Indiana’s Republican-controlled Senate yesterday passed a bill that would allow for the teaching of creationism in schools. The bill’s sponsor, Republican State Senator Dennis Kruse, tells the Indianapolis Star that he knows the Supreme Court ruled that unconstitutional back in 1987, but so what? “This is a different Supreme Court,” he tells the paper. “This Supreme Court could rule differently.”
The Senate minority leader managed to amend the bill so that it mandates teaching theories from several religions, including Scientology, if a school district chooses to add creationism to the curriculum. That might make religion-as-science less attractive for school districts around the state. It’s the same kind of strategy that used by the Democratic minority in the Indiana House this week, when they managed to get drug-testing for lawmakers included in a bill to drug-test welfare recipients.
Senator Kruse is also pushing a bill to allow schools to open the day with the Lord’s Prayer. As with his creationism bill, he’s slipping religion into the classroom under the flag of choice, but that choice only goes so far. The school district gets to decide whether to “require” that creationism be taught. In an interview with the Christian Post, Kruse described the bill’s origins:
“Pastors and members of my Sunday School class encouraged me to introduce the bill this year,” said Indiana State Senator Dennis Kruse, author of SB 89, to CP.
“I have thought about introducing it over the last decade and decided not to do so until this year.”