Texas Theocracy: McLeroy Unleashed & Unhinged

Don McLeroy, creationist dentist

REMINDER: the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) has a public meeting scheduled for 19 May — only a few days from now — to discuss their theocratic revisions to the state’s standards for history education, with a final vote to be held two days later. Our last post about this was here: Don McLeroy & Cynthia Dunbar: The Last Hurrah.

This will be Don McLeroy’s last big chance to impose his style of thinking on the Texas school system, and as we predicted he’s making the most of it. If you know who McLeroy is you can skip the next few indented paragraphs:

Don McLeroy is the creationist dentist whom Texas Governor Rick Perry had appointed as chairman of the State Board of Education (the SBOE); but the Texas senate voted to reject that nomination. The disgrace of rejection was largely because McLeroy — a young-earth creationist — had presided over the Texas Science Chainsaw Massacre.

To learn more about this dashing Dark-Ager with a dental drill, you need to read his essay, The Gift of Medieval Christendom to the World , which is posted at his personal website. But be warned — we regard McLeroy’s essay as a glimpse into the pit of hell. It’s safer to read what we wrote about it here: The Mind of a Creationist Dentist.

As everyone knows by now, McLeroy will be off the SBOE at the end of the year. He recently lost a Republican primary election to Thomas Ratliff. See: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly.

In the Dallas Morning News we read At Board of Education, church-state fight grows. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

A leading social conservative on the State Board of Education will push for further doubt to be cast on separation of church and state when the board goes back to work on proposed curriculum standards for social studies next week.

Board member Don McLeroy, R-College Station, has distributed several changes he will propose before board members take a final vote on the standards. The curriculum will dictate what is taught in classrooms and must be included in textbooks for U.S. history, government and other social studies courses in Texas schools.

We’ve been expecting something like this. Let’s read on:

Under his [McLeroy’s] proposal, students would “contrast the Founders’ intent relative to the wording of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause, with the popular term ‘Separation of church and state.'”

Ah, the “strengths and weakness” approach to religious freedom. Hey — what’s so bad about burning witches? All of our ancestors used to do it — or had it done to them. Surely the Founders intended to keep that fine tradition intact. We continue:

The language [of McLeroy’s proposal] reflects the opposition of social and religious conservatives to the legal doctrine of separation of church and state, which has been upheld multiple times by the U.S. Supreme Court, including one far-reaching decision that outlawed school-sponsored prayer.


McLeroy and other board members contend that separation of church and state was established in the law only by activist judges and not by the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

We’ve previously described the historical absurdity of McLeroy’s position, so there’s no need to repeat ourselves. See: Is America a “Christian Nation”?, and see also: Creationism & Theocracy Too, which specifically quotes Jefferson and Madison on this subject. Hint: McLeroy is clueless. Surprised?

There’s more in the Dallas Morning News, so click over there to read the rest of it; but that’s all there is on this particular topic.

Last year’s evolution hearings were bad enough for Texas, but what’s coming up next week should make some seriously big-time headlines around the world. We’ll be watching.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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3 responses to “Texas Theocracy: McLeroy Unleashed & Unhinged

  1. I think it would be great for Texas to approve all the wingnuttiness possible just to see what the textbook publishers would do.

    If you recall from Dover it was the science teachers who opposed en masse not to present ID forcing the hand of the administration.

    Perhaps Texas needs public national exposure and embarrassment to move back to the rational world. Certainly the wingnut legislature won’t do it.

  2. Unfortunately, I don’t trust the publishers. Their bottom line is $$$$$$. The book authors might be another issue. These are professionals that might be resistant to making such changes. Since a new Board takes office before the adoption of new books, I hope they will delay or terminate the curriculum changes that will be voted on in a few days.

  3. longshadow

    …. dashing Dark-Ager with a dental drill….