I cannot fathom how the members of the Texas State Board of Education can continue to surprise me with their complete and utter disregard for reality, yet here we are: they're complaining about a pro-Islam bias in textbooks. Yes, the same people who try to wedge the Bible into science textbooks, want to teach creationism, want to downplay evolution, want to eradicate the Big Bang, and want to downplay the Constitutional clause establishing separation of Church and State, are worried about someone trying to force their religion into the textbooks. KABLAM! Sorry. That was my irony gland turning into antimatter and exploding outward at the speed of light. Without any apparent sense of self-awareness, Randy Rives, who wrote a resolution to the BoE condemning the textbooks, said,
"If you can control or influence our education system, you can start taking over the minds of the young people," Mr. Rives said. "And so I think we are real passionate that you need to make a bold statement to the publishers that pushing this agenda will not be tolerated in Texas."
Taking over the minds of young people? Heaven forbid. I suppose I should point out that even if this is true, and pro-Islam statements are being put into textbooks, the answer is not to replace them with pro-Christianity statements. I would think this would be obvious, but when it comes to human behavior I think lots of stuff that turns out not to be correct. So what can we do to push back against the Texas BoE's apparently interminable fight against reality? My co-blogger Sheril Kirshenbaum at The Intersection points out that two women are running for seats on the Texas Board of Education, and both are highly qualified and equipped with long experience in education... and one of them, Judy Jennings, has a PhD in educational psychology! Of course, that in and of itself is not a qualification for a seat on the Board, any more than being a dentist disqualifies you. But it does provide me with a glimmer of hope. I would love nothing more than to be able to write that Texas voters actually elected reasonable, qualified people to the Board, instead of continually having to write about how the antireality, antiscience, antiConstitutional members keep attacking the very basis of our country's educational foundation. Check out the web pages for Rebecca Bell-Metereau and Judy Jennings, and Sheril notes there is a donation page for their campaigns on Act Blue as well. Otherwise... well, you know.