Sometimes, you begin reading about something and think, “Aww, how cute!” Other times, what should be a touching story of a child’s proposal to make the Woolly Mammoth South Carolina’s official state fossil passing the state House and Senate with overwhelming support, going to the Governor’s desk, and being signed into law becomes something entirely different because of a couple of Christofascists in suits who feel the need to inject God into everything.
This is one of those times. Earlier this year eight-year-old Olivia McConnell wrote her state representatives to suggest that since South Carolina doesn’t currently have a state fossil, it should be given one! Olivia decided that she needed a legitimate reason to suggest this besides liking fossils, so she came up with three:
1. One of the first discoveries of a vertebrae fossil in North America was on an S.C. plantation when slaves dug up wooly mammoth teeth from a swamp in 1725.
2. All but seven states have an official state fossil.
3. “Fossils tell us about our past.”
She sent the letter to Representative Robert Ridgeway(D) and Sen. Kevin Johnson(D), asking them to sponsor a bill officially making the woolly mammoth the official state fossil.
“We can’t just say we need a sate fossil because I like fossils,” the third grader told The State. “That wouldn’t make sense.” She ended the letter “Please work on this for me” before signing, “Your friend, Olivia.”
“Why not? It can’t hurt anything,” Ridgeway said. “But the benefit to this is to the children and young people of South Carolina, letting them realize that they do have a say-so in what happens in South Carolina and, No. 2, it gives them experience and information about the governmental process and legislative process in South Carolina.”
Ridgeway and Johnson both filed bills- H.4482 and S.854-to make the mammoth the official state fossil. The bill would amend the 1976 code on state emblems to include the Columbian Mammoth as the state’s first official fossil.
Whereas, giant mammoths used to roam South Carolina; andWhereas, scientists have identified the fossils of about six hundred and fifty species of vertebrates in South Carolina to date; and
Whereas, it has been recognized that fossilized mammoth teeth were discovered in a swamp in South Carolina in 1725; and
Whereas, this discovery has been credited as the first scientific identification of a North American vertebrate fossil. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 9, Chapter 1, Title 1 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
“Section 1-1-712A. The Columbian Mammoth is designated as the official State Fossil of South Carolina.”
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
“It makes me feel really good,” she said. “It’s exciting,” Olivia said after hearing that the lawmakers are taking her request seriously.
Unfortunately, many parties have a turd floating in the punch bowl, and this is one of them–two turds, to be exact. They look like this:
The bill passed the House with overwhelming support but encountered some difficulties when Senator Mike Fair(R-Turd) objected to the bill for “religious reasons.”
Fair, who has compared the President to Osama Bin Laden, helped to block funding for a rape crisis center, called climate change a hoax, and blocked evolution from the state’s science standards, saying “I don’t have a problem with teaching theories. I don’t think it should be taught as fact,” stood up for Biblical representation in the state fossil–after all, what’s science without Jesus?
Bryant proposed an amendment to the bill to include a passage from Genesis explaining the Biblical creation of life–because why not?
“I think it’s a good idea to designate the mammoth as the state fossil, I don’t have a problem with that. I just felt like it’d be a good thing to acknowledge the creator of the fossils,” Bryant told the Daily Beast.
Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell blocked the proposed amendment because it introduced a new subject. He has since amended the amendment to describe the Columbian Mammoth as “created on the Sixth Day with the beasts of the field.”
In response to the Lt. Governor’s ruling Senator Mike Fair placed an objection to the bill, which has been put on hold until they can take what was a simple thing that would benefit children across South Carolina and make one little girl very happy–and figure out how to please the Creationists.