Will Students Be Required to Learn This, Too?

One of the many controversial changes the Texas State Board of Education made to proposed social studies curriculum standards this year was requiring that students learn about Phyllis Schlafly’s role in a “conservative resurgence” in the 1980s and 1990s. Schlafly, the head of the far-right group Eagle Forum, rose to political prominence by attacking the women’s rights movement and opposing the Equal Rights Amendment. But will Texas students learn the truth about Schlafly’s extremism and hatefulness or, instead, a whitewashed version of her work and positions?

We wondered about that today when we read what Schlafly had to say about unmarried women at a Republican fundraiser in Michigan last weekend:

“Do you know what the second-biggest demographic group that voted for Obama — obviously the blacks were the biggest demographic group. But do you all know what was the second-biggest? Unmarried women, 70% of unmarried women, voted for Obama, and this is because when you kick your husband out, you’ve got to have big brother government to be your provider.”

Progress Michigan recorded Schlafly’s remarks:


So all unmarried women are single because they kicked their husbands out? And all unmarried women are looking to government to support them? Schlafly made her point even sharper when she responded to a request for clarification from the website Talking Points Memo this afternoon:

“Yes I said that. It’s true, too. All welfare goes to unmarried moms. They are trying to line up their constituency for Obama and Democrats against Republican candidates.”

Parents should be outraged that the State Board of Education is requiring Texas students to learn about someone who uses such hateful rhetoric to attack unmarried women and score political points. We encourage you to contact your state board member and insist that the board reopen  consideration of the social studies standards and remove Schlafly from the list of people students should learn about. You can find out who your state board member is here. Then click here to find contact information for your board member.

17 thoughts on “Will Students Be Required to Learn This, Too?

  1. “Do you know what the second-biggest demographic group that voted for Obama — obviously the blacks were the biggest demographic group. But do you all know what was the second-biggest? Unmarried women, 70% of unmarried women, voted for Obama, and this is because when you kick your husband out, you’ve got to have big brother government to be your provider.”

    A few thoughts:

    1) “…the blacks…” She says it like they are cockroaches. I guess the illegal Mexican immigrants are maybe the “kookarachas” in that worldview?

    2) Actually, I have a very smart, nice, sweet, and loving female relative who is in the process of being kicked out of her marriage by the male half of the union. That street has two lanes—not one.

    3) C’mon Phyliss. You don’t seriously think that all of these women would vote for Obama to get a government handout. You know as well as I do that the draw for any sex-craving single woman is the legendary endowment of the American black male. She would have probably said that if she had thought of it first.

    4) I have taught GED classes for the single-woman welfare types. In the history section, they all let me know in no uncertain terms that they do not care anything about politics, do not like politicians, and do not vote. Period. The big money phrase was: “What the hell have they ever done for me?” All of the heads in class, male and female, nodded up and down in omniscient unison. Therefore, I suspect the single women who voted for Obama were actually the single women who have jobs, careers, and enough education to pull a wise lever in the voting booth.

    5) Phyliss is up in years and giving the Ordovician Period a run for its money. She will be dead soon of natural causes. Susie Homemaker will die with her because she is on the wrong side of history and the superorganic nature of human culture (see Alfred Kroeber). Most of what she represents is doomed for the ash can of history. When she is dead, I expect that most of the trees, farm animals, and electric toasters will breathe a sigh of relief and get on with their affairs in peace.

  2. Yes. I know I spelled her name wrong. I think it should have been Fillis as in filled with…

  3. I would assert it is also proper and correct to accurately state what the Constitution actually says. The continued distortion by TFN, and many other separationists, in terms of what the Constitution actually commands in respect to the subject of religion and government is a primary reason as to why so many Americans fail to comprehend the essence and depth of the constitutional principle of “separation between Religion and Government,” James Madison, W&MQ 3:555.

    If we want to win the debate with our opponents in the public square or on the Texas State Board of Education, we should use the same terms as used in the Constitution. In Art. 6., it is a “religious” test which shall not be required, and in the First Amendment, it is “religion” which shall not be established, not just a church test or a church or a religion. The words “so help me God” are not a part of the Art. 6 requirement, and the word “a” does not precede the word “religion” in the First Amendment. It is no “religious” test and the entire subject of “religion” which shall not be established by law or government.

