Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gov. Bobby Jindal Watch

From Americans United:

Take Louisiana, for example. Earlier this week, Bobby Jindal, a 36-year-old Indian-American, took the reins as the state’s 55th governor. Jindal, who served two terms in Congress as a representative of a suburban New Orleans district, broke through racial divisiveness in the state by touting his personal faith.

Jindal, the son of immigrants from India and a born-again Roman Catholic, suggested on the campaign trail that he supported teaching “intelligent design” in public school science courses and boasted about his animosity toward reproductive rights.

[Louisiana Family Forum's Tony] Perkins also noted that Jindal’s “top priority” would be to revamp ethics laws to make Louisiana more attractive to businesses “that have shied away from my home state because of its history of political corruption.”

“Once that mission is accomplished,” Perkins continued, “I fully expect him to turn his attention toward promoting a more pro-family environment within the state.”

Bobby Jindal is a Rhodes scholar. He well knows that ID is not science and has no place in the science classroom. This is plain and simple pandering to religious fundamentalists. One wonders what sort of "pro-family environment" we can expect, considering his "animosity toward reproductive rights". We shall see if the new governor meets Tony Perkins' expectations.

You'd think Perkins would know enough to shy away from the mission accomplished metaphor. The fundamentalists seem to enjoy military analogies.

The full name of the organization that these quotes are taken from is Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I believe I'll join and throw them some support.

Thanks to Fran at FranIAm for calling the group to my attention.


  1. I have a question. Or rather not one of my own but of my dear wife (presently attending the funeral in Tampa, Florida,)

    Having invited her to read Grandmere's post, she retorted... (And this is the question!)

    "Why is my country the only country in the goddam world that even considers this (expletive) religious stupidity to even be (expletive) mentioned in political debate?"

    This is no English rose speaking. Sandi is New York born, Florida raised, and now NY domiciled. She does not take prisoners.

    As a resident of this great country, and as one who has traveled over 50 great countries, I am tempted to echo my nearest and dearest:

    Why does America even countenance such debate? The free speech retort is not acceptable. There is free speech in the majority of the nations on the globe. It has to be a deeper problem.

  2. I have no idea. I wonder this myself. Is is something about the Reformed tradition? Lutherans, Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglicans all accept the scientific basis of our evolution. Why the 7-days-or-bust thing keeps going is beyond me. I really don't get it. Can someone explain?


  3. RR, I'm immensely relieved that your wife is "no English rose", but I'm afraid that I cannot answer her question. How did we get here? I am shocked and confused at the (expletive) stupidity that passes for public discourse.

    I have reached the end of outrage about this and much of the other disturbing and noxious effluvia surrounding us. Free speech is, indeed, not an acceptable response. Free to speak the (expletive) stupidest thing that pops into one's mind? And to have others believe it!

    Is it that the Puritan strain is perhaps always present in the American culture, at times latent, but, on occasion, rising up with force? Remember we burned "witches".

  4. Rfsj, I'm afraid that some of the members of the religious traditions that you mention buy into the fundamentalist mindset. BTW, ID is not the same as the 7-day creationist idea. ID can coexist with Darwinism, but some folks want the First Cause taught in science class. It's simply not science, and it does not belong in a science class.

    I'm so weary and frustrated with explaining this over and over in my real life and then having people still not get it. Apparently, judging from my experience, Louisiana got the governor it deserved.

  5. The short answer is "Sin American Style."

    It's (expletives in profusion) ridiculous.

  6. I teach I.D. but as one of a number of creation theories in Religious Studies. No one here would teach it as science. Perhaps to solve the problem you should introduce (non-confessional) Religious studies into your curriculum.

  7. Urrrrgh.

    That's about what I can manage, right now.

  8. I am steaming. Pandering is right. MAJOR pandering.

    Theologically speaking there can be no such thing as a "born again Catholic" as that would fly in the face of actual church teachings. (all of which are not as awful and archaic as it might appear.)

    Furthermore, while he makes scary noises in that direct, I think even B16(Pope Benedict) would have a hard time turning the tide from science to creationism so easily.

    Thanks for the nice mention and link. It is not about me people, it is about AU.

    If you are an American, you should familiarize yourself with this organization.

  9. I thought businesses MOVED to Louisiana "because of its history of political corruption".

  10. Perhaps to solve the problem you should introduce (non-confessional) Religious studies into your curriculum.

    Trust me, DP---we do NOT want to open *that* can of worms! You can get away with that in the UK because almost nobody really cares about religion there. ;-)

    Theologically speaking there can be no such thing as a "born again Catholic"

    Thanks, Fran---I was going to ask what a "born again" Catholic might be...

  11. DP, the religious schools here, of which there are many, can teach whatever they want in their religion classes. Churches can teach whatever they like in their Sunday school classes. That should be sufficient.

    I'm sad to say that around here, fundamentalism is creeping (or perhaps galloping) into the Catholic Church, as is a literalist mindset in reading the Bible.

    One of the problems with attracting businesses to Louisiana is the generally sh*tty state of public education.

    The oil companies have taken advantage of corruption in government circles for many years, having been allowed to rape the land, especially the marsh land that is disappearing so quickly.

  12. Grandmère, My mother was about as Baptist as anyone could be, but from birth I was taught that there was absolutely no conflict between Darwin and the Bible. She would tell us that one was a matter of good science and the other a matter of faith and that they were NOT mutually exclusive. As I grew older, I became astonished when seemingly intelligent people had such problems with that concept.

  13. Boocat, I was taught the same as you in my strict Roman Catholic School, and, like you, I was astounded to hear such nonsense being bruited about.


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