I came across an article yesterday about a piece of legislation co-authored by Oklahoma’s favorite militantly anti-gay legislator Sally Kern called the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act but didn’t write about it because, when it passed the legislature this summer, it was vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry.
The bill is a typical piece of right-wing claptrap whereby the authors pretend that they are just trying to protect religious freedom when, in reality, they are just trying to make sure that Intelligent Design proponents won’t fail their science classes when they write papers claiming that the Earth is only 6000 years old.
It seems that Kern’s bill has been re-introduced in the 2009 legislative session but doesn’t seem to have been changed in any way that would help it avoid the Governor’s veto pen, should it end up on his desk again.
The only reason I am even posting on this is because I was caught a bit off guard by this explanation from Rep. Ed Cannaday about why he opposes the bill:
But some lawmakers, including Rep. Ed Cannaday, a former teacher and school administrator in eastern Oklahoma, described the measure as a “cotton candy bill.”
“It’s tasteful and you enjoy it, but it does nothing for you,” said Cannaday, D-Porum.
From reading that, you’d think Cannaday opposed it because it was a attempt by right-wing legislators to inject religion into the public school system in ways that are both unnecessary and harmful. But you’d be wrong:
Cannaday said the bill also could open the door for radical religious groups to demand equal time in Oklahoma schools.
“What’s more dangerous is that this cotton candy has been laced with arsenic,” Cannaday said. “The radical, non-Christian fringe groups who want to undermine our faith will use this to disrupt and to distract from our spiritual base.”
While it is nice that Cannaday opposes the bill, it would be nicer if he was opposing it because it was unnecessary rather than because it might allow “non-Christian fringe groups” access to public schools from which they would undermine “our spiritual base.”