Tuesday, May 31, 2011

So, lately The Gambit's Twitter account hasn't exactly been the bearer of good news...among its latest tidbits of legislators behaving badly came this one from last week:
BREAKING: @ fails by 1-5 vote of state education committee. Sole vote to repeal: Yvonne Dorsey, D-Baton Rouge.
...followed by this insult to that injury:
LSEA: "All of you have been able to get out of high school despite this 'terrible' law." - Rep. Julie Quinn, R-Metairie, voting no on repeal
Well, at least we know who doesn't believe the children are our future.

The Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), for those not in the know, can be found here.  It is an intriguing and craftily creative exercise in how to allow creationism to be taught alongside the theory of evolution in public elementary and secondary schools in Louisiana without explicitly mentioning the word "creationism". If there is anything in this act that could possibly work in the favor of keeping the supplemental teachings of the C-word out of the science classes, it is this self-referential Section D caveat within:
This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.
...but saying that only that section is not promoting any religion or any discriminatory practice gets us into the realm of "It depends on what your definition of 'is' is."

This piece of garbage was signed into law by our governor nearly three years ago. One of the immediate reactions to Bobby Jindal's signature on it was for organizations such as the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology to take their conventions elsewhere, kicking New Orleans' recovery in the teeth in the process. And now it seems the only thing that will peel this complete nonsense back will be many, many expensive days in court that we as a state cannot afford, all because the Louisiana Family Forum, in concert with the Discovery Institute, has successfully imposed its values on the rest of us poor schmos.

What is the Louisiana Family Forum, and how were things allowed to get this far? Well, let's let Lamar tell you. They showed the lege the money through exploiting some non-profit organizational loopholes themselves, and now we have the LSEA. It'd be a perverse thing of beauty if it weren't wielded in the service of such stunning ignorance. It is in an atmosphere such as this when sometimes, a child shall and must lead.

Enter Zack Kopplin and his campaign to repeal the LSEA. It begins with the following:
While the misnamed and misguided Louisiana Science Education Act claims to promote critical thinking in schools, it is really stealth legislation worded in a way that attempts to dodge the Supreme Court rulings against teaching creationism (and its offshoot intelligent design) in the public school science class.  Louisiana’s kids deserve the best education possible, and should be taught proper and truthful science rather than religion in their science classes.  We need to be taught real science in order be successful in today’s global economy.
If that weren't enough for most people -and it apparently isn't - the reasons why such an act is wrong are in this post, and it snowballs from there, to the point where Kopplin is ready to up the ante despite being "stunned at the way (Rep. Julie Quinn) attacked the other kids (at the State Education Committee Hearing). We had about 30 kids, and she went after them."

To borrow a few pages from the Christian bible the LFF, Livingston Parish, and Louisiana legislators like Quinn seem to revere so, too many hearts have been hardened like Pharaoh's in the course of this mess. What plagues will be brought upon us as a result? Am I the only one who thinks the continued ignorance of the average Louisiana public school student is a pretty damned big one that isn't worth all of this grief?  Not to mention all the money that will be poured down the drain should the defense of this act ever enter the courts...

Louisiana legislators: let our children go.

Cross-posted at Humid City

1 comment:

Tim said...

Give 'em hell, Leigh!

Teach SCIENCE in Science Class. Save ID and Creationism for Asshat Class, if they ever offer it.