We haven't heard from the president of the far-right, Texas-based group Vision America for a long time. But today Pastor Rick Scarborough sent out an email blast blaming the nation's debt on immorality and promoting Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Saturday prayer rally in Houston as a step toward solving the problem: "Billions of dollars are required every year to assist in paying for the lack of responsible behavior in our nation, whether it is in fighting various sexually transmitted diseases, welfare, various assistance programs for those in poverty, etc. I lay the blame at the feet of both the politicians and the preachers, for their unwillingness to address the moral disintegration of our nation. Add to these indisputable facts that our courts have declared war on God. Seldom has a day passed in recent years that someone, somewhere, does not file a lawsuit seeking to ban any mention of the God who gave us our freedoms from the public square. Tragically, few if any, even among Christians, truly fight to end this madness.…… 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
In today's Texas Tribune story about the State Board of Education's management of the Permanent School Fund (PSF), much of the focus has been on this inane quote from board member David Bradley, R-Beaumont Buna: “If you sit on the mental health commission, do you have to be retarded? If you sit on the [Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission], do you have to be a drunk?” Bradley was arguing that the board -- made up mostly of non-finance types, like a dentist, lawyers, an insurance salesman and political activists -- could do a fine job of managing the massive PSF. But perhaps more interesting was Bradley's sneering criticism of the fund's permanent professional staff. He told the Tribune that the staff simply couldn't be trusted because those employees work for the Texas Education Agency instead of reporting to the state board: “Staff usually works against the board. Sometimes staff can facilitate an agenda of their own.” And what agenda would that be, Mr. Bradley? Is the professional staff you hold with such contempt interested in something more than maximizing the return on investments for a fund that benefits Texas kids…… Read More
Big news yesterday regarding the Texas State Board of Education: Rick Agosto, the Democratic member from San Antonio who has often voted with the board’s far-right faction on controversial issues, said he will not seek re-election to his seat next year.
This news came as Democrat Michael Soto, a literature professor at Trinity University in San Antonio, announced that he will run for the seat. The district is strongly Democratic, and Mr. Soto had already begun lining up support from other elected officials, such as state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and former board member Joe Bernal, both San Antonio Democrats. Burnt Orange Report has more about Mr. Soto here.
Without Mr. Agosto, the board’s far-right faction would have a harder time getting a majority of votes on controversial issues in coming years, such as the adoption of new textbooks in science (scheduled for 2011, although budget issues could change that) and social studies (2012). On the other hand, seven other board seats are up for election in 2010. The results of those races could also alter the board’s balance of power.
Currently, three far-right… Read More