Idaho Republicans Pushing Bill That Would Allow Creationism to be Taught in Science Classes

creationism-1No matter how unconstitutional it is, Republicans are forever trying to interject the Bible into places where it doesn’t belong. It all goes together with their continued insistence that this nation was “founded on Christianity” – even though there’s not a single mention of the religion anywhere in our Constitution.

Well, in the last few years there’s been an increased push by creationists to get creationism taught in schools in our science classes. It’s an absurd notion to most people – even plenty of conservatives – but it’s a movement nonetheless that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Take for instance a push by Idaho Republicans that would essentially pave the way for creationism to find its way into classrooms, potentially taught alongside evolution in science classes.

Here’s a part of the proposal of the bill (via Patheos): 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Idaho County Central Committee encourages the Idaho legislature to draft and support a bill stating that the Bible is expressly permitted to be used in Idaho public schools for reference purposes to further the study of literature, comparative religion, English and foreign languages, U.S. and world history, comparative government, law, philosophy, ethics, astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, sociology, and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant.

Now, is the Bible a relevant book to discuss in some classes? Absolutely. Heck, it’s played a vital part of many significant events in human history. But why would the Bible need to be used in any of the science classes?

And that’s the catch. What this bill does is it essentially allows schools to use the Bible in any subject they want. So, in biology for example, if a teacher wants to talk about creationism instead of evolution, that would be technically allowed. After all, the Bible would be “permitted to be used” in schools as “a reference.” Same for astronomy, geology and archaeology. Teachers could literally have a textbook that states facts, then use the Bible to counter those facts with creationist nonsense.

In other words, what this bill does is it basically opens the door for the Bible to be used as a textbook in essentially every class taught in Idaho public schools. Granted, they’re trying to paint it as a “reference,” but anyone with even a shred of common sense knows exactly what this bill is aiming to do.

These are the kinds of tactics they use while trying to infringe on abortion rights. They can’t place an outright ban on abortion, so instead they try to use loopholes and back channel methods to try to make abortions almost unobtainable.

Since Republicans can’t outright make the Bible a textbook, or teach religion in public schools, they’re trying to get it into classrooms under the guise of being a “reference book.”

While this bill hasn’t been voted on (let alone passed), with a Republican governor and a very Republican state legislature, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if this bill does get implemented in the very near future. If that happens, it’s all but a lock to be challenged all the way through the courts.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Jillz

    Christians already have an option if they want the Bible to be used as a reference or text book: it’s called Sunday School. They also have the option to home-school, if they want to use the Bible as a text book. When their kids are older, they can be sent to a Seminary. The public school system doesn’t need the Bible, and should be religion-free since not all kids attending follow the same religion.

    WTH is wrong with these people?

  • Copeland D Greg

    I wish someone would make up their mind so I know how I got here !!!
    like it really means something over the grand scheme of things !!! I’m just lucky I can believe in what I want to believe in it’s still a free country to me, and in my head definitely thinks free thoughts of whatever it wants too !!!

    • MorganLvr

      Certainly you can believe whatever you want. That does NOT mean you can teach it as science in our secular public schools.

  • The Voice of Reason

    lol at the first paragraph. Many fallacies. (psssstttt, article VII). But yeah, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    Bless your heart.

    There are worse things than the Bible being taught; chief among them, abortion, which you fully say you support in a day and age when it could just so easily be avoided through oral contraception THAT YOU DON’T WANT BECAUSE IT’S FREE MARKET.

    Support Sangers dream; oppose the Bible.


    whatever dude.

    • Robert Webster

      Actually, I do not care what you believe. If invisible flying beings, flitting about doing all manner of, (well, we don’t know, do we?) But in school, if you cannot support it with hard scientific evidence, than it does not belong in science class, period! This is not up for discussion. If you want a god or gods in science class, prove it! Otherwise, go to the church of your choice and give money to your all powerful deity.

      • The Voice of Reason

        Science and God being separate from each other has always been strange to me. It’s like saying art history and Rembrandt don’t go together; certainly a study of a creation will always bear the hallmarks of it’s creator.

        For further reading:

      • robtex

        Well it’s been proven that all humans have a gene that no a other creatures, including ape, have and it did not mutate. So that pretty much flushes evolution down the toilet. So why is it still being taught?

      • poppaDavid

        I didn’t see this comment before and I am always on the lookout for stories like that. Where is it published?

    • MorganLvr

      No, there are not worse things than having the Bible used as a text book in public schools supported by MY TAX MONEY!

      Creationism has NO place in any science class! Even Pope Francis believes in evolution. We can’t teach our children this stuff as science. It’s not and was never meant to be – this is a secular country whether you morons like it or not. We will NOT have your version of Christianity taught as fact in our public schools.

