We wish this were a fable, but it’s not. It’s is a very revealing tale of how maniacal creationist legislators deal with the dream of a sweet 8 year-old girl.
First we’ll give you some background from about a week ago. A Fox television station in Greenville, South Carolina reported SC 8-year-old girl pushes for official state fossil. They said that 8-year-old Olivia McConnell thought South Carolina should have a state fossil. She wrote letters to her state representative and state senator and gave them her reasons.
“Fossils tell a lot about how animals lived backed then. And the first vertebrae backbone found in North America was actually found here in South Carolina,” McConnell said. “Since the Columbian Mammoth was a very, very interesting fossil about a similar animal that lives today, it would be a great thing.”
McConnell’s representatives out of Clarendon County created a bill that would name the Columbian Mammoth the state’s official fossil.
Lovely story — so far. But then the creationists got involved. Sen. Kevin Bryant, of Anderson County, wanted to amend the bill to add some text from Genesis, but it was ruled out of order because in South Carolina, as in many states, amendments can’t add a new subject to a bill. But that was just the beginning.
The Columbian mammoth survived an ice age, but whether it can survive the South Carolina Senate as the state’s official fossil remains to be seen. The elephant-sized mammal that once roamed this part of the world faces a new challenge this week in making it into the book of official state symbols. And the dream of an 8-year-old girl who suggested that the Legislature adopt a state fossil hangs in the balance.
What’s the problem now? We’re told:
Last week, state Sen. Kevin Bryant tried unsuccessfully to insert a Bible verse into the bill. This week, the Anderson Republican is putting forward a new amendment that refers to the animal “as created on the sixth day with the beasts of the field.”
“I think it’s an appropriate time to acknowledge the creator,” he told The Greenville News.
But he said he would support the bill regardless of the fate of his amendment.
Win or lose, he collected a few rapture points. But wait — there’s more:
Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, had raised an objection last week that temporarily killed the bill after Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell ruled Bryant’s amendment out of order. But Fair said he withdrew his objection after another senator told him the story of the Lake City girl’s campaign to get an official state fossil approved.
Mike Fair is a flaming creationist. We’ve written before about his bizarre legislative activities. Someone must have explained to him that beating up on a little girl isn’t good for his career. Let’s read on:
Fair said he was willing to support the bill with or without Bryant’s amendment. He said he placed his objection on the bill only to leverage senators to remove objections they had placed on some of his bills, which were unrelated to the state symbols issue. “I’ll vote for the bill standalone, and I appreciate the young girl,” Fair said.
Idiot! The newspaper knows all about him. They say:
Fair has made news before for his view that evolution shouldn’t be taught as scientific fact in public schools. He supports his position in part by what advocates of the intelligent design concept say about the fossil record.
Regardless of how the state fossil controversy turns out, a larger issue over state science standards in public schools remains to be fought, and Fair serves on the state Education Oversight Committee, the panel of educators and lawmakers that will decide it.
We’ve written about that before — see South Carolina Science Standards — No Problem? It hasn’t been resolved yet. But now, a little girl’s delightful suggestion about the mammoth is being held hostage by the creationists.
What do we learn from this tale? The lesson is simple: Creationists, despite their holy pretensions, are a pack of mindless savages. When wandering around alone, they’re often harmless, but if they’re in political office — watch out!
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