Tag Archives: evolving

Sunday Column: Our Evolving Governor

Displaying an evolving new normal in his gubernatorial reign, a believing-in-better Bill Haslam last week officially and formally, albeit cautiously, expressed mild disagreement for the first time with a piece of legislation that reached his desk.
“Good legislation should bring clarity and not confusion,” he stated with regard to HB368. “My concern is that this bill has not met this objective. For that reason, I will not sign the bill but will allow it to become law without my signature.”
On one side, the governor had faced united Republican support in the Legislature for the bill, which authorizes classroom questioning of evolution. Even a few Democrats — mostly those worried about being accused of opposing the Bible in their re-election campaigns — had joined the sponsors’ call for more “creative thinking” about prevailing scientific theories.
On the other side, he faced a bunch of scientific types, academicians and around 3,200 petition-signers calling for a veto of the “monkey bill” they saw as a sneaky way to return to the 1920s, when Tennessee brought criminal charges against a Dayton teacher for talking about evolution. And the national media was listening to them and quoted the hoots of derision at us uneducated, backwoods hillbilly Tennesseans.

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