Jan. 12th, 2012

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An item that for obvious reasons flew below most radars late last November was this one, reported in the Austin Statesman for 11/30/2011:

David Hillis, a professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas, was sifting through the list of charitable organizations approved for state employee donations when he was startled to see that the Institute for Creation Research was included.

Now he and several other faculty and staff members at the university are trying to get the Dallas-based nonprofit group, which promotes a biblical view of creation as science, stripped from the list.

A panel that oversees the State Employee Charitable Campaign will consider the professors' grievance when it meets Friday in Austin. The panel, known as the State Policy Committee, decides each year which charities to include on the list of hundreds to which workers at state agencies and universities can donate through payroll deductions.

The issue, in the view of the creation institute's critics, is whether it meets a requirement in state law to provide "direct or indirect health and human services."

The Institute for Creation Research is a notorious Creationist outfit -- one of the best known of all, in fact (if you have time to spare for some innocent chortling, visit its website here) -- so it's astonishing it was ever granted approval, and that no one within the Texas State Policy Committee ever rang an alarm bell while the whole application process was going through; this is, you'll recall, a state whose Governor is deafeningly proud of his fiscal conservatism in all areas save prisons and executions.

Of course, as soon as the matter was brought to the attention of the Texas State Policy Committee, immediate action was taken to redress this egregious error . . .

Er, not quite. According to the Daily Texan for December 4 the can has been kicked down the road:

The committee decided to delay a decision on the case until all charities are reviewed for next year, beginning with a meeting March 23, committee chairwoman Janice McCoy said.

I wonder if everyone will have safely forgotten about it by then?

March 2013

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