HB213

2. The coordinating board for higher education shall require each public institution to report annually to the general assembly detailing the steps the institution is taking to ensure intellectual diversity and the free exchange of ideas.

            (1) The report required in this subsection shall address the specific measures taken by the institution to ensure and promote intellectual diversity and academic freedom. The report may include steps taken by the institution to:

            (e) Include intellectual diversity concerns in the institution's guidelines on teaching and program development and such concerns shall include but not be limited to the protection of religious freedom including the viewpoint that the Bible is inerrant;

 

 

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Proposed "Intellectual Diversity" statement for Southeast Missouri State University:

 

In order to protect the religious freedom of Southeast students, no student may be penalized in the grading of any assignment, including examinations, papers, homework, or class presentations, for propounding any of the following views in the designated courses:

 

Astronomy/Geology:

a. The age of the universe is approximately 10,000 years. (Bible, Gen. 5, 10, 11, and elsewhere)

b. The earth was spoken into existence by God (Gen 1).

c. The earth grew from a bit of mud brought up from the bottom of the sea by Turtle. (Maidu Indian myth)

d. The earth grew from a bit of mud brought up from the bottom of the sea by a duck. (Yokut indian myth). 

e. The sun was vomited up by Bumba, and its heat then dried parts of the ocean, forming land.  (Boshongo [Bantu] myth)

f. Marduk killed his mother, the sea-beast Tiamat, and cut her body in half; one half made the sky, and the other made the Earth.  (Enuma Elish, Babylonian epic myth)

g. The universe was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. (Pastafarianism)

h.  The sun goes around the earth (Joshua 10:12-13).

 

Biology/Paleontology:

a. The sequence of the appearance of organisms on Earth was as follows: plants, swimming and flying animals, land animals other than humans, male and female humans. (Gen 1:12-27)

b. The sequence of the appearance of organisms on Earth was as follows: plants, male human, land and flying animals, female human. (Gen 2: 5-22)

c. The first organisms were eagle, wolf, coyote, panther, prairie falcon, hawk, and condor.  The eagle then created ducks.  (Yokut indian myth).

d. Bumba vomited up the first organisms, which were leopard, eagle, crocodile, fish, tortoise, heron, beetle, and goat.  Next he vomited up men.  Then each of the organisms created more organisms; the heron made all the birds except the kite, the crocodile made snakes and iguanas, the beetle made insects, etc. (Boshongo [Bantu] myth).

 

Genetics:

Striped goats are born if the mother looks at striped sticks while mating. (Gen 35: 30-39).

 

Mathematics:

Pi = 3 (1 Kings 7:23)

 

This list is not exclusive; any student may appeal a grade based on the authority of any religious text or belief, as religious freedom may not be infringed.

 

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Okay, it's probably not as bad as all that.  The actual bill is written in such a confusing way that it's hard to tell what would be required -- it looks like the institution just has to report annually about what it's doing, and it just says what the report "may" include.  Still, at the best it's unnecessary bureaucracy for no valid purpose.  The whole thing stems from an incident at Missouri State University where a professor required students to sign a petition in favor of allowing gay couples to adopt.  The professor was disciplined, the student got a cash settlement, the system worked.  This bill is just an attempt to dictate the content of higher education, and therefore, an attack on academic freedom. 

 

Write to your House member.