The Next Steps

Here’s an alert the Texas Freedom Network just sent to supporters:

Thanks for joining us for the live-blogging over the last three days. So we’ll sign off with TFN President Kathy Miller’s e-mail this evening to TFN supporters:

Moments ago the State Board of Education cast the final vote on new social studies standards, ending more than a year of political wrangling that invited derision and scorn from the entire educational world. I’m not going to take you through the litany of problems with this curriculum. You can read about those on our blog or in the hundreds of news stories that will appear in the media tomorrow. All of these issues, as serious as they are, are really symptoms of the larger problem — allowing politicians with personal agendas to write our children’s curriculum, rather than teachers and scholars.

That’s why today’s vote is not the end of this fight. It’s the beginning.

For 15 years, all of us at TFN have been committed to safeguarding our children’s education from political ideology. And we’re not about to let up now.

Please make a generous contribution to our efforts today.

Our ultimate goal is nothing less than fundamental change at the State Board of Education. Parents, business leaders and concerned citizens across Texas must join together in our Just Educate campaign to send a clear message to politicians: stop dragging our children’s schools into the “culture wars.” That’s why TFN is mounting our largest grassroots mobilization effort in the history of the organization. And we are counting on you to take part.

TFN’s strategy is ambitious and aggressive — and you can be sure that far-right pressure groups will continue to shell out millions of dollars to hold on to their power. That’s why we’re asking you for the most generous gift you can make today.

Together, we can do it. Our kids deserve better. Our future depends on it.

With gratitude,

Kathy

This article was posted in these categories: social studies. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a Comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


-->

37 Comments

  1. James_Breck
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Gene,

    Point taken.

  2. Posted June 8, 2010 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    James Breck:

    I guess your above comment is supposed to lead up to the question in your final paragraph? “Why is that the radical Christian extremists Cynthia Dunbar, Don McLeroy and David Barton can’t have respect the rights of every Texan to have their own beliefs? What gives them the right to shove their radical beliefs down the throats of every Texan?” You apparently answer your own question, to your own satisfaction, in your final two sentences?

    I will simply provide a response by asking the constitutional question: what does the First Amendment say? The Founding Fathers commanded, in Art. 6., “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” The First Congress added, “religion” shall not be established by “Congress” or by “law.” The wording by both groups is quite plainly stated: in the USA, “religion” is a matter for individuals, not government, and its exercise is to be “free,” that is, voluntary, not established by government or by law.

    “Religion” includes everything related to religion, that is, actions, organizations, churches, etc., in respect to “religion,” are not to be established by government or by law. As James Madison wrote, the appointment of the chaplain in Congress was a violation of constitutional principle.

    What folks like Barton, Dunbar, and McLeroy fail to comprehend is that the constitutional word “religion” includes the whole subject “thereof” and is not limited to just establishment of a “church,” as in England. Which is why the single word “church,” in respect to what the Constitution says, is a distortion of what the Constitution commands and limits its understanding. Folks like Barton, Dunbar, and McLeroy limit their understanding of what the Constitution says to establishment of a “church,” which, to them, allows for government to support their understanding of government involvement in religion in many ways, particularly the Christian religion, just not an establishment of a state church. Barton, Dunbar, and McLeroy are in error, just as is TFN when it continues to misstate what the Constitution says by insisting on use of the wording “church and state,” rather than “Religion and Government,” as used by Madison in his “Detached Memoranda.” The word in the Constitution is “religion,” not church. The Founding Fathers and the First Congress got the wording correct from the beginning, and the word “religion” includes the entire subject at every level of government, thanks to the Fourteenth Amendment, as applied by the Supreme Court.

    I have been lecturing and writing on this issue ever since graduating from Baylor, then seminary, and working for Americans United over thirty five years ago. I simply suggest you read my book The Religion Commandments in the Constitution: A Primer — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb7SbUWw9dM.

