Is Texas Governor Rick Perry Insane?

OUR regular readers are well aware of Texas Governor Rick Perry. It was that worthy who appointed the creationist dentist, Don McLeroy, to be chairman of the Texas State Board of Education (the SBOE). Last year the Texas senate voted to reject that nomination. The disgrace of rejection was largely because McLeroy — a young-earth creationist and theocrat — had presided over the Texas Science Chainsaw Massacre.

With that as background, we shall proceed to today’s news. In the Dallas Morning News we read Perry says nation’s soul is at stake in election. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Gov. Rick Perry painted the upcoming election as a religious crusade to take back the soul of the country during a Thursday night speech to the conservative Texas Eagle Forum.

A religious crusade? That may thrill Perry’s audience, but it leaves your Curmudgeon feeling uneasy. Let’s read on:

While Perry has invoked God and country before, his 14-minute speech to the 500 gathered, most of them delegates to the Texas Republican state convention, was stronger and more strident than previously.

It appears that Perry’s condition is worsening. We continue:

“We will raise our voices in defense of our values and in defiance of the hollow precepts and shameful self-interests that guide our opponents on the left,” Perry said to the receptive audience.

We have no problem with that. But hang on, it gets worse:

“We are in a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation,” Perry said.

“That’s the question: Who do you worship? Do you believe in the primacy of unrestrained federal government? Or do you worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in him?”

Perry has just described your Curmudgeon’s nightmare. The two party system is becoming a choice between socialism and theocracy. We’ve complained about this a few times before (for example: The Curmudgeon at Wit’s End, or “The Crisis”). Here’s more from the Dallas Morning News:

The event at the Hyatt hotel was a kickoff event for the GOP state convention that is bringing an estimated 15,000 people to Dallas today and Saturday. The party will set its platform, elect party officers, hear from elected officials and organize for the November election.

They’re going to work on the party platform? That’s nice. Here’s what they’ve got now: The Theocratic Texas Republican Party Platform. Somehow, we doubt that the thing will get revised to our satisfaction. Let’s read a bit more:

Featured at the event was national Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, who said she is heartened by shifts in public attitudes.


The group presented its Patriot Award to State Board of Education leader Don McLeroy, who led the board for the past two years as it tackled curriculum standards for English, science and social studies.

Aaaargh!! One final excerpt:

Among the changes instituted, McLeroy inserted that students should question the division between church and state. The board also added Schlafly’s name to the list of notable Americans about whom children should learn.

There’s nothing we can add here. The situation speaks for itself.

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

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25 responses to “Is Texas Governor Rick Perry Insane?

  1. A wag over at Pharyngula once called Texas America’s “Anbar Province of reason.” At the time I thought it was a bit harsh….

  2. retiredsciguy

    I dunno, Curmy. Maybe you should think about working within the Democratic Party to make it friendlier to Enlightenment values, rather than trying to swing the Republican Party away from its current suicidal theocratic course.

    The Republicans are undoubtedly on a religious bent, and seem to be in no mood to use reason in planning their agenda.

  3. retiredsciguy says:

    Maybe you should think about working within the Democratic Party to make it friendlier to Enlightenment values …

    That’s hopeless. Maybe we’ll see a revival of the Democratic-Republican Party of Jefferson and Madison. That might work for me.

  4. the point , the absolute point, this is a country that is based upon the separation of church and state. Religion should not have a place on any political platform. I for one am a former republican who can not support a STATE religion or ANYONE telling me what to ..THINK.

    I believe that these radicals are not only UN-AMERICAN but they also LACK REAL Christian values.

  5. Tim Norfolk

    As an immigrant who has studied US history, I have decided that I would be a Republican in the spirit of Eisenhower.

    The Democrats are nowhere near socialist, compared with even Britain in the 1960’s.

    Even if you are correct, I pick socialism. At least those effects tend to wear off after a few years. When ‘God is on your side’, people do terrible things for generations.

  6. I’m still a registered Republican, but when someone like Perry is running I am forced to vote for the independent and sometimes even (holding my nose) the Democrat. Unless of course the Democrat is also a creationist, which is more common than most people think.

    At some point, though probably not in my lifetime, there will be a party that truly stands by strong defense, fiscal restraint, personal responsibility, and strong morals, while leaving religion where it thrives best. As Franklin said:

    “When a religion is good, I conceive that it will support, itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it, so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ’tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one,…”

    The theocratic wing has in fact taken a religion – tecnhically, many religions, mainly within fudamentalist Christianity – that cannot support itself, and decided that it needs government help. These religions may preach high morals, and may truly believe that the only way to do it is by telling fairy tales to students (or increasingly leading them to infer their own by misrepresenting science). But let’s not forget that any student is already free to learn that nonsense on his own time, and on his parents’ dime. That these activists demand that students learn those misrepresentations in science class, at taxpayer expense, ought to make it perfectly clear which “side” promotes censorship. Until that is understood by the majority, reason and sanity will continue to suffer.

