A resolution honors Louisiana's attack on science education

Louisiana's Senate Resolution 224 (PDF), introduced on May 31, 2019, and adopted on the following day, commends Gene Mills, the president of the Louisiana Family Forum, in part because "he was the driving force behind the Louisiana Science Education Act in 2008."

The act, implemented as Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:285.1, opened the door for scientifically unwarranted criticisms of evolution and climate to be taught in the state's public schools, as NCSE previously extensively reported.

Ironically, the authors of the resolution appear to have borrowed the description of Mills from a profile of Mills by Barbara Forrest, a retired professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University and a former member of NCSE's board of directors.

In "Gimme that Ol' Time Dominionism: How Gene Mills Is Using Democracy to Make Louisiana a Theocracy" (Bayou Brief, April 7, 2019), Forrest wrote:

Theogene Anthony "Gene" Mills III, president and director of the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), which he co-founded in 1998 with Tony Perkins, is a devoted husband and father, an ordained Pentecostal Assemblies of God minister, a legislative lobbyist, and a Christian dominionist who, working with former governor Bobby Jindal, turned Louisiana into a de facto theocracy from 2008 until 2016. Mills has also cultivated relationships with elected officials and other figures at the national level—all with the goal of helping the Christian Right take control of every aspect of American life.

Senate Resolution 224 describes Mills thus:

WHEREAS, Theogene Anthony "Gene" Mills III is president and director of LFF, which he cofounded in 1998 with Tony Perkins; and
WHEREAS, he is a devoted husband and father, an ordained Pentecostal Assemblies of God minister, a legislative lobbyist, and a Christian who worked closely with former governor Piyush "Bobby" Jindal from 2008 until 2016 to advance the policies and causes of LFF; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Mills has cultivated relationships with elected officials and other figures at the national level with the goal of educating and promoting traditional family values;

(Words and phrases contained in Forrest's "Gimme that Ol' Time Dominionism" are indicated in boldface.)

Proposed by John Milkovich (D-District 38), who in 2018 introduced multiple resolutions in honor of a former state senator who supported teaching creationism in the public schools, SR 224 passed the senate on a less than resounding 16-0-23 vote.

Glenn Branch
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Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.

branch@ncse.ngo
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