Dunbar Takes New Trip on Extremism Train

Good grief. Cynthia Dunbar has demonstrated once again the kind of religious and political extremism that currently dominates the Texas State Board of Education — and the reason academic experts and classroom teachers should be guiding the process of revising curriculum standards for public schools, not politicians with personal agendas.

Speaking last week on a far-right talk show, The American View, (read more about the show here) Dunbar — a Richmond Republican representing a state board district that stretches from west of Houston to Austin — attacked public education and even the religious faith of people who don’t agree with her. She also repeated her infamous attack on President Obama as a terrorist sympathizer. And as the state board prepares to take a final vote next month on social studies curriculum standards for public schools, Dunbar suggested that supporters of separation of church and state don’t understand the Constitution and that the drafters of the First Amendment had no concerns “whatsoever” for the nonreligious.

Describing Dunbar as a “Christian with a brain” and a “Bible-believing Christian lady,” show host John Lofton said people who call themselves Christians (but who don’t agree with people like Dunbar) “need to be re-educated.” Appearing to share Dunbar’s contempt for public education, he also repeatedly attacked government-funded schools. Not only did Dunbar never challenge those statements, she reinforced them in her own comments.

On public education, Dunbar didn’t back away from her assertion that public schools are unconstitutional and even “tyrannical,” as she wrote in her book One Nation Under God. The Founders never intended for the country to have government-supported public schools, she argued. She also suggested — ironically, to say the least — that public education allows government to promote political agendas (such as “socialized health care”):

“There was never a tax-supported public entity. It was community education where the parents and the families came together and coalesced for the benefit of educating their society, which is a good and positive thing. . . . [James] Madison said error steeped in precedent leads to tyranny. When you allow something that was wrong to be repeated over and over and over, everybody accepts it as the norm, and it becomes the norm, and nobody even questions it. But once you allow something to become a tax-supported public entity, a governmental entity, you’re absolutely right, there’s no way it can not be political. And you just can’t keep that out of the classroom.”

Dunbar also suggested that the First Amendment does not prevent government from promoting religion. In fact, in one jumbled statement Dunbar’s suggested that the Founders who drafted and debated the First Amendment didn’t even intend to protect atheists:

“They didn’t want in any way religion to be chilled. They certainly didn’t want to have any concern whatsoever for the, quote-unquote, nonreligious, which is the new standard that we know, as far as seeing what the Supreme Court in promoting secularism, ultimately by inhibiting any religious instruction.”

And Dunbar’s contempt even for other people of faith — if they don’t share her particular religious views — was clear when she talked about supporters of sound science during the state board’s debate last year over what students in science classrooms should learn about evolution:

“Most of the time when we would hear people stand up to speak, it would start out something like this: ‘I am a person of faith, my faith defines me, HOWEVER.’ And then they would start making distinctions as to how their world view doesn’t impact every area of their life. Which in fact it does. What they don’t realize is that they have bought into a secular ideology, a secular humanist belief system.”

Dunbar also revisted an essay she wrote in 2008 attacking then-candidate Barack Obama shortly before the presidential election. In her essay, Dunbar charged that Obama as president would welcome another terrorist attack on America because he sympathized with the nation’s enemies and would use such an attack as an excuse to declare martial law and throw out the Constitution. Speaking on Lofton’s show, Dunbar focused more on home-grown terrorism this time:

“There’s no question that there’s documentation that he in fact has sympathies with people like Bill Ayers and others that clearly we would call terorristic threats.”

She went on to claim that the Homeland Security Department believes that people who oppose abortion and support gun rights under the Second Amendment are the real terrorist threats to America today.

You can listen to Lofton’s interview with Dunbar here.

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52 Comments

  1. David
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Lofton,
    That train has already left the station.

    The only place that “scandal” is occuring is in the right wing religious and political circles. That is because those groups appeal to a particular type of “deviant behavior”.
    That is people who get a charge from doing something that is secret, taboo, dirty, naughty, etc. and fooling the ignorant sheep who imagine their leaders and spokespersons to be paragons of supermorality.
    What’s hilarious about that is that the Bible hammers the point home again and again that all human beings are susceptible to moral failure, and often it’s the leaders that fail the worst. Apparently the people who put all their trust in the Bible never read it.
    This sort of “deviant behavior” is a function of power. The little boy or girl feels empowered by the naughty secret that they hold, and these people are fundamentally emotionally arrested at an immature level. The taboo is just too tempting. At the same time, the secret is a devastating burden that destroys lives.
    One reason that we have this current explosion of self-righteousness on the right, is that temptation is now only a mouse-click away, and these people succumb to the siren call in the privacy of their own bedroom, then are racked by guilt and go out the next day on a rampage to fight against the agents of the devil who are , well, be-deviling them.
    Chely Wright and Jennifer Knapp should be applauded for answering the call of their conscience to come out in front of God and everyone and admit who they are.
    The truth will set you free.
    Whether what they do is a sin, or how big a sin it is relative to other sins, is a matter for God to decide. Can we all agree on that, or are you taking over His role too?
    What an idiot.

  2. Ben
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Here is one of John Lofton’s recent Facebook posts:

    “News” Item: “Country singer Chely Wright makes history as first mainstream country artist to come out and publicly declare she’s a lesbian.” Well, she shd have shut up, been ashamed! Call me old-fashioned but I liked the Good Old Days when sex perverts stayed deep in the closet, shut up about their sin, felt bad abt it, knew they were evil and knew that God hated them unless they repented!

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