The Year in Quotes: The Texas SBOE

It’s time for our annual review of what we heard from the far right over the past year. We’ll start with some of the nonsense uttered by members of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) in 2010.

“One of the first real breaches of limited government was public education.”

— SBOE member Don McLeroy, R-College Station, in a debate with his election opponent Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, BurkaBlog, Texas Monthly, February 17, 2010

“I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state. I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.”

— SBOE member David Bradley, R-Beaumont Buna, New York Times, March 12, 2010

“Conservatives on our board are the only ones—the Christian conservatives—that are able to sit there and to think for themselves and say, well, wait. Is this really good policy? Should we just trust what’s being brought to us? Should we just rubber-stamp it?”

— Departing SBOE member Don McLeroy, speaking last week on a PBS program about the controversy over social studies curriculum standards in Texas, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, April 30, 2010

“In Texas we have certain statutory obligations to promote patriotism and to promote the free enterprise system. There seems to have been a move away from a patriotic ideology. There seems to be a denial that this was a nation founded under God. We had to go back and make some corrections.”

— Departing SBOE member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, on the board’s adoption of controversial new social studies curriculum standards, Washington Post, June 14, 2010

“This is important because leftist thinking and reasoning calls for a radical transformation of our country. Their godless, left-wing culture has taken over the mainstream media and the university. Thousands of professors have converted our universities into left-wing secular seminaries. And, for the last two years, with the help of their young converts, these so-called experts have taken over our national government!”

— Departing SBOE member Don McLeroy, in a speech to the Bastrop County Tea Party, TFN Insider, October 29, 2010

“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?”

— SBOE member David Bradley, arguing that managing the $23 billion Permanent School Fund — a responsibility of the SBOE — shouldn’t require any expertise in finance. Texas Tribune, February 1, 2010

“If Ms. Berlanga, whose only criteria is skin color, had the votes, she would name us ‘the Hispanic Education Agency.'”

— SBOE member David Bradley, criticizing fellow board member Mary Helen Berlanga, D-Corpus Christi, for trying to ensure that new social studies curriculum standards include more information on the contributions of Latinos in Texas and American history, Houston Chronicle, March 13, 2010

5 thoughts on “The Year in Quotes: The Texas SBOE

  1. DUH!

    McLeroy is exactly correct. It is TFN which needs to learn to properly frame the constitutional debate by using the wording of the Constitution. The word in the Constitution is “religion,” not “church.” But, TFN has yet to recognize how to debate the constitutional issue, in public or among its members. TFN needs to hire a Baylor debate coach and to read the book by Professor Lakoff, as well as my book, The Religion Commandments in the Constitution..

    Thomas Jefferson was wrong in terming the debate as “church and state,” and TFN is stubbornly wrong in continuing to use those terms. The religion commandments in the Constitution do not use the word “church.” Therefore, use James Madison’s words, if you want a quote: “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history,” W&MQ 3:555.

    But, I have asserted that argument previously, and TFN has refused to comprehend it value. No one can deny the word in the Constitution is “religion.” The word “church” is not in the Constitution.

  2. The concept of “separation of church and state” is not in the constitution. That choice of words is popular as a way of exlaining what is in the First Amandment but it has resulted in serious breaches in the protection of the First Amendment which says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The operating elements of the First Amendment includes the prohibition of establishment, and the prohibition of the free exercise theeof … It would seem that requiring the listening of praeer to be establsiing, but the prohibition of the speaking thereof is repression. It raises the question of which is subject to repression: the listentiong to, or the speaking of. In my most humble opinion, you can’t repress one without repressing the other. Banning school prayer is equally un-Constitutional as requiring the listening to. Orwell clearly understood the concept in “double speak”

    Of the two, prohibition or protection of hearing is less grave than prohibition to speaking. In the case of visual art, one can more easily be protecting in showing, bu the possession of the wrong images thereof can get you five years in the Federal Prision suste,/

    SBOE goes beyong just reading, listening or rendering. It wants to require regurgitation of specified tomes concerning religion or religious tracts ans as such is un-Constitutional as it establishes religion. Viewed as free speech, such instruction cannot be repressed unless regurtiation is required of said religious material if a working definition of what constitutes religous art, speach or expression is made to distinguish it from algebra, or driving instructions.

    Eventually those efforts to repress religion will hit a wall, and the right to express religion will once again be set free of repression.

    Separation of Church and State is not alone in misunderstandings that have caused widespread damage to the effecivenss of the Constitition, the worst offender being equal opportunity and affirmative action. One prohibits racial discrimination, the other requires it. Resumes must not include racial indicators but the selecting official must show that certain races were and eere not discriminated against.

    “Civilian contrrol of the military” is an oft quoted misunderstanding of the provision that makes the President the Commander in Chief. As such, the President’s military rank is that of Commander in Chief. Likewise the rules, regulations, doctrine, equipping, and staffing of the militar services are specified powers of the Congress … and as such, the role of Congress is not just the budgeting. The Department of Defense resents the notion that Congress can tell them what rifle to buy, or how military units are formed, trained, and equipped.

    The popularl mis-notion is that “civilian control” is vested in the Civil Service, and as such the fighting ability of the Amred Sservices have been virtually nullified by Civil Service control. Soldiers don’t run the Pentagon,they just are passing through to get a ticket punched. We have been at war for nine years witout issue due to the counter productive management of civil serviants of the military service.

    Gotta watch those “Concsitutional principles” that aren’t principally there.

    Same as “family values and individual responsibility”. It’s a trade off. Nepotism is family values. It’s an obligation, not a prohibition, in most of the world.


  3. TFN is not the problem in the evolution of case law that has established the concepts of the freedom of speech vs the establishment of religion. ACLU has been at the forefront of the movement to establish different kinds of speech; that which is protected (by the First Amendment) and that which is not.

    The entire “politically correct” theme is similarly focused on condemning some kinds of speech as being offensive and therefore not protected. Hate laws are in this line of non-thought. This shifts the burden of proof of non coverage onto the recipient, reader, listener, or watcher as opposed to the intent or fact of act done by the creator/writer/artist/speaker.

    The danger that these concepts present or that they have worked their way into case law which sends some to prison for either receiving or giving an unprotected message.

    Pornography is defined in law precisely as “I know it when I see it” principle. This definition, is more widely applied to criminal or civil law could save the tax payer of billions of dollars either private or public. Court procedures could similarly be stripped down to a pass in review; the defendants/plaintiffs can pass in review before the judge who then can pass sentence of guilt or innocence on appearance alone.

    The fact that Common Law calls this sort of legal decision making is purely arbitrary and/or whimsical has not triggered cognitive dissonance in the legal establishment is clear proof that Animal Farm is just around the corner.

  4. I have a closing Christmas message for you from the Religious Right and all their fruitcake buddies:

    “Piece on Earth.”

  5. Gene Garman, Baylor ’62 Says:
    The word in the Constitution is “religion,” not “church.”
    Thomas Jefferson was wrong in terming the debate as “church and state,” ……
    I guess the founding fathers were all wrong about this country and its constitution, according to you.

    It is very hypocritical that you attack the only thing you hate about our US Constitution. This is yet another attempt to ram down religion down the throats of young, impressionable children.

    But I ask you, Gene, find the following words (exactly as written) in our Constitution.
    1) Your innocent until proven guilty.
    2) Right to trial by a jury of my peers.
    3) No taxation without representation.

    “Gene Garman, Baylor ’62” must of fallen asleep in his history classes at Baylor in 62