Texas Creationism: Sleazy Slime Slinging

THE creationists are restless in Texas. We found today’s news in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. According to their About Us page:

There has been a newspaper in Corpus Christi for almost as long as there has been a town. In 1883, the Caller was started in a frame building … On Oct 15, 1997, the paper itself, long owned by Harte-Hanks Communications, was taken over by the Scripps Howard group.

In that worthy organ we read: Man files ethics complaint against State Board of Ed member, sub-titled: “Mary Helen Berlanga says move is politically motivated.” Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

A Conroe man has filed an ethics complaint against State Board of Education member Mary Helen Berlanga alleging campaign finance reporting violations.

A “Conroe man”? That’s probably not as bad as a Piltdown man. And who is Mary Helen Berlanga? Here’s her page at the website of the Texas State Board of Education: Mary Helen Berlanga (D).

Why do we care about this lady? Because she’s one of the few sane members of the Board of Education. As we pointed out here, after a vote a few months ago on the infamous “strengths and weaknesses” language in the Texas science education standards:

Regarding the votes, the seven creationist Republicans were: Don McLeroy, Cynthia Dunbar, Ken Mercer, Terri Leo, Gail Lowe, David Bradley, and Barbara Cargill. The three Republicans voting for sane science (pro-evolution) were: Patricia Hardy, Geraldine Miller, and Bob Craig. The four Democrats voting for science (at least against “strengths and weaknesses”) were Rene Nuñez, Lawrence A. Allen, Jr., Mavis B. Knight, and Rick Agosto — although Agosto later voted to approve several creationist amendments. He’s all over the place. Mary Helen Berlanga, a pro-science member, wasn’t present.

That’s how the players line up, and Berlanga is pro-science. That means she’s got the creationists all worked up in a righteous frenzy. Let’s read on:

James Doyle III, 66, filed the complaint April 6 alleging various infractions by Berlanga including reimbursing herself for political expenditures made from personal funds and failing to properly disclose political contributions and expenditures.

Aha! Serious allegations of impropriety! We continue:

Berlanga, a Corpus Christi lawyer whose campaign coffers according to campaign finance documents never topped $6,000 last year, said the complaint is politically motivated.

Wow! There’s a lot of money involved here. This is really important! Here’s more:

It was Berlanga’s opposition to proposed changes in science curricula that first drew Doyle’s attention. “When they do things that I consider to be really bad I think we should check them out,” he said. “It’s textbook selection. I think we need to put creationism in the schools and different things like that. It ought to be taught in the same vein as evolution. They should give a chance to every issue. Instead they want to push a certain agenda.”

Suddenly it all makes sense. You can click over to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and read the whole article, but we think you’ve got the picture.

Isn’t creationism fun?

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Texas Creationism: Sleazy Slime Slinging

  1. It sounds like the earliest we will hear about the outcome of this is August 6th when the Texas Ethics Commission has its next meeting.

    “The maximum penalty for infractions ranges from zero to $5,000 or three times the amount at issue, whichever is greater, said Tim Sorrells, deputy general counsel with the ethics commission.”

    So it sounds as if she will keep her TBOE seat even if found guilty. At least until the next election.

  2. Conroe Man James Doyle the Third, 66, thinks (my bold):

    we need to put creationism in the schools and different things like that. It ought to be taught in the same vein as evolution. They should give a chance to every issue.

    OK, perhaps the Curmudgeon’s readers would like to help out Conroe Man here with a list of other topics that are “like” Creationism, and a working list of similar “issues” deserving the same chance of study in our secondary schools?

    I’ll kick this off with a few suggestions off the top of my head:

    [1] Sophmore Tarot Card Divination
    [2] Freshman Phrenology 101
    [3] Advanced Witch Detection & Evil Eye Aversion
    [4] Beginners’ Phlogiston Theory of Combustion
    [5] Practical Phlogistonics (i.e. Witch Burning)

    But these are just the required courses; I’m sure others can offer many more elective disciplines for Texas!

  3. longshadow

    Aroma therapy

  4. Crystal gazing (no, not her, the rock)
    Pyramid power
    Growing hairy palms
    Homeopathic incantations
    Self flagellation
    Blood letting

    Humour detection

  5. Tundra Boy says: “Growing hairy palms”

    You object to that?

  6. Doyle may also be upset with Berlanga’s calling Don McLeroy “Master of Deceit” and pushing for his ouster.


  7. retiredsciguy

    Epicycles of the Planets

    Plane Geometry — all you need to know for living on a flat Earth

    Agriculture during the Deluge

    Chemistry 101 — Earth, Wind, Water and Fire

  8. “You object to that?”

    I have done extensive studies on the subject, over an extended period of time, and found it impossible to grow hair on your palms.

  9. Tundra Boy says: “I have done extensive studies on the subject, over an extended period of time, and found it impossible to grow hair on your palms.”

    Yeah, right. You cannot deny the consequences of that solitary vice to which you are devoted.

  10. Benjamin Franklin

    Angelology and Demonology (actual courses at the Internet Bible School) and many seminaries.

    Of course, both classes must be taken simultaneously and the final exams appear to involve balancing the textbooks on each shoulder.

  11. Benjamin Franklin


    I think it would be good for Fundies to take a class in humour detection.

    They don’t get half the jokes I tell.

  12. “humour detection”? Of course not. These people barely recognize American “humor” much less British “humour”.