By Hemant Mehta
Whenever state legislators want to push Creationism into public schools, they use coded language. At various times, they’ve talked about teaching “Intelligent Design” or “the strengths and weaknesses of evolution” or “the controversy.” It all means the same thing: They want to pretend there’s a legitimate second explanation for how we came to exist.
But in Alabama, they’re not even bothering with that. Republican State Rep. Steve Hurst has proposed a bill, HB 258, that would literally allow teachers to promote biblical Creationism in the classroom:
Section 1. (a) In any public K-12 school instruction concerning the theories of the creation of man and the Earth, and which involves the theory commonly known as evolution, any teacher may include as a portion of instruction the theory of creation as presented in the Bible, and may read passages in the Bible as deemed necessary for instruction on the theory of creation, thereby affording students a choice as to which theory to accept.
(b) For those students receiving instruction as described in subsection (a), and who accept the Bible theory of creation, credit shall be permitted on any examination in which the student provides a response in adherence to the theory, provided the response is correct according to the instruction received.
(c) A teacher in a public K-12 school may not stress any particular denominational religious belief.
Great. You can’t stress a particular denomination, but promoting fundamentalist Christianity is perfectly fine.
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