Remember Cynthia Dunbar? She’s Back!

Years ago, back in the early days of this humble blog, Texas was a great source of creationist entertainment. The Texas State Board of Education was led by Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist, and he had a majority of like-minded people on the board — one of whom was Cynthia Dunbar. Those were grand times! When their elective careers were ending we wrote Don McLeroy & Cynthia Dunbar: The Last Hurrah.

Probably the last time we wrote about Dunbar was Texas Board of Education: Dunbar Drops Out. She announced that she would be teaching at the Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Va.

Since then we haven’t thought about her at all, but suddenly this headline popped up in one of our news sweeps: Cynthia Dunbar, Ben Cline to seek Republican nod for 6th District seat. It’s in the Roanoke Times of Roanoke, Virginia. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Two Republicans have announced plans to seek Virginia’s 6th Congressional District seat after U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte announced his retirement Thursday. Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, and Cynthia Dunbar, a Republican National Committee member from Bedford County, will seek their party’s nomination in the spring for the open seat in the November 2018 election.

M’god — she wants to be in Congress! The newspaper says:

Both cited dysfunction in Washington, D.C., and maintaining the conservative values of the district as motivation for their congressional bids.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! There’s won’t be any dysfunction in Congress if Cynthia is a member.

The newspaper provides information about the Cline guy, but we’ll skip that. Then they tell us:

Dunbar, a lawyer who represents Virginia on the Republican National Committee, stressed her frustration with career politicians creating “disarray and dysfunction” in Congress when announcing her candidacy. A religious conservative, Dunbar, 53, snagged a seat on the Republican National Committee in May 2016. She has previously worked as an assistant law professor and adviser to the provost at Liberty University.

[….]

Dunbar is a former member of the Texas State Board of Education, and won her seat by advocating for teaching creationism or intelligent design, rather than the theory of evolution, in science classes.

Yup — that’s Cynthia. Another excerpt:

Dunbar and Cline may not be the only Republicans to vie for the open seat. … The 6th District GOP Committee will decide in January whether to hold a primary or a convention to the select its nominee, said Chairman Scott Sayre. Committee leadership has traditionally favored conventions in the past, he said.

It appears that we won’t know for a while what’s going on there, but we’ll keep watching. It’ll be fun to have another hard-core creationist in Congress.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Remember Cynthia Dunbar? She’s Back!

  1. M’god — she wants to be in Congress!

    Just out of interest, would you vote for her despite her declared Trump/Pruitt-style anti-science agenda?

  2. Let’s hope the Virginia Repubs see the handwriting on their cave wall concerning the strong anti-Trump backlash shown by Tuesday’s elections and pick a centrist, preferably one who will listen to scientists when it comes to legislating matters that concern things that scientists know something about. Like, for instance, just about everything.

    And hope the Dems do the same. Pick a centrist, that is.

  3. Centrist, maybe. Moderate would be good, and not quite the same thing. But a reformer, for certain sure.

  4. Hooray!

    Is it too much to also hope for a Second Coming of St. Luskin the Gerb?

  5. I don’t like to get into partisan politics here, but the Alabama situation brings up a point.
    A local politician has offered a Biblical excuse for sex with a minor. The Bible, he says, describes a couple of examplars of sex with a minor: the parents of John the Bapstist, and of Jesus. It is interesting how one can find Bible justification for something. Of course, the Bible does not say that there was any sex between Joseph and Mary – and the story of Joseph being an old man and Mary being a minor is not found in the Bible.
    Just like finding an explosion of microevolution after the Flood.

  6. You never see Dunbar and Michelle Bachmann in the same place at the same time.

    Just sayin’ …

  7. @TomS — Stephen Colbert said the same thing last night about adult carpenter Joseph and young teenage Mary not being justification for Senate candidate Roy Moore’s 1979 (alleged) seduction of a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. Even though they were married, she was the Virgin Mary! (Or so the story goes.)

    My knowledge base is more earth sciences than linguistics, so I’m definitely getting into an area here where many of SC’s readers are far more knowledgeable. However, I recall reading that in Classic Greek the same word was sometimes used to describe a young girl as well as a virgin. So perhaps Mary was a young teen, but not necessarily a virgin. Of course, this interpretation calls into question the whole Christian narrative of virgin birth, but for us skeptics it makes more sense.

  8. Wikipedia takes all the fun out of pedantry. Briefly:
    There is a text from Isaiah which is quoted in a gospel as referring to Mary as a “virgin” in Greek, but the original Hebrew uses the word for”young girl”.
    The story of Joseph being much older than the 12-14 year-old Mary stems from later, non-Biblical texts.

  9. Young girl–virgin? Well, somebody knocked up Mary. If you want to believe it was god–go for it. As for the idea that Mary was still a virgin after delivering Jesus makes me wonder if these people need help to tie their shoes.

  10. retiredsciguy is referring to the Septuagint. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

    Isaiah was of course writing in Hebrew, probably in about the sixth or seventh century BCE from the grammar and wording. But in the third century BCE a large colony of Jews had been established in Alexandria. Within a couple of generations, they were no longer speaking Hebrew, but koine Greek. So a full translation into Greek of the Jewish scriptures, including Isaiah, was made. It was said to have been done by seventy scholars – hence, “Septuagint”, seventy.

    The Septuagint translation isn’t bad, but one of its quirks turns up in its translation of Isaiah 7:14, familiar to anyone who’s ever heard Handel’s “Messiah”. The Authorised (King James) Bible has it as “Behold, a virgin shall conceive…”

    This follows Christian tradition, and was OK on the level of knowledge of the ancient Hebrew of the early seventeenth century. But the Hebrew word in the original text is “almah”. The Septuagint translates it into Greek as “parthenos”, which means “physical virgin”, and the KJV follows that meaning. Alas, “almah” doesn’t mean that. The closest rendering would be “young woman”.

    And there is a further translation difficulty. The Hebrew implies an object near at hand. Isaiah is saying, not any young woman, but that young woman there would bear a son. (He doesn’t imply that she wouldn’t get married first.) By the time the child was old enough to choose good from evil, the threats to Judea will have passed.

    So Isaiah’s meaning is “within a few years”. And that’s the only reading that makes sense in the context. Isaiah is assuring Ahaz, King of Judea, that the present threats to his kingdom would disappear within a fairly short time. He isn’t saying anything about a Messiah. That whole chapter is about political events in his own time. Read it, from verse 10 onward.

  11. Dave, we know Xians hijacked Isaiah. Just like the bit about the messiah`s name being Immanuel. But, just like road repair gangs build a detour around a washout, Xian apologists have found a way to circumvent Isaiah.