He’s in the news again today, as he probably will be every day. After all, Rubio is running against Florida Governor Charlie Crist for the GOP nomination in next year’s US Senate race, and Florida’s population makes it the 4th largest state in the US. This campaign is worth following.
In the Daytona Beach News-Journal we read Rubio chides big government at GOP event. It’s typical campaign stuff. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
“We are at a proverbial crossroads as a people,” Rubio told hundreds of Republicans at the Volusia County GOP’s annual Lincoln Day dinner at the Ocean Center.
We’re always at a crossroads. One more excerpt:
“I think that everything that has made us great today is being questioned and, quite frankly, threatened,” Rubio said.
Very nice. Very safe. Very fluffy. But what’s Rubio really all about? Here’s Rubio’s campaign website, which is filled with solid Republican fare.
Stories about Rubio sometimes speak of his book: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future (Amazon link). We’ve never seen it. However, it was mentioned by the Tampa Tribune in this revealing article from March of 2008: Evolution Scare Tactics Undermine Florida’s Quest For Excellence. Some excerpts, with our bold:
Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio cares so much about Florida’s education standards the second of his “100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future” was creating a “world class” curriculum for our students. Rubio never specifically defined what he meant in saying world class. But since the speaker began pushing lawmakers to continue the battle over teaching evolution in public schools, now we know.
Aha! Here’s more:
In Rubio’s world, apparently world-class curriculum standards means undermining and ignoring the top-flight educators and scientists who spent months crafting and reviewing the guidelines to create a rigorous and appropriate science curriculum that would bring Florida’s education into the 21st Century. And it means allowing science teachers to infuse science curriculum with religion – with the state’s endorsement and protection.
That was a month before we started our humble blog, but we jumped on the Florida situation soon thereafter, starting with this: Florida: Kansas of the South, which focused on the Florida Senate’s creationism bill. There was a companion bill in the House, where Rubio was Speaker, and he played a significant role in trying to get it passed.
A bit more from last year’s Tampa Tribune:
[I]n an interview in the Florida Baptist Witness, Rubio fed the anti-evolution hysteria by saying parents who teach their children creationism or intelligent design would be “mocked and derided and undone” in the public schools.
This is all reminiscent of a decade ago when a school board in Oakland, Calif., decided to recognize Ebonics in its public schools. Ebonics was what the children were learning from their parents, and it was a controversy heavy with worries that students would feel discriminated against if their school work did not reinforce what they were being taught at home.
Interesting analogy. We hunted down that Rubio interview. It’s here, in an article from 21 February 2008: Rubio: Florida House open to legislative fix on evolution. The Florida Baptist Witness said:
An evolution compromise approved on Feb. 19 by the State Board of Education was the best that could be achieved in that body but legislative action to protect academic freedom of teachers offering criticisms of Darwinian evolution is possible, House Speaker Marco Rubio told Florida Baptist Witness in a Feb. 20 interview.
Asked if the legislature would be open to academic freedom legislation, Rubio told the Witness, “I think so. Sure. Well, I think the Florida House would. I can’t speak for the Senate.” Although a vote count had not been taken on the issue, “we may have sufficient votes on that in the Florida House,” he added.
The “crux” of the disagreement, according Rubio, is “whether what a parent teaches their children at home should be mocked and derided and undone at the public school level. It goes to the fundamental core of who is ultimately, primarily responsible for the upbringing of children. Is it your public education system or is it your parents?” Rubio added, “And for me, personally, I don’t want a school system that teaches kids that what they’re learning at home is wrong.”
Isn’t that sweet? Rubio was solidly for last year’s initiative in Florida to pass one of those anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism “Academic Freedom” bills sponsored by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids), and modeled on their Academic Freedom Act. Presumably that’s still his goal.
But how can we be sure that Rubio is a creationist? You need more evidence? Then take a look at this YouTube video in which noted creationist Mike Huckabee Endorses Marco Rubio. No, Huckabee doesn’t mention creationism, but birds of a feather and all that. And before that, as the St. Petersburg Times reported, Rubio endorsed Huckabee in Miami for President.
Want even more evidence? Okay, let’s return to the Florida Baptist Witness. Check this out: In praise of Governor Crist (and Speaker Rubio). That’s an editorial from 08 February 2007, praising Rubio for his opposition to state funding for embryonic stem cell research. (Hey, there might be a soul in those stem cells!)
So there you are. We’re presented with a dilemma. Rubio has some very sound Republican ideas. In many ways his ideas are better than Crist’s. But there’s little doubt that he’s a full-blown creationist. Does that matter? Ask yourself — would you want a Senator who thinks the earth is flat? No, of course you wouldn’t — because you’d know for certain that he’s got severe problems in the head. Okay, then — why would you want a creationist Senator?
What about that word “theocrat” we used in our title? It came from one of our earlier posts: Creationism in Florida’s US Senate Race, where we quoted this article in Time Magazine which alarmed us by reporting that Rubio had said “the words ‘separation of church and state’ were nowhere in our founding documents.”
Anyway, we haven’t given up on Rubio. That’s why we wrote our Open Letter to Marco Rubio a couple of months ago. It’s still our position.
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