    Phyllis Schlafly’s abuse of unmarried women is inexcusable, but so is distortion of the words of the supreme law of the land, the Constitution. The words “church and state” are not in the Constitution. Of course, correctly understanding and teaching the religion commandments in the Constitution, as written, is the essence of my book The Religion Commandments in the Constitution: A Primer. Maybe someday TFN will have the courtesy to address that point, just as it has addressed the distortion of Phyllis Schlafly and attempted to address our opponents in the public arena of debate on this issue. TFN and Americans United, for whom I used to be on the staff, can ignore my book, but they cannot refute my argument. Neither can the “religious right,” which is why every separationist should read it. If any of you reading this think otherwise, then you had better show me the words “church and state” in the Constitution, as the majority on the State Board so easily argued without rebuttal. Too bad my simple debate proposition was not there to refute the fallacy of their position. My Baylor education has been of great value to me as I have lectured on this issue so many times. No one has ever countered my obvious and simple argument and no wonder Baylor University routinely has a great debate team. Sic’em Bears!

    The Founding Fathers and the men of the First Congress got the wording and the constitutional principle correctly termed from the beginning:

    1. Gene, give it a rest. Contrary to your post, we have addressed your point, as have others on here. There are various constitutional principles commonly described in words not specifically in the Constitution — such as “one man, one vote” and “checks and balances.” Separation of church and state is another. Regardless, we hear you, and we understand your point. We simply think it’s misguided, and you think we’re wrong. Repeating your criticism over and over again, even in unrelated threads, won’t change that. So please try to keep your comments on topic. Thanks.

  4. That gal makes me itch all over. She is a non-entity who thinks she’s still listened to by people who count; she isn’t.

    I’m a single woman–divorced twice, didn’t learn my lesson the first time around. I voted for Mr. Obama because I could not imagine having half-term Governor of Alaska as president if McCain died in office. For that matter, I couldn’t imagine McCain in that august office. He seems to have the beginnings of Alzheimer’s. No, I’m not being a smart Alice when I say that. He has the same level of forgetfulness that Reagan had. He makes promises and then forgets he made them. DADT is the latest thing he’s reversed himself on. He said that if any member of the Joint Staff approved it, he would go along with it…now he is opposed to it even though some of the top brass has said, “Okay.”

    Also, I get no welfare. The majority of welfare goes to white women with no other resources. They get preggers, the old man leaves her and now she’s good and stuck. I imagine that Schlafly gets her “information” from the yellow pages.

    The fact that he chose who he did as his VP running mate with virtually zero vetting shows how unimportant he thinks the VP slot is. What vetting did get done was done by his aides OVER THE TELEPHONE. I’m still steaming over him pulling Palin into national prominence.

    This is going to be an interesting mid-term election. Americans tend to have a very short attention and memory span. Will they remember that President Obama has accomplished more in his first year, plus, than any other president since Roosevelt? Probably not. Will they vote for the part of “HELL NO?” I’m already hearing excuses for the Republicans dragging their feet on extending unemployments because it would raise the deficit from people who almost lost their homes. I don’t understand them. They want what the Democrats want but … never mind. Y’all are intelligent enough to know what I’m saying without beating it to death.

  5. When did “Unmarried Women” become interchangeable with “Single Mothers” or “Divorced Women”? I believe those are different demographics. The average female college student, never been married, no children would fall within the “Unmarried woman” demographic, as would a professional female executive that hasn’t settled down to have a family.

    Schlafly is clearly out of touch with the times, clearly believing that women are married off once they hit voting age, and are unable to take care of them selves.

  6. It would be interesting to use Ms. Schlafly as an example of what a person should not be. Perhaps teachers could use the opportunity to show examples of how Ms. Schlafly and others like her that were inserted by the SBOE are wrong and provide examples of people that were/are good for our country.

  7. TFN:

    Distortion of what the Constitution plainly states and commands is neither a constitutional nor a winning debate principle. You argue using terminology which does not exist in the Constitution and you refuse to admit and/or comprehend as to why you lost the debate about such a clearly and historically stated constitutional principle. You lost the debate with the majority on the Texas State Board of Education, and now you assert you have addressed my point? To the contrary, you have refused to admit my point as to why you lost the debate with the majority on the Board and you will continue to lose the debate with their followers until you can constitutionally defeat them with words. The fact is, David Barton won!


    1. Gene,
      You seem to think the State Board of Education’s far-right members care about debate and semantics. It wouldn’t have mattered what words we used — ideological fanatics had the votes to prevail, and no debate was going to change their minds. But we have succeeded in doing something far more important: educating Texans about a board that is so extreme that it refuses to ensure that students get an education based on sound scholarship. That’s a big reason why Don McLeroy won’t be returning to the board in January and why Cynthia Dunbar’s hand-picked successor was tromped in the GOP runoff. Both were too extreme even for Republicans. Many voters didn’t realize how bad it was. Now they do. The tide is turning.

  8. Gene, you wrote:
    “You argue using terminology which does not exist in the Constitution….”

    Gene, YOU argue using terminology which does not exist in the above article titled “Will Students Be Required To Learn This Too?”.

