You surely recall the Texas Republican primary election almost a year ago in which Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist, was challenged by Thomas Ratliff for a seat on the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE). We posted about it here: Texas SBOE Elections on 02 March.
McLeroy was the leader of the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism faction on the board. He had been appointed to be the board’s chairman by Rick Perry, the creationist Governor of Texas. But then McLeroy suffered the disgrace of seeing his appointment rejected by the Texas Senate. After that he was defeated by Ratliff, and the SBOE seemed like it would be somewhat less of a Tenth Century institution than it had been before.
But the forces of darkness aren’t going to take their defeat quietly. In the Dallas Morning News we read: Conservative group questions whether SBOE member can serve. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
State Board of Education Chairwoman Gail Lowe said Friday she will seek an opinion from the attorney general on whether a new board member meets statutory requirements to serve. Lowe announced the action after a social conservative group questioned whether board member Thomas Ratliff … is eligible to serve because he is a lobbyist. The question was raised by the Texas Eagle Forum, which supported Ratliff’s opponent – Don McLeroy – in the GOP primary last year.
Isn’t that lovely? As we mentioned yesterday in connection with a creationist legislator in Oklahoma, Eagle Forum is the outfit of which Phyllis Schlafly is president. Schlafly’s son, Andrew, founded Conservapedia — an on-line source of young-earth creationist material.
One more excerpt:
Thomas Ratliff has previously stated that he has no conflict because he does not lobby on behalf of any business or group at the TEA [Texas Education Agency]. Further, he encouraged the Eagle Forum not to wait for the attorney general’s opinion and instead call the Travis County District Attorney’s Office if they think a law is being broken.
So there you are, dear reader. Just when you thought that Texas might be on the verge of slowly crawling out of the foul pit of creationism, the creationists are launching a counter-attack. Stay tuned. This won’t be pretty.
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