The Nashville Tennessean on the "monkey bills"


The Nashville Tennessean (March 21, 2012) editorially denounced Tennessee's "monkey bills" as "wedging open a door to include a radically divisive, ultra-conservative Christian agenda disguised in politically correct language." The bills — House Bill 368 and Senate Bill 893 — would encourage teachers to present the "scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses" of "controversial" topics such as "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning"; both bills have passed their respective houses, but it is still necessary for discrepancies between the two versions of the bill to be reconciled before the legislation is sent to the governor.

The editorial concluded, "these attempts to rewrite our curriculum by some legislators are not about helping our children become independent, rational thinkers capable of understanding and evaluating alternative theories of life; witting or not, these legislators are stooges for an agenda that would shackle our children to a life of ignorance." The Tennesseean earlier editorially opposed House Bill 368, writing (March 29, 2011), "when a piece of legislation is so distorted in fact, so misleading in its intent, and so fraught with the potential to do more harm than good to the people and the reputation of Tennessee, it must be shown for what it is."