As reported in USA Today, “Politics, religion almost derail girl’s state fossil bill“, the South Carolina legislature is taking pedantry to new levels.
It all started when 8-year-old Olivia McConnell suggested to her state representative, Robert Ridgeway, that the Mammoth become South Carolina’s state fossil. She raised the points that one of the first major fossil discoveries in North America was in South Carolina and that it was one of only seven states without one.
He thought it was good idea and, with his counterpart Sen. Kevin Johnson, introduced a nice, simple bill into their respective houses. It first hit a minor roadblock in the form of Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler who was objecting simply because, “Quite frankly, I thought we had passed a bill in the Senate putting a moratorium on official state whatevers.”
After a quick amendment from Peeler which, basically, said: “OK, but this is the last time for this crap, dammit!” the bill’s future seemed brighter. That is until it hit Sen. Kevin Bryant who is apparently so fragile in his belief that he insists that it infect everything (Bryant is pictured at left wasting somebody else’s time).
First, he derailed the bill by insisting that it include three verses from Genesis. This nearly doubled the size of this otherwise simple bill. After receiving criticism for that blatant attempt to politicize something that didn’t need to be politicized he relented by… doing more of the same.
The final version of the bill, which looks like it may be passed, includes this amended, redundant language by Bryant:
Section 1-1-712A. The Columbian Mammoth, which was created on the Sixth Day with the other beasts of the field, is designated as the official State Fossil of South Carolina and must be officially referred to as the ‘Columbian Mammoth’, which was created on the Sixth Day with the other beasts of the field.
There is no word from Olivia on how it feels to have genuine scientific curiosity squashed by a mean man in a dumb suit.
For insisting that nothing good can happen unless his religion is allowed to mark it like a dog in heat, Mr. Byant is charged with Triple Dumbassery in the First Degree. We truly hope that someday he feels confident enough in his faith that he doesn’t have to shove it down the throats of little girls.