid stupider, and the curious logic oriented student wlth a good teacher, more familiar with creationist ploys.
    Kruse can gain stature in his nuttybutter circle of freinds too, an
    important concern here. Hopefully it will die in committee to mutagen next year.

  8. Totally irrelevant and completely off-topic, but I just couldn’t resist sharing it inflicting this on you.

    Oh, and Gary Jones, have you signed-on to The Gary List?

  9. You’re a sick man, Tomato Addict.

  10. What all these boneheads fail to understand is that very, very, very, very few science teachers want to engage in this sort of perfidy. It was the science teachers in Dover balking at mentioning “intelligent design” as a violation of their professional code of ethics (not to teach falsehoods) that put the onus of violating the Establishment Clause on the school administration. These legislative knuckle-dragging chuckleheads actually believe that science teachers are champing at the bit to teach creationism and it’s just not true.

  11. retiredsciguy

    The Curmudgeon incredulously observes, “This guy is chairman of the Senate education committee!”

    Yeah, isn’t that a Hoosier hoot! What’s with these creationist legislators becoming chairmen of Education committees? (Referring to Todd Rokita, R, Indiana, being appointed Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives committee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education.)

  12. @RSG

    Look at the people on the us house science and tech committee… at leats 1/4 of the committee members are global warming or evolution deniers. There is an astounding lack of resaearch about candidates among the average american voter. Of course since about that number are yecs I guess it makes sense.

  13. Such laws is what the Supreme Court outlawed in the prayer cases!
    We still have to point out that; individuals on their own time can pray to Sly Pappy all they want. The theo-conjob-servatives ever lie about those cases.
    http://forgedbible.blogspot.com

  14. Curmie accurately states> “You’re a sick man, Tomato Addict.”

    Ya, d*mn evolving ILI has knocked me flat for four days. I’ll go cough on the Doc* in the morning.

    * not our Doc Bill, of course.

  15. retiredsciguy

    By calling for schools to have their students recite the Lord’s Prayer in class, Dennis Kruse is asking them to violate the teachings of Christ. He evidently is not too familiar with his Bible:

    Matthew 6: 6″But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen…
    7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
    9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
    “‘Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name…

    In other words, Jesus was telling his followers to only pray in private, and when they did pray, they were to only recite the Lord’s Prayer. In private — not in a classroom. Nor in a church, for that matter. Matthew 6:6 is probably the most ignored verse in the Bible. (With the possible exception of that prohibition against coveting your neighbor’s ass.)

    So not only is Kruse’s bill unconstitutional, it’s also unchristian.

  16. retiredsciguy

    BTW, Toe-Mater Addict, hope you’re feeling better. And what is “evolving ILI”? Does it have anything to do with making you “inert Mater”, as Gary alluded in “ICR: Only Creationism…”?

  17. ILI = Influenza-Like Illness, also known as the nasty viral crud that is going around. I seem to be over the first stage, but the doc says the cough may be with me for 2-3 weeks. Everybody wash your hands regularly and avoid exposure if you can, because this little sample of evolutionary handiwork is definitely one to be avoided.

    And to answer the second question, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

    This is unrelated to the incident

  18. Already had the Crud, but thanx for the consideration. Toughed it out.

  19. Crap, thanks Tomato Addict, now I’m craving bananas. You owe me gas money to drive to the grocery as I otherwise would not…

  20. Aufwuch: “… now I’m craving bananas.”

    You should be careful, those things are dangerous!

  21. TA, just curious about your ILI — did you get a flu shot this season?

    I did, but now I wonder if I have a false sense of security.

  22. Yes, I did get a flu shot. This seems to be a strain that wasn’t covered this year.

    I was just thinking, “Gee, how did we get on this topic again?”, and “Oh yeah, I did it.”

  23. @ESG: I have word that a lot of the local clinical physicians who got the flu shot are coming down with the flu anyway, so it’s not just me. I’m curious is this flu was simply unanticipated, or if its a newer resistant strain.

  24. retiredsciguy

    @TA: Resistant to what?

  25. Resistant to the vaccine I must assume. Maybe I should not have used “resistant”, but that is how it was expressed to me.