Creationist Wisdom #800: Little Dickie Bell

For the first time we can remember, we agree with today’s letter-to-the-editor. It appears in the News Leader of Staunton, Virginia. The title is Del. Dickie Bell tries to bring creationism into public school classrooms. (Del. is an abbreviation for Delegate, Virginia’s term for members of the state’s lower legislative chamber.) The newspaper has a comments feature.

When the letter-writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. Today’s writer should be proud of his letter, but we’ll adhere to our rule. His first name is Sean. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

The General Assembly’s HB 207 was a bill to bring creationism into public school science classes. Don’t take my word for it: the bill’s sponsor, Delegate Richard “Dickie” Bell, has said publicly that the “scientific controversies” mentioned in the bill include, among other things, “the theory of evolution.”

Wow — that goes back a few years. The first time we wrote about Little Dickie’s bill was back in 2014 — see Virginia Creationism: Dickie Bell’s Bill. It’s the only time in our experience that there’s ever been such a bill in Virginia.

Who is Dickie Bell? Wikipedia has a brief entry for him. Yes, he calls himself “Dickie.” Here’s his page at the Virginia Legislature’s website: Delegate Richard P. Bell. It doesn’t say much. What happened to his 2014 bill? It quickly died in committee — see Virginia Creationism: Dickie Bell’s Bill Is Dead.

Okay that’s the background. Back to Sean’s letter. He says:

Let’s be clear: The only remotely convincing arguments that evolution is not the way the current diversity of life on Earth arose are grounded not in scientific empiricism but in religious faith. This bill, therefore, by its sponsor’s admission, is intended to let religious ideas into public school science classes.

After that he tells us:

Now, you may be entirely OK with the idea of students being taught Christian creation in science classes. Even if you are, though, this bill should still terrify you. Why? Because there is no constitutional way to let religious doctrine we like into government programs while keeping religious doctrine we don’t out.

Right! Sean continues:

To create a loophole that lets representatives of one religion into our science classes is to let representatives of every other religion under the sun in as well – a tradeoff that I’d wager the vast majority of Virginians would find unacceptable. That’s why it’s so vital that we have a delegate in Richmond who crafts education policies acceptable to constituents not just next school year but for decades to come.

And now we come to the end:

Del. Bell has made it abundantly clear that he is not that delegate.

Indeed. We’re grateful to Sean for alerting us to Little Dickie’s re-election effort. Here’s his election campaign website: Meet Richard “Dickie” Bell. It says he’s a “Retired High School Special Education teacher and Coach.” The general election will take place on 07 November 2017.

The people of Virginia don’t need an idiot like Little Dickie in the legislature. We’ll be watching to see how things go.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #800: Little Dickie Bell

  1. Creationism…Gawd did it! Done with that!
    Now back to science….
    Next day…Hi I’m the new science teacher, the old one was fired!

  2. I hope someone is sponsoring a similar bill to include the Flying Spaghetti Monster as part of the “controversy”.

  3. Michael Fugate

    He’s got a definite Col. Sanders thing going – if he just wore a white suit and a string tie.

  4. To create a loophole that lets representatives of one religion into our science classes is to let representatives of every other religion under the sun in as well – a tradeoff that I’d wager the vast majority of Virginians would find unacceptable.

    That’s why Virginia’s fundamentalists don’t want to make the trade. They fully intend that Christian ideas (their kind of Christian ideas, you understand) be the only ones let into the public schools, and will press to have such a law interpreted so as to further that end.

  5. People don`t realise there is a highly-infectious disease sweeping the world affecting all politicians. It is called Polinuttery maleficus and is terminal.
    It affects all elected officals either before they stand for a position or shortly after. Once established in what in other people would be called the brain, it takes control just like the parasitical barnacle Sacculina and removes all rational thought. There is no known cure

  6. Shocked the bill didn’t include a discussion regarding the controversy over modern bloodletting and the challenges to a flat earth while Dickie was at it!

  7. sigh. As a Virginian these people embarrass me. He is from the spine of Virginia. Low education, high unemployment, vanishing jobs (coal, manufacturing). Yes, SC, Trump country in Virginia. Pandering to the uneducated locals.