Thomas Ratliff’s Last Term on the Texas SBOE

We’re always being asked: Isn’t there any news about creationism in Texas? No doubt such questions are due to the embarrassingly prominent place that state recently occupied in The Controversy between evolution and creationism.

Until 2010 the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) had been dominated by Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist. McLeroy was defeated that year in the Republican primary by Thomas Ratliff, the son of acting Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff. We wrote about Ratliff’s victory in The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly. The Discoveroids were furious over the loss of McLeroy — see Discovery Institute Weeps for Don McLeroy.

Things have calmed down since then, but they’re still crazy, as this post from December of 2013 clearly demonstrates: Texas Republicans — They’re All Creationists. Until a few months ago, that state was led by Texas Governor Rick Perry: Theocratic Maniac.

The news we found today triggered all that nostalgia. In the Longview News-Journal of Longview, Texas we read Thomas Ratliff will not seek re-election to State Board of Education. They have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us:

A State Board of Education trustee who campaigned on righting a ship he felt had listed too far to the right announced Monday he will not seek re-election to represent Gregg and Northeast Texas counties. Republican Thomas Ratliff of Mount Pleasant said he will serve the remainder of his term to December 2016.

We’ll be sorry to see him go. Then we’re reminded:

The textbook selection process had drawn international media attention when Ratliff decided to seek office, as far-right conservatives fought off mention of climate change in textbooks, and insisted they teach that Moses greatly influenced America’s founders and include creationism in science texts.

Those were the days! Let’s read on:

“When I first decided to run, it was right after the somewhat infamous social studies adoption,” Ratliff said, noting he was the only member with children in public school when he took office. “The majority of the board at the time, to me it felt like, was more motivated by politics and ideology than by education. In my 4 1/2 four-and-a-half years so far, we’ve got, including me, eight new members that weren’t there when I got there. I think that has helped as much as anything.”

Just getting rid of McLeroy was an outstanding accomplishment. Here’s one last excerpt:

Thomas Ratliff said he had no political office in his future sights. … “I’ll continue to earn a living,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about getting attacked for who I am or what I am. … I think, by and large, I can look behind me and say I accomplished a lot of good things.

We agree. Well done, Thomas Ratliff!

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4 responses to “Thomas Ratliff’s Last Term on the Texas SBOE

  1. Charles Deetz ;)

    Looks like the wedge is failing in Texas. DI has a choice of posting about it to justify requests for more money for the battle … or embarrassing themselves that they are losing.

  2. ‘Fess up, Curmy: you miss McLeroy.

    As Lenny Bruce once observed, “Without polio, Salk is a putz…”

  3. docbill1351

    Thomas will be missed.

  4. I just hope the people of the district don’t replace him with some theocratic, creationist nutball.