There’s good news from North Carolina. At the website of TV station WTVD, channel 11 in Raleigh, North Carolina we find this headline: North Carolina lawmakers head home after final flurry of bills. They say:
North Carolina lawmakers headed home Friday after late-night and early-morning sessions that saw a final push to pass Republican-backed bills capping what all sides agree was one of the most transformational legislative sessions in state history. The House adjourned shortly before noon, following the Senate’s 2 a.m. adjournment.
North Carolina is where this year’s last piece of creationist legislation was still pending, so we’ve been waiting for that adjournment. We first wrote about that state’s bill here: North Carolina’s Bible Class Bill. All the background information is there, but we’ll remind you that Senate Bill 138, sponsored by Senator Stan Bingham, would, if enacted, add a provision to the state’s education code providing, among other things:
Local boards of education may offer to students in grades 7 nine through 12 elective courses for credit on the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament), the New Testament, or a combination of the two subject matters.
That sounds very fair and non-discriminatory. But there’s no instruction about Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other religion — only true religion would be taught by the state. No one needs to learn about, or — gasp! — get credit for studying false creeds. The full text of the bill is in our original post, along with a list of all the other Senators who eagerly signed on as co-sponsors.
On 27 February, Bingham’s bible bill was referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate. It was never the subject of any hearings or votes, and there it sat, ignored, until the legislature finally adjourned yesterday. In the news story to which we linked you can read about everything else the legislature did at the last minute, but they didn’t pass the bill that concerned us, so all is well in the creationism arena.
As we’ve said before (see The Controversy: Mid 2013 Report), this has been a very bad legislative year for creationists. This North Carolina thing is the last bit of legislation we’ve been tracking. Now, like all the others, it too has died. For one brief shining moment we’re a happy Curmudgeon.
No other evolution-oriented blogs, to our knowledge, were following Bingham’s bill. It wasn’t one of those anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism bills modeled after the Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discoveroids, but we thought it was worth tracking anyway. By now the Discoveroids know who Bingham and his co-sponsors are, and have decided that they qualify as good raw material: (a) they’re legislators; and (b) they’re nuts. That means they’ve got potential for being recruited into the Discoveroids’ axis of ignorance. Next year maybe we’ll see something from Bingham’s crowd that is more to the Discoveroids’ liking.
Now that most state legislatures have adjourned for the year, we probably won’t be reporting about any creationist legislation for a while. But there are states with legislatures that remain in more-or-less permanent session: Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. You can find them all here: 2013 Legislative Session Calendar.
We pity the people in states with perpetually active legislatures. One would think that by now we have quite enough laws on the books. Other than preparing a new budget every year or so, legislators should have very little to do. But it doesn’t work that way. Those people ran for their jobs so they could muck things up, do favors for various supporters and interest groups, and collect … ah, “contributions” for being cooperative. It’s impossible to imagine the quantity of corruption and chaos in states with never-ending legislative sessions.
For the moment, however, all seems quiet on the legislative front. And because the only creationist court case of which we’re aware — see John Oller Litigation Update — 19 Jul 2013 — isn’t scheduled for trial until January of next year, we probably won’t be reporting about any creationist litigation either, unless something new flares up.
What that means, dear reader, is that we’re over the hump, and for the remainder of this year we’ll mostly be mocking the madness that appears at our favorite creationist websites, plus the occasional letter-to-the-editor. One thing’s for sure — we won’t be reporting news of any discoveries in creation science. There never has been any, and there never will be. So for the next several months we’ll just be having fun around here.
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