Pharyngula

The odious Sally Kern

Remember Sally Kern, the Oklahoma legislator caught on tape babbling about the gay conspiracy? It’s worse than it sounded: it seems Kern has a gay son who she has essentially deleted from her public life.

And these are the people who claim ownership of the word “family”…


Here’s something even worse than the self-destruction of her own family: Kerns is the sponsor of Oklahoma House Bill 2211, the “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act”. You can tell from the title what it is: a bill that would privilege religious opinions over scientific information in public school classrooms. The story is all over the Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education page, as you might guess. The bad news is that the HB 2211 has passed in the House and is on its way to the Oklahoma senate, where we’d better hope it gets shot down. Here’s what it does:

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. Science education becomes absurd under such a situation.

Oklahomans, call or write your state senators NOW.

Comments

  1. #1 Cuttlefish, OM
    March 16, 2008

    In related news
    “The ballad of Sally Kern”
    Comments to die for

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcQk2rHPRMo

  2. #2 Caveat
    March 16, 2008

    There’s no hypocrite like an old hypocrite. Protesting too much is always a sign of duplicity since hypocrisy seems to be associated with a form of self-loathing in my observation.

    She’s probably gay too and thinks she’s in deep cover by mindlessly shooting her mouth off.

  3. #3 maxi
    March 16, 2008

    Family values.

    Yeah right.

  4. #4 Romeo Vitelli
    March 16, 2008

    Actually, Kern’s son is denying that he’s gay. He insists that he is straight, just “celibate”. In other words, closet case.

  5. #5 Nix
    March 16, 2008

    Er, Romeo, that’s not *always* true, y’know. (Mind you given that this is the son of a gay-basher, the probability is high.)

  6. #6 Mark Plus
    March 16, 2008

    The Speaker of the Oklahoma House, Chris Benge, is my first cousin (son of my mother’s sister). That could make for an awkward family reunion some day.

  7. #7 Mold
    March 16, 2008

    Good grades for failing. Does anybody else see the issue here? A religiocrazy “A” that is indistinguishable from the “A” of a real student. Must be that PatU Law isn’t doing enough for wingnut welfare. Or that Horowitz’s quota system for halfwits isn’t placing enough in academia.

  8. #8 Molly, NYC
    March 16, 2008

    An “Antidiscrimination Act,” eh?

    Someone has to explain to these people that you are not being oppressed just because you’re not being allowed to proselytize on the public dime.

  9. #9 puckishone
    March 16, 2008

    And in other news, all trees are made of wood. (sigh)

  10. #10 N.Wells
    March 16, 2008

    In order to avoid those types of discussions, I make a point of framing sensitive exam questions along the lines of What do geologists consider to be the age of the earth?”, or “what does your textbook list as the principal lines of evidence supporting evolution?”

  11. #11 inkadu
    March 16, 2008

    But what makes trees alive are the wood nymphs. Only half-credit for you, Mr. Scientist.

  12. #12 moioci
    March 16, 2008

    This is really good news for me and the other conceivable adherents of Seven Elevenism, a belief system that has suffered discrimination since the days of the Sumerians. You see, we believe that Seven and Eleven are the Holy Numbers and as such must always be equal. In addition, two plus two is equal to five, except on Thursdays, when it’s Seventy-Leven. After we die, if we’re found worthy enough, we can enter the Celestial Convenience Store, with junk food and beer for all eternity. Now, to move to Oklahoma…

  13. #13 MAJeff, OM
    March 16, 2008

    Kern, Schalffley, Sacarides, Keyes, Pete Knight…I know I’m missing a few, but what is it about right wingers that makes them such horrible parents as to hate their children and try to make life worse for them?

  14. #14 Ted D
    March 16, 2008

    This is really good news for me and the other conceivable adherents of Seven Elevenism…
    Posted by: moioci | March 16, 2008 11:42 AM

    Blasphemer! You must repent your evil ways and convert to the true faith that is Seven of Nineism!!! I am using far too many exclamation marks, so you know what I say must be true!!!!!

  15. #15 raven
    March 16, 2008

    I know I’m missing a few, but what is it about right wingers that makes them such horrible parents as to hate their children and try to make life worse for them?

    It does seem to be a pattern.

    IIRC, one of Oral Roberts kids broke away from him and eventually committed suicide.

    Art Linkletter’s daughter jumped out of a window. He blamed it on LSD but there is no evidence she was on drugs.

    George HW Bush’s kids all turned out pretty weird. Some of their kids ended up even weirder, one of Jeb Bush’s kids had a serious drug problem and the rest all seem to drink a lot.

    Must be all that cognitive dissonance, hate, hypocracy, and corruption.

  16. #16 ERV
    March 16, 2008

    “What do geologists consider to be the age of the earth?”

    And all they have to do is point to a YEC Creationist with credentials to get their points.

  17. #17 Mike Fox
    March 16, 2008

    Wouldn’t OK teachers just have students: compare and contrast your beliefs with the scientific facts presented in class. Your response should show your thorough understanding of material presented in class (including x,y,z) as well as a thorough understanding of your own point of view. If your view is the same as the viewpoint said in class, clearly state that this is so.?

  18. #18 raven
    March 16, 2008

    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.

    If I was a teacher in Oklahoma, it would be time to just give up and move somewhere else. It doesn’t seem like wallowing in Voluntary Ignorance is a good long term strategy but the fundies don’t seem to care. The DFN has always been economically backward with higher rates of poverty, child poverty and social problems such as teen pregnancy. This bill will just perpetuate their norm. Wallowing, it is not just for pigs anymore.

  19. #19 Daniel Murphy
    March 16, 2008

    PZ writes:

    It’s worse than it sounds; it seems Kern has a gay son

    and links to a page at queerty.com where the only evidence for that “seems” is a quote from bluegrassfool.blogspot.com of a quote originally posted at http://www.topix.com by some “John in Oklahoma City” who alleges:

    I find it hilarious that Salacious Sally is such a bigot. Her son Jesse was the biggest queen on the campus of OBU in the mid-90′s. Twice he almost was expelled for making inappropriate advances in the library toilets. When he wasn’t cruising the toilets he was in the glee club and a piano major…there’s your sign.

    Talk about stereotyping. Words fail. This is evidence?

    If you want to read what the son has to say, see the news article “Sally Kern’s son denies reports he is gay” in the Mar. 15, 2008 edition of Tulsa World at tulsaworld.com.

    In that article, he says he is celibate and denies being gay. He says he “I practice celibacy to give to my God.” Whether you believe that or not, he also says:

    First of all, no one’s sexuality is anyone’s business. It is not even my mother’s business.

    Nor mine. Sally Kern’s homophobia is hateful enough on its own.

