Cynthia Dunbar’s sham marriage of God and politics

June 7, 2010

Tony Whitson’s Curricublog has a rather lengthy, and very troubling, post about Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar and her wilder gyrations on the issues of religion in education.  Go read it.  It’s got quotes, it’s got video, and if you don’t find it troubling you’re not paying attention.  There is an astounding smear of  Thomas Jefferson, the Constitution, and the principle of separation of state and church.

There’s a line usually attributed to Euripides, “Whom the gods destroy, they first make mad.”  That’s mad-crazy, not mad-angry.

What’s Dunbar done to upset the gods so?


Blasphemous prayer in Texas

May 21, 2010

One might have thought it improbable, if not impossible.

Texas State Board of Education Member Cynthia Dunbar, in a parting shot, concedes the grounds upon which a challenge might be made to the gutting of social studies standards she wishes to accomplish today.  Is there any doubt her intent is solely religious?

Tip of the old scrub brush to the Texas Freedom Network, for capturing this event for history.


Encore post, new coda: Worldview of Texas education policy makers

March 18, 2010

From a post many weeks ago, “Speaking of Texas education policy,” made more salient by events of the past month:

Moon landing and wrestling in America

from Funnyjunk

This is a troubling piece of humor. From Funnyjunk.

  • “America.  A country where people believe the moon landing is fake, but wrestling is real.”

And now we can add even more captions:

  • A country where state curriculum officials go to churches that warn against belief in ghosts, but who believe Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin came back from the grave to wrestle the quill from Jefferson and write the Declaration of Independence.
    [Heh.  Wouldn’t you love to see Aquinas and Calvin in the same room, trying to come to agreement on anything?]
  • A country with Barack Obama as president and where women’s basketball is a joy to watch during March Madness thanks to the the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title IX, but Cynthia Dunbar believes the Civil Rights Act itself was a mistake.
  • A country where Barbara McClintock did the research that showed how evolution works and won her a Nobel, but where Texans deny that a woman should do such work, and deny evolution.
  • A capitalist nation where Jack Kilby invented the printed circuit and had a good life, but where the Texas SSOE thinks “capitalism” is a dirty word.
    (No, ma’am, I couldn’t make that up.  They did it.  They took out the word “capitalism” because they say those “liberal economists” like Milton Friedman can’t be trusted.  Seriously.  No, really.  Go look it up.)
  • Home of Thomas Jefferson, whose words in the Declaration of Independence so sting tyrants and dictators that today, in the most repressive nations, even oppressive systems must pretend to follow Jefferson — hence, the “Peoples Republic of Korea,” “the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” “Peoples Republic of China,” and the provisions of the old Soviet Union’s Constitution that “guaranteed” freedom of speech and freedom of religion; but where Thomas Jefferson is held in contempt, and John Calvin and Thomas Aquinas claimed as the authors of American freedom. [I wonder what the Society of the Cincinnati have to say about that?]
  • Where Mark Twain’s profound, greatest American novel Huckleberry Finn made clear the case against racism and oppression of former slaves, but where school kids don’t read it because their misguided parents think it’s racist.
  • A nation where Cynthia Dunbar thinks Thomas Jefferson gets too much credit, but Barack Obama is a foreign terrorist
  • A nation where conservatives complain that the Supreme Court should never look at foreign laws for advice, wisdom, or precedent, but believe that Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican friar from Italy, and John Calvin, a French dissident who fled to Switzerland, pulled a religious coup d’etat and is infamous for executing people who disagreed with his religious views, wrote the Declaration of Independence.

I’ll wager there are more, more annoying, more inaccurate statements from the Texas SSOE members in the Texas Education Follies, which will make much briefer complaints and better bumper stickers.

Other posts at the Bathtub you should read, mostly featuring Ms. Dunbar:

Also:


Creationist as Texan of the Year

December 10, 2008

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year selection sometimes produces a shudder, such as when Ayotullah Khomeini got the designation for 1979.  Time patiently explains that the designation is for the person who most affected the year, not necessarily the good guys.  Even bad guys affect history.

The Dallas Morning News designates a “Texan of the Year,” with a month of conjecture and nominations for who it should be.  True to the Time tradition, News columnist Steve Blow nominated a member of the Texas State Board of Eduacation, Cynthia Dunbar.  Blow explained his nomination:

I mean, how do you top someone who warned us that the next president is a terrorist sympathizer with plans to topple the government?

Thank you, Cynthia Dunbar.

You knew about that, of course.

Dunbar is part of Dark Ages Coalition threatening to take Texas school kids hostage if science standards should — brace yourself — support science in Texas public school classrooms.   You think I’m kidding?  Blow noted that Dunbar’s views, now available in a book, do not count America’s public schools as things of much value.

In fact, she calls public education itself a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion.” (Her kids have been home-schooled and attended private school.)

So on the slight possibility that she’s completely wrong about Barack Obama’s secret plan to overthrow America, I’d make her Texan of the Year for a second reason.

The Prophet Dunbar just might wake Texans up to the circus that is our State Board of Education.

That would be valuable, yes.

Note:  I do object, with a smile, to Blow’s calling Dunbar our state Cassandra.  Cassandra’s curse was that no one would listen to her, though she accurately foresaw the future.  Dunbar doesn’t seem to be connected with accuracy in any discernible fashion.

Other resources:


Is our children learning science? O, woe is Texas

November 5, 2008

So, last week or so I commented on the woes of Kentucky, where, the polls showed, 28% of voters were yoked with the millstone belief that our president-elect is Muslim. Someone commented, and sent me the link that showed 23% of Texans carry a similar burden in their own swim.

Can it get much more weird, more divorced from reality?

How about we marry bizarre, untrue beliefs about religion with bizarre, untrue beliefs about science? And then — God save us, please — how about let’s put that person on the state school board during a rewrite of science standards?

Meet Cynthia Dunbar, member of the Texas State Board of Education.

Cynthia Dunbar, Texas State Board of Education member

At the tinfoil hat website “Christian Worldview” (as if Christians are unable to see normally), Dunbar posted this bizarre statement:

So we can imagine the blatant disregard for our Constitution, but what other threats does an Obama administration pose? We have been clearly warned by his running mate, Joe Biden, that America will suffer some form of attack within the first 6 months of Obama’s administration. However, unlike Joe, I do not believe this “attack” will be a test of Obama’s mettle. Rather, I perceive it will be a planned effort by those with whom Obama truly sympathizes to take down the America that is threat to tyranny.

Challenged by the Texas Freedom Network to do the American, patriotic thing and take the comments down, Dunbar refuses.

Dunbar was not worried about martial law when President George W. Bush actually took the steps she claims to worry about now, assigning troops to domestic crowd control in the U.S. It’s the marriage of presidential power with the bizarre phantasms of “the Christian worldview” that makes Ms. Dunbar’s views so nutty. It’s her position on the Texas State Board of Education that makes her views troubling, if not downright dangerous.

Her statement is as crazy as if she had accused John McCain of being a communist sympathizer, and Manchurian candidate, for ‘having spent so much time schmoozing with North Vietnamese officials.’ It’s also every bit as offensive as such a claim would be.

One mystery remains: Do wacko views produce creationism, or does creationism produce these wacko views? We await the creationist who can make an argument in favor of creationism without making a detour off the deep end.

It’s going to take more than tinfoil to protect Texas’s children, and Barack Obama, from these nuts.

If you want to pray, pray that God grants us reason, to save us and our children from such nuts, and this one especially.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Chris Comer.

_________________




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