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The Journal Gazette

March 17, 2017 1:01 AM

Letters

Lawmakers abuse jobs to advance creationism

Indiana Sens. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, and Jeff Raatz, R-Centerville, introduced yet another anti-science and anti-evolution bill. This is the sixth wrongful bill they have introduced or co-sponsored since 2000.

Kruse and Raatz should understand that the U.S. Supreme Court in two cases has ruled that creationism is religious, not scientific. As such, the Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that creationism “cannot be taught in public schools because to do so would impose a particular religious perspective on all students.” Nor can teachers teach “the ‘controversies’ surrounding evolution (because) there is no controversy in the scientific community about whether evolution has occurred. On the contrary, the evidence supporting descent with modification, as Charles Darwin termed it, is both overwhelming and compelling.”

Kruse and Raatz press on despite the fact that literally thousands of clergy from many denominations and faiths have signed letters stating: “We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as ‘one theory among others’ is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.” 

Kruse and Raatz are on the Indiana Senate’s Education & Career Development Committee – Kruse as the chair and Raatz as a ranking member. They have used their positions to advance wrongful legislation.

Indiana residents do not want their children exposed to scientifically incorrect information, their tax dollars squandered on fruitlessly trying to overturn long-established Supreme Court decisions, religious beliefs legislated or their legislature’s valuable time wasted on issues that should never have been submitted.

Kruse and Raatz should be removed from the committee. Many times they have made choices that are bad for Indiana’s educational entities.

Albert C. Kuelling

Fort Wayne

Demagogic buffoonery

Another legislative session and another circus of demagogic buffoonery. Indiana legislators can pass a law allowing animals to be locked in enclosures and killed for “sport,” but they can’t pass legislation protecting people from hate crimes. They can pass a right-to-work law, yet allow workers to be fired if they complain about employers’ violations of labor laws. They can pontificate sanctimoniously about the need for prayer in schools, yet are not moral enough to pass legislation to compensate people who were wrongfully imprisoned.

I really don’t know who’s more despicable: the mendacious hypocrites this state calls lawmakers or those who continue to elect them.

David R. Hoffman

Mishawaka

Township officials’ abuses continue to be overlooked

A recent story about charges being filed against a township trustee in Henry County, accused of stealing taxpayer funds between 2013 and 2015, is unfortunately not surprising. It is yet another arrest in a long series of criminal incidents involving township employees that have occurred around the state.

The Indiana Chamber first communicated on the topic of local government reform and ongoing abuses by township officials nearly 20 years ago. The fact that we still must do so is depressing and unforgivable.

State legislators were provided a playbook in 2007, when the Kernan-Shepard Commission called for the elimination of this unnecessary level of government. In a statewide survey, two-thirds of Hoosiers acknowledged they had never used township services.

State lawmakers have repeatedly failed to act upon that recommendation; that’s simply inexcusable. With more than 1,200 bills filed in this session, the number that take on the outdated – and, as we continue to see, criminal – practices of townships is a big fat zero.

How many more township officials have to go to jail and how many more thousands of taxpayer dollars have to be stolen before the General Assembly takes action? Legislators, who is willing to step up to the job?

Kevin Brinegar

President and CEO

Indiana Chamber of Commerce