  3. James_Breck
    Posted June 7, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Gene I’d like to suggest you read the first Amendment to the Constitution, specifically the very beginning, which states quite plainly that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Is there anything about that phrase that is ambiguous? I don’t see anything in that phrase that isn’t crystal clear.

    I’d also like to suggest that you read James Madison’s 1785 “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments” which was forerunner to the 1st amendment in the Bill of Rights. And pay special attention to this phrase at the very beginning – “that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” Madison’s thinking is very clear here – it’s not the job of the state to force religion on its residents or, in this case, collect taxes to support the clergy. And know that the Bill of Rights came into being at the insistence of the American citizens. It was not something the framers of the Constitution thought was necessary.

    And realize that the Continental Congress was called into emergency session in late 1775 after the Loyalists (to England) requested the king appoint Anglican bishops as governors of each of the 13 American colonies. The result of that session of the Congress was the Declaration of Independence. Could there possibly be a more explicit rejection of government involvement in religion? I don’t think so.

    And lastly if you’re interested in debunking the myth that “America is a Christian Nation” take a look at the Treaty of Tripoli, unanimously passed by Congress and signed by President John Adams in 1797. Note the phrase in Article 11: “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.” Is there anything confusing about that? I think not.

    Gene I don’t know what your religious beliefs are, if any. Whatever they are that’s just fine with me. But why is that the radical Christian extremists Cynthia Dunbar, Don McLeroy and David Barton can’t have respect the rights of every Texan to have their own beliefs? What gives them the right to shove their radical beliefs down the throats of every Texan? They have no right to do that, none whatsoever. That doesn’t make them bad Christians but it does make them bad Americans.

  4. Posted June 4, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    TFN:

    As any judge, debate coach, or political candidate will tell you, words do matter, and the words of the Constitution are not pointless debate semantics. Further, it does not take much to recognize TFN did not win the public media or state school board debate. TFN did not and has not effectively countered the obvious rebuttal of the “religious right” in terms of what the Constitution actually says, commands, and means. The words “church and state” are not in the Constitution, and there is no dictionary definition of “thereof,” in the free exercise clause, which will substantiate TFN’s tactical error in debate rhetoric. The word “thereof” cannot mean “church” and has never been understood to mean “church.” The word “thereof” refers to and means specifically that to which it refers, “religion.” Article VI, Section 3, and the First Amendment’s use of “religion” is not subject to question.

    The wording and grammar of the Constitution is clearly stated and unambiguous. It is TFN’s argument which needs conversion in order to persuasively defeat the opponents of “separation between Religion and Government,” James Madison, William and Mary Quarterly, 3:555, and for those few reading this blog discussion, Madison’s quote is easily found on the internet by using Google and the search terms “Detached Memoranda.”

  5. Posted June 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Excuse me, but if I read the below correctly, the following focuses the history of TFN and is the essence of this specific appeal for support:

    “For 15 years, all of us at TFN have been committed to safeguarding our children’s education from political ideology. And we’re not about to let up now.

    Please make a generous contribution to our efforts today.

    Our ultimate goal is nothing less than fundamental change at the State Board of Education. Parents, business leaders and concerned citizens across Texas must join together in our Just Educate campaign to send a clear message to politicians: stop dragging our children’s schools into the “culture wars.” That’s why TFN is mounting our largest grassroots mobilization effort in the history of the organization. And we are counting on you to take part.

    TFN’s strategy is ambitious and aggressive — and you can be sure that far-right pressure groups will continue to shell out millions of dollars to hold on to their power. That’s why we’re asking you for the most generous gift you can make today.

    Together, we can do it. Our kids deserve better. Our future depends on it.”

    In other words, after 15 years and after how much money contributed, TFN needs more time and more money, in order to win the debate in Texas? What is it at this point which is not clear? How many years and how much money will it take for TFN to convince the voters of Texas? Does anyone at TFN ever seriously question why, after 15 years, it lost the recent Texas School Board argument, why the TFN approach has failed, or why TFN’s understanding of the constitutional principle may be the problem?

