| December 06, 2012

Memory repression is a biological mechanism in the human brain that evolved to block unwanted and painful memories. Years ago, a Stanford researcher, after proving that the mechanism exists, called it "motivated forgetting."

We're certainly motivated but we can't quite forget the 2011 Montana Legislature, what with all the frivolous bills floated by Republicans, the wrangling over medical marijuana and Gov. Brian Schweitzer's veto branding-iron theatrics. The list goes on.

The circus is on its way back to Helena next month, with another Republican majority, and incoming Rep. Clayton Fiscus, R-Billings, is blowing up balloons for the clown show. He's already proposing that state law force public schools to teach intelligent design along with evolution.

Intelligent design is the theory that this totally freaking awesome universe and the life it supports cannot have arisen by chance and was designed and created by some intelligent entity, or God. We wouldn't pass judgement on such a worldview. Hey, whatever floats your ark.

But Fiscus isn't demonstrating much intelligence (or memory) by trying to jam his worldview through the legislature. The Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that teaching "creationism" is unconstitutional because it advances a particular religion, a version of Christianity. The same goes for "intelligent design," which, in 2005, a federal judge in Pennsylvania called "creationism relabeled." It's not science—unless we change the very definition of science to include supernatural explanations, the judge said.

So it's clear that Fiscus' bill is a non-starter and will only waste precious time during the legislative session that begins Jan. 7. The bill, combined with the request by Rep. Jerry O'Neil, R-Columbia Falls, to be paid his salary in gold coins, portends another 90 days of nonsense that makes the Montana Legislature a laughingstock, just as "birther" bills, the "Code of Montana," attempts to nullify federal laws and a proposal to legalize hand-thrown spear hunting did two years ago.

Oh, how we wish we'd forget, and that certain legislators would evolve.


Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

These legislators are intentionally tying up valuable time in congress. Time that could be better spent addressing issues more pertinent to Montana citizens. People are still losing their jobs, their homes, and trying to figure out how to pay for rising costs in a still mostly crippled economy. The disservice to the people of this state is reprehensible and anyone attempting to justify this lack of responsibility only serves to add to the snowballing dysfunction certain members of congress call legislating.

Posted by befuddled on 12/08/2012 at 11:37 AM

Wearing a tin foil hat doesn't make you a "respectable legislator."

Posted by Kiwi on 12/06/2012 at 4:57 PM

boy did the Indy get this wrong. I mean I agree, and get what your trying to do in pointing out that this next legislature is going to be freak show, but there are a lot better ways to do it than going so hard after intelligent design (which most people probably believe, even if they don't want it in the classroom). And don't get me wrong, I am an atheist, but this just isn't the way to paint the legislature as radically out of step with majority of Montanans.

You should have spent more time on the O'Neil's request to be paid in gold. Or better yet, spent some time combing the recent bill draft requests. There is much more radical craziness there to be found.

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Posted by UnGodly on 12/06/2012 at 12:04 PM

Gee, there is one thing you seem to forget to address, the constituents of these legislators re-elected Jerry & elected Clayton for the first time) even though you try to diminish them at every chance you get. Their constituents like what they see in these respectable legislators (which I would like to remind you that they are everyday middle class people just like yourself, not career laden Representatives like Congress) and to add our legislators hardly make enough money to rent lodging or eat on their pitiful salary. Who would want this job when the media ridicules them on a daily basis. To me it is a thankless job but someone has to do it. Kudos, to these men who worked hard to get elected & now they have a huge job ahead of them. Good luck battling the force!

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Posted by Pete on 12/06/2012 at 9:30 AM
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