Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cautiously optimistic

Science Cat mitosisI totally love this picture.
You might recall my disgust and distress over Indiana Senate Bill 89, which would allow the teaching of creationism in public school science classrooms. I mentioned that I had written to my state representative, my state senator, and Governor Daniels.

I heard back pretty quickly from the Governor’s staff. It didn’t have much substance, just basically said that Governor Daniels values all input from the state’s residents, blah di blah blah, and I should contact my state representatives. They helpfully provided a link to find them. Well, that’s just dandy, but I already did that on my own, and already contacted them. What I wanted from the Governor was an assurance that if this bill somehow made it past Congress and onto his desk, he’d veto it. So I was kind of like “Meh, whatever.”

I haven’t heard back yet from my representative, a Democrat, which surprises me, because he’s always been pretty good about responding promptly. That’s okay though, because I’m pretty certain that if the bill were to come up before the House, he would vote against it.

Today I got a response from my state Senator, a Republican, and he wrote this:

Dear Beth,

Thank you for your email.  When SB89 was amended to include all theories, I did vote for it, but with reservation.  I had quite a few people asking me to support it, so I did in order to move the bill with the idea we can address it when it moved to the House.  It is my understanding that the bill will not be heard in the House, and at that point, the bill will be dead. 



Ryan D. Mishler

State Senator

*gasp* I was so heartened to read this! Okay, it was stupid of him to vote yes on the bill, even if it was amended to include all creationism stories, including, but not limited to, “Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.” I’m not sure who the supergenius was who added that amendment, but it was a stroke of brilliance. I am not being sarcastic. This left it open for our impressionable and innocent young Hoosiers to be taught about Scientology (“Today, class, we’re going to learn about Xenu!”) and horror of horrors, ISLAM! Can you imagine the thicket of complaints and lawsuits over this entire mess? I think our state legislators were finally starting to get an inkling of the hornet’s nest they were sticking their hands into.

Senator Mishler’s email also made me happy because he (remember, a Republican) seems to realize that it’s a dumb bill, and he got it out of the Senate in order to pass to the House, where he seemed to know it would not even be brought up for a vote. Politics is pretty weird sometimes, and I think this was a bit of maneuvering to essentially kill the bill. I’m reading other reports that the leader (also a Republican) of one of the education committees has also said that they will not recommend that this be brought up for a vote.

So I think I can breathe a sigh of relief here and rejoice at the demise of this misbegotten piece of foolishness. I’m still watching, though, to make sure that the corpse doesn’t become reanimated. Sometimes they come back, you know.

At least for now, it seems that science and reason has triumphed. And that makes me a happy Hoosier.

Tonight’s activity is the St. Joseph County Democrats annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner, where we’ll get to hear from South Bend’s new Mayor, Pete Buttigieg, 2nd District Congressman Joe Donnelly (he’s running for Senate against Richard Lugar), House minority leader Pat Bauer, John Gregg (who is running for Governor against Mike Pence...ugh, Pence), and Brandon Mullen, who is running against Jackie Walorski (ugh...Walorski) for the 2nd District Congress seat that Donnelly is vacating. I’m really looking forward to it, and plan on taking notes and getting a picture or two.


  1. This development makes me wonder if it was not a political stunt do get the unwashed all up in arms and ready for the coming election cycle... there is no way this bill could have been expected to pass with references to all those pagan religions and cults...

  2. The corpses reanimate often here. Sometimes it's really hard to keep track of them all. I'm hoping this election cycle will end the ultra-conservative/teabagger dominance in our legislature. Fighting zombies is tough.


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