    I think you need to see a physician or psychiatrist. Seriously, I’m not being sarcastic. You need professional help with your compulsive obsession. If you’re so hooked on this one topic, there might be other topics you are likewise addicted to, all of which may be causing you to live a dysfunctional life. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and get help.

    Getting back ON TOPIC (what a revolutionary idea, eh?), I find Ms. Schlafly’s remarks not only grossly offensive but having no basis in reality. I am a single professional woman. I have a steady full-time job. I am dependent on neither the government nor a man. I voted for Barack Obama because I believed him to be the more educated, up-to-speed candidate of the two. I agree with Beverly Kurtin’s opinion of Sen. McCain. Frankly, he looked erratic to me, and his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate scared me to death. In addition, the Democratic Party is usually more in tune with my values than the RNC which, frankly, also scares me to death. Period.

    At first glance, I might think Ms. Schlafly was living in the 19th century; however, there were unmarried women just like me living in the 19th century and in every century prior. So, it must be she’s either living on a different planet or she’s seriously addicted to prescription or non-prescription drugs.

  9. I never cared much for family squabbles, but it appears that they do happen. I’m staying out of this one.

  10. By the way, our family went on a weekend getaway trip, and I noticed some huge and quite catchy billboards along the interstate that were kind of unusual and surprising. They showed a large picture of an angry “Uncle Sam” with the classic pointing finger. The caption said:

    “I NEED YOU to kick them all out on November 2.”

    Does anyone here have any idea what PAC group has sponsored this particular billboard?

    Personally, I don’t have too much of a problem with the message as long as they are calling for the defeat of all 435 Congressmen, all 100 senators, and every other two-bit incumbent political official in the United States (regardless of political party affiliation). That kind of action at the ballot box would be truly the SHOT HEARD ‘ROUND THE NATION AND PROBABLY AROUND THE WORLD. Instead, I am afraid the American people are going to walk into their voting booths and pull the levers for the same Democrat, Republican, and Independent (and the corporate and banking buddies) cow pies who got us into all of this mess. That would be a wasted vote in a year when all of the American people have the ability to unite and send a rare message to ALL OF THEM saying: “WE ARE IN CHARGE—NOT YOU OR YOUR BUDDIES.

  11. Charles….WHAT period? Oh…let me read that again. Okay, I see where I was mistaken, I thought you said Overian Period

    I’m an unmarried woman whose ex-husband, may he rest in peace real soon was able to work, but he was on SSD anyway. “I” brought in the lioness’ share of the income. Working part-time, I made in three hours what he did in a week. One day he asked me where I’d been. I was at a client’s place of business and charged $500 for fixing his network. “Nobody makes that kind of money; what ELSE did you have to do to get that money?”

    That led to one heck of a fight (I’d have paid to have seen it!) and he hit me with a closed fist. When he tried to get back he coldn’t; the locks had been channged. I’m not an “unmarried woman,” just a divorced one…and I voted for Obama.

  12. The Ordovician Period is a period of geological time dating back to approximately 500 million year ago.

  13. I would like to call the attention of TFN and everyone else to the correct Reverend Dr. Bruce Prescott’s July 28, 2010, post on his blog about how people like David Barton have cost the citizens of Haskell County, Oklahoma, a sum of $199,000 plus interest for 10 years. Yes. That is correct. Can you imagine how many textbooks, school supplies, library books, and teaching aids that would have bought!!!! For those of you who might not know, Dr. Prescott has a doctorate from a Southern Baptist seminary, is an ordained Southern Baptist minister (now associated with other and better Baptist organizations), a former police officer, and a downright nice guy with a lovely wife, children, and grandchildren. Having given appropriate credit to Bruce for his blog post, here is the post in full:

    “News reports are indicating that agreement has been reached to settle the legal costs for the law suit that required Haskell County to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the lawn of their county courthouse. Sadly, the residents of that county will be paying $199,000 plus interest over the next ten years for the mistake of believing people like David Barton.

    For more than two decades, David Barton has been deceiving many honest but naïve Christians with a revisionist history about our system of government that promotes the mythology of Christian Nationalism. The meticulous research in Chris Rodda’s Liars for Jesus demonstrates that Barton’s work is not simply the result of a pious but simpleminded Christian who cannot fathom the legal differences between the Mayflower Compact (1620) and the Constitution of the United States (1789). Her research reveals a pattern by Barton of deliberately distorting documentary evidence to leave an impression that the U.S. Constitution assigned the same legal authority to the Christian faith as did the Mayflower Compact.

