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:
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.
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