Friday, May 1, 2009
Religious right now targets Texas Social Studies curriculum
Little Green Footballs again
[Creationists lose one fight in Texas, but then open up another front!]
Texas Creationist School Board Chairman Gets the Boot
Sci/Tech Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 9:05:43 pm PDT
Republican Governor Rick Perry appointed Don McLeroy twice as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, in a sustained effort to sneak the teaching of creationism into public schools, but tonight the confirmation of the creationist dentist is reportedly dead in the water.
The confirmation of State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy is dead in the water, Sen. Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, said Thursday.
Jackson, chairman of the Senate Nominations Committee, said McLeroy will be left pending in committee because there is enough opposition on the floor of the Senate to block his confirmation, which requires approval of two-thirds of the senators.
There are too many other important issues to take up on the floor to waste time on a doomed confirmation, Jackson said.
UPDATE at 4/30/09 9:16:19 pm:
But now the extreme right religious fanatics in the Texas BOE are setting their sights on the public school Social Studies curriculum.
TFN has obtained the names of “experts” appointed by far-right state board members. Those panelists will guide the revision of social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. They include David Barton of the fundamentalist, Texas-based group WallBuilders, whose degree is in religious education, not the social sciences, and the Rev. Peter Marshall of Peter Marshall Ministries in Massachusetts, who suggests that California wildfires and Hurricane Katrina were divine punishments for tolerance of homosexuality.
Barton, former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party, is a self-styled “historian” without any formal training in the field. He argues that separation of church and state is a “myth” and that the nation’s laws should be based on Scripture. He says, for example, that the Bible forbids taxes on income and capital gains. Yet even such groups as Texas Baptists Committed and the Baptist Joint Committee have sharply criticized Barton’s interpretations of the Constitution and history.
Barton also acknowledges having used in his publications and speeches nearly a dozen quotes he has attributed to the nation’s Founders even though he can’t identify any primary sources showing that they really said them.
Some state board members have criticized what they believe are efforts to overemphasize the contributions of minorities in the nation’s history. It is alarming, then, that in 1991 Barton spoke at events hosted by groups tied to white supremacists. He later said he hadn’t known the groups were “part of a Nazi movement.”
In addition, Barton’s WallBuilders Web site suggests as a “helpful” resource the National Association of Christian Educators/Citizens for Excellence in Education, an organization that calls public schools places of “social depravity” and “spiritual slaughter.”
The Peter Marshall Ministries Web site includes Marshall’s commentaries sharply attacking Muslims, characterizing the Obama administration as “wicked,” and calling on Christian parents to reject public education for their children.
Marshall has also attacked Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant churches. In his call for a spiritual revival in America last year, he called traditional mainline Protestantism an “institutionally fossilized, Bible-rejecting shell of Christianity.”
Another GOP politician who pals around with David Barton: Bobby Jindal.