  20. #20 hen3ry
    March 16, 2008

    Surely the Pastafarians can have a real laugh with this? it seems perfect for them. Gravity? Ha! The force of His Noodly appendages conquers all!

  21. #21 snoey
    March 16, 2008

    moici – you may think that Oklahoma could be heavenly, but the Celestial Convenience Store there would only have 3.2 beer.

  22. #22 BlueIndependent
    March 16, 2008

    Lo and behold this thread pops up a day after I receive in the mail a message, from my lovely republican representative in Washington, asking me to support that shining piece of legislation, H.R. 888.

    Gee. What ever shall I send in response to my wonderful representative?

  23. #23 Simon C.
    March 16, 2008

    Does it apply to College? If so, I’m totally moving to Oklahoma and finish my degree in Physics there. I’d love to have A+ on every single exam, using my belief of a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  24. #24 Janine, ID
    March 16, 2008

    How long before there is a scenario like this? A high school student refuses to sit through a class about The Civil War because hearing about how the North won goes against the student’s belief that the Confederacy was God’s chosen country. Or will not sit through a biology class when the lesson is on how all humans are related when that student’s god wants all the races segregated. Or will not sit through a social studies class that is about any non-christian culture ranging from the Inkas through the Chinese?

  25. #25 Feast on the Lake
    March 16, 2008

    So…this bill makes it possible for all students to pay no attention in their science classrooms, fill in exam questions with bullshit (“religiously based” or not, as I am sure lazy students are just as good as making up excuses) and not be penalized? Neat. Why don’t we just let religious kids opt out of science all together? Or pass similar bills for math and English? Wouldn’t that be swell! Now, kids can go to school and not have to LEARN anything!

    This makes me very, very sad.

  26. #26 moioci
    March 16, 2008

    snoey @ #21:”…Oklahoma could be heavenly, but the Celestial Convenience Store there would only have 3.2 beer.”

    Suffice it to say that even in my batshit crazy cosmology, the CCS ain’t in OK!

  27. #27 firemancarl
    March 16, 2008

    This is the exact same bullshit that was trying to worm its’ way into Florida law.

  28. #28 Doug
    March 16, 2008

    Well the bible does talk about hating family members in order to be Christian. Kern is just taking the bible literally and hating her own child. I wonder if she’d known he’d be gay if she would have had an abortion. Afterall, if her son’s being gay is worse that the 9-11 terrorist attacks she has the potential of saving thousands of people.

    Oh wait, she’s a loon. Nevermind.

  29. #29 tincture
    March 16, 2008

    My religion teaches me that the answer to all geology related questions is a badly drawn picture of Homer Simpson driving a tank through a field of bowling pins.

  30. #30 bugsoup
    March 16, 2008

    Pastafarians Rejoice!

    Finally, parents in OK can rest assured that their little Warriors of FSM can get a qualtiy education that will prepare them for a life making pasta. What else do you need besides tomato sauce and parmesan to glorify all that is His High Whole-Wheat Noodliness.

    Our Pasta, Who Art In Properly Salted Boiling Water
    Ronzoni Be Thy Name
    Thy Appetites Come
    Thy Will be done, on plate as it is in Italy
    Give us this day our Garlic Bread
    And Forgive us our Twriling Spoons, as we forgive those that Twirl their Pasta
    And lead us not into Leftovers
    But Deliver us from Pizza
    For thine is the Pirate Ship, and the Parmesan, and the Eye Patches, for ever and ever. R-amen.

    I pray to FSM that you will all stop suppressing the truth that is Al Dente.

  31. #31 Ian Maddox
    March 16, 2008

    I’d like to see some kind of (at least nominally) objective third-party accreditation system for high school science curriculum; an ABET for 9-12.

    I’m an engineering student at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Pharyngula is nearly my only link to the world outside of the miasma of religious fervor that surrounds me, even in 300/400 level technical classes; fellow students have prayed loudly before class for my soul, shamelessly plagiarized Kent Hovind at me, and warned me against eating octopus sushi on the grounds that the suckers will pull my tongue off.

    The mistakes they make both in class and out are indicative of people who never really got the basics; I have no doubt that they performed admirably in high school, but I’d be willing to bet that the science curricula under which they studied was a bit lacking. Some kind of independent accreditation could help to make sure that an “A” in Earth Science from Oklahoma or an “A” in Physics from wherever the Hovind-clone came from would be distinguishable from the grades I received.

    First post, by the way, although I’ve been lurking for a while. I had to tell someone about the octopus thing, though; it was absolutely hilarious.

  32. #32 Calladus
    March 16, 2008

    When I was in high school in the Sheldon school district of Houston back in ’80-81, my high school biology teacher had an assignment for us.

    Using a 20 foot roll of butcher’s paper, we were to draw a timeline of the Earth, marking off different events, such as where certain species first appeared (and later disappeared), where different bits of geology happened, and finally – where humans first appeared. (We were allowed to “zoom in” on the last couple of inches of the butcher sheet bringing them to a couple of feet.)

    Then, after explaining the assignment to the class (to the groans of “20 feet? That’ll take forever!”), our teacher then told us that if anyone believed that the Earth was under ten thousand years old, they’d still have to do the project – using a biblical timeline.

    It was to be our choice. Half the class chose the biblical timeline. The thought was that less time = easier assignment. (Not quite true – you just had a narrower focus. Of course, your “facts” could be more easily picked out of an encyclopedia & a bible, and didn’t require a lot of that hard biology stuff!)

    Way back then I was Christian. I chose the ten thousand year timeline. I really knew the biblical timeline – besides, I had Algebra to study! Anything to lighten my workload… right?

    I still feel bad about that.

  33. #33 Blake Stacey
    March 16, 2008

    Ian Maddox:

    You can find octopus sushi in Huntsville? Wow, the place has globalized since I left.

  34. #34 vHutchison
    March 16, 2008

    The following letter to editor from a YEC creationist who has been spouting the same garbage since the early 80′s gave me a good laugh. Needless to say, he did not attend my talk to which he refers. Anyone with a little knowledge of evolution and the history of biology can see his gross fallacies. I like his reference to ‘gentlemen’ – there were more women present than men. This is the crap we deal with in Oklahoma – and elsewhere.
    —————-

    “DON’T FALL FOR FALSE GOD OF EVOLUTION

    The Norman Transcript , 16 March 2008
    [http://www.normantranscript.com]
    “– Editor, The Transcript:
    In reference to the Democratic luncheon story in the March 8 issue of The Transcript, it is ironic that an evolutionist, the retired zoology Professor Victor Hutchison, would try to further worsen the relationship Democrats already have with God by asking them to deny that God created the world. They are already in big trouble with God by insisting it is lawful to murder unborn children (About 48 million in the last 45 years–Hitler would be jealous). Of course the other planks in their platform, the redistribution of wealth etc., would make Stalin proud.

