During a debate in Waco on Thursday, candidates for the Republican nomination for Texas lieutenant governor said they support teaching biblical creationism in the state’s public schools. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that teaching creationism in public school science classrooms violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and two of his Republican primary opponents, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and state Sen. Dan Patrick, called for teaching creationism in public schools. The Dallas Morning News reports that Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson also voiced his support, but the Texas Tribune reports Patterson didn’t specifically call for teaching creationism in public schools. However, the Tribune says Patterson insisted that the Constitution doesn’t protect separation of church and state.
The Texas Tribune directly quotes three of the candidates on the issues of creationism and religion in public schools.
“I believe that in fairness we need to expose students to both sides of this. That’s why I’ve supported including in our textbooks the discussion of the biblical account of life and creation, and I understand there are a lot of people who disagree with me, and believe in evolution.”
“Our students … must really be confused. They go to Sunday School on Sunday and then they go into school on Monday and we tell them they can’t talk about God. I’m sick and tired of a minority in our country who want us to turn our back on God.”
“Show me where [separation of church and state] is in the Constitution, because it’s not in the Constitution. I see nothing wrong with standing up at least for a moment of silence, let those who wish to pray pray in their own faith. I see nothing wrong with having a prayer before a high school football game.”
Texas law already calls for a moment of silence in Texas public schools.
The Dallas Morning News directly quotes Staples on creationism:
“As a Christian, certainly creationism should be taught.”
The Texas Tribune article is here. The Dallas Morning News article is here.
Last month the Texas State Board of Education adopted new science textbooks that don’t teach creationism or include creationist-inspired arguments against evolution.
19 thoughts on “GOP Candidates for Texas Lieutenant Governor Advocate Teaching Creationism in Public Schools”
Or another way to put it — It’s all politics…pandering to a large voting block which wants a theocracy. There’s too much invested in the church to let it be undermined by “humanism and secularism….”
That may be the academically preferable nomenclature, but I think Texas Taliban rolls off the tongue easier.
I think it might be more appropriate to say that too much is invested in the church to allow stupid, weak Christians to undermine the church. The nutballs in the churches are the ones bringing down the churches—not the usual suspects.
Thanks to Robert Garrett of the Dallas Morning News and Morgan Smith of the Texas Tribune for reporting this story and knowing that it is important to publish it, despite how really ugly it makes Texas appear to educated citizens in other states. This will no doubt become national news and cause even more embarrassment for Texans. It shows the almost unbelievable stupidity, ignorance, religious Fundamentalism, and anti-science attitude exhibited by our state’s top political leaders.
After this display of sanctimonious antipathy to science in their desire for Texas public school students to graduate both ignorant and stupid about modern biology (i.e. to become intellectually-challenged clones of our state’s political leaders), one can certainly understand why no businesses specializing in science or technology want to locate in our benighted state–because (1) its citizenry is so poorly educated in science that appropriately skilled workers are difficult to find and (2) the state’s government would obviously be uncaring and even opposed to the intellectual values of such businesses.
Did anyone really expect anything different? Whether these men really believe it themselves or not, they know they have to say that to pander to Texas Republican primary voters if they want to be elected.
However, most likely one of these men will win election and it is not likely that the pandering (or true belief) will stop at the election. It will manifest itself in treatment given to legislation that affects education and in strengthening the resolve of the reactionary right group on the SBOE.
To quote someone smarter than me, “God save us from fools and politicians.”
“All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship. But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship.”
Seems to me like the TX GOP is intent on shredding the state Constitution in order to advance their own political careers.
Not really Chris. They know that it will never happen, especially the ones who are lawyers. The have taken classes in constitutional law and know that they are lying.
They are just presenting Texas Republican Party talking points to appeal to all of the Texas rhubard citizens who are too stupid to understand anything about the U.S. constitution. Even as write this, one of them is filling his gas tank up with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
I pity the schoolchildren of Texas when they enter colleges that teach real science. The Texans will be considered morons.
Let’s elect a leader who can think rationally. Vote for Letica Van De Putte. http://www.vandeputte.senate.state.tx.us
There are no depths to which a conservative Texas politician will not sink. Remember a few years ago when the competition was for who would execute the most murderers?
“People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah’s ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it’s about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.”
-Neil deGrasse Tyson
Craziness..DO NOT FORGET TO VOTE!!
Christian Right Fundies are causing trouble all over the world. They lost their war against the American LGBT community and now they have joined the Russian homophobes in a concerted attack on Russian GLBT citizens. Homophobia is a disease of the mind along with the their obsession to break down the barriers of Church-State Separation. And God wouldn’t pee on them if they were eaten up with the dry rot!
Yes it’s pandering for votes but, unfortunately, such pandering has real consequences. Gov. Good Hair has appointed THREE creationists to head the SBOE; three in a row. Those appointments have lasting consequences not the least of which is a huge waste of time and money dealing with their stupid ideological battles, underhanded tactics and abject dishonesty.
Push that farther with the War on Women and you see real effects in the reduction of access to health care; real effects with real consequences.
Yes, we can laugh at Louie Gohmert and his idiocy, but he’s a real congressman with a real vote and real people suffer by his hand. It’s the same with the rest of the pandering politicians.
Until we as an educated, responsible, rational populace deny these idiots power we will continue to be governed by idiots and we have only ourselves to blame.
But Doc Bill. Kaintchee see? Downchee know? A lie told for the fundie “Perceived Jesus” is the truth? Its called a “Special Little Ole White Lie for Jesus.”
Can we we get the McLeroy/Cargill perspective on this? Down at my church, a lie is just a lie. All forms of deceit are included. It does not matter who is telling it or what its purpose might be, it is still just a plain old lie.
How about it Don and Donna?
Glad to see this from our Lt. Governor candidates.