Right-wing websites are still hailing the Texas State Board of Education's passage of a resolution that attacks Islam and falsely claims that social studies textbooks are anti-Christian and pro-Muslim. And state board member Don McLeroy, the dentist from Bryan/College Station, is still pretending to be an expert in history (in addition to science, economics, political science, mathematics and the list goes on). For the newest example, check out (if you have the stomach for this particular website) a story posted Tuesday at WorldNetDaily, the far-right, conspiracy-obsessed site run by folks who seem to think Ann Coulter is too liberal and tolerant. (Yes, we're serious. Now clean up the coffee you just spit out on your keyboard.)…… Read More

The Texas State Board of Education is about to take up a proposed resolution attacking Islam and claiming that social studies textbooks are anti-Christian. TFN Insider will keep you updated on progress. 9:53 a.m. - We notice that board members Barbara Cargill and Don McLeroy have been going through world history textbooks currently used in Texas publics schools. Cargill has them stacked at her desk. We anticipate that she and McLeroy will use examples from those books to try to prove that they reflect an anti-Christian, pro-Islamic bias. But those textbooks were approved for Texas schools by this board in 2002, and social conservatives at the time were very happy. Why? Because, as news reports from the time explain, they were able to force publishers to make numerous changes, including the addition of positive references to Christianity and the deletion of neutral or positive references to Islam. From a Houston Chronicle article dated Oct. 30, 2002 (now archived on a conservative Christian website): The discussion of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., by Muslim extremists was closely read by many reviewers. Raborn criticized a passage in the Glencoe/McGraw-Hill book that…… Read More

It's educational when religious-right leaders reveal -- inadvertently or not -- the crass ideological calculations that motivate their agendas. A press release yesterday from Terry McIntosh, a Christian minister who evangelizes Muslims in the Middle East, offers a good example. The press release, headlined "America First," warns Christians "against the dangers of socialism in the guise of social justice": Social justice generally refers to a society based on the principals of equality and solidarity that recognizes human rights and the dignity of every human being, and is increasingly used to solicit Church participation. McIntosh says it threatens freedom of choice. "Christians recognize the dignity of every human. However, when it comes to conflict of ideology and way of life, I am an American First and citizen of the world second. The call for social justice mandates that a community provide for all citizens equally, and has the appearance of being righteous. Someone said, 'This is what Jesus would do.' They are creating a jesus, little j, that plays into the socialist agenda. Jesus advocated generosity and caring for the poor, but he did not advocate government mandates that forcibly takes from one person and gives it…… Read More

The usually voluble Gov. Rick Perry has made essentially no public comment about how theĀ far-right wing of the Texas State Board Education engineered a now nationally infamous rewrite of social studies curriculum standards in May. We believe the governor's silence represents a fundamental failure of accountability to Texas parents. Read More

UPDATE: Now we find out that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is coming to the Texas GOP convention in June. See more at the end of this post. Don McLeroy lost his chairmanship of the State Board of Education last year because he was more interested in promoting his own narrow ideological views than facts and sound scholarship in Texas classrooms. The College Station dentist insisted that "somebody's gotta stand up to experts" when he promoted creationist arguments in new science standards last year. He argued that science should be redefined to include the supernatural and endorsed a book that calls parents "monsters" if they teach their children about evolution. Then during the debate over social studies curriculum standards, McLeroy suggested women and minorities owe thanks to men and the "majority" for granting them their rights, argued that Joseph McCarthy has been "vindicated" and defended the appointment of absurdly unqualified political activists as social studies "experts" to help guide the revision of curriculum standards. One might think that Republicans would be wary of embracing someone with such extreme views. But apparently not Texas Republicans. Read More