Barbara Cargill: Some Things Never Change

UPDATE: Apparently, someone was embarrassed that we were highlighting Barbara Cargill’s comments at a Texas Eagle Forum event last week. YouTube videos of those comments have now been made private. No matter. We already have those comments and the videos. We’ll have more from Cargill’s talk — this time her troubling comments about the coming of adoption of science instructional materials — shortly.

NEWER UPDATE: The video linked in the post is available again.


Well, this sure didn’t take long. Last Tuesday the San Antonio Express-News quoted newly appointed Texas State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill as saying that she would “facilitate the meetings with a lot of character and a listening ear because we all represent our various districts, so we certainly want to hear from every board member on the issues.” Then just two days later she questioned the faith and politics of fellow board members whose views are different from her own.

Speaking Thursday night at a Texas Eagle Forum event in Conroe, this is how Cargill, R-The Woodlands, described the faction of board members with whom she votes in lockstep:

“Right now there are six true conservative Christians on the board.”


Say what? That certainly must be news to four other Republicans on the board (Marsha Farney, R-Georgetown; Pat Hardy, R-Fort Worth; Bob Craig, R-Lubbock; and Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant), who are pretty darn conservative as well as Christians (and that’s not even considering the board’s Democrats who are also Christians).

Cargill is already following in the footsteps of former board chair Don McLeroy, who on more than one occasion essentially described the divisions on the state board as between “Christian conservatives” and everyone else. Like when McLeroy said this:

“Conservatives on our board are the only ones—the Christian conservatives—that are able to sit there and to think for themselves and say, well, wait. Is this really good policy?”

Cue the complaints that we’re somehow attacking Cargill’s faith. Of course, we’re not. We’re simply marveling that she and her allies on the board seem so clueless about how offensive it sounds when they question the faith (never mind the politics) of their own colleagues.

We’ll have more remarkable comments from Cargill’s talk in the coming days.

15 thoughts on “Barbara Cargill: Some Things Never Change

  1. Babs Cargill might like to consider attending another church or maybe resiging from her current office. My best guess is that she has never read this. Here is the OFFICIAL United Methodist Church’s position on science and Christianity:

    ¶ 160 F) Science and Technology —We recognize science as a legitimate interpretation of God’s natural world. We affirm the validity of the claims of science in describing the natural world and in determining what is scientific. We preclude science from making authoritative claims about theological issues and theology from making authoritative claims about scientific issues. We find that science’s descriptions of cosmological, geological, and biological evolution are not in conflict with theology. We recognize medical, technical, and scientific technologies as legitimate uses of God’s natural world when such use enhances human life and enables all of God’s children to develop their God-given creative potential without violating our ethical convictions about the relationship of humanity to the natural world. We reexamine our ethical convictions as our understanding of the natural world increases. We find that as science expands human understanding of the natural world, our understanding of the mysteries of God’s creation and word are enhanced.

    In acknowledging the important roles of science and technology, however, we also believe that theological understandings of human experience are crucial to a full understanding of the place of humanity in the universe. Science and theology are complementary rather than mutually incompatible. We therefore encourage dialogue between the scientific and theological communities and seek the kind of participation that will enable humanity to sustain life on earth and, by God’s grace, increase the quality of our common lives together.

    From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church – 2008. Copyright 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.

  2. Wait a minute. I may have misunderstood. Is Babs Cargill a member of the United Methodist Church, or is she a member of some other kind of church. Could someone please clarify that?

  3. So since Osama bin Laden made hundreds of millions of people angry he must have really been doing something right. Hmm, I’m not so sure this logic holds after all. Perhaps Ms. Cargill and Osama are both on the wrong side of history.

  4. Once again the SBOE (State Board of Exorcism?) has made me proud of not being a Christian and NOT being a Conservative.

    Why was the video marked “Private?”

    I am for PROGRESS. That means moving ahead, not wanting to take this state back to the Inquisitions! (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.)

    1. Beverly,
      The folks who posted the Cargill videos made them “private” after TFN Insider reported about them and Cargill’s comments. Unfortunately for them, we already made copies. The links are good now.

  5. TFN, what method do you use to make copies of a video? Do you use KeepVid or a site like that? I’m always afraid to use that site because it asks me to let KeepVid install an applet. Or do you have some fancy software that lets you save videos?

  6. Cargill is a member of The Woodlands United Methodist Church. Horrifying, but true.

  7. Her whole position is out of line with United Methodist thought. If I had to guess, I would guess that Babs Cargill is actually rooted in some other denomination from her childhood days and has “submitted” dutifully to attending her husband’s church. If so, it must be awful to sit there in the pews and listen to all of that “love your neighbor as yourself” talk and other such related things that are so despised and ignored by the Religious Right. It must be like fingernails on a chalk board.

    Sometimes wives will attend their husband’s “enemy church” in hopes that they can help the church to see the errors of its ways, turn from its current sinful condition, and eventually post a sign out front that says

    “Rejoice Independent and Separate Church”

    It takes huge female testicles and an ego bigger than Uranus (that needs some time on a clinical psychologist’s couch) to actually embark on such a mission. Whether she is on such a mission, I would have no idea.

  8. Thank God for Barbara’s views! Freedom for Christians to EXPRESS their religious views is exactly what her constituents want and she is delivering. These Judeo-Christian principles are the views that our country was founded upon and if you will study your history books it is undeniable. Every race and religion, even if they oppose our country, is given the freedom to express their views today. However, Christians are being bashed at every turn. Her views are intelligent and well formed. The bible gives and outline of creation with few details of mysteries that won’t be completely answered this side of heaven. She isn’t saying that Science isn’t valid for God’s sake. She is saying that the two might go hand in hand so why can’t we explore other views and make an intelligent guess. That’s what Science is. Additionally, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is quite outdated and has been diproven in areas by more recent discoveries that are not being taught in our schools. That is a disservice to our students. Let’s get creative so that we can compete with the world rather than sit back on our comfortable laurels at the risk of ignorance.

  9. Anne says:

    “Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is quite outdated and has been diproven in areas by more recent discoveries that are not being taught in our schools.”

    The theory of evolution has been refined since Darwin’s time. But “disproven” is a lie. If it isn’t, simply provide evidence from a respected, peer-reviewed science journal. Nature or Science will suffice.

    Anne also says:

    “These Judeo-Christian principles are the views that our country was founded upon and if you will study your history books it is undeniable.”

    Saying “founded” suggests quite a bit more than claiming our nation is composed of a Christian majority.

    Note that the Treaty of Tripoli, which was read aloud and ratified in the U.S. Senate, says:

    “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

    Anne, you are dishonest.

  10. “Let’s get creative so that we can compete with the world rather than sit back on our comfortable laurels at the risk of ignorance.”

    Anne, do you believe that the earth is six thousands years old? Do you believe that man and dinosaur coexisted? Do you believe that there really was a global flood and a guy named Noah who built an ark?