There are a number of terms you’d never likely use in the same sentence as “South Dakota House”. “Progressive”, for example. “Fair and Balanced”. “Intelligent”. My current state of South Dakota has the unfortunate honor of having the most idiotic, ass-backwards set of politicians this side of Newt Gingrich. The pinnacle of achievement for the South Dakota House was during the 2010 session, when they passed a bill calling for “balanced teaching of global warming” in South Dakota classrooms. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, or the Onion couldn’t craft a more hilarious piece of legislation than what is contained in this bill. But seriously, why SHOULD educators teach our children about climate change, when “there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics” that really drive climate change. That, and the fact that carbon dioxide is “the gas of life”.
Once again, the South Dakota House is feeling the need to assert their brilliance. They recently passed a bill that recommends South Dakota educators add a study of the bible to the standard curriculum. After all, according to them, the bible “permeates all culture, law, and philosophy“, and really, that’s all that matters to folks, right? At least to white male Christian folks like those making up 99.99768% of the South Dakota House. As R-Jim Bolin states, of COURSE we should have bible study in public schools, since such common catchy phrases such as “Old as Methuseluh” come from the bible and are SO prevalent in every day conversation today. Just check your friends on Facebook, or listen to your teenage kids…they’re ALL saying it.
Look, I have absolutely no problem with what people personally believe. Live and let live. Heck, despite my own beliefs, I even don’t have a problem if schools want to talk about the bible and it’s influence on Western culture….IF it’s done honestly and fairly. But what are the odds of THAT happening in Hickville, South Dakota (99.2% of towns in South Dakota may qualify for the title)? If a teacher cracks open a bible and starts spouting off bible verses in class…what are the odds that teacher will ALSO crack open a Koran and do the same? What are the odds in South Dakota that the teacher will ALSO teach the philosophy of Buddhism? Hinduism?
You’ll notice the white Christian males of the South Dakota House ONLY said that teachers should talk about the Bible in classrooms. What a shock. Gotta love good ol’ state-sponsored bigotry, which is what this bill amounts to.
Do us a favor, South Dakota legislators. Stick to what you know best…things like your attempts to make sure every South Dakotan is armed to the teeth with the latest concealed or automatic weaponry. Leave educational issues to those who are, well….educated.