Mike the Mad Biologist

Oklahoma H.R. 2211: The Triumph of the Stupid

Argh. The post got borked because I’m using a very old computer with weird keystroke habits. The article is from here:

The Oklahoma House of Representatives Education Committee has just approved House Bill 2211. The bill is expected to pass the full House, and then to go to the Senate. Its authors describe it as promoting freedom of religion in the public schools. In fact, it does the opposite.

HB 2211 is identical to bills widely introduced into state legislatures across the nation, where they have met various fates. Texas’s Legislature passed it, and Texas is experiencing serious problems as a result. Liberty Legal Institute of Plano, Texas, a group of fundamentalist Christian lawyers, drafted the bill and promoted to legislatures, including Oklahoma’s. It was not written by its Oklahoma legislative “authors.”

The bill requires public schools to guarantee students the right to express their religious viewpoints in a public forum, in class, in homework and in other ways without being penalized. If a student’s religious beliefs were in conflict with scientific theory, and the student chose to express those beliefs rather than explain the theory in response to an exam question, the student’s incorrect response would be deemed satisfactory, according to this bill.

The school would be required to reward the student with a good grade, or be considered in violation of the law. Even simple, factual information such as the age of the earth (4.65 billion years) would be subject to the student’s belief, and if the student answered 6,000 years based on his or her religious belief, the school would have to credit it as correct.

The only difference between this policy and forcing children to eat lead paint chips is that H.R. 2211 might be reversible (maybe not).


  1. #1 dean
    September 23, 2009

    The only difference between this policy and forcing children to eat lead paint chips is that H.R. 2211 might be reversible (maybe not).

    If you are referring to the respective acts then I agree. If you are referring to the consequences of the acts, then I disagree. If (as it should be) H. R. 2211 is reversed, the lawmakers and families (and so the children who would be involved) will scream holy hell because their “rights” were taken away.

    Are morons like these growing in number or growing bigger balls?

  2. #2 Gene Doctor
    September 23, 2009

    Unbelievable. Whatever happened to separation of Church and State? Thanks for the report.

  3. #3 Rob Jase
    September 23, 2009

    Its North Texas f’r Pete’s sake. Really, the Christian fear of reality level just keeps rising.

  4. #4 Jessika
    September 23, 2009

    This bill is from last year’s session, and the latest status looks like it died in the Rules Committee: 3/25/2008 Second Reading referred to Rules.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if another bill was attempted this year, but I’ve not heard anything yet. I’m from Oklahoma, and follow this kind of crap.

  5. #5 John Danley
    September 23, 2009

    Subsidizing teh stuhpide. great.

  6. #6 hepa3ymeh
    September 23, 2009

    Very simple way to get around is to phrase the questions cleverly such as “How old do scientists presently think the Earth is?” as opposed to “How old is the Earth?”. Teachers, please get creative and defeat the stupid!

  7. #7 Austin
    September 23, 2009


    Could you please post whatever information that you have regarding the state of Texas passing a bill containing such an idiotic idea. I have seen nothing in the local or national newspapers regarding such a bill being passed by the Texas legislature (not that I don’t believe they are fully capable of such stupidity).

    Here is very blue, educated, liberal Austin, such information would be useful in applying additional tar and feathers to the scoundrels.

  8. #8 Mary
    September 23, 2009

    Egads. Do they really want their kids to be unemployable by most fields involving science and technology? (And possibly others–teh stupid probably impacts history and sociology and other stuff as well, I just can’t speak to that.)

  9. #9 MikeMa
    September 23, 2009

    Texass – the source for education stupid
    Oklahoma – the cesspool where Texass stupid goes to die.

    They really should institute a constitutional benchmark for allowing state legislators to put their names on the ballot. Silly Sally and her ilk would certainly fail any test on her knowledge and understanding of the US Constitution.

  10. #10 Paul Murray
    September 24, 2009

    I look forward to this bill coming to the attention o the Subgenii and the Pastafarians.

  11. #11 Paladin
    September 24, 2009

    So, if this bill would pass, what would stop a student answering “God did it” to any question, on any subject, from termodinamics to history?

  12. #12 John Grant
    September 24, 2009

    Um, the op-ed you quote, Mike, is from March 7 2008 (in the Edmond Sun: http://www.edmondsun.com/opinion/local_story_067125346.html). This is not the newest of news.

    But thanks very much for publicizing it anyway! Into my archives it goes . . .

  13. #13 Cometic Surgery
    September 24, 2009

    The school should give students the right to expose their belief even if it conflicts what they teach in school.

  14. #14 Luna_the_cat
    September 30, 2009

    The school should give students the right to expose their belief even if it conflicts what they teach in school.

    Newsflash: students ALWAYS have the right to “expose their belief even if it conflicts what they teach in school.” What they don’t have — and SHOULDN’T have — is the right to get good grades simply for doing so.

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