Now Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar says giving precedence to teachers and scholars when revising curriculum standards for public schools would be like what the Nazis did in Germany during the 1930s. Really? Seriously?…… Read More

In an article on the website of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar is pretending to give history and constitutional lessons about the principle of church-state separation. The article explains that Dunbar's critics -- it focuses largely on the Texas Freedom Network -- have been critical about her tasteless attempt to use prayer to score political points at the state board's meeting last week. As we explained at the time, Dunbar's prayer to open the meeting came before the board was to decide what, among other things, students would learn about separation of church and state in their social studies classes. Dunbar and other far-right board members don't accept that separation of church and state is a key constitutional principle. In the Liberty University article, Dunbar cackles over the fact that the prayer she recited was originally given in 1954 by the late U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. From the article: "This is a huge story in that it exposes the bias of the liberal media and organizations that blasted me for saying ‘Christian land governed by Christian principles,’” Dunbar said. “These were not…… Read More

Even before the Texas State Board of Education took up its expected debate today over what students will learn about separation about church and state in their social studies classrooms, board member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, made her position clear. She offered the board’s opening prayer this morning and removed any doubt about what she and other far-right board members want students to learn: America’s laws and government should be based on the Christian Bible.

Laying out in blunt language the “Christian nation” vision of American history that the board’s powerful bloc of social conservatives espouses, Dunbar threw down the gauntlet:

“I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses.”

“Whether we look to the first charter of Virginia, or the charter of New England…the same objective is present — a Christian land governed by Christian principles.”

“I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.”

You will recall that Dunbar,… Read More

Good grief. Cynthia Dunbar has demonstrated once again the kind of religious and political extremism that currently dominates the Texas State Board of Education -- and the reason academic experts and classroom teachers should be guiding the process of revising curriculum standards for public schools, not politicians with personal agendas. Speaking last week on a far-right talk show, The American View, (read more about the show here) Dunbar -- a Richmond Republican representing a state board district that stretches from west of Houston to Austin -- attacked public education and even the religious faith of people who don't agree with her. She also repeated her infamous attack on President Obama as a terrorist sympathizer. And as the state board prepares to take a final vote next month on social studies curriculum standards for public schools, Dunbar suggested that supporters of separation of church and state don't understand the Constitution and that the drafters of the First Amendment had no concerns "whatsoever" for the nonreligious. Read More

Maybe Texas State Board of Education member Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, should work on controlling his temper. When you're mad, as most of us probably heard from our mamas growing up, you often say things that, well, aren't always completely accurate. In an e-mail from his re-election campaign today, Mercer charges that the "major print media" is lying about the board's revision of social studies curriculum standards. And then Mercer defends the board by ... shading the truth. Read More