The brewing Republican civil war between religious extremists and traditional conservatives is heating up. Now Texas State Board of Education member Geraldine “Tincy” Miller of Dallas is sharply criticizing extremists who attacked her and fellow conservative Republicans during the recent debate over public school science curriculum standards.
Ms. Miller is denouncing “ultra-religious extremists” who attacked board members for voting against a requirement that students learn phony “weaknesses” of evolution in their science classrooms:
The three Reagan Republicans on the board, myself, Bob Craig & Pat Hardy, became targets of a particularly false smear campaign from a group of anti-science Republican fundamentalists sending threatening calls and e-mails.
In a clever and misleading “sound bite” argument, the Intelligent Design/Creationists were determined to insert religious discussion into the science curriculum of millions of Texas schoolchildren by forcing educators to teach “weaknesses of Evolution” … which deliberately confuses “hypothesis” with scientific theory.
You can read Ms. Miller’s full column here.
Ms. Miller’s anger at the smear campaign that targeted her, Craig and Hardy is understandable. As TFN Insider has noted, creationist pressure groups viciously attacked the three, even calling their religious faith and personal morals into question. See here and here for examples.
Now bring in the children and latch the door. This could get ugly.
22 thoughts on “Tincy Strikes Back”
Tincy for SBOE chair! Seeing as ol’ Don may be vacating that position….
Tincy may indeed be appointed to SBOE chair again, but only if Kay Bailey Hutchinson wins in November 2010. Tincy has endorsed Senator Hutchinson and is a member of one of her campaign committees. Perry will never appoint Miller. I think Perry will appoint Leo, but others think Cargill, Mercer, or Dunbar.
Everything Miller says in her brief column is true. Some of the comments are priceless, including one from the troll who cannot be named.
Hopefully Perry will appoint another nut job as Chair. Kay Bailey will love it.
Come on Perry! Futher to the right, further to the right! You can do it!
That should seal his fate.
In a previous post, you said that emails and calls attacked Geraldine Miller’s religious faith —
Over the past two months, creationist pressure groups have bombarded pro-science board members with e-mails and calls demanding that they dumb down the science curriculum on evolution. Ms. Miller noted that many had attacked her religious faith, and she was rightfully upset.
However, in her Texas Insider article, Miller does not say that her religious faith was attacked, but says that she and others were accused of being “liberals voting with the ACLU against true scientific debate” —
These ultra-religious extremists used an automatic dialing system to place pre-recorded calls to registered voters at our homes with a deliberately deceptive message distorting the issue and claiming we were liberals voting with the ACLU against true scientific debate
And she made unfounded ad hominem allegations about the religious beliefs of those who sent out the telephone message, calling them “anti-science Republican fundamentalists” and “ultra-religious extremists.”
Miller said in the Texas Insider article,
Fellow SBOE Members Craig, Hardy and I brokered a compromise agreement on Friday, March 19th, assuring academic freedom and encouraging critical thinking with the following key amendments:
Section 112.34, Biology, 3A:
“In all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the student”.
Section 112.34, Biology, 7G:
“Analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell”.
Section 112.34, Biology, Section 7B:
“Analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearances, stasis, and the sequential nature of groups of the fossil record.”
However, these “compromises” that Miller et al. brokered contain what Darwinists consider to be “code words” for teaching creationism: “analyze and evaluate,” “critical thinking,” “complexity of the cell,” “sudden appearances,” and “stasis.”
Also, Miller uses that hallmark of Darwinist bigots, “intelligent design creationism.” The term “intelligent design” — a poorly chosen term — means the study of the likelihood that the diversity and complexity of living things could have been created by the Darwinian mechanisms of natural genetic variation and natural selection. ID is not creationism. ID is open to explanations other than a creator god — e.g., front-loaded evolution (living things are pre-programmed to evolve) and establishment of life on earth by space aliens.
–This could get ugly.–
It’s already ugly.
BTW, I forgot to mention — Miller called herself a “Reagan Republican.” When Ronald Reagan was president, he proposed a constitutional amendment to allow school prayer. So I don’t see how anyone who is in favor of church-state separation can be a “Reagan Republican.”
We’re sorry to say that your interpretation of Ms. Miller’s column is simply uninformed and appears to be deliberately evasive. It seems clear to us from what she has written that she believed the attacks were directed toward her religious faith. Moreover, she has said so publicly and in private conversations (of which we were party). We stand by Ms. Miller’s right to defend herself from the vicious and repulsive attacks on her faith. In fact, her characterization of the attackers as “extremists” is entirely appropriate, particularly in light of other statements from them that we have published here on TFN Insider. As for Ronald Reagan, we were unaware his position alone on school prayer (whatever it was) somehow defined him and his political philosophies. It would be rather odd, moreover, to assume that every Reagan supporter backed every political position he took. After all, in the late 1970s he opposed a referendum that would have barred people who “advocated” (whatever that meant) homosexuality from teaching in California schools. Would it be wrong for Christian conservative supporters of that referendum to call themselves “Reagan Republicans” today? As president, he supported increasing the social security tax. Would it wrong for opponents of that tax hike to describe themselves as “Reagan Republicans”?
Larry is a 62 year old retired mechanical engineer who knows nothing about biology (or anything else). He is getting on in years and has a touch of dimentia. As long as he takes his meds, he is harmless.
Larry, have you had you meds today? Apparently not.
Just ignore him and he will get bored and go away.
Your quote “says that she and others were accused of being “liberals voting with the ACLU against true scientific debate” – does not make sense. Liberals voting with the ACLU are for true scientific debate. That’s not an insult in my book.
Who has the right to question another’s religious convictions? Is that your business? MYOB.