    It seems to me if TFN supporters want to win the constitutional debate in Texas, someone needs to challenge the proposition that what is most needed is more money?

    Please, forgive me, but the clear message which got published across the nation and which won in the recent TSBOE debate was simple and clearly stated: “the words church and state are not in the Constitution”!

    Can you convince me I have misunderstood who won the school board debate?

    • Posted June 2, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      Gene,
      We will note a few things that you neglect. First, do you realize that the religious-right bloc has already lost at least two votes and will likely make up only a third of the State Board of Education after December? In fact, four of five religious-right candidates for the state board lost their primary elections in March and April. We believe — with some justification — that our efforts to educate voters about the extremism of some State Board of Education members are contributing to this electoral change. Moreover, why do you think the state Senate did not confirm Don McLeroy for a second term as state board chairman? Perhaps you weren’t following our work last year during the legislative session. Why do you think science standards in Texas no longer include the politically loaded requirement that students study bogus “weaknesses” of evolution? Perhaps you weren’t following our work in 2008 and early 2009. For that matter, why do you think biology textbooks in Texas classrooms today — and since 2004 — don’t include bogus creationist arguments against evolution? The board’s religious-right members tried to stop the adoption of those textbooks unless publishers watered down instruction on evolution. We led a coalition to stop them, and we won. But perhaps you weren’t following our work in 2003 either. We could go on, but we hope you get the point. We knew after the 2006 elections that the political balance of power on the board would create serious problems with the adoption of curriculum standards and textbooks for the next four years. We were right. But we also put in place a plan to change that situation over time — and it is changing. We are in this for the long haul. After all, the religious right did not take over Texas government in a few short years. It patiently built a powerful political machine beginning in the late 1980s and has been enjoying the success of that machine in recent years. It will take time to turn that around and restore a respect for mainstream values in Texas government, including the State Board of Education. Having said all that, we understand your point about separation of church and state. Trust us — how could we not? You repeat it here constantly. But please give us a bit of credit — we do not choose our words casually. We research public opinion and attitudes, consult with respected constitutional scholars and study rulings by the Supreme Court on the issue of separation of church and state. In short, we do our homework. We simply refuse to engage in a pointless semantic debate with you. But thanks for posting and please come back.

  6. Ben
    Posted June 2, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

  7. Posted June 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    It has been moved and seconded. Now it is up to Kathy:

    “Our ultimate goal is nothing less than fundamental change at the State Board of Education. Parents, business leaders and concerned citizens across Texas must join together in our Just Educate campaign to send a clear message to politicians.”

    Therefore, will there be a fundamental change by TFN in the way it argues and presents its message to the State Board of Education, to politicians, and to the citizens of Texas, in terms which conform to the clearly stated wording in the Constitution?

    The Republican right wing argument about the words “church and state” is bogus because anyone who has read the Constitution already knows those words are not in the Constitution. In the United States of America, it is the whole subject of “religion” which shall not be established by law or government at any level, which constitutional provision is in absolute contrast to the distorted position of the majority currently on the Texas State Board of Education.

    The Founding Fathers and the First Congress got the principle and the wording correct from the beginning. It is time for TFN to support the Founding Fathers and the First Congress and stand upon their wording and the principle asserted by the “Father of the Constitution,” who personally helped draft both the Constitution and the First Amendment: “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history,” James Madison, c. 1817, William and Mary Quarterly, 3:555, also found in The Religion Commandments in the Constitution: A Primer, page 121.