    The poor residents of Haskell County swallowed Barton’s mythology hook, line and sinker. They erected a monument on their courthouse lawn with the Ten Commandments on one side and the Mayflower Compact on the other. At the dedication and at rallies to support the monument after its constitutionality was challenged, both County Commissioners and citizens proudly proclaimed that the monument demonstrated their belief in Christian Nationalism. One Commissioner — at the microphone on the podium — spoke to a crowd and said “a bulldozer would have to run over him” to remove it (He later denied this under oath — but I was there, I heard it with my own ears).

    Ironically, the citizen who proposed erecting the monument, some of the Commissioners and many of the citizens of Haskell County are Baptists. If they knew their Baptist history, they would have known that the Massachusetts Bay Colony banished Baptists from the colony, arrested them for holding unauthorized worship services in private homes, and flogged Obadiah Holmes for refusing to pay a fine for unauthorized preaching. Frankly, that was mild compared to what the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay did to Quakers. Four Quakers were hanged for violating their ban against Quakers.

    If those Baptists in Haskell County knew their Baptist history they also would have known that the Baptists who fought in the revolutionary war — and there were many — were fighting to put an end to the religious persecution they were facing in the colonies. In Massachusetts, just a decade before the Revolution, both their private property and their church property was being confiscated for refusing to pay taxes to support the Congregational church. Between 1772 and 1776 the jails in Anglican Virginia were full of Baptist preachers who were arrested for preaching the gospel without a license – and they couldn’t get a license because they were Baptists.

    That’s why, for Baptists, the revolutionary war was a war for religious liberty. And that’s why Baptists would not rest until the constitution of this new nation explicitly guaranteed that every citizen would have an equal right to liberty of conscience. John Leland, the leader of Baptists in Virginia, told George Washington that liberty of conscience was “dearer to us than property or life” and he meant it. For the Baptists of that time, liberty of conscience meant that church and state would be separate, that no one could be forced to pay taxes for the support of religion, that no one could be coerced into participating in a religious exercise against their will, and that everyone would have freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

    Instead of reading Baptist history, the Baptists and most of the other residents of Haskell County have been reading David Barton and/or listening to him and the host of other talk-radio and TV evangelists who take the Massachusetts Bay Colony as their model for a Christian America. That’s why they believe the Supreme Court provoked the wrath of God when it prohibited government agents from forcing school children to participate in acts of worship – the daily recital of officially approved prayers. That’s why they think separation of church and state is a communist idea found only in the constitution of the Soviet Union. At bottom, their understanding of the Constitution is that it created two classes of citizens – first class citizens – people of the majority faith who are free to impose their religious values on society by legislation, and second class citizens – people of minority faiths who are tolerated only so long as they remain invisible and stay away from the public square.

    The poor residents of Haskell County now have ten long years to pay for their collective failure to learn the real intentions of the founding fathers of our country. The truth is, our nation’s founding fathers were revolting against the basis upon which all governments had been founded until 1776 – and the foundation they were rebelling against was a religious foundation. The declaration of independence was addressed to an English king and his loyal subjects – people who believed that sovereignty was bestowed by divine right of birth and that the king was the vicar of Christ responsible for the souls of all his subjects. The founding fathers were boldly asserting that the time when kings and tyrannical governments could lay claim to divine authority in both worldly and spiritual matters was passed. They were declaring that, in America, government was going to be based upon the consent of the governed.

    Once the Revolution was won, they created a Constitution that explicitly prohibited any religious test to hold public office, that separated church and state by explicitly prohibiting the establishment of religion, and that secured liberty of conscience by explicitly prohibiting restrictions on the free exercise of religion in the non-governmental public domain. In doing this, the founding fathers themselves were accused of being “atheists” and “anarchists.” They established the first “secular government” in the history of the world.

    This nation was the first nation in the history of the world that was not founded on religious authority. It was founded on the consent of the governed. We have a government that is of the people, by the people and for the people, because every person in our society – no matter what their faith or lack of it — has an equal right to justice and liberty. These are the real ideals upon which our nation was founded. That is why the “Bill of Rights,” not the Ten Commandments, is the most appropriate monument that could be erected on the lawn of the Courthouse.

  14. Charles 199K is a fair chunk of change to be sure, it’s crazy what a few crazies in the wrong positions will do.

    Take, for instance, Dover Pennsylvania. That was the site of the “intelligent design” court battle a few years ago, after the Dover school board had decided teaching creationism in science classes was a grand idea. As you may recall the judge, a republican appointed by Bush, smacked the creationist silly. I actually read the entire ruling and he just ripped the creationist to shreds. Not only that but the citizens of Dover, which isn’t exactly a metropolis, got stuck paying the legal bills for AU, the ACLU and a couple of other groups that represented the plaintiffs – and that ran into millions of dollars. All because Dover folks made a couple of poor choices when voting for the local school board. (Of course all the thumpers were run out on a rail when they came up for reelection.)