Former Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) member Cynthia Dunbar still seems determined to destroy the most important protection for religious freedom in America: the First Amendment.
As a member of the Texas SBOE in 2010, Dunbar lead successful opposition to requiring that public school students in social studies classrooms learn how the First Amendment protects religious freedom by barring government from promoting one faith perspective over all others. The Constitution does not protect separation of church and state, she argued. Dunbar insisted, instead, that the nation’s Founders actually wanted government to promote religion. Last Saturday Dunbar went even further while speaking at an anti-abortion rally in Ohio. From our friends at Right Wing Watch:
Cynthia Dunbar, a former member of the Texas Board of Education who is now a law professor at Liberty University, in her address to the rally made the specious claim that “94% of the quotes of the Founding Fathers contemporaneous to our nation’s founding came either directly or indirectly from the Bible” and maintained that legislators shouldn’t worry about passing the unconstitutional Heartbeat Bill since “Roe v. Wade is not law at all.” “Guess what legislators,” Dunbar said, “you don’t have the freedom to make any laws if they are contrary to what God has said in his Holy Scripture.”
But who would decide which Scripture to use and whose interpretation of God’s will would prevail? For that matter, whose God? The conflicts arising from such questions and the threats they would pose to the freedom of those who didn’t share the prevailing religious view were precisely what the Founders wanted to avoid. But Dunbar and many of her former colleagues on the Texas SBOE care only about one thing: using public schools — and government generally — to promote their own particular religious views over those of everyone else.
In an America ruled by people like Cynthia Dunbar, religious freedom would die. So too, perhaps, would America itself.
13 thoughts on “Cynthia Dunbar: Legislators Can’t Make Laws ‘Contrary to What God Has Said’”
well, uh, it looks as if they had that freedom because they have done it on numerous occasions in numerous subject matter areas and legal contexts. Wal-Mart is still open on Sunday. Freedom is as freedom does.
“who is now a law professor at Liberty University”
I think I’ve found part of the problem here…
Nutty as ever.
All founding fathers were not created equal. Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and, to some exent, Adams and Hamilton were the predominant political thinkers of the operation. I suppose Dunbar would call them 6-percenters.
“The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.” Thomas Jefferson, 1814.
“I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!” John Adams, 1816.
“What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.” James Madison, 1785.
“As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble.” Ben Franklin, 1789.
“In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.” Alexander Hamilton
And yet we still allow wool clothing to have cotton thread. And lobster, shrimp and shark are available on menus. Pizza can have both cheese and meat toppings and cheeseburgers are still sold. And the clothing stores and resturants selling these things, that are abhorant to God, are allowed to be open on the sabbath.
When Cynthia starts takling about banning cheeseburgers and meat toppings on pizza, then I’ll think she is sincere.
I would ban all meat toppings except pepperoni!
In the fundie logic, the only Old Testament rules that still apply are the ones about killing gay people. Somehow all the other ones are rendered moot by Jesus.
I wonder if that assertion would be grounds for a bar complaint. Public denial that existing SCOTUS case law is law would seem a serious fault for a lawyer, especially a law professor.
Let’s not forget the Treaty of Tripoli, a document that passed through congress and was signed by our second President, which states…
“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 [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] 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.”
I think it’s pretty easy to make fun of people like Dunbar – I know I have done it quite a bit myself. But, we might look at it from a different perspective, too. I feel a bit sorry for these folks (but only a tiny bit) because they are seeing their comfortable world shaken by the real world – a world where people that they once could dismiss as unworthy of consideration now expect to participate in society as equals. Pigmented people, queer people, and certain other evil people (non-believers) are more visible, more vocal, and more insistent on inclusion. This creates intense anxiety in many of these folks, which in turn allows them to turn off any tendency they might have for critical thinking or evidence-based understanding. And, they seem to feel it is OK to distort the historical facts or make up new ones as well as to distort the meaning of our Constitution. It would be sad if it were not so ominously threatening.
A brief devotional dedicated to those who claim to be Christians but are still slaves in chains to the Old Testament law. Look at Jesus in the New Testament. He really is a free man. Just as He said:
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Jesus would understand this song.
Beyond the famous establishment clause of the First Amendment, we have two paragraphs of Article VI of the Constitution of the United States of America:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
As Dunbar is obviously familiar with this law, there is only one conclusion: Dunbar is ANTI-CONSTITUTION!
The Religious Right is against the constitution. This is why they are always encouraging people to either ignore it or change it.