North Carolina’s recently introduced House Joint Resolution 494 tells us that, “. . . each state is sovereign and may independently determine how the state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion . . . ,” and that, “. . . the North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” It seems that the state of North Carolina may soon be free of that pesky First Amendment, right up until the time that the Supreme Court of the United States lets them know in a 9 – 0 decision that they are a special kind of nuts. That will be the end of a legal process that will have cost the state of North Carolina millions of dollars over a brainless political ploy.
Elsewhere, the good citizens of North Dakota will have the scientifically interesting prospect of voting on a new amendment to their state constitution in November, 2014. The science connection exists because their duly elected state legislators just voted to place on that ballot a referendum for a state amendment that would declare that a human egg penetrated by a sperm is a human being immediately upon their connecting and it has all the unalienable rights of citizenship. It’s called the “personhood amendment” to their state constitution.
Not to be outdone, the braniacs in the state legislature of Kansas have overwhelmingly passed a bill that declares human life to begin “at fertilization.” Further, the Kansas legislation will proscribe the information that doctors must provide to pregnant women and to those who might become pregnant, apparently believing that the politicians know more about medicine than do the physicians.
Note that Kansas is the home of the State Board of Education that a few years ago declared that evolution is just a theory. The board mandated the teaching of “intelligent design,” which is creationism in a different wrapper. I haven’t checked their genealogical charts, but I suspect that those Kansas Board of Education members are related through unhealthy intermarriage to the geniuses in North Carolina who think it’s okay for them to establish a state religion.
The most poignant part of the current “personhood” effort in Kansas was provided by State Senator Steve Fitzgerald (R – Leavenworth), who is quoted as saying, “The human is a magnificent piece of work at all stages of development . . .“ Who could argue with that?
The problem, of course, is the stage of development we’re talking about. It appears that the Republican legislatures of those states and those of about 13 others doing similar things had their development arrested around the Pleistocene era, about the time the first human beings scratched on the walls of caves.
Senator Fitzgerald, you and your fellow mental luddites in governments all around America are, indeed, a piece of work, a special kind of nuts.
After the 9/11 attack we heard demands from the Muslim extremist world for a return to the fundamentals of Islam, as they understood them. These are the same principles that punish petty theft by hacking off a hand of the perp and which make women the property of men. We decried their backward demands as an attempt to return to primitive, dark ages ways. Yet here we are in America doing the same kind of regression.
It falls to those of us who think that science and learning are good things and who accept actual, fact-based reality to figure out what is behind this national rush to primitive thinking and then to redirect America to a sane path. So, you better help others remember the current insanity when it’s time to vote in November, 2014 and 2016. If you let these primitive deniers of reality off the hook, things will get worse.
Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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