    “A 2005 Harris poll showed that 73 percent of Republicans and only 58 percent of Democrats believe that God created man. So please Victor let’s not make it any worse for the Democrats. Oh, another poll showed that only one out of 20 biologists believe in God. So that is why so many Christian kids get blown away in biology or zoology classes. In engineering we don’t brainwash, but teach hard science backed up with facts.

    “I wonder if Victor explained to the gentlemen that all of the proposed theories of evolution have collapsed. These theories were; Lamarckism, then Darwin’s first attempt — Pangenesis, Haeckel’s fake drawings of embryos (still used in some biology books today) Neo-Darwinism mutations, Hopeful Monster Mechanism of Richard Goldschmidt (i.e. a reptile laid an egg and a bird hatched out, etc, etc.), and variations on the Hopeful Monster — Punctuated Equilibrium, and Quantum Speciation, (these sound so much more scientific), Marxist Saltation Monsters, and my favorite laugh, is the last one conjured up … Panspermia. These all so nicely agree with the lack of evidence.

    “There is not one iota of evidence for evolution. Unfortunately, many have been brainwashed by teachers like Prof. Hutchison into thinking it is true. Others aren’t so sure, but not wanting to believe that after they die they will have to face a Judge and a Judgment, they latch on to evolution. They don’t want to believe that a holy God laid out commandments, for us. They would rather believe that they could do anything that they wish, with no consequences. But God will not be mocked. Victor Hutchinson and Edward Blick are both old retired professors, well past their prime. We will both die sooner than our loved ones wish, and we will both meet Holy God. It is appointed unto man once to die, after that the judgment. There is a holy God that died for you and who loves you. Please don’t fall for the false god of evolution, but turn to the one, true God.

    EDWARD BLICK
    O.U. Emeritus Professor of Engineering”

  35. #35 Sastra
    March 16, 2008

    bugsoup#30 wrote:

    But Deliver us from Pizza…

    No pizza??!! Ok, the Pastafarians just lost me …

    I’ll also join in to mention that I read the same article on Sally Kern’s son, who denies being gay. Ok, fair enough. It’s a bad idea then to use this as another example of someone in the religious right with a gay child fighting against gay rights. Going on to argue that because he’s “artistic” or “celibate for God” it’s probably only a cover is not only blatant confirmation bias, but unfair to the young man on a personal level (it also gets into the ‘bigoted’ area itself: “music major? He’s gotta be a fag.”) Tch tch.

  36. #36 Barry
    March 16, 2008

    Hmmm… Lawyers draft a bill that will almost certainly lead to litigation. Brilliant idea! Business is slow, so they introduce a bill that will potentially lead to more lawsuits!!

  37. #37 Mark Plus
    March 16, 2008

    Others aren’t so sure, but not wanting to believe that after they die they will have to face a Judge and a Judgment, they latch on to evolution. They don’t want to believe that a holy God laid out commandments, for us. They would rather believe that they could do anything that they wish, with no consequences.

    A god could have created human life without any afterlife or moral obligations. Theists assume that their god has to arrange the universe for their convenience, when it doesn’t have to do anything of the sort.

  38. #38 Barry
    March 16, 2008

    “Last Tuesday Bill Gates testified before Congress saying that on the economic front, America “is at a crossroads” and will almost certainly become a second-rate economy without massive attention to science & engineering in schools and changes in government policies toward innovation.”

    Thank you Sally! This is exactly what we need. Let’s give our children the ability to write literally anything on an exam without having the fear of being marked incorrect. Our exam scores will skyrocket! I’m assuming that our economy will follow suit.

  39. #39 Scott
    March 16, 2008

    “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act” = “Spare Religious Viewpoints from Reality Act”.

  40. #40 bugsoup
    March 16, 2008

    Sastra#35 said: “No pizza??!! Ok, the Pastafarians just lost me …”

    Don’t worry, He is pretty flexible (no pun intended). That is why He created The Eight “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”.

  41. #41 ERV
    March 16, 2008

    Hey Vic! I left a comment, but I dont see it anywhere?

    Mr. Blick–
    I am a life long atheist and graduate student at OUHSC. I use ‘evilution’ every day to try to figure out how to cure both HIV/AIDS and cancer. My research is impossible if evilution is a lie (Google ‘endogenous retroviruses’), and yet… my experiments work.
    What have you done, Mr. Blick, to help ease the pain and suffering on this planet? What have you done with your life that grants you the privilege of judging and degrading the work of those evil scientists at OUHSC who are atheists, Hindu, or Buddhist? Or worse, Christians who accept evilution?
    Youre just a radical Christian and arrogant Creationist who has wasted their life– I do hope your belief in an afterlife helps you deal with this fact. Better luck next time, eh?

  42. #42 raven
    March 16, 2008

    It is easy to see Sally Kern and her cobigots as a cross between the three stooges and Godzilla. After all she is amusing in a horror show sort of way.

    But it isn’t quite as funny when you think about what they are attacking. Our civilization. Toynbee pointed out that 18 of 22 civilizations fell from within. Our civilization will fall someday. And when it does, the people holding the knife and gutting it will look a lot like Sally Kern and her gang of cultists. It may even be them. Damn, I was hoping the USA would hold together for at least my lifetime.

    Her bill merely legalizes the norm, Voluntary Ignorance. Did I ever mention that these people are sick in the head, stupid, and evil?

  43. #43 PvM
    March 16, 2008

    Daniel wrote

    In that article, he says he is celibate and denies being gay. He says he “I practice celibacy to give to my God.” Whether you believe that or not, he also says:

    First of all, no one’s sexuality is anyone’s business. It is not even my mother’s business.

    Nor mine. Sally Kern’s homophobia is hateful enough on its own.

    It is sad that people felt it necessary to spread these rumours about Kern’s son. Sally Kern made her hateful comments, let’s not go after the rest of the family and be nothing much better than that which we oppose.

  44. #44 demallien
    March 16, 2008

    heh. I din’t know that Cuttlefish does haikus…

  45. #45 Ian Maddox
    March 16, 2008

    Blake Stacy:

    I’m a transplant; haven’t gotten desperate enough to try the local sushi offerings. On the other hand, a bunch of army bigwigs are moving down here soon – a bevy of hifalutin’ restaurants are opening up in preparation, including a couple that are actually really quite good. Things are looking up culinarily, if not intellectually.

    I’m still chasing the career I picked as a 5-year-old, trying to learn how to build spaceships. Can’t decide whether it’s Sally Kern that should be on the first one, or myself. :D

  46. #46 Joshua Arnold
    March 16, 2008

    As a current college student I fully support this bill. Why? Because now I will never get a question wrong on a test. Ever.

