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Chapter 86: Genesis or the Big Bang

Robert Franklin

Posted on November 15, 2019 21:27

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Will a new bill making its way to the Ohio Senate enable students to defy scientific answers and favor their own religious convictions without impacting their grades? The wording is vague enough so that no one really knows; but perhaps that possibility shouldn't be what's most heavily debated here?

The Earth is, at least, around 4.543 billion years old, not six-to-ten thousand. Biological evolution is substantiated in a myriad of different fields with an overwhelming, and still growing, body of evidence, with no evidence substantiating the idea it's intelligently-guided. Overwhelming evidence points to existence -- the universe in totality -- being a product of a big bang, not a deity's random whim.

These are all examples of scientific information rooted in a healthy evidentiary discovery. These are all considered theories by scientific standard, which does not mean the same thing as theory in the general vernacular.

These are all bits of information that may result in problems for Ohio teachers if opposition to House Bill 164 -- the "Ohio Student Religious Liberty Act of 2019" -- is to be believed.

And there isn't much reason to not believe them.

Image by Ferrari Hamman (CC by 3.0)

 

The wording of the bill is a bit ambiguous and I'm not going to spend my remaining words for this TLT bouncing back and forth between contexts of content that can easily be found through Google search.

To me, the most disconcerting aspect of House Bill 164 is that it even exists. It reminds me of the various Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that have passed in recent years. In my view, it's reminiscent of the decades-long conflict between religious groups and secularism.

What does a bill like this do, aside from blur the line between Sunday school and Monday through Friday school? Is that even necessary? Do Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives believe so fervently that a state mandated education as it exists today poses such a threat to the spiritual convictions of Ohioans that churchless education must contain room for those spiritual convictions?

As with other "religious freedom" legislation, House Bill 164 poses these same questions. Aside from the consequential nature of bills like these, which seem to thrive in their complication and controversy, their mere existence, the "why?" of it all, can tell the story of what these bills are all about.

To me anyway, this isn't about making sure Ohioan students can learn in a system that marries their faith and substantiated, evidenced information. This is about making sure the narrative of the religious "oppressed" taking on the secular "oppressors" continues to have enough steam to continue barreling down the tracks.

Whether it passes the Senate or dies, gets signed by the governor or trashed, this bill is about the same tired narrative that has challenged evolution, climate change, physical cosmology, and other scientific theories and observations that cast doubt on the legitimacy of literal Biblical interpretation.

This bill is about desperate attempts by American lawmakers influenced by mainstream Christofascist crusaders to preserve the influence of a so-called omnipotent god continuously being rendered impotent by the scientific method.

Robert Franklin

Posted on November 15, 2019 21:27

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Source: HuffPost

The legislation could require teachers to accept scientifically inaccurate, faith-based answers to homework assignments,...

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