April 30, 2009

Texas State Board of Education... again

"In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards."
...Mark Twain, 1897

A couple of brief biographies…
  • Dominionist religionist politician from Missouri

  • Founder of WallBuilders, a religious advocacy organization formed in 1989 that is opposed to the separation of church and state

  • Served as vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party from 1997 to 2006

  • Worked with the Republican National Committee in 2004 to recruit conservative pastors into the GOP

History and Bio:
  • Spoke at two 1991 events sponsored by groups with ties to white supremacists. Later in a letter to the Casper Star Tribune, Barton claimed that he had not known the groups were “part a Nazi movement."

  • The WallBuilders Web site suggests the National Association of Christian Educators/Citizens for Excellence in Education as a helpful resource. This organization campaigns for all Christian parents to remove their children from public schools, which the group calls places of "social depravity" and "spiritual slaughter" for Christians.

  • He admits that he has used in his writings and speeches nearly a dozen “quotes” he attributes to the nation’s Founders but for which he can cite no primary source evidence.

  • He argues our law should be based on the Bible, saying that income taxes, capital gains taxes and inheritance taxes violate biblical mandates.

  • He diddles with and masturbates the English language and the intent of the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli.
  • He uses the flawed “United States was founded as a Christian nation argument,” and claims that there is a “war on god” in this country.

  • He has advocated for the impeachment of judges whose rulings are unfavorable to the right (school prayer, etc.).

  • He has stated that SCOTUS rulings that various state sodomy laws are unconstitutional will result in the legalization of public sex, prostitution, polygamy, and promotes homosexuality in schools.

  • His couches the teaching evolution in public schools as a “death struggle between civilizations,” threatening the biblical foundations for protecting freedom.

  • Holds a seminary degree from Princeton

  • Operates Peter Marshall Ministries in Massachusetts

  • Sells Christian-themed instructional materials for homeschoolers

Quotes (all found on the web site):

  • “it is impossible to restore America to its traditional moral and spiritual foundations unless we recover our original founding vision, and the truth about America's Christian heritage.”

  • “Wouldn't it be far better for them [children] to have a consistent and Biblical worldview that will enable them to grow, not only in knowledge and learning but in moral and spiritual stature, to the point that even before they finish their education they will be committed to being "salt and light" in our society, and helping to bring America back to God?”

  • “Though some may object to applying the word ‘wicked’ to the Obama Administration, my fear is that as the months ahead unfold we will consider the word increasingly appropriate.”

  • “I find it utterly beyond belief that any person who calls himself or herself a Christian could under any circumstances vote for a candidate [Obama] that supports abortion on demand and special rights for homosexuals! How, in the name of all that is holy, can a Christian vote for someone that takes a position directly contrary to the explicit Word of God? How can a Christian believer ever cast his or her vote for someone that God Almighty would never vote for? Especially in light of the fact that the nation is already under God's judgment precisely because of these sins, as well as others. The Biblical equivalent of this would be the people of Israel choosing judges to rule over them who were in favor of Baal-worship.”

  • “These people [Obama administration] want to re-make America in their own image. That will entail throwing out traditional American Bible-based values, of course, in spite of their claim that they are exhibiting a Biblical type of compassion for homosexuals, lesbians, transgendered people, etc.”

  • “If, as I suspect, the financial meltdown is part of His [god] judgment on us because of our growing moral and spiritual rejection of His standards, then He may very well let us sink into severe straits in order to bring us back to Himself. Perhaps we will not come to repentance about abortion and homosexuality and pornography and gambling and greed and sexual immorality and all the rest of it until the economy is so bad that we cry out for mercy. I hope it doesn't come to that, but one way or another, this nation has got to come to repentance about our moral and spiritual condition.”

  • “the public policy viewpoints of the majority of the American people are religious at base. These are very much at variance with the viewpoints of the secularists in the culture wars. Up until now, at least, these secularists have been strongly influencing the policy positions of the Democratic Party. The viewpoints of both conservatives and Christians are still the viewpoints of the majority of the American people. We Christians have not lost the culture wars---not yet, although the battle rages. No political candidate can succeed in running for national office in this country unless he or she is able to tap into that basic religious worldview, and use it as a base to mount a winsome, inspiring, and winning campaign. Woe to the candidate who does not understand this."

  • “Was enough finally enough for the Lord. Did He allow Katrina as a judgment on the wickedness and decadence of New Orleans? Well, what do you think? To borrow the saying from Fox News, "we report, you decide.”

  • “In allowing all this destruction to come upon us, or perhaps even in sending it, Almighty God is trying to get our attention. In previous commentaries on this subject I have said that this nation, which He founded to exert moral and spiritual leadership in the world, has turned its back on its Christian roots. By officially removing the Ten Commandments from our courthouses, by officially stamping with the approval of the judicial system the homosexual behavior that God calls an abomination, and by continuing to officially allow the slaughter of our unborn children, this nation is officially rejecting God. He does not take any of this lightly.”

  • “Is there a connection between these fires and God? There certainly could be. Consider the fact that there are numerous passages in the Bible that deal with fire as an instrument of God."

  • "America is a nation founded on the Bible by people who had a vision and a calling from God to build a society based on the commandments of God, which exclude the deviant sexual immorality now being officially endorsed by the State of California. Could it be that God is a bit upset by all that? I have long predicted that the whole package of deviant sexual behavior, as well as homosexual marriage, will become commonplace in America. The only thing that can stop this trend is the Third Great Awakening---a major, society-changing spiritual revival of true Christianity. That has not yet occurred, and unless it does, you may rest assured that there will be further devastations and upheavals in our land.”

One must wonder what in the heck is Mule Breath talking about in the above diatribe. Why would I go into such great detail about two obviously partisan and deluded men? Well, it is because these two gents were appointed by Texas State Board of Education Chair Don McLeroy, as subject matter experts while the Board considers changes to certain areas of approved curriculum. Having failed in his efforts to get creationism into state science textbooks, McLeroy is making another run at it by attempting the same idiocy with the Social Studies curriculum.

The gentleman was elected to his position in 1998, with strong backing from Texas secessionist Governor, Rick Perry. The Texas Legislature seems to be just about fed up with foolishness from the Governor's office though, as it looks like confirmation for McLeroy’s reappointment has been blocked. This is the only most recent indication of the Lege's displeasure with Perry’s antics, as a couple weeks ago they voted to slash his budget to almost nothing.

Maybe there is hope for science in Texas after all.