    “I’m sorry, professor, but my religious beliefs require me to answer that Jesus is the President.”

  47. #47 SteveM
    March 16, 2008

    [Atheists] would rather believe that they could do anything that they wish, with no consequences.

    I am so frikkin tired of this canard that without god there are no consequenses to ones actions and therefore no morality. When in reality, it is exactly the opposite, it is these fundamentalists who believe that simply “accepting Jesus” gets one into Heaven regardless of one’s actions in life. It is atheists who realize that this life is it baby, and you’d better make the best of it because there is no “heavenly reward” afterwards. That it is in the here and now that consequences for ones actions will occur. And I am also so damn tired of hearing this kind of shit coming from the mouths of my fellow engineers, people I believe should be firmly grounded in reality and rationality.

  48. #48 Bill the Cat
    March 16, 2008

    Hmm, psychotic AND sociopathic, that’s a rare combination.

  49. #49 Eamon Knight
    March 16, 2008

    I’m still chasing the career I picked as a 5-year-old, trying to learn how to build spaceships. Can’t decide whether it’s Sally Kern that should be on the first one, or myself. :D

    Canonically, the Sally Kerns of the world go on the “A” Ark….

  50. #50 Awk & Pshaw
    March 16, 2008

    I suggest that all colleges and universities work together to develop a test to distinguish baptards from legitimate students as a part of the regular admissions process. That will force the baptards into the ‘bible colleges’ where they can get the ‘edumacation’ they truly deserve.

    Hey, the world needs ditchdiggers, too.

  51. #51 Awk & Pshaw
    March 16, 2008

    I suggest that all colleges and universities work together to develop a test to distinguish baptards from legitimate students as a part of the regular admissions process. That will force the baptards into the ‘bible colleges’ where they can get the ‘edumacation’ they truly deserve.

    Hey, the world needs ditchdiggers, too.

  52. #52 ERV
    March 16, 2008

    Awk & Pshaw, we had to take math and foreign language tests for appropriate placement at my uni. If you took 4 years of Spanish in high school but you couldnt pass the test, you were placed in Spanish I. If you had taken Calc in high school but you couldnt pass the math test, you were put in the appropriate lower level math course.

    You could do the same with science/history, if you had to. Or you could just flunk Bio 101 or Bio 102, like the Creationist kids in my classes…

  53. #53 Peter Ashby
    March 16, 2008

    Hey Raven, don’t worry. If the cultists ever take over the USofA there will still be us godless secularists over the pond here in Yurp. Today’s Grauniad had a nice article about Anglican country vicars at war with their ageing and dwindling flocks (down to single figures at services) who won’t let the vicars remove some pews so the buildings can be more useful than just for one hour a week. This is in villages where the pub and the post office closed years ago. All they need to do is wait a few years for the crusties to cark it and the community can have the building, without awkward tennants.

    I see that the latest local ex church here has finally found a buyer, there is building work going on though I don’t know what it will be. Still zoned commercial though, we already have one with an Indian restaurant downstairs and a snooker hall up on the main road. Oh and newish flats suspiciously located on the churchless church road.

    When my saintly mother went to the big presbyterian church while visiting she reported the minister requesting that the parisihioners do more to attract men, yup over populated by little old ladies, like my Mum.

    In a couple of generations there will hardly be any left. Been going on for a while. We live in a 1960s estate up the hill from the village centre with the churches and the shops etc. No new churches up here. Older suburbs closer in to the city, just postwar, have the only modern churches in the city. IOW by the sixties congregations were already declining to the point that it was not worth building new churches for all the people moving in. There is lots of new house building locally too, and still, no new churches. We are truly a post xian nation, the corpse has not quite stopped twitching, but it won’t be long. Oh and if the theocrats over there get jiggy with the military, why then we can just cuddle up with those nice Russians….

  54. #54 Kseniya
    March 16, 2008

    Double-gah.

    I’m having trouble telling reality from satire these days. I guess I’m not the first person to admit to this…

  55. #55 Peter Ashby
    March 16, 2008

    I am a longtime follower of the IPU, only partly due to my gluten intolerance. I don’t worship no new fangled deities.

  56. #56 raven
    March 16, 2008

    Hey Raven, don’t worry. If the cultists ever take over the USofA there will still be us godless secularists over the pond here in Yurp.

    If it happens, there might well be an exodus of intellectuals simply as a matter of self preservation.

    When my saintly mother went to the big presbyterian church while visiting she reported the minister requesting that the parisihioners do more to attract men, yup over populated by little old ladies, like my Mum.

    To some extent this is happening on the west coast of NA. My relatives go to a church in an upper income area. Because it is an expensive place to live, most of the residents tend to be older. There are around 300 members. Almost none of them are people with children. They don’t really have enough kids for day care or sunday school. The majority of the congregation is old, and mostly older women.

    These are mainline liberal Xians and they rarely say anything about fundies but when they do, it is obvious they don’t like them.

    No idea what it is like in the bible belt. It may be different or it may not be. It would take someone more curious than me to brave the muck and find out.

  57. #57 Thomas Williams
    March 16, 2008

    Actually, I view this as good news. It is in the same category as politicians that wear their religion on their sleeves. My reasoning? Basically, that any light shown on the superstitious will eventually show it for what it is. Unreal. Don’t get me wrong. There can be a significant lag time in some cases. An example is evolution. It’s been over 150 years since Darwin first wrote about his observations. But does anyone in this audience really think that the truth of science will not eventually win out? I take a much longer view than most. Science will not win out, that it is the truth of the nature of reality, until long after all of us are dead and gone. Big steps mostly come in small foot shuffles. I believe that in a thousand years humans will look back, much as we look back at the Enlightenment and they will see that this time was the last hurrah for the superstitious.
    The truth and beauty of science is that it is self correcting. That is, it will never become static. It will always change as we collect more information. There can be no orthodoxy unless the orthodoxy is that there will always be change. I and my descendants can live with that.
    But back to Oklahoma. Politicians like Mike Huckabee, whom I’ve read is a young earth creationist, and Sam Brownback, a dominionist of the creepiest order, need to have their views widely disseminated. By doing so their ideas are exposed to the light of day. If a politician brings his religion to the public square then his decisions are open to public scrutiny and question. Would anyone in the twenty first century believe a politician who stated that hurricanes were becoming more prevalent because Poseidon told him so? I don’t think so. I think that in the thirty first century humans will view current superstitions in the same light as we view first century superstitions. Archaic.
    I know. I know. Oklahoma. Let those educators teach those kids that way. As they get older they will see that their education has not prepared them for the real world. This will keep them out of the best jobs. And perhaps force them into a society of their own making. The implications of this type of segregation are immense. Can you say secession? Can you see a secular U.S. and a theocratic U.S. of G.(od). Don’t laugh. Stranger things have happened. All this is not without great upheaval and pain. But science will triumph over religion. Of that I have absolutely no doubt. Self correction based on new evidence makes it so.