      I don’t oppose the Bible. Except when fanatics like you try to force it down the throats of people who know science from religion.

      It was “Christians” like you who drove me out of the church for good. Hope you’re proud. And I’m certainly not the only one. You ignorant, judgmental hypocrites.

      • The Voice of Reason

        1) This law isn’t going to pass, your tax dollars aren’t being used for it.

        2) Your tax money goes to far worse things and I wish you paid attention to those and acted just as vehemently.

        3) Evolution and Christianity aren’t enemies; this is an old lie. You can google if need be for examples.

        4) Considering all your previous knee jerking you’ll have to forgive me if I take your comment about not opposing the bible with a grain of salt, especially given your concluding paragraph.

      • Jillz

        If evolution and Christianity aren’t enemies can you kindly call your Republican representatives and inform them of this?

        I’m another one who was driven from the church by hypocrisy. The church ALMOST caused me to lose faith in God, but fortunately my faith is now strong again. I’m not arrogant enough, however, to believe that the religious text I follow is followed by everyone. That’s why the Christian Bible, (or any other religious text) should not be taught in schools, unless it’s a Religious Studies class. You have NO right to force YOUR beliefs down the throats of others, not in the western world anyway.

    • poppaDavid

      The bible says that the earth and plants were created before the sun was created. Nope!

      • The Voice of Reason

        you were there?

      • poppaDavid

        No, no one was there because it didn’t happen that way. Plant life on the earth is younger than the sun because it evolved from single celled Algae that relied upon the sun’s light for photosynthesis.

      • The Voice of Reason

        That makes sense because in the Bible, plant life came after the sun. Science and Christianity are not at odds with each other.

        Using science to discredit God is like a person finding a Botticelli painting, and tring to convince the world the Renaissance didn’t happen. A creation will always bear the hallmark of it’s creator.

      • poppaDavid

        Perhaps you should actually read the Bible instead of working from prejudice.

        “Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation… The earth brought forth vegetation… There was evening and there was morning, a third day.”

        “Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens… God made the two great lights… There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.”

        The Bible says that plants came the day BEFORE the sun and moon. Get your facts right.

      • The Voice of Reason

        I feel I should tell you that Day indicates a time of light, and without light there couldn’t have been two days previous.

        The thing about reading scripture is that it has to be all taken as a whole, instead of bits and pieces out of context. In the first chapter of Genesis, God creates the sun, creating the first day. On the third day, He creates vegetation.

        You may read more about the two “differing” accounts here:

        Have a great day!

      • poppaDavid

        We both know how to read. The Bible says that light was created on day one, light was separated from dark, and it was the first day and the first night. That IS the context for what is written about the next six days. And the Bible says that the sun and moon were created on day four. You do not get to rewrite the Bible.

        You also happen know better. You know that our day and night come from the sun’s light and the earth’s rotation.

        So, here is the real context: You want to believe that the Bible was authored by God. You cannot admit that the author of Genesis 1 was ignorant of science, nor to any error or inconsistency in the Bible, because a perfect God is not ignorant and God doesn’t make mistakes.

        Many years ago, in “1984”, George Orwell wrote about that sort of mental gymnastics. He called it “double think”. Which is holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously while believeing that both are true.

      • The Voice of Reason

        Good call on my misreading of the source of light in chapter 1. I do find it interesting that you accuse Moses of not understanding science. Even a primitive society would understand that light separates day and night; and yet the Bible says there is a source of light before the sun. As we know, there are all sorts of light in the world that plants can use for nourishment besides the sun. You’re misinterpreting what is said and putting your own limitations on a finite being.

      • poppaDavid

        I’m not interpreting anything, I am using the words in the KJV Bible as written.

        You are selectively reading the Bible. It says that light was created, and light was separated from darkness, and the light was day and the dark was night. Science gives us the source of the light of day and the darkness of night. It comes from the sun and the rotation of the earth.

        You want to believe that there was a light of day and dark of night before the sun was created. That conflicts with science, which disproves your original claim that “Science and Christianity are not at odds with each other.”

        You claim that “there are all sorts of light in the world that plants can use for nourishment besides the sun”. That is true today. They are called “grow lights”. One hundred years ago it was not true. Plants by definition use photosynthesis as their external energy source and they need minimum levels of illumination, unlike animals which may use “black smokers”, iron oxidization, etc. as their external energy source. And you don’t get to claim that animals were referenced on day three, because they are introduced on day five.

        You want to believe. The first chapter of the Bible gets the facts wrong, so you have to find “interpretations” to change the words. And you have to invent light for plants that doesn’t come from the sun. And you have to pretend that the author of Genesis understands science. You cannot admit to error or inconsistency in the Bible. That isn’t science.

      • The Voice of Reason


      • The Voice of Reason

        The only way for you to say the Bible got the facts wrong is if you were there at the beginning of time and were witness to the creation.

