Normally, the entry of a Minnesota congresswoman into the Republican presidential race — even such a prominent one as Michele Bachmann — would have little to do directly with Louisiana, though she surely will find some supporters here.
Bachmann, 55, is an articulate conservative and might well find a receptive audience in the GOP nomination field.
But her entrance is likely to draw attention to her support for “intelligent design,” the notion that creation is so complicated that a divine being brought it into existence. That is, of course, a legitimate religious belief, but it is much more than that.
Intelligent design is a way that promoters of religion in public schools attack the theory of evolution, the vast body of science that explains biology and so much else in our knowledge of the natural world.
Evolution — despite its support among scientists and backing by most mainstream Christian faiths — is controversial among those who favor teaching the literal version of Bible’s account of creation in public schools.
Bachmann’s backing of this stealth version of creationism in schools surely will draw more attention to the one state in the nation where such a law was once passed, until struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987. Or the one state in the nation where a stealth version of the same “intelligent design” concept is promoted by a law on the books.
Yes, Louisiana. To our shame.
The Rhodes scholar who in 2008 signed his name to this preposterous attack on evolution, Gov. Bobby Jindal, argued that the Louisiana law is intended only to allow legitimate “supplementary materials” into schools on subjects such as evolution and global warming.
This is such an obvious charade that no one takes that argument of the governor or the other backers of the “Science Education Act” very seriously.
In fact, backers of the law argue that standard textbooks explaining evolution are “inconsistent” with the principles of the Science Education Act.
Indeed they are.
Whatever else Bachmann brings to the race — and her effective speech to the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans recently put her rhetorical skills on display —the discussion of this particularly far-out notion of hers does not put Louisiana in a favorable light to the nation.