TEA Partier Seeks to Nullify 200 Years of Science with One Bad Idea

A TEA Party lawmaker named Rep. Clayton Fiscus (R-Billings) is resurrecting an “intelligent design” creationism law that would force teachers to reduce facts to mere subjects for debate under the guise of teaching “critical thinking skills” to students in public schools.  The Bill draft LC1324 a slightly modified version of his failed 2013 HB183. The National Center for Science Education has good information about and links to this current attempt as well as the previous 2013 tabled bill.  The 2013 hearing on this was packed with teachers and professors — including many from the private Catholic Carroll College– all in strong opposition to the bill.

Clayton FiscusThe language of the bill is pretty insulting to teachers. It claims that they may be “unsure” of whether they should try to reduce facts to the level of beliefs in their classes and that they need people like Fiscus’s to instruct them on what to do.  It is yet another stealth attempt to use the whole “false equivalency” rationale to get Intelligent Design Creationism taught as a “scientific theory” on an equal footing with evolution – sort of an “equal time” kind of thing.

If people want to believe that mental illness is demonic possession, or that the way to deal with rape is to pay the father of the rape victim 50 pieces of silver and call it good, as The Bible tells us, then they should go ahead and do so I guess.  But these things don’t belong in science classes nor in the laws of a modern society in 2015.

Intelligent Design Creationism has been ruled by the courts to be religious belief (Kitzmiller v. Dover, 2005) and its teaching in public schools ruled to be a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. There is no scientific controversy concerning acceptance of evolution.  It is an observed, proven fact.

The more disconcerting aspect this go round is that Sarah Laszloffy and Debra Lamm are Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the House Education committee. The Montana Family Foundation connections to Greg Gianforte and his financial support of creationist endeavors in Montana (e.g. the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum, Montana Bible College) suggest that these individuals (Laszloffy and Lamm) understand neither what science is nor the separation clause of the First Amendment. The young earth creationist tentacles of the Gianforte Foundation are entangled with both Laszloffy and Lamm, given their ties to the Montana Family Foundation. Indeed, they apparently believe that humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth together and even that its possible to learn to “do” the bible and bring the dead back to life.

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Prior to Fiscus, the last time a creationist bill was tried in Montana was in 2001, when Joe Balyeat, now leading the fight against medical care with Americans for Prosperity, introduced it, which is telling.

This latest effort certainly reaffirms the GOP’s position as the anti-science and knowledge party. Montana’s TEA Party Sen. Steve Daines has even joined the fight to make facts less valid than beliefs and has gone public with his own creationism.

Two other bills aimed at making Montana kids stupid are LC1134 and LC 1697 – more on these later. I suspect that these bills are aimed to address the fear that new modern education standards may require that facts must be taught in our schools, which is frightening to people like the MT Family Foundation.



9 Comments on "TEA Partier Seeks to Nullify 200 Years of Science with One Bad Idea"

  1. When I was a child growing up in the 1960, school was all about SCIENCE and LEARNING and LEADING THE WORLD in technology and knowledge. Now, 50 years later, we are sinking back into the Dark Ages. Makes me cry.

    • I had an Italian exchange student last year who thought that these issues were ridiculous–unheard of in her upbringing and schooling. She had had a lot of that and was very intelligent and well-spoken.

  2. Just have to remember, if facts differ from their much more valid opinion based on what they hear from RWNJs, then the facts must be wrong. This is how they justify their false beliefs.

  3. These types have to fight science because if they don’t they are exposed as backward on LGBT equality- the right believe its a choice not how you are born; on climate change- they don’t believe climate exists basically ; on the environment- pollution is good for us and so are GMOs; on reproductive rights–lawyers for fetuses –and a myriad of other core right-wing “issues.”

  4. That’s the TParty mentality – We dont make our decisions based on facts , we make up the facts based on our decisions.

  5. Did you catch what Rep. Laszloffy’s education committee did to a bill to update school immunization requirements (hb 158)? They gutted it and wrote in a “philosophical” exemption to school vaccination requirements. Unbelieveable. Measles outbreak…hello? She and Rand Paul can get together and cough all over each other.

  6. Too bad there is no vaccine for stupidity | February 4, 2015 6:57 AM at 6:57 AM |

    Open letter to all the really stupid people in the #mtleg trying to kill us all:


    Stupid people are trying to kill us all and we’re letting them. There is no vaccine for stupid, the only way to stop you is to call 444-4800 ask for your legislator, and say “I oppose the Laszloffy amendments to HB 158”

    or email the stupid people here


    Miss Laszloffy the supernaturalist doesn’t think the anti-vaccination movement, of which she is a leading member, is responsible for all the children in Montana who had died and gotten sick and gotten other peoples’s children sick or dead. Which is odd, because it is in fact totally their fault.

    A major outbreak of pertussis (aka whooping cough) in Ravalli County, home of RON EHLI, and also the Flathead, home of KEITH REGIER, happened just 2 years ago in MT.


    See, fifteen years ago, pre TEA bagger morons, everyone got vaccinated, and nobody got whooping cough. Because everyone got vaccinated. Sure, the vaccines didn’t work for everybody, but they worked for most people, and the people it didn’t work for were around people it did work for, so nobody could get it from anybody else.

    Then these dim bulbs came along, believing a scientist who lied about autism and an old formula for vaccine preservative that wasn’t even used anymore,


    and a bunch of born again and/or hippy dippy parents with too much time in a bunker and Internet and not enough critical thinking skills (homeschool!) stopped having their kids vaccinated, and now, MEASLES, WHOOPING COUGH, FLU etc Which is what everyone said would happen, by the way.

    Most states have a RELIGIOUS exemption for vaccines, but not a bogus “philosophical” exemption – which Lazloffy and the Stupid Caucus are not foisting on us.


    If this isn’t the time for a line item VETO of The Stupid from a Governor who claims to care about kids, I don’t know what is.


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