Oklahoma’s Second Creationism Bill for 2014

Tales from the crypt

A month ago we reported about Oklahoma’s first creationism bill for the year — it’s a typical Academic Freedom bill that was filed by Josh Brecheen Again. One might be forgiven for thinking that a single creationism bill filed by one moronic legislator would be sufficient for a state.

For most states that would be true, but some states like to distinguish themselves. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted this news: A second antiscience bill in Oklahoma.

Isn’t that lovely? One creationism bill isn’t enough cause for ridicule. No, Oklahoma wants to wallow in total humiliation, so now they’ve got another. This one is House Bill 1674. That’s a 4-page pdf file, and yes, it’s got a 2013 date on it. We’ll explain.

This latest bill is being introduced by two familiar creationist names — one is Gus Blackwell. His page at the legislature’s website says he got his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theology Seminary, a BBA degree from Oklahoma Panhandle State University, and an MBA degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He spent 20 years with the Oklahoma Baptist General Convention, and he is Campus Minister with Baptist Collegiate Ministries.

The other sponsor in the House is Sally Kern. She’s married to Dr. Steve Kern, pastor of Olivet Baptist Church; and she has a sociology degree from the University of Texas. We’ve written about her creationism bills several times before.

Oh, and besides having his own bill in the state Senate, Josh Brecheen is sponsoring this new bill too. It seems that if it’s stupid, Josh wants to be part of it. So this one is being presented by: (1) Gus Blackwell, a preacher; (2) Sally Kern, a preacher’s wife; and (3) Josh Brecheen, the biggest idiot in the state of Oklahoma.

Okay, dear reader, we know what you’re wondering: What’s in this new bill? Nothing good. According to NCSE, we’ve seen it before. They say:

House Bill 1674 (PDF), styled the Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act, was supposed to have died in the Oklahoma House of Representatives on March 14, 2013, when a deadline for bills to have their third reading in their house of origin passed. But it is now listed as available for consideration on the House floor in the afternoon of February 18, 2014.

Yes, we remember the thing from last year. It was one of those Academic Freedom bills, based on the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism model act promoted by the Discovery Institute. We wrote about it here: Blackwell’s 2013 Creationism Bill, and we also included the bill’s text in that post. There’s no need to repeat ourselves.

Last year, when the bill failed to go anywhere, we wrote Oklahoma’s Second Creationism Bill Dies. Yes, it died. But as we learned in those wonderful old comic books from long ago, death isn’t always final.

Now, like some rotting horror that can be seen during a flash of lightning on a stormy night as it rises from the grave in some 1950s comic book, or one of those mindless movies on TV, Blackwell’s bill has returned from the dead to stalk the land and do its evil by devouring the brains of the living.

To track the bill’s progress you can use this link: Tracking Reports Website, but once there you need to enter HB1674 in the search box and then hit the “Retrieve” button. There hasn’t been anything to report … yet.

The Oklahoma legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on 30 May. With such a fine bunch of lawmakers, wisely chosen by a thoughtful and well-educated citizenry, we expect only the best results.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

5 responses to “Oklahoma’s Second Creationism Bill for 2014

  1. For once I’d like to see one of these scam artists or their trained parrots have the guts to introduce a real pro-creationism bill. Not the same old “equal time to misrepresent evolution, but total censorship of any refutations of the misrepresentations,” but rather exclusively positive evidence for any of the mutually-contradictory creationist origins accounts.

    Before any of you object with “That’s Unconstitutional,” no it’s not. Only the “ultimate causes” (God, unnamed designer, etc.) part is, and there’s no need to teach that part anyway. As with evolution and ever other subject in science, all that needs to be taught is the “what happened, when, where, and how.” And it must be supported on its own positive evidence, not perceived (and long-refuted) “weaknesses” in anything else, especially the explanations that are supported by a “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated” of evidence.

  2. A little background on HB 1674: Last year when the bill came before the House Common Education Committee, two of us representing Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education spoke against the bill, after raving to get permission from the Committee Chair, a creationist who has in the past introduced a creationist bill. I had to call her, tell us who we were, etc. We were given two minutes each to speak.

    There were supposed to be two speaking for the bill also for two minutes. At the meeting it was announced that one of the supporting speakers could not make it at the last minute. We think that the missing speaker was from the Discovery Institute, possibly Youngkin, who spoke before the Colorado education committee the week before. Thus, the other supporter of the bill, Steve Kern, spouse of the infamous Sally Kern was given four minutes. He used most of his time criticizing evolution, not addressing the bill itself. Sally Kern is a member of the committee. The Rev. Steve Kern is now a candidate for State Senate – imagine two Kerns kin the Lege!

    There were about 11 bills on the agenda. During the discussion the Speaker of the House stood in the doorway and listened to only this bill. By law, the Speaker can serve on any committee and vote. He did not participate. The vote was 9-8 in favor, with three republicans joining the five Democrats in opposition. Numerous messages from national and state organizations and many individuals were sent to the House committee before the vote and may have helped convert the three Republicans.

    The bill was not placed on the agenda for a House Floor vote and ‘died’ for the year. We like to think that our opposition influenced the Speaker’s decision not to place it for a vote, but the close 9-8 vote may have been the major reason. During this session the House Speaker resigned to run for the U.S. Senate and there is a new leader that may account for the resurrection. Many other odd things are going on. For example the ‘Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act (RVAA)’ bill, aimed at public schools should have gone to the House Common Education Committee. Instead it went undetected to to the Committee on States Right where it just passed 11-1. The RVAA has been defeated for the past several years, even receiving a veto by former Democratic Governor Brad Henry.

    Given the supermajority of Republicans in both Oklahoma houses, many newer members of the Tea Party variety, the future for defeat of these noxious bills is not good. However, Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education ( http://www.oklascience.org/ ) will continue as an ‘umbrella’ organization to mobilize opposition.

  3. Thanks for the info, and for all your good work, Victor.

  4. There really is an eerie similarity between fundamentalists spreading their ignorance and zombies who spread their infection by devouring the brains of their victim.

  5. I join in with The Curmudgeon and thank you as well, vhutchison. Ditto to The Curmudgeon.