Good news for the integrity of science and church-state separation in South Dakota: The state House Education Committee on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have opened the door to teaching “intelligent design” – which is really just creationism – in public school science classrooms.
If some South Dakota legislators have their way, the state’s public school students soon may be learning the “alternative facts” version of science: Senate Bill 55 could open the door to creationism being taught in classrooms.
Republican Sen. Jeff Monroe sponsored the bill to “protect the teaching of certain scientific information,” which allows teachers to introduce “in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information.”
Yesterday Americans United launched Protect Thy Neighbor (PTN), our new project designed to respond to claims that “religious freedom” gives people a right to discriminate against others and take away their rights.
An outbreak of common sense has struck parts of the South Dakota legislature.
Last week, the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee voted 4-3 to reject a completely unnecessary bill that would have made it clear that clergy can’t be forced to perform wedding ceremonies that violate their right of conscience.
South Dakota legislators recently passed a controversial law placing new restrictions on abortion. A three-day waiting period (the longest in the nation) has drawn the most attention, but another provision is problematic from a church-state perspective. It requires any woman seeking an abortion to first undergo “counseling” at a “crisis pregnancy center.”
Yesterday Americans United asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a South Dakota church whose pastor openly admitted that he endorsed a gubernatorial candidate from the pulpit.
The Rev. H. Wayne Williams of Liberty Baptist Tabernacle in Rapid City hasn’t been shy about what he did. In fact, state Sen. Gordon Howie, the candidate Williams endorsed during a May 16 church service, sent out a press release bragging about it.
Howie had challenged churches to endorse him and was ecstatic when one did.
Yesterday was primary election day in a number of states. Several candidates who ran on platforms bashing church-state separation fared poorly.
Here are some results that might be of interest:
A few misguided religious leaders in South Dakota have decided they are above the law and are plowing ahead with a plan to endorse a gubernatorial candidate from the pulpit.