Memory repression is a biological mechanism in the human brain that evolved to block unwanted and painful memories. Years ago, a Stanford researcher, after proving that the mechanism exists, called it "motivated forgetting."
We're certainly motivated but we can't quite forget the 2011 Montana Legislature, what with all the frivolous bills floated by Republicans, the wrangling over medical marijuana and Gov. Brian Schweitzer's veto branding-iron theatrics. The list goes on.
The circus is on its way back to Helena next month, with another Republican majority, and incoming Rep. Clayton Fiscus, R-Billings, is blowing up balloons for the clown show. He's already proposing that state law force public schools to teach intelligent design along with evolution.
Intelligent design is the theory that this totally freaking awesome universe and the life it supports cannot have arisen by chance and was designed and created by some intelligent entity, or God. We wouldn't pass judgement on such a worldview. Hey, whatever floats your ark.
But Fiscus isn't demonstrating much intelligence (or memory) by trying to jam his worldview through the legislature. The Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that teaching "creationism" is unconstitutional because it advances a particular religion, a version of Christianity. The same goes for "intelligent design," which, in 2005, a federal judge in Pennsylvania called "creationism relabeled." It's not scienceunless we change the very definition of science to include supernatural explanations, the judge said.
So it's clear that Fiscus' bill is a non-starter and will only waste precious time during the legislative session that begins Jan. 7. The bill, combined with the request by Rep. Jerry O'Neil, R-Columbia Falls, to be paid his salary in gold coins, portends another 90 days of nonsense that makes the Montana Legislature a laughingstock, just as "birther" bills, the "Code of Montana," attempts to nullify federal laws and a proposal to legalize hand-thrown spear hunting did two years ago.
Oh, how we wish we'd forget, and that certain legislators would evolve.