Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Ironically proving the old maxim/warning about what happens when you give a monkey a brain:
"But we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan—he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes."
Those are the words of Don McLeroy, a ultra-right Christian living in East Texas -- which is a redundancy if ever there was one -- who subscribes to all the usual nonsense ultra-right Christians subscribe to: the world is 6,000 years old, therefore "evolution is hooey"; Jesus is the ONE TRUE GOD; immigrant infestation and secular progressives are destroying America; Joe McCarthy was a victim of the elitist liberal media; you get the picture. Why you should care about this particular rambling retard, however, is this:
"McLeroy is no ordinary citizen. The jovial creationist sits on the Texas State Board of Education, where he is one of the leaders of an activist bloc that holds enormous sway over the body’s decisions. As the state goes through the once-in-a-decade process of rewriting the standards for its textbooks, the faction is using its clout to infuse them with ultraconservative ideals...
Battles over textbooks are nothing new, especially in Texas, where bitter skirmishes regularly erupt over everything from sex education to phonics and new math. But never before has the board’s right wing wielded so much power over the writing of the state’s standards. And when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas rarely stays in Texas. The reasons for this are economic: Texas is the nation’s second-largest textbook market and one of the few biggies where the state picks what books schools can buy rather than leaving it up to the whims of local districts, which means publishers that get their books approved can count on millions of dollars in sales. As a result, the Lone Star State has outsized influence over the reading material used in classrooms nationwide, since publishers craft their standard textbooks based on the specs of the biggest buyers. As one senior industry executive told me, 'Publishers will do whatever it takes to get on the Texas list.'"
This isn't a matter of left versus right or one region of the country against another; it's just smart versus dumb.
The Washington Monthly: Revisionaries/January-February, 2010