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… Read More
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 …… Read More
It seems that Texas is filled with politicians competing with each other for the votes of right-wing extremists. The latest example of this came on Monday at a tea party meeting in the Fort Worth suburb of Bedford.
As the Texas Observer reports, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and his re-election opponents in next year’s Republican primary attended the event. A highlight of the evening was a lecture about the Islamic threat to America by Texas Eagle Forum President (and former Texas GOP chair) Cathie Adams. From the Observer:
Adams gave a stemwinder on how Islam — the religion of the “illiterate Arab, Mohammed” — threatens the American way of life. Adams’ pitch, that crypto-Muslims guiding American political life include such notables as Republican stalwart Grover Norquist and CIA Director John Brennan (who, it should be said, has helped cause the deaths of a great many non-secret Muslims,) received an awed and hushed reception, with several audience members visibly or audibly moved by the threat facing their country.