  58. #58 October Mermaid
    March 16, 2008

    #56 I’m very nervous about any big war pitting the rational and secular against the fundamentalists. Because if we won and they were backed into a corner, let’s say they had access to nuclear weapons. If they think they might lose anyway, what’s the harm in it for them to launch those things? After all, Jesus will intervene and save THEM before the bombs land.

    And then, if worst comes to worst, we’re all left with a slowly rotting hell of a planet.

  59. #59 Rick R
    March 16, 2008

    My all-time favorite movie portrayal of a fundie zealot nutjob: Anthony Zerbe in “The Omega Man”.
    Not a great adaptation of “I am Legend”, to be sure.

    But the satire is spot on.

  60. #60 Andrew
    March 16, 2008

    I am so sickened by this legislation….its fucking sad as hell.

  61. #61 wtf
    March 16, 2008

    it seems Kern has a gay son who she has essentially deleted from her public life.

    And your evidence for this is an anonymous comment on a blog? Is the rest of your research this thorough?

  62. #62 Alex
    March 16, 2008

    People, especially Republicans, are really fucking stupid. That’s all I have to say.

  63. #63 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    March 16, 2008

    Get back on the high road, PZed. Retract your comments about her son.

    One might almost think this was a thoughtless remark coming out of the homophobic past you and I were both raised in.

    Regardless of his orientation, you aren’t being fair to him. He’s got enough problems as it is. Where would you be today if she were your mother?

  64. #64 AlanWCan
    March 16, 2008

    BlueIndependent #22: What ever shall I send in response to my wonderful representative?

    Goatse? Tubgirls? Rickroll?

  65. #65 waldteufel
    March 16, 2008

    We desperately need this legislation! Our society needs a permanent uneducated underclass to perform menial tasks. This legislation will ensure that Oklahoma will provide us a large supply!

  66. #66 pedlar
    March 16, 2008

    Just flicking thru the comments, I didn’t notice anyone linking yet to the article where Jesse Kern tells his side of the story.

    http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080314_1__OKLAH67120

    Whatever else, it seems he at least follows the commandment to honor thy mother and father.

  67. #67 vhutchison
    March 16, 2008

    Waldteufel (#64), and others: Don’t think that this is only in Oklahoma. Yes, we are getting a lot of publicity at the moment, but, again, the exact same bill is now LAW in Texas and has been introduced in Arizona and a similar bill is in the Florida legislature. Other states will follow, and not just in the south.

    ERV (#41): Thanks, good response! Should anyone wish to send Blick a similar message! : edblick@ou.edu

  68. #68 raven
    March 16, 2008

    It struck me that this bill is just one to legalize Voluntary Ignorance, stupidity, and delusions.

    Any religion that needs to pass such laws is probably on its way out. No matter how much legislation gets passed, reality is what it is. Think these cultist bigots are scared witless? You betcha.

    The Hubble space telescope, a few geologists, a few fossils, and a few biologists and they are lost and terrified. Not much of a religion that can’t deal with knowledge and reality.

  69. #69 blf
    March 16, 2008

    This legislation will ensure that Oklahoma will provide us a large supply!

    Dear Oklahoma douchebags,

    Please supply three adult menial idiots each week, not too scrawny, to feed to my lion. Usual terms and conditions.

    Thanks,

    Your Friendly Neighbourhood Atheist

  70. #70 Adrienne
    March 16, 2008

    Re: #68, blf, don’t worry about scrawniness. This is Oklahoma, remember. Plenty of stupid morbidly obese adults to go around. Just make sure your lions don’t start getting fleshy.

  71. #71 Janine, ID
    March 16, 2008

    “First of all, no one’s sexuality is anyone’s business. It is not even my mother’s business,” he said. “I practice celibacy to give to my God,” he said.

    Jesse Kern

    It is so comforting to know that “purity” is not just for daughters to give their fathers at purity balls. A lack of having sex is a tangible thing to give to the big sky daddy.

    What a pleasant upbringing he must of had. And it seems that he is not able to leave it behind.

  72. #72 PZ Myers
    March 16, 2008

    Weird. Who said anything bad about her son?

  73. #73 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 16, 2008

    Thy Will be done, on plate as it is in Italy

    Holy wisdom thou speakest!

    Get back on the high road, PZed. Retract your comments about her son.

    One might almost think this was a thoughtless remark coming out of the homophobic past you and I were both raised in.

    Regardless of his orientation, you aren’t being fair to him. He’s got enough problems as it is. Where would you be today if she were your mother?

    It’s not about him, it’s about her. Her son is “celibate for God” in a denomination that has no monachic tradition whatsoever? The hypothesis that he’s gay and she can’t deal with it, so it drives her insane and therefore she gives insane speeches, is quite parsimonious.

  74. #74 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 16, 2008

    Thy Will be done, on plate as it is in Italy

    Holy wisdom thou speakest!

    Get back on the high road, PZed. Retract your comments about her son.

    One might almost think this was a thoughtless remark coming out of the homophobic past you and I were both raised in.

    Regardless of his orientation, you aren’t being fair to him. He’s got enough problems as it is. Where would you be today if she were your mother?

    It’s not about him, it’s about her. Her son is “celibate for God” in a denomination that has no monachic tradition whatsoever? The hypothesis that he’s gay and she can’t deal with it, so it drives her insane and therefore she gives insane speeches, is quite parsimonious.

  75. #75 grinch
    March 16, 2008

    So if I state that the earth is flat in a geography exam can I get an A grade?

  76. #76 grinch
    March 16, 2008

    So when do we start working on the multiple choice Oklahoma exam?

  77. #77 Jaycubed
    March 16, 2008

    “Blasphemer! You must repent your evil ways and convert to the true faith that is Seven of Nineism!!! I am using far too many exclamation marks, so you know what I say must be true!!!!!
    Posted by: Ted D”

    Sorry Ted D., you DIDN’T CAPITALIZE ENOUGH WORDS TO MAKE WHAT YOU SAY TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    In FACT you DIDN’T CAPITALIZE ANY WORDS!!!!!

    HOW DO you EXPECT TO BE BELIEVED if you DON’T CAPITALIZE ANY WORDS????!!??

  78. #78 Eric Paulsen
    March 16, 2008

    Q: What is the age of the Universe?

    A: Fleem.

    Q: In Einsteins equasion of E=MC2 what is E?

    A: God, because God is everything.

    Your grade is A+, Great job!

