By Don Simpson | April 21, 2012
Director: Scott Thurman
It is very important to note that what Texas and California decide in terms of textbooks effects the educational standards across the United States. The Texas State Board of Education reassesses their textbook standards every eight years. The latest round of textbook review was led by Governor Rick Perry’s nominee for Chairman of the SBOE, Don McLeroy. A card-carrying Christian fundamentalist, McLeroy leads the charge to include “intelligent design” (a.k.a. Creationism) in Texas textbooks. This is a man who firmly believes that the Earth is only 6,000 years old (because the Bible tells him so).
For some, McLeroy is a disciple of God; for others (including yours truly) he is evil incarnate. McLeroy and his Bible-thumping cronies rule the SBOE with tunnel visioned ideology, unwilling to accept evolution as science until every aspect is proven as fact — though McLeroy does not hold his own beliefs to the same standards (because the Bible tells him so).
What is the role of religion and politics in education? What ever happened to the separation of church and state? What ever happened to religious freedom? Should a group of narrow minded nincompoops be able to force their warped ideologies upon our youth? Who the hell voted for these people? Do they really represent the majority? Are these really the most qualified people to be making decisions about education standards and curriculum? Shouldn’t these decisions be made by experts in these fields, not by people with an overt religious agenda?
I am still in awe that any of this ever happened, but what amazes me more than anything is that McLeroy willingly participated in Scott Thurman’s documentary.