  7. I take a more resigned philosophical approach. Yes, I’d like a governor who applied free market economic principles to governance, a libertarian approach to criminal justice, and kept religion AND politics out of science classes. But there’s no governor like that in any of the 50 states.

    So… what’s the best I can hope for? Relatively free markets, relatively low government corruption, no income taxes, fiscal responsibility, low crime, low cost of living, respect for at least ONE of the amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights. All in all, it’s a reasonable balance compared to (say) the economically dysfunctional Schwarzenneger regime or the corrupt and authoritarian Paterson.

    For the record, the kids in our district learn real science and history in school. That’s certainly not true everywhere in Texas, but it’s not true everywhere in any other state, either. Often the particular religion is different, but don’t get me started…

  8. SY: “For the record, the kids in our district learn real science and history in school.”

    Unfortunately most people, by the time they’re a few years past high school, replace what little they have learned about evolution with a false caricature (e.g. evolution means that we come from monkeys and/or that there’s no God). That more than anything makes the job of the anti-evolution activists easy. They don’t even have to win in the courts to sucessfully spread their memes. And if a politician needs the votes of the more hopeless evoluton-deniers, he’ll be more than glad to help.

  9. retiredsciguy

    SY: “Yes, I’d like a governor who applied free market economic principles to governance, a libertarian approach to criminal justice, and kept religion AND politics out of science classes. But there’s no governor like that in any of the 50 states.”

    Actually, Mitch Daniels of Indiana is pretty close to your ideal.

  10. I would never live in the same state as the Irsays. Even *I* have some standards!

  11. Calling Texas America’s Anbar Province is a bit harsh. While I admit Texas politics has a large influence from the antebellum south, it also has undercurrents of old west individualism and even a little of the northeast commonwealth. Yes, there is a large block social conservatives here and that is the segment Perry is pandering to. There is no Fallujah in Texas. It’s not that homogeneous. Texas seems to be divided along conservative-rural/liberal-urban lines, more so than traditional Republican-Democrat left-right axis. There are some strong rural Democratic areas that are more socially conservative than urban districts, and city Republicans tend to be more fiscally-oriented pro-business than the socially-oriented rural Republicans. Nixon’s southern strategy is still being played out here.

  12. retiredsciguy

    SY: “I would never live in the same state as the Irsays.”

    I take it you’re from Baltimore, then? There are many in Cleveland who feel the same way towards Baltimore as Baltimoreans feel toward Naptown.

    At any rate, Mitch Daniels had nothing to do with the Colts moving to Indianapolis.

  13. As a Texan, I will be voting for Bill White for governor. Had Kay Bailey Hutchison won the primary, I would have voted for her.

  14. LRA says:

    Had Kay Bailey Hutchison won the primary, I would have voted for her.

    She’s back! And she’s talking sense! Yea, LRA!

  15. rsg: Last I looked, Cleveland still has the Browns. Bad analogy- Modell had class, the Irsays were pure evil, proof of the non-existence of a benevolent God.

    I wanted to vote for Kinky Friedman for governor, but the bastard dropped out.

  16. retiredsciguy

    SY, this is getting way off-topic, but the Cleveland Browns of yesteryear evolved into the Baltimore Ravens of today, as you know. So really, Baltimore has the “real” Browns; the ones started by Paul Brown. The team calling themselves the Cleveland Browns today are far inferior to the the Ravens.

    Hadn’t heard of Kinky Friedman. The only Maryland governor who comes readily to mind is Spiro Agnew. Come to think of it, there have really been some pieces of work who got elected governor in various states. A veritable rogues’ gallery.

  17. If you don’t know the brilliant Kinky Friedman, you should.

    The thing that Modell did was to leave the names and traditions behind. The Ravens don’t play on the glory of Jim Brown- or even Bernie Kosar. If Irsay had done that, gotten a clean start in Indy, he would not have been as hated as he still is. I wish that I were religious and could take comfort that Robert Irsay is burning in hell somewhere, but I’m not and he’s only worm-food.

    Not that I feel strongly about this or anything.

    Remember that Agnew’s successor, Marvin Mandel, ended up in prison. Maryland was (and is) indeed the Cradle of Graft.

  18. retiredsciguy

    “Maryland was (and is) indeed the Cradle of Graft.”

    Got nothin’ on Illinois.

  19. On an absolute basis, maybe not. But per capita… 😉

  20. For the real facts about the Texas Social Studies standards, go to

  21. Anonymous says: “For the real facts about the Texas Social Studies standards …”

    Somehow, your “real facts” website doesn’t discuss last year’s anti-science insanity. Regarding the latest round of revisions, you don’t discuss the issues which concern us: the separation of church and state, and the role of the Enlightenment in the Revolution and the Constitution.

  22. libertyinstitute1

    The Texas Social Studies standards are now available for everyone to read. Go to to find a link to the actual standards.

  23. If there’s a link to the actual standards there, this Texan can’t find it. It just seems to be a propaganda site.

  24. Never mind, I found them on the sidebar. My apologies and a pledge to get new bifocals.

  25. libertyinstitute1

    No worries. I’m glad you found it.