  79. #79 foxfire
    March 16, 2008

    Do the new rules also apply to math? Just think of the opportunity to make math fun for the masses: No more messy irrational numbers; for example, pi and e could both be rounded to 3. How convenient!

  80. #80 Jaycubed
    March 16, 2008

    “So if I state that the earth is flat in a geography exam can I get an A grade?
    Posted by: grinch”

    No, you get a “D+“. The bible doesn’t say it is flat, only that it has four corners. And everyone knows that it isn’t flat as evidenced in the bible by many stories, such as Moses climbing Mt. Sinai to chat with Yahweh. You can’t climb something flat.

    The correct answer is that the Earth is a quadrilateral as no mention is made of the angles or length of sides.
    .

  81. #81 Daniel Murphy
    March 16, 2008

    Weird. Who said anything bad about her son?

    Let’s stipulate that homosexuality is not bad, that the adult son of a state legislator has no expectation of privacy, and his sexual orientation is somehow relevant to his mother’s political agenda. All that rather misses the point, doesn’t it? The point is that you wrote “it seems Kern has a gay son.” But the link you sent your readers to had no evidence of that but a third-hand no-last-name blog comment asserting that he must be gay because “when he wasn’t cruising the toilets he was in the glee club and a piano major.”

  82. #82 wtf
    March 16, 2008

    It’s not about him, it’s about her. Her son is “celibate for God” in a denomination that has no monachic tradition whatsoever? The hypothesis that he’s gay and she can’t deal with it, so it drives her insane and therefore she gives insane speeches, is quite parsimonious.

    That’s nothing more than an argument from consequences. How about a little evidence instead?

  83. #83 Mold
    March 16, 2008

    Out here in Dumbf**kistan teh gayz tend to take courses and jobs that define them as teh gay. It’s about roles and society.

    The planters never cared much for all that book larnin’. It was the evil North that brought us public education because they needed smart folk to run the machines and the industries. Planters only needed breeding stock and who needs smarts for that? Bush and Cheney are planters (aristos) that want crap education for the middle and working classes and frat-style “marriage colleges” for the rich. Can’t have Jena wedded to the Peruvian she partied with, can we.

  84. #84 Joe Bob
    March 16, 2008

    This kind of legislation opens the door to one of my favorites, Miraculous Mathematics. MM works like this: when you get stuck proving a theorem, you just say “and then a miracle happens!”, and you’re done, Q.E.D. I have come up with an elegant proof of the Riemann Hypothesis using MM (and its negation, but I prefer the former…).

  85. #85 jetso
    March 16, 2008

    It’s a bit like telling a fluent Italian/Chinese/French (etc) speaker they can write in their own language about their own language and literature in an English exam. Of course we can’t ask them to learn what’s on the course, because that would be discriminating against their unique and special languages.

  86. #86 Jaycubed
    March 16, 2008

    “How about a little evidence instead?
    Posted by: wtf ”

    The fact that she scrubbed him from her official web-site biography immediately after the controversy started is pretty good circumstantial evidence.

    March 4th:

    http://209.85.207.104/search?q=cache:FpWyuMhIW4AJ:www.okhouse.gov/Committees/Member.aspx%3FMemberID%3D87+sally+kern&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    Today (and 5 days ago when I first looked):

    http://www.okhouse.gov/Committees/Member.aspx?MemberID=87

    .

  87. #87 Jaycubed
    March 16, 2008

    I have been having a lot of fun at the Tulsa World web site comments on various articles re. Sally Kern.

    What I find rather bizarre is that “eliminating queers” is OK, but “holy roller” and/or “crackers” are considered “innappropriate(sic) language” by their automatic filter program.

  88. #88 BaldApe
    March 16, 2008

    N. Wells said:

    “In order to avoid those types of discussions, I make a point of framing sensitive exam questions along the lines of ‘What do geologists consider to be the age of the earth?’, or ‘what does your textbook list as the principal lines of evidence supporting evolution?’ ”

    Some things are just plain facts. It’s time the fundies grew up and accepted that. As little as I want that kind of conflict in my classroom, it’s just true.

    I tell them I’m glad to discuss evidence, but only real evidence.

    Raven,

    If I were in Oklahoma for any reason I’d go someplace else, but that’s just me.

    Ian Maddux said:

    “I have no doubt that they performed admirably in high school,”

    Yeah, except they were most likely home schooled.

  89. #89 BlueIndependent
    March 16, 2008

    According to Tulsa World, her son is not gay, as he came out and denied the apparent rumors circulating that he was. Regardless, he is not the story. Kern’s comments are of course beyond reprehensible, but the interesting part is she said GLBTs are worse than Islamic terrorists (apparently). This is an interesting break with rethuglican thinking. It appears they are so afraid of anything and everything, they’ve lost sight of what’s really dangerous. I guess we can take her comments to mean she is no longer fit to help fight the war on terror. Due to this new information, I am absolutely certain she will be duly ousted from OK’s representative roster post haste…

  90. #90 Lyle G
    March 16, 2008

    ‘But math teacher, the Bible says Pi is 3. ‘A brazen sea ten cubits across, and 30 around…’not 30 and one tenth, not thirty and three digits (or whatever) 30.’
    ‘But you won’t be able to make cylinders and pistons of gas engines fit.’
    ‘May God wants engines with square pistons’

  91. #91 barkdog
    March 16, 2008

    This is certainly stupid legislation, but any competant teacher can work around it. I always phrase my questions about the age of the earth, human origins, and history of religions along lines such as “How old do geologists generally hold the earth to be?” or “According to the ‘Out of Africa’ model, when did humans first begin to populate the rest of the old world?” Parents can’t very well object because even under the least favorable interpretation, I am merely asking them to understand their enemy. It also works on my supervising assistant principal, who half-heartedly defends the teaching of evolution with the “only a theory” line. He thinks that I am oh so evenhanded as I require my class to learn the basics of prehistory.

  92. #92 marc buhler
    March 16, 2008

    bugsoup – comment #30 – I salute you!

  93. #93 Billy
    March 16, 2008

    I went to a small church-affiliated college in Oklahoma. I took Intro to Psych with a ministry student who shared this strategy with me: when faced with a test question he couldn’t answer, he briefly explained that he thought Psychology was a tool of the devil, and bullshi … er, ad-libbed an answer based on appropriate Bible verses.

    He aced the course. Now he’s leading a church somewhere guiding the moral development of another generation.

  94. #94 Scienceman123
    March 16, 2008

    Oklahoma is the new Kansas.

