Florida’s 2019 Creationism Bills — Both Dead

Creationist bill, road kill

The last time we looked at the legislative situation in Florida was back in February: Florida’s Second Creationism Bill for 2019. We discussed that state’s earlier flirtation with madness in Florida Creationism Bill for 2019.

The second bill was 24 page long, so we quoted the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), which said:

The bill would revise a statute that presently requires instructional materials to be “accurate, objective, balanced, noninflammatory, current, [and] free of pornography” to require such materials to be “accurate and factual; provide objective, balanced, and noninflammatory viewpoints on controversial issues; [and] free of pornography.”

It had other objectionable features too, and to make things worse, a companion bill just like it was filed in the state Senate on 01 March.

We wrote about the state’s first creationism bill earlier in February: Florida Creationism Bill for 2019. The author of that bill was Senator Dennis Baxley, a funeral director who has a history of introducing creationist legislation.

You can track the history of Baxley’s bill at this link: SB 330, and the second bill can be tracked here: House Bill 855.

According to our information, the Florida legislature was scheduled to adjourn on 03 May, which was three days ago, so we took a look to see the “progress” of the state’s two creationism bills. Baxley’s bill says: “Last Action: 5/3/2019 Senate – Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.” That’s what we like to see.

And what about House Bill 855 — the state’s second creationism bill? The tracking link for that one reports: “Last Event: Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration on Friday, May 3, 2019 11:59 PM.”

So there you are. Florida was the last state that was still considering creationist legislation this year. Unless something crazy happens in the few states where the legislature meets all year long, the party’s over for 2019.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Florida’s 2019 Creationism Bills — Both Dead

  1. Eddie Janssen

    What does pornography have to do with climate change and evolution?
    Is it because if you vote against this bill you vote against restriction of pornography which makes you look bad?

  2. Creationists like to throw together a long list of their hot points no matter how unrelated into these bills to get the greatest accumulation of supporters. Anything that cannot be rejected on alleged “scientifically controversial” issues can be lumped into other hot button issues (e.g. sex education is pornographic, as is biology in general, etc). I knew a science teacher who worked in a backwards thinking community that had passed local laws preventing any form of sex education because it was “pornographic”. They must actually not read their bibles very much since there is plenty of that in their holy book.

  3. Michael Fugate

    Lots of sex – not so much education. Maybe they want their sex to be uneducated?

  4. Eric Lipps

    @Eddie Janssen

    What does pornography have to do with climate change and evolution?
    Is it because if you vote against this bill you vote against restriction of pornography which makes you look bad?

    I think it’s simpler than that: all three are on fundamentalists’ “works of Satan” list.

  5. Dave Luckett

    I must admit that I enjoyed the wording of the bills, not just for the attempt to get evolution off the curriculum. They would require “noninflammatory viewpoints on controversial issues”. Any “controversial issue”, that is. It would imply that anyone who was aggrieved by anything taught in a public school could claim it to be “inflammatory”, on the evidence of his/her own grievance, and take action accordingly. It wouldn’t require a general consensus or majority or anything like that. Just some people being annoyed by it would be enough.

    So, as Zetopan says, any education into the biology of sexual reproduction could make a certain demographic come over all of a tizwas. That would be enough to get it banned, if these bills were allowed. But, gee, we’re only getting started. Dear God, what would happen if some history teacher somewhere asked students to consider the causes of the Civil War? Or, heaven help us, the Crusades? Or an English teacher dissected the early modern attitudes to insanity behind Ophelia’s suicide? Or to what extent “Macbeth” is a protest against female empowerment?

    By golly, it’s almost enough to make me want to see these lunacies enacted – so long as it is on the opposite side of the planet – just so I could follow the stramash that ensued. Schadenfreude. I should be ashamed of myself.

  6. Holding The Line In Florida

    While these two bills died, the glorious legislature here in the People’s Republic of Florida did manage to pass a couple of wonderful bills designed to ensure that the students here receive the finest public education. We have had a series of local referendums that decided that a minor tax increase would go to PUBLIC school teacher pay increases. After all Florida is only 45th in the nation when it comes to teacher pay. This of course is anathema to the legislators who are in the pockets of the Charter School Industry. So they wanted a bill that even though the locals voted to fund only PUBLIC school teachers, they would use the funds to pay for Charter and Private schools as well. Well after much protest from the people enlightened by the dastardly Teacher Unions, after all, Republicans are so much in favor of allowing the people to choose what they want, as long as it is guns, abortion, Bible, and anti LGBT issues, the bill was defeated at State Senate level. The House passed it easily. What was passed, however, was a bill that forbid any other attempt by the locals to do anything like this again. From now on, any local referendum concerning teacher pay must also include the Charter and Private schools as well. After all they are Public too! As the SC would say, Bwaahaaahaaa, They also passed the Arm the Teachers bill. The only caveat was that it was up to the local school boards as to if they would comply or not. Down in Miami Dade it will never happen, but up north in Trump Country, I can see the School Boards authorizing the arming of teachers. I want to carry a BAR myself. Florida, Leading the Way to the End of Public (Guvment) Education!

  7. Michael Fugate

    One should always accompany the phrase “charter school” with a great sucking sound; private companies attempt to use public dollars for their own profit and children’s expense. Whenever the government contracts with private companies the taxpayers lose and the 1% wins.

  8. Eddie Janssen: “What does pornography have to do with climate change and evolution?”

    Ironically, my current client had to change a biology text book cover because Texas objected to a picture of two beetles mating.

    You can’t UNSEE a beetle woodie!

  9. A beetle woodie? Is that like a picture of John Lennon, naked, at full mast?

  10. I don’t know if there is a fancy name for the phenomenon Eddie Janssen points out, but I’ve seen it before.

    The trick is, you propose a law with an innocuous title like Bill to combat the proliferation of sexual intimidation and child pornography in schools and, somewhere in a long list of potentially useful measures, you stick a line that bluntly forbids any sex education.

    Then, when your political opponents vote the proposal down, you just wait for the inevitable next case of sexual intimidation in a school somewhere, and then you point to your opponents and shout out: “It was them! They stopped a law that could have prevented this!”

    It’s a particularly nasty, vicious way of lawgiving and politicians who engage in this should be excluded from office for life. Or just shot on sight to be on the safe side.

  11. Chris S: “A beetle woodie? Is that like a picture of John Lennon, naked, at full mast?”

    Yes, one of the out takes from the “two virgins” photo shoot!

  12. @Holding The Line In Florida:
    For a teacher to be armed, Florida is requiring 140+ hours of training, and the armed teachers are to be deputized. So…

    The state should pay teachers the salary of a state trooper, on top of the teacher’s salary from the school district. Furthermore, the armed teachers should be eligible for a law officer’s retirement benefits as well as their teacher pension.

    After all, if they are going to be putting their lives on the line for their students, they should be justly compensated. Fair’s fair.