TFN said (April 29, 2009 at 11:37 am) —
–It seems clear to us from what she has written that she believed the attacks were directed toward her religious faith.–
No, that is not what she wrote — she wrote that she and others were described as liberals voting with the ACLU against true scientific debate.
–Moreover, she has said so publicly and in private conversations (of which we were party).–
I am not required to know about anything other than what is in the Texas Insider article.
–As for Ronald Reagan, we were unaware his position alone on school prayer (whatever it was) somehow defined him and his political philosophies. —
“Whatever it was” was a proposed constitutional amendment to allow school prayer.
–It would be rather odd, moreover, to assume that every Reagan supporter backed every political position he took.–
What is odd is Miller bragging about being a “Reagan Republican” in an article where she disagrees with Reagan on one of the article’s major issues, the so-called separation of church and state. And does any of Reagan’s policies on other issues bear upon Miller’s duties as a member of the state board of education?
Chris Jonsson Says:
— Liberals voting with the ACLU are for true scientific debate.–
The ACLU is not only opposed to true scientific debate, but opposes the mere mention of opposition to or criticism of evolution. Witness the three recent court cases where evolution-disclaimer statements in public schools were struck down — Kitzmiller v. Dover, Selman v. Cobb County, and Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish. I know that the ACLU had a hand in the first two, and there is a good chance that the ACLU had a hand in the third.
–Who has the right to question another’s religious convictions? Is that your business?–
When others — particularly public officials — use their religious convictions to try to defend their views about evolution, then those religious convictions become my business.
It’s grossly hypocritical to ignore vicious attacks on someone’s faith while at the same time criticizing them for defending themselves. We have noted some of those attacks on this Web site. To disregard them is, at best, an exercise in willful ignorance. At worst, it shows a willingness to aid others in character assassination in pursuit of an ideological agenda. Make no mistake, Larry: we will call out those who engage in it, as you are here.
Larry is actually sort of right about Reagan. He paved the way for the religious zealots’ takeover of his party. Miller seems more like a Goldwater Republican than a Reagan Republican.
Larry seems to not be in touch with reality. He seems to think that just because he says it, it must be true. He doesn’t realize that most people who read this blog know enough to know when he has his facts wrong, is making things up, or just plain old lying. He isn’t fooling anyone, just making a fool out of himself.
Larry is a creationist, a Holecaust denier and Nazi sympathizer. Larry, you give creationists a worse reputation than they already have.
There is a nut on every street corner and he is one of them.
I’m actually open to the idea that Larry is not really a creationist. He obviously has the same misunderstandings of what constitutes science as creationists, and the same persecution complex as the creationists because nobody will believe him, but I’m quite willing to accept that he is a completely different type of beast who simply allies himself with the creationists in an “enemy of my enemy” sort of manner.
Lots and lots of loonies in this world who aren’t creationists.
I have actually seen Larry’s street corner on Google Earth. Well, it’s not really a street corner. Its more like a condo complex. It’s a nice neighborhood but way too close to downtown LA for my taste. I would feel positively claustrophobic in a place like that. Of course, I live in a more rural area, so it is not surprising that I would think that way. Gosh Larry. Do you drive a car or ride a bus to get places?
TFN Says (April 29, 2009 at 2:04 pm) —
–It’s grossly hypocritical to ignore vicious attacks on someone’s faith while at the same time criticizing them for defending themselves. We have noted some of those attacks on this Web site. —
You missed my point — I said that the only attack against Miller that she mentioned in her Texas Insider article was the automated pre-recorded broadcast of phone calls, and she did not claim that those calls attacked her religious beliefs.
–Larry is a creationist, a Holecaust denier and Nazi sympathizer.–
I am none of these. I am a holocaust revisionist, not a holocaust denier, and my holocaust revisionism has nothing to do with my Darwin-doubting, except in regard to (1) my willingness to question politically correct dogma and (2) my belief that Darwin influenced Hitler.
Larry, I see you’re continuing your self-imposed exile into the land of nutbaggery. Your hypocritical attack on Miller is par for the course. Folks, let’s all remember: Larry is a Holocaust denier. He’s more than just an ignorant loon; he’s a wicked little man.
Leigh Williams Says:
-Larry is a Holocaust denier. He’s more than just an ignorant loon; he’s a wicked little man.
Agreed! That is the phrase I have been searching for: “wicked little man”.
I think we can all agree that Larry is evil, and needs years of therapy…and Prozac. Something is wrong with him.
Tincy Miller a brave and level-headed person. She knows her stuff, and she has four years of experience as the chair of SBOE. What more could the governor ask for? If he were brilliant, he would appoint Tincy just to co-opt his likely opponent in the next governor’s race.
We’re posting this in multiple threads and targeting no one in particular: please refrain from personal attacks/insults. We’re not going to censor honest and even sharp debate. But we do want to avoid the forum becoming a place for crude insults. Thanks.
Can we have honest and sharp debate about whether someone is an idiot?
Ouch. Thread’s a bit rough on us folks who live with psychiatric disabilities, otherwise plenty good work being done here.
Could you please define the terms “personal attack” and “insult.” While I realize that we grown ups can use a dictionary, I am more concerned about range of application than definition per se. Now, if I were to use “unfortunate terminology” in a post to describe Larry, I would consider that to be a personal attack on a fellow poster. Actually, I sort of like Larry because he allows me to exercise eye muscles that get very little physical activity otherwise.
However, if I used that same “unfortunate terminology” to describe a troublesome philosophy or belief system, I would not call that a personal attack. If I were to use that same terminology to refer to politically active adherents of said philosophies and belief systems, as well as those not so well known adherents who lie in wait under moist rocks in anticipation of participation in some ambush action called by their leaders, does that constitute a personal attack?