  95. #95 autumn
    March 17, 2008

    @ barkdog, in post 89,
    The fact is that you feel a need to couch questions about facts as questions about feelings.
    Does the geometry teacher at your school ask “according to the opinion of Euclid, how many degrees do the interior angles of a triangle sum to?” Yes, I ignored the fact that non-Euclidian geometry gives different answers because I assume that American high-school geometry courses concentrate exclusively on Euclidian geometry. It would be awesome if I was wrong, but I don’t think that I am.
    Why should the feeling of students have any bearing on the facts of a subject? I live in the American South (ironically, South Americans are generally not welcome here), and the simple fact that slavery was a proximate cause of the War of Southern Insouciance is not tolerated.
    I also have to deal with the crowd who think that Confederate Battle Flags should be pasted onto any available suface. I once opined that a bumper-sticker with a Confederate Battle Flag next to Old Glory made about as much sense as a picture of the US Constitution next to a Union Jack inside a big heart.
    I woke up in a hospital. In the North. I mean Canada. Because that is how far away resonable medical care was located.

  96. #96 Anthony
    March 17, 2008

    OK, I’ll confess I have not read all the comments so I don’t know if this idea has been brought up yet but here’s a way that a Science teacher might be able to get around this slight problem.

    Open Book Tests. Sure, they won’t check memory but at least the kids might at least read something from the book.

    So the question goes as such:

    1) On page X the scientifically accepted age of the earth is what?

    So maybe we can make them look up something in the book as well as maybe put down a correct answer instead of using any old young earth or creationist excuse.

    Or, we could just hope for the sake of the children that the senate there doesn’t want to get laughed at like the house should be getting laughed at right now.

  97. #97 paul
    March 17, 2008

    I count myself very lucky to live on the west coast, when I read about these goings on in other states it’s almost like I’m reading about a 3rd world country, as I don’t believe anything like that could happen here. I almost expect to turn on the television and see something akin to FeedtheChildren come on begging me to send money to help these poor people out of their ignorance, and I have no idea whatsoever how to do it.

  98. #98 Monado, FCD
    March 17, 2008

    The anti-science agenda is working already. The U.S. economy just fell below that of the European Economic Union a couple of days ago.

  99. #99 tus
    March 17, 2008

    this is good news for students and bad news for general education.

    if i were student i would probably like this bill, i could answer every question “god did it” and get straight A’s (might not work in math)
    “why did the dinosars go extinct” “god did it” “how was the earth created” “god did it” “how old is the earth” “god-er…hmm…lets see..last thursday was 4 days ago..so..4 days old.”

    whats more you dont even have to cheat off your neighbor, you can have two totaly different answers and both be right. you can have two conflictory answers and both be right. you can start a religion and make it up as you go along. its adherants…whatever you put on the test.

    sucks to be a teacher in oklahoma.

  100. #100 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2008

    as I don’t believe anything like that could happen here

    not that they haven’t tried…

    http://www.jewsonfirst.org/ucadmissions.html

    that’s just one story, btw, I’ve seen several even scarier stories coming from more rural districts in CA.

    CA is a big place. You can find all kinds of whack here.

  101. #102 paul
    March 17, 2008

    Ichthyic- Any idea how that turned out or if it’s over? That was a year ago, but I can’t find a ruling. My google skills aren’t as adept as others’ lol. But I get your point, though at least this is mild compared to the situation in Texas, and soon to be in Oklahoma.

    What I really want to see is someone turning in a blank standardized test in these states, then suing when they fail, with the excuse “All the answers were wrong, my religion specifically says so.” Let’s see them deal with that. It’s no more ludicrous than saying the earth is 6000 years old and getting away with it.

  102. #103 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 17, 2008

    If I missed anyone mentioning this, sorry but… Looks like whatever mental torture Mrs. Kern but her son through is manifesting itself in some serious woo.

    Jesse Kern is the director of the School of Metaphysics in Des Moines, IA.

    Here is their course of study

    Metaphysics is the combination of two words meta which means beyond and physics which means nature, or the physical world. Metaphysics, as we teach it, is the study and application of the Universal Laws and Truths that govern the inner worlds and have their manifestation in our daily lives. From ATTRACTION to RESONANCE to PROSPERITY, our universe is guided by unseen principles that are the key to health, wealth, longevity and peace of mind. The School of Metaphysics offers a four-tier course of study where you will enjoy the time and space to explore and develop your command of super-natural and extra-ordinary capabilities available to every individual.

    Imagine studying the human energy field that emanates from your thoughts and body for three weeks. Then move to a week of learning the equation for success in any endeavor. Next learn the profound connection between your breath and the state of your consciousness as you begin practicing meditation. From lessons on positive thinking to mental healing, you learn how to turn experience into compassion, understanding into expertise, all the while studying the language of dreams. This is education at it finest. This is where you begin

    yikes

  103. #104 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 17, 2008

    but = put

  104. #105 John Marley
    March 17, 2008

    Eamon Knight:

    Canonically, the Sally Kerns of the world go on the “A” Ark….

    I think you mean the “B” Ark (that’s the one that held the useless third of Golgafincan society, also the only one to actually exist)

  105. #106 Tom
    March 17, 2008

    This dumbass Sally Kern was on the radio this morning being “interviewed” by fellow Okie and fellow know-nothing Ernest Istook. Man, talk about shit for brains.

  106. #107 raven
    March 17, 2008

    If I missed anyone mentioning this, sorry but… Looks like whatever mental torture Mrs. Kern but her son through is manifesting itself in some serious woo.

    Being a kid of Kern and her equally wacked out husband has to produce some sort of serious damage.

    From your description, he isn’t much of a Xian anymore. Most fundies find New Age stuff to be satanically derived.

    Looks like he went from one cult to another one.

  107. #108 jsn
    March 17, 2008

    Okay (takes a deep breath) so- saying someone is gay is wrong because…? So if I refer to Clay Aiken, Andrew Sullivan or MaJeff as gay, I’m homophobic? “Gay” need not be a perjorative -”queer”, “faggot”, now those nouns can be offensive unless you identify as a gay It’s like african americans using the epithet “nigger” but it being offensive if it is used by non-blacks. The homophobia lies in the person who bristles at the thought of someone being called “gay”.
    Kern’s son may not be gay, he may have no attraction for his own sex or, like the broad spectrum of humans, be attracted at times to both genders even though he may have a stronger attraction to one particular gender; however that seems to be mu since he’s claiming to be a virgin for christ (however, I’m betting his ” celebacy” won’t stand scrutiny). He may not want to line up under a banner and be typed or “othered” but if he habitually affects mannerisms of gay men (and has sexual desire for other males) then what? – say he’s “the musician formerly known as unstraight”?

    Even if he’s “straight”, with a mom like that, he’s probably pretty fucked up.

  108. #109 Tex
    March 17, 2008

    This dumbass Sally Kern was on the radio this morning being “interviewed” by fellow Okie and fellow know-nothing Ernest Istook. Man, talk about shit for brains.

