Tennessee is taking a bold new approach to educating its young people- a ban on teaching. On Wednesday morning, the Tennessee Senate passed SB 904 which prohibits the use of “teaching” in public schools. According to Sen. Bob Corker (R), the term “teaching” is an “elitist liberal term that only allows for the education of children via facts and does not take into account other forms of education”. The new term, which will take affect starting June 1, will be “enlightening”. In 2012 the Tennessee Senate passed SB893 allowing teachers to use creationism as a scientific argument against evolution. However, SB 904 actually takes it a couple thousand steps further. “In order to provide students with a fair and unbiased education and to remove any possible confusion, enlighteners will only present morally sound concepts using approved enlightenment guidelines.” The Tennessee Department of Education released a sample of the new guidelines for the Science curriculum:
Former Lesson: Gravity is a force of attraction that exists between any two masses, any two bodies or any two particles.
Alternative Enlightened Theory: Gravity is God’s way on ensuring that we do not fly off into space. Should we displease God, gravity would be removed and we would simply float away. It is our belief in God that keeps us grounded.
Former Lesson: Dinosaurs are animals that lived approximately 230 million years ago and survived until an extinction event occurred 66 million years ago. Evidence suggests that birds may be descended from dinosaurs.
Alternative Enlightened Theory: When God cast Adam and Eve from the garden, he placed upon the Earth many challenges. Dinosaur bones were one of those challenges. Dinosaurs themselves did not exist; the bones were purposely placed there by God to test the faith of those who found them. The Earth itself is only 6,016 years old.
Former Lesson: Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then become heavy enough to fall under gravity.
Alternative Enlightened Lesson: Rain is God showering his essence over his people. Moderate rain is desirable and means God loves you. Heavy rain implies that God believes you are drowning in your sins. God condemns liberals, thus it rains often in areas such as Seattle and Portland. A desert climate means that God has given up on you.
The new enlightenment guidelines have been celebrated as a “revolutionary step toward a superior education.” Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, stated “We do a disservice to our children when we do not take a fair and balanced approach to their education. This bill will protect children from the radical ideas of the left while enlightening them with honest and moral educational principles.” Time will only tell whether Tennessee’s approach will succeed. In unrelated news, Tennessee has been ranked 47th out of the 50 states in Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index which measures overall quality of life.
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Orbson Rice is the author of the book “Exposing My Orbs: The Rise of a Liberal Satirist” and the “Creator” of the blog “The Orbson Oracle” which is thoroughly offensive, often thoughtful and occasionally funny. Stroke your mouse and visit the Oracle to read more or befriend him on Facebook.
Photograph by: Hans Hillewaert