GOP Candidates in Texas Lieutenant Governor Race Cynically Repeat Calls to Teach Creationism in Public Schools

Each of the four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Texas lieutenant governor raced as far to the extreme right as they could during their debate Monday night. Each one, for example, expressed support for banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Each one insisted that government should intrude into the end-of-life decisions families make for their loved ones who are brain dead. And each one insisted that public schools be put in the position of deciding whose religious beliefs about creation should be taught in their classrooms.

On the issue of creationism, disregard for now the fact that the four candidates were supporting something that would get the state’s cash-strapped public schools sued for violating the U.S. Constitution. The candidates would also create an impossibly difficult dilemma for public schools. Should those schools teach students that Earth is 6,000-years-old and that humans walked the land with dinosaurs? Should they teach competing religious beliefs about creation? Or should they simply leave, as they do now, religious instruction to families and congregations while focusing instead on teaching students established, mainstream science that prepares them to succeed in college and the jobs of the 21st century?

Just as appalling was the suggestion in the candidates’ answers that Christianity is somehow under attack because public schools in this country can’t promote or favor any particular religious perspective over all others. Frankly, Christians and other people of faith should be disgusted that some politicians think their votes can be purchased so cheaply and cynically.

Here are excerpts from each of the candidate’s answers on teaching creationism in public schools.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, calling on public schools to teach creationism alongside evolution:

“Our children should be armed with more knowledge, not less. And that would include creationism, intelligent design, evolution. And let the parents and the ministers then decide which of those should prevail in that child’s life. That’s not a decision for the schools.”

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, cynically suggesting that the issue is really about people being forced to hide their faith:

“I don’t think we need to live in a state where we have to apologize for being a Christian. … It [creationism] is something most Texans believe in, and our children should be exposed to this, and we shouldn’t have to hide from it.”

State Sen. Dan Patrick, falsely suggesting that students must leave their faith at the schoolhouse door:

“Our children must be really be confused. We want them to go to church on Sunday, and we teach them about Jesus Christ. And then they go to school on Monday. They can’t pray. They can’t learn about creationism. They must really be confused. And they have a right to be confused because we as Christians have yielded to the secular left and let them rule the day in this country. … When it comes to creationism, not only should it be taught, it should be triumphed. It should be heralded.”

Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, arguing that the issue is one of fairness:

“I understand that it [creationism] alone cannot be taught. And I am fine with teaching creationism, intelligent design and evolution. And then let the students with advice and counsel and the love of their parents decide for themselves which one of the three that they believe in. I think that’s the fairest way and all three should be taught.”

17 thoughts on “GOP Candidates in Texas Lieutenant Governor Race Cynically Repeat Calls to Teach Creationism in Public Schools

    1. Edd Doerr – That is the bottom line of course, but their motives are more sinister than you can imagine. They want us all to goose step to their drummer. I am not being paranoid when I say that. All you have to do is look at their facebook pages to see what they are proposing in education, gun laws, voting rights. I know that Patrick and Staples have made some extreme statements about how Christians are being discriminated against, implying that the religious freedom of others should somehow restricted. The real problem is that people listen to these goons and elect them because they are Republicans.

      1. I agree with all you say, except that you just insulted goons. These guys don’t rise to that standard.

  1. Amazing! I taught in public schools for thirty-four years. Our school had an active Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a strong Fellowship of Christian Students that met in my classroom. There certainly was never any persecution for religious beliefs to my knowledge. These fear mongers remind me of growing up in the Baptist church where I always wondered why the preacher was so angry. Took me years to figure out that their success was predicated on continually stirring the pot, stoking fear and angst in their mind numbingly ignorant flock about the evils that will befall them if they didn’t adhere to the evangelical mindset. One would assume that most adults would eventually grow up and see these charlatans for what they really are. Unfortunately, particularly in Texas, many never do become adults.

    1. dbTexas – You seem to have come out OK.

      I’ve noticed when I talk to a Baptista (and other sects of course, but they are the worst offenders) about any other religion they come back with a stock answer about why Baptists are better than whatever religion it is.

      Jews, of course, don’t accept you know who as the savior, Buddhists and Hindus don’t believe in God, Unitarians don’t accept the trinity, Catholics believe in Mary.

      Why is that?

      1. If they didn’t think their religion was best, they’d change it.

        If any of the religions have to support any of their claims though(was Jesus a savior? Is there a god? Is their a trinity? Are there saints to pray to?), they come up empty. There’s no good reason to favor any until one can be shown to stand above that equality. TIn that respect, he arrogance or humility of someone who favors one anyways is irrelevant.

        Focusing on it is a simple way to skirt the issue that protects everyone who’s interested. If they agree to not say how another religion is bad, they avoid having to hear the problems with their own. Which means no serious criticisms can be made about Baptists. Everyone can promote their religions without serious opposition, including their beliefs in creationism, until you end up with a scenario like this where a bunch of grown men rightly wonder why something nearly everyone around them believes should be taught is not included in their state’s curriculum.

  2. The sad results from these “debate” remarks is that one of these clowns will be our next atty Gen. From their own testimony they show their ignorance not only about evolution but about their own religious beliefs. Any modern independent bible scholar would reduce them to deck screws over their claims from ignorance, bordering on stupidity,about which even the gods stuggle in vain.

    the sad

    1. They are running for Lt. Governor, but other than that you are correct about the people who believe what they are saying. These guys are smart and that makes them dangerous.

  3. I don’t think these four clowns have the faintest idea what they’re talking about.

    If you asked them “what is creationism, what is intelligent design and what is evolution” they wouldn’t be able to string together three coherent sentences. It’s clear they know the words but they don’t know the concepts.

    Doesn’t stop them, though, does it? Nope, they just plow ahead invoking Jesus and Christian persecution and blah, blah, blah.

    Even worse is that these clowns are not limited to their ignorance about science and education. They are professional Know Nothings. I doubt they can even dress themselves. Pitiful.

  4. I wish someone would ask all four what they think needs to be done about the chigger problem in Texas. We have a chigger in the White House, heard tell it bit Michelle on the leg. Do you guys think Texas has a chigger problem? If so, what should be done about it. More sprayings with Zyklon B? What say ye?

  5. It must amaze these guys how it is to pander to conservatives in this state to get elected. These issues are not even on the close to the top of issues this state needs to deal with. But say the magic words guns, God, and abortion and abracadabra you are elected.

  6. Just my 2 cents, as bad as their comments on teaching religious babble as science, what really stood out in my mind and bothered me the most was 3 of the 4 were very clear that they wanted to change Texas law so that dead pregnant women would have to be kept on machines, to me that was the most horrible thing out of all of their comments. That anyone running for public office in this century would even think that was a good idea. The Munoz family had a nightmare two months, but the goons running for Lt Governor want to make the nightmare situation worse for the next family that could end up in this sort of situation.

    I think this is a perfect example of how far to the crazy side the right-wing religious tendency to ignore science in favor of magical thinking has gone