        What you’re doing is saying the Bible is wrong because you want to put limitations on God based on what you believe and trying to say that no other sources of light other than the sun existed at the dawn of time. While you’re correct we do harness other sources of light for plant growth in current day, we did not invent these things as humanity anymore than we did electricity itself. We are simply harnessing what has already been created. Why then is it difficult for you to believe in a universe full of suns that the one we have is the only one that matters?

      • poppaDavid

        No. I can count the rings and tell that a tree is older than I, even though I wasn’t born when it first started to grow. I can look at inclined geologic strata and know that there was uplift eons ago, even though I wasn’t there. And I can read a story, first told by an author a few thousand years ago, and know that they didn’t have a clue to how the cosmos was formed.

        The KJV Bible claims that God created the universe in 4004 B.C. in six days. Bold claims require strong evidence. Biblical evidence is internally conflicted, contrary to science, and contrary to the available evidence.

        The use of “light” in chapter 1 is just one example. You reference “other sources of light” but you cannot actually name any, because according to Genesis the stars were not created until day four. And you need a source that goes on in the day and off at night.

        You have a sincerely held belief that does not require evidence. That is called “faith”. It is not science and should never be confused with science. And it certainly should not be offered as “science”.

      • The Voice of Reason

        Good speech.

        Totally inaccurate, but well said.

        I wish you the best.

      • poppaDavid

        Most of the events in the Bible that involve God’s action, also involve the suspension of physical behaviors by physical objects. Since science involves the understanding of physical laws, a belief system that requires the suspension of those laws cannot be described as “science”. Which was the original focus of this discussion.

        Since you haven’t addressed the science behind the light of day and night one, day and night two, and day and night three, may I suggest that you have faith, but not science.

      • The Voice of Reason

        I learned a long time ago that I am in no position to put limitations on God.

        My hope is that you reach this point.

      • poppaDavid

        Rather than worrying about me putting limitations on God, take the limitations off of your reason. You work really hard to ignore the contradictions of the Bible and overlook the clear meaning of words to maintain your faith. The Bible contains contradictions for a reason. It was authored by humans, and it isn’t a good witness on the nature and actions of God.

      • The Voice of Reason

        Your inability to see past your ego isn’t doing you any favors. I wish you well.

      • poppaDavid

        If I put a limitation on God, that limitation says that “God doesn’t lie and God doesn’t provide false witness”. The author of Genesis said that there were light and dark, day and night before the sun existed. That totally defies the physical cosmos, that isn’t science, and it is not true. The author of Genesis is giving false witness to the truth. If you want to accept that “God gives false witness”, then you can accept that God authored Genesis. I don’t.

        When the text says light and dark, day and night, your saying that God has the power to do something that isn’t in the text isn’t “explaining the text”. Explaining the text would include a plausible, testable, scientific description of the source of the light. Do you have something?

      • poppaDavid

        your source isn’t even consistent within itself.

        It posits that Moses didn’t view the creation of the earth, that no human viewed the creation of the earth, that no human viewed the first day, second day, third day or fourth day. If it had happened as the Bible relates, then only God would have witnessed it, and if Moses got the story from God, then God intentionally told the story to Moses in such a manner as to ensure that Moses wrote it down different from what actually happened.

        That would mean God lied to Moses.

        By the way, this article talks about the accretion of plants from materials from the dust cloud that surrounds stars, and then shifts the order of assembly to have the water appear on the planet earth before the dust has been condensed sufficient to “see” the sun, moon and stars. Wrong. The planets condensed their dust cloud, gathered sufficient mass to ignite the planetary core, vented water vapor from volcanic activity, and condensed oceans. Which is not the order in Genesis.

        Your author wants to understand ‘yom’ as something other than a literal day. And they completely ignore the use of “and it was evening and morning”. Eons of time do not end and start with evening and morning. The author of Genesis used the term “day” for the same reason they used “evening” and “morning”. They were talking about 24 hour days. They were wrong, but don’t deny their intent.

      • The Voice of Reason

        I’m not going to argue semantics.

        Just wanted you to know that science agrees with the creation account, especially in regards to other sources of light.

      • poppaDavid

        In terms of logic, either every word of the Bible is literally true in the sense and context of where it is written, or it is not. If you wish to say that “it is not”, then semantics isn’t important. If you wish to say that the Bible is literally true, then semantics is part of the discussion.

      • The Voice of Reason

        A study of a creation will always bear the hallmarks of it’s creator. My faith is hardly blind; I wish I could say the same for your own.

      • poppaDavid

        If creation has the hallmarks of its creator, what are they? The cosmos is physical, dimensional, thermal, temporal, and random with no bias towards good or evil. Is that a good description of God?

      • The Voice of Reason

        You’re halfway there.