  8. Charles
    Posted June 1, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I’ll second that Gene.

  9. Posted May 30, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    As a U.S. Marine who spent over four years on active duty, I subsequently graduated from Baylor University with a major in religion, spent two years at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, and eventually earned a Master of Divinity degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Missouri, after which I spent one year in law school at Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas. Circumstances prevented my continuing law school, but I did subsequently join the staff of Americans United for Separation of Church and State for whom I became a lecturer for the constitutional principle as the director of its former office in Chicago. I have been writing and lecturing ever since about the constitutional principle of “separation between Religion and Government,” James Madison. This blog and forum is simply another opportunity for me to continue speaking out about what the Founding Fathers and the First Congress commanded and intended:

    In the USA there is to be “no religious test” (Art. 6., 3.) and “no law respecting an establishment of religion” (First Amendment). Those are the simple principles upon which the USA is founded. Notice, the words “church and state” are not in the Constitution and on that point I certainly do agree with the prevailing members of the TSBOE. The word in the First Amendment is “religion,” the entire subject thereof, not “church.” However, when the Republican Party members or any one else on the Texas State Board of Education attempt to distort American history and establish by law their brand of religion (Christianity), or any other brand of religion, upon the students of Texas, those Board members are the ones who fail to understand American history and the religion principles in the Constitution. Every American should object to the TSBOE and its distortion, as well as to any ignorance of the founding principles established by the Founding Fathers and the First Congress.

    America is a nation in which citizens of all religions and of none are welcome to participate freely in all of America’s social and political functions because, as the Constitution commands, there is to be no “religious” test and no law respecting an establishment of “religion,” not just of a church. The words of the Constitution say exactly what they mean. Stop changing them to “church and state,” those words are NOT in the Constitution. Apparently, on every thing else being promoted by the Republican majority on the TSBOE, I object and disagree. They have no authority to establish “religion” in Texas public schools, to distort the facts of American history, or distort what the Constitution commands in respect to “religion.”

  10. Ben
    Posted May 30, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    MarineWarrior seems to forget that there are plenty of Marines (and other service members) who are “liberal, left-wingers, communists, and atheists.”

  11. MarineWarrior
    Posted May 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I am as moderate as I am going to get. If you don’t like debate, don’t publish my comment.

    • Posted May 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      MarineWarrior: We posted your comment, but please don’t pretend to be here for “debate.” Your comment leaves little room for that.

  12. MarineWarrior
    Posted May 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I am not a member of the Christian Right or the Christian Left. I am not a democrat or Republican. I am not Liberal or Conservative. I am an American. I fought for this country so that all of us will have our constitutional rights guaranteed. No one is required to believe in God or Jesus Christ or Budda. I leave out Allah because the Muslims don’t believe in Agency. They believe in compulsion. I don’t understand why liberal, left-wingers, communists, and atheists insist on forcing their will on everyone in this country. I say believe what you want to believe. Or believe in nothing or nobody. Just don’t force your will on the rest of us who do not believe as you do. Texas is a great place to live because we still have some semblance of sanity in our state. California and the rest of the so-called “United” States can be as crazy as they like. Just don’t expect those of us in Texas to join in your insanity. The meeting was to discuss what would be in Texas school books. If you have a problem with the decision, take it up with the book sellers that sell your state their textbooks. Leave Texas alone!

  13. A Watcher
    Posted May 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Prayer: Nothing personal god, but you know it’s true. Besides I think you’d be sick of these people sticking words in your mouth, making up quotes and saying you support them, making up stances and saying you support them, Slandering others in your name…

    For “Christians” they aren’t very nice.

    Sorry they are pharisees.

    Amen

  14. A Watcher
    Posted May 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    God is not a taxpayer. So until God pays taxes, he has no place in government.

  15. Charles
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Next steps?

    This is my own idea alone. Back in 1994 when Newt Gingrich and the Republicans first came up with their Contract with America idea, I noticed that Democratic politicians, who had been in the majority for years, campaigned with this smug and haughty facial expression that said, “You cannot possibly defeat me because I have been entrenched in this office for years, so long now that I have an exclusive entitlement to it.” That smug look, deserving attitude, and sense of personal entitlement really rubbed me the wrong way back then. It rubbed the American people the wrong way too. That was the year the Republicans took control of both houses of Congress for more than a generation. Apparently, a lot of people did not like that smug, overconfident, and deserving attitude.