    Kinda makes me think fellow Texan Molly Ivins was right when she observed that we have the Border Patrol deployed at the wrong end of the state.

  109. #110 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2008

    That was a year ago, but I can’t find a ruling.

    hmm. I seem to recall there was something more recent, but I can’t find it now.

    I don’t think the case has been resolved yet; these things can take years.

    There is a wiki article on the organization behind this travesty where the results of the lawsuit will likely be documented:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_Christian_Schools_International

  110. #111 librarycat
    March 17, 2008

    Damn. I’m from OK, and lived there until I was 24; this makes me more embarrassed than ever for my home state. It’s sad, and scary. Most people who live there don’t leave Oklahoma much and don’t have any clue about what the rest of the world is like, and so they fear what they don’t understand. It’s like they’re living in a whole different century.
    I live in Berkeley, CA now, and am glad to have escaped.

  111. #112 Onychomys
    March 17, 2008

    Okay, maybe I’m missing something here. The bill states that …homework and classroom assignments shall be judged by ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance and against other legitimate pedagogical concerns identified by the school district. Doesn’t that imply that creationist nonsense in a science classroom could still be graded as being irrelevant? It looks to me as if the bill is more about being able to write religiously-themed papers in English class than being able to argue that the world’s 6000 years old.

    The weirdest thing in the bill, for my money, is the very last bit: SECTION 9. It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval. Oklahoma is apparently a much more dangerous place than I’ve ever suspected.

  112. #113 Zeekster
    March 17, 2008

    I encourage everyone to read the actual language from the bill and not just critiques of it. I didn’t get the idea that kids would have to get good grades for saying the earth is 6000 years old. It basically protects free speech from discrimination. The small part that isn’t about speech asks that students not get poor grades if their artwork or poetry is about religious subjects. Seems fair to me and I absolutely despise religion.

  113. #114 thescrub
    March 17, 2008

    So do they have to also submit the name and phone number of their clergy to that a teacher can call and verify that they are giving the correct answer?

  114. #115 Theodore
    March 17, 2008

    I hope this passes. I can’t wait for the first student to get an A for giving FSM answers.

  115. #116 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 17, 2008

    It basically protects free speech from discrimination.

    First the wording is sufficiently vague that you could interpret that in a couple different ways. Also what it does is open up the ability for students in positions where they command the attention of the student body to use that time to proselytize to an essentially captive audience.

  116. #117 Adam S
    March 18, 2008

    The bill has not been passed by the House or Senate. All that’s happened is that it has been approved by the house committee to be voted on in the house where it is expected to pass.

    Kern, who isn’t even from Oklahoma, has really made my state look a lot worse that what it is. This state is too small to buffer any bad stereotypes.

  117. #118 JJxJoe
    March 18, 2008

    I believe that 2 + 2 = 1768
    It’s my personal belief, how dare you question it!

    This is ridiculous.

  118. #119 Giles
    March 18, 2008

    This is why I moved away from Oklahoma and to a sane locality (expect for the DI being here). Seattle Rocks.

  119. #120 cybodhi
    March 18, 2008

    Two comments. It has now been shown that the allegation that Kern’s son was gay was a mistake caused by confusion with someone with a similar name. A good lesson in not being too quick to accept allegations on the web as fact – especially when an innocent individual may be the victim.

    Second, for all of you who are so grateful to have escaped Oklahoma to some more liberal bastion, lets have a little respect for those who choose to stay and fight instead.

  120. #121 monyNH
    March 18, 2008

    I heard about this Kerns woman on the Ellen show. Ellen attempted to phone Ms. Kerns, but the Senator’s voicemail was full (surprise, surprise. BTW, you can see a clip from that show on YouTube).

    At any rate, NH is just not far enough from the Bible belt for us–we’re saving up to move to Canada.

  121. #122 Jaycubed
    March 18, 2008

    “It has now been shown that the allegation that Kern’s son was gay was a mistake caused by confusion with someone with a similar name. A good lesson in not being too quick to accept allegations on the web as fact – especially when an innocent individual may be the victim.
    Posted by: cybodhi”

    It is true that whether Jesse Kern is gay or not has no direct bearing on his mother’s statements nor on his character. It is sad that children get drawn into their parent’s controversies.

    It is true that one line of evidence has turned out to be incorrect, the alleged police arrest report.

    Other lines, although circumstantial, remain.

    These include Sally Kern not denying her son is gay, stating she doesn’t know, but that he exhibits the stereotypical behavior of a gay man.

    The scrubbing of mention of him from Kern’s official web-site when the controversy surfaced. Perhaps this is due to his “Metaphysical” beliefs which would be Satanic to a Baptist like Kern; but he’s been doing that for years, why scrub him now?

    There remain alleged reports from his peers re. his sexuality that appear to correctly correspond to his school history.

    As for Jesse’s denial that he is celibate instead of gay; celibate is not a sexual orientation and Larry Craig & Ted Haggard are still not gay.

  122. #123 thalarctos
    March 18, 2008

    Second, for all of you who are so grateful to have escaped Oklahoma to some more liberal bastion, lets have a little respect for those who choose to stay and fight instead.

    cybodhi, you’re absolutely right. A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting one of my heroes, Morris Dees, the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. I thanked him for staying in Alabama and fighting the good fight–I’m very grateful to be out of Alabama and to live in the Pacific Northwest now, and could never myself have done what he does.

  123. #124 Kseniya
    March 18, 2008

    Wow. Cool. Morris Dees and the SPLC are my kind of folk.

  124. #125 Anon
    March 18, 2008

    @120–

    I suspect that the “scrubbing” of her son from her website was simply a Mother’s response to realizing that she was going to get nationally dumped on, and her desire to spare her son from acting as collateral damage. Didn’t seem to work, but I think I would do the same thing in her place. She deserved to get dumped on (although I doubt she feels that way), but her son did nothing to deserve being attacked. Perhaps it would be an exercise in futility, but I would do what I could not to make it easy to find my kids if I knew I had made a target of myself.

  125. #126 AC
    March 19, 2008

    I’m still chasing the career I picked as a 5-year-old, trying to learn how to build spaceships. Can’t decide whether it’s Sally Kern that should be on the first one, or myself. :D

    As a UAH alumnus who found reason to stay in H’ville, I hereby request a seat. :)

  126. #127 Janine, ID
    March 20, 2008

    Seems that Sally Kern will talk to some gays and lesbians but only in the presences of her lawyers from the Thomas Moore Law Center. Thanks to Pam’s House Blend.

  127. #128 mirc
    September 28, 2008

    Wow. Cool. Morris Dees and the SPLC are my kind of folk.

  128. #129 kelebek
    September 29, 2008

    I am using firefox beta 3 :( and Firebug is for an older version …

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