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MN lawmaker: Schools must say sickness is a "consequence imposed by the Creator"
State Sen. Glenn H. Gruenhagen's bill would shove Christian theology into public school science classes
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A proposed bill in Minnesota intended to “advance critical thinking skills” in school is subtly trying to inject God into science classes.
SF 517 is sponsored by Republican State Sen. Glenn H. Gruenhagen. At first, it doesn’t look all that consequential. It sounds fairly sensible, actually, calling on school districts to make sure kids know the science behind sickness, disease, suffering, and death…
To advance critical thinking skills in history and science, a school district must provide instruction to students in grades 9 to 12 exploring the contrast between the scientific facts on how sickness, disease, pain, suffering, and death relate to the existence of complex living organisms…
The wording is awkward. “Scientific facts” is the sort of thing you reference when you don’t understand the scientific understanding of the word “theory.” And what exactly is the relationship between suffering and our existence that is rooted in settled science? What repeated experimental results are we talking about? It sounds philosophical more than scientific.
It’s only when you read the rest of the bill that you realize what this is actually about:
… and how sickness, disease, pain, suffering, and death are a consequence imposed by the Creator of complex living organisms.
Ah. Gruenhagen just wants his religious beliefs taught in science (and history) class. He thinks sickness and disease are the result of God punishing us, not germ theory or viruses. He doesn’t actually care about scientific “facts” or theories.
This is nothing more than a Trojan Horse to shove his Christian faith into schools. An identical bill was proposed last year, too, and it went nowhere.
Gruenhagen is a newly elected state senator, but he previously served in the State House from 2010 until 2022. He’s a climate denier and Christian Nationalist who falsely “believes that our rights come from God and not from man or government.”
There’s been no mention of the bill on Gruenhagen’s own social media pages. In the past, however, he has promoted the group run by Christian pseudo-historian David Barton:
The bill has been referred to the subcommittee on Education Policy and no further actions have been taken. Because Minnesota has a Democratic trifecta in government, a bill like this doesn’t have much of a chance of passing, but it certainly indicates Republican priorities.
They don’t really want to help students learn, much less think critically. They just want to indoctrinate them with Christian mythology under the guise of science.
(via the National Center for Science Education)