Part 2 of my ongoing coverage of the Texas State Board of Education's ruthless commandeering of the United States education system.
“We’ve been amazed at the divisiveness and the dysfunctionality of the board. Under this chairman’s leadership, I’m afraid our State Board of Education has been ridiculed and become the laughingstock of the nation.”
Leticia Van de Putte - Texas State Senator
One of the most compelling arguments against this council's planned hijacking of educational standards is the simple fact that very few of them, if any, are actually qualified to be considered as an authority in the subjects they so readily critique. This is particularly true for the aforementioned dentist, Don MeLeroy. There are several questions regarding his philosophies and personal standards which deserve to be brought to light, however, the most pressing is simply this - what the hell is he doing here in the first place?
During his distinguished time with the Texas Board of Education, McLeroy has caused a number of problems for his peers by advocating extremely controversial changes to existing standards. In fact, many consider him to be solely responsible for bringing the otherwise quiet proceedings into the national spotlight with his notoriously unyielding principles. Is he overcompensating for something?
In 2003, McLeroy first gained the ire of his peers by launching an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to deny biology textbooks containing a full account of the theory of evolution.
Just one year later he drew fire from experts for voting to approve textbooks which offered only abstinence as a valid method for preventing unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
In 2005, he conducted a sermon at his church in which he labeled naturalism as 'the enemy'.
"Why is Intelligent Design the big tent? Because we're all lined up against the fact that naturalism, that nature is all there is. Whether you're a progressive creationist, recent creationist, young earth, old earth, it's all in the tent of Intelligent Design."
The New York Times, 2008 - "Dr. McLeroy believes that Earth’s appearance is a recent geologic event — thousands of years old, not 4.5 billion. 'I believe a lot of incredible things,' he said, 'The most incredible thing I believe is the Christmas story. That little baby born in the manger was the god that created the universe.'”
McLeroy's statements, particularly those regarding science, have been rightfully criticized. His statements, among those from other creationist members of the board, have received judgment from more than fifty scientific organizations. In particular, biologist Kenneth R. Miller called McLeroy's statements on science "breathtakingly" incorrect.
March, 2008 - "What good does it do to put a Chinese story in an English book? You really don't want Chinese books with a bunch of crazy Chinese words in them."
In May, 2009 he was exposed yet again by a local biology teacher for using a series of quotes from a creationist website during a board discussion on the theory of evolution. According to the teacher, the quotes were 'incomplete, out of context, and/or incorrectly taken.'
October, 2009 - "". . . .we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan—he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes."
If there were a bureaucratic turn of expression attributed to McLeroy's status on the council it would likely be 'a misappropriation of questionable resources.' Not to dwell on bad memories, but if the Bush era showed us anything it is that there are inevitable consequences when any established governing body is enabled by the people to appoint an incontinent public servant. The Don is just another misplaced splotch of red in this increasingly depressing illustration.
Luckily, following the results of this year's primary election, Don McLeroy's days on the council are now officially numbered. He will still attend the final meeting in May to cast his vote for the current amendments proposed by the board. I have never been to Texas, however, I have to say that I whole-heartedly share the sentiment recently expressed by Texas voters. Good goddamn riddance.
As a personal aside, if you happened to visit me this last weekend you may have noticed that Don's section of this site simply contained a badly aligned image of him alongside a large block of text consisting entirely of the phrase 'Enter the dragon.' repeated a good thirty times or so. This is because somewhere during the research phase of this particular entry my brain simply broke. I could not focus. Somehow the dirty fragments of information I have pieced together for you now tragically collided within my head, rendering my initial thought process on this matter little more than smoldering refuse. I frantically attempted to alleviate the sudden affliction with no less than 60 ounces of Heineken lager taken orally, however, it was ultimately of no use. I sincerely apologize if the inherently heinous nature of this material elicits a similar convulsion from the reader.
Once again, if you are interested in attending a demonstration in Austin, Texas to help dispute the final vote please head on over to GodlessFellowship.com
and let me know.