    From where I sit personally, I see Ken Mercer eaten up with that exact same smug and deserving attitude. It’s an attitude that says , “No one can touch me—not even the voters.” I am sure TFN has some other plans of its own completely apart from mine for the next 6 months.

    All I know is that Ken Mercer and his friends would like to see Texas TEKS-based textbooks published and sent to my children here in my town 1000 miles from Texas. I have two school-aged children of my own to protect from Texas SBOE nonsense. Therefore, I have decided that Ken Mercer’s defeat in the upcoming Texas SBOE election is going to be my own very special personal project for the next 6 months—TO PROTECT MY CHILDREN. I may be 1000 miles from Texas. However, that will not stop me from collecting money for his defeat here in my state and sending it to Texas in wheelbarrows. In addition, just as I do here at TFN, I can use my considerable writing and argumentative abilities to maintain a constant and ever- hammering presence on the pages of every local newspaper in his district. Ken is going down this autumn, and I intend to make sure it happens. Everyone needs a hobby. Ken is my new hobby.

  16. Charles
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Pucker up Mr. Ratliff. Texas could use about 15,000,000 more fo you.

  17. Thomas Ratliff, Berkeley '56
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    The wording is not as important as the underlying intent. We all know that we have the right to a ‘fair trial’, regardless of the fact that the exact wording does not appear anywhere in the Constitution.

    No, I suppose that you need to dig a little deeper if you want to truly understand the intent behind the First Amendment and I’d hope that most here, understand it’s origins. We may need to educate others but we don’t need to wage a war of semantics. Not when, looking at the First Amendment outside of it’s historical context is the problem.

  18. Posted May 23, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Furthermore, this particular blog, among TFN’s constantly divided many discussions, is about “The Next Steps.” My suggestion is simple. Start using the wording of the Constitution and educating the public as to what the Constitution actually says. Does that not make sense? What part of “religion” can be questioned, since it is the actual word used in the First Amendment. Maybe even the TSBOE could learn from emphasis upon the actual wording of Article 6 and the First Amendment. The distortion about what the Constitution actually says does not need to continue. The next step can be used for educating the Texas Freedom Network, the Texas State Board of Education, and the general public as to what the Constitution actually says. Education would be improved and the whole country would benefit. Thanks for asking.

  19. Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Understand? Am I reading 1984 or Animal Farm?

    No wonder the general public, President Obama, and some members of the U.S. Supreme Court are confused.

    The Constitution is the supreme law, and its word is “religion.”

    Does TFN really think it can convince anyone that the First Amendment word “thereof” simply means “church”?

    When the Father of the Constitution wrote, “[I]t was not with my approbation [approval], that the deviation from it took place in Congress, when they appointed Chaplains, to be paid from the National Treasury. [James Madison, July 10, 1822], Gaillard Hunt, Writings of James Madison, 9:100, was he referring to a “church”?

    The word used by the Founding Fathers and the First Congress is “religion,” and “religion” includes the whole subject “thereof.” That is the wording and the message of those who prevailed in the debate among the Founding Fathers (Art. 6) and the members of the First Congress (First Amendment)–from public schools to the Congress “religion” is not to be established.

  20. Charles
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Okay. Here is my 2 cents Gene, TFN, and jdg. When I attended one of the small-mall Southern Baptist megachurches back in the 1980s, our pastor argued rather forcefully that evangelicalism is NOT a religion. His position was that it is instead what he termed the “faith.” The Catholics, Jews, Episcopalians, Moslems, Wiccans, and so forth have a religion. In open sermons on a Sunday morning, with 1000 people in attendance, he freely referred to Roman Catholicism as a, and this is a quote, “evil worldwide religious system.” This pastor was one of W.A. Criswell’s own personal understudy pastos at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. He left to come east to our church driving his huge black Cadillac, bought a big house in the ritziest part of town, and had a wife who enjoyed expensive shopping trips to Atlanta. I know. I know. The Bible says that a pastor ought to be paid well. Nonetheless, I would have preferred a simple shepherd who subsisted on pinto beans and cornbread. I think that is more of a Jesus-kind of pastor. But I digress.

    My point folks is this. Even if Gene and I were to convince everyone in the United States to use “religion” rather than “church.” All the evangelicals, fundamentalists, and Christian Neo-Fundamentalists would do is say that the First amendment does not apply to them and their activities because they do not have a “religion.” Instead, they have something very different—a “faith.”

    Everyone understand?

  21. jdg
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    “Gene Garman, Baylor ’62 Says:
    May 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm
    TFN:

    Our opponents on the Texas Board of Education cannot deny the word in the Constitution is “religion,” not church.

    The principles of the Constitution are written with words in the English language. The words “church and state” are not in the Constitution. It is way past time for TFN and the news media to refute that distortion of what the Constitution says.”

    Gene, religion = church. Where else do you get a religion? Oh well, let the lawsuits start.

  22. Posted May 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    TFN:

    The general public would have a better understanding of the constitutional principle of separation if it would use the words of the Constitution.

    Our opponents on the Texas Board of Education cannot deny the word in the Constitution is “religion,” not church.

    The principles of the Constitution are written with words in the English language. The words “church and state” are not in the Constitution. It is way past time for TFN and the news media to refute that distortion of what the Constitution says.

    Did the GQR survey ask the public if it understood the constitutional word is “religion,” not church?

    Did the GQR survey ask the public if it understood the constitutional principle of separation is based upon the word “religion,” not church?

    Did the GQR survey ask the public if it understood it is the whole subject of “religion” which shall not be established by law or Congress, not just a church?

    The TFN argument did not convert the majority on the TSBOE to the constitutional principle, and a major reason as to why the TFN argument failed to do so, is because the constitutional principle should be explained in terms of what the Constitution says, not what our opponents say.

    A major reason why President Obama and some members of the U.S. Supreme Court and do not understand the Office of Faith-based Partnerships is unconstitutional is because they all are subject to the same delusion, that is, the Constitution is just talking about a “church,” not the whole subject of “religion.”

    As everyone knows, surveys can be worded to get certain answers. There is no question the word “church” is not in the Constitution. There is no refutation of the constitutional principle in terms of “religion,” and I suspect everyone who took the GQR survey would have understood the Constitution’s actual word “religion” just as clearly as they understood “church,” especially if TFN and GQR would have clearly stated what the Constitution actually says and commands.

    After all these many years which TFN has been in existence, why is the argument still in the public square or at any level of government?

    Therefore, my argument is for TFN to improve its argument and to use the Constitution’s wording, as well as James Madison’s unquestioned statement “Strongly guarded … is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution.”

    I would hope TFN would agree,

    Gene Garman, M.Div.,

  23. Anonymous
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    “Gene Garman, Baylor ’62 Says:
    May 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm
    The words “church and state” are not in the Constitution and it is unfortunate TFN continues to use wording which can be so easily refuted: the words “church and state” are not in the Constitution!”

    Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Honestly, Gene, what part of this statement you don’t understand?

  24. jdg
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    *****Rabble Rouser Says:
    May 22, 2010 at 8:47 am
    Hey Kathy…I just watched you get skunked on CNN with Campbell Brown.

    The words, “separation of chuch and state” are NOT in the U.S. Constitution. There’s nothing remotely close to such a statement anywhere in our founding documents.

    TFN supporters, don’t send money, send a pocket size copy of the constitution. Hurry, before it’s too late. Kathy’s next national television appearance depends on it.*********

    Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The creationists made a law, therefore unconstitutional. Sorry Rabble

  25. Posted May 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I messed up the links for Rebecca Bell-Metereau and Judy Jennings.

  26. Charles
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    A reminder that what goes around really does come back around:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/eu_poland_copernicus_reburied

  27. Posted May 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    The words “church and state” are not in the Constitution and it is unfortunate TFN continues to use wording which can be so easily refuted: the words “church and state” are not in the Constitution!

    Has TFN not read Don’t Think of an Elephant by Professor Lakoff? If you want to win the argument, at least use words which are in the Constitution and come from the pen of the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, not from Thomas Jefferson who was in France from 1784 to 1789 and had nothing to do with drafting the Constitution in the secret Philadelphia convention of 1787. Jefferson was not even a member of the First Congress which drafted the First Amendment.

    Use the wording of the Constitution and of the Father of the Constitution and win the wording argument: “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history,” W&MQ 3:555, James Madison, c. 1817. By the way, every Texan should understand what “encroachment” means. I sure do as a Baylor graduate: Sic’em Bears!

    It was James Madison, as a member of a six-member joint Senate-House conference committee in the First Congress, who personally helped draft the wording of the First Amendment in 1789 before it was presented to Congress for adoption.

    I have personally attempted for many months to get TFN to correctly word the constitutional argument: “separation between Religion and Government,” not just of a church, but of the whole subject of “religion,” as Madison said as as the First Amendment commands. And, it is not a church test which Art. 6. commands shall not be required: it is a “religious” test.

    Madison personally helped write all three religion commandments in the Constitution. But, the encroachments are still happening, and a part of the reason is because TFN and others continue to debate with words which are not in the Constitution. Get over the addiction to Jefferson in terms of understanding and debating the Constitution. The words “church and state” are not in the Constitution, as our opponents keep telling TFN, but the word “religion” is, and no one can deny that constitutional argument.

    Gene Garman, M.Div., author, The Religion Commandments in the Constitution: A Primer

    • Posted May 22, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Gene,
      With all due respect, we have won the argument with the general public. As we noted this week, a poll done for the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner showed that 68 percent of Texas likely voters believe separation of church and state is a key principle of our Constitution. We choose to talk to the general public in terms that most people clearly understand and support. That a majority of State Board of Education members choose to ignore mainstream constitutional scholarship, numerous Supreme Court rulings and the opinions of an overwhelming majority of Texans is an indication of a much bigger problem than word choice. We are well aware that you don’t agree, but please be aware that it’s an issue we have studied rather closely and from a variety of perspectives.

  28. Posted May 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Hey Rabble Rouser! Your lord and master, Little Lord McLeroy, just got voted out of office by the conservative but rational and reasonable Republicans of District 9. I guess they got tired of the silly word games that you and Lame Duck Don like to play.

    The next steps are implimentation. McLeroy and his sycophants were not smart enough to lock in their ideas in the TEKS. Intelligent textbook writers can take their confused standards and turn the tables on them and what they wanted by using the whole truth to show their narrow and twisted view of American history and civics is FUBAR. To make sure this gets done, supporters of unbiased and rational public education need to support TFN, Rebecca Bell-Metereau, and Judy Jennings. A solid majority of reasonable and rational board members will keep the enemies of public education from interpreting the TEKS in a way that will hurt our children’s futures.

  29. Trose
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    SBOE’s vote met with calls for legislative action.Why the Federal Gov’t always has to get involved? Because the south keeps messing up by violating the Constitution.

    If reversed, RWNJ’s would say, TX and Gov Perry really want the Fed Gov’t to get involved, why else would they use the SBOE to force antiConstitutionalism in federaly funded textbooks and taught in the public schools?

    TX schools to teach kids separation of church&state is not in the Constitution. Maybe not word-for-word, but neither is arming yourself with a semiautomatic assault rifles.

  30. Charles
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Dream on. Kathy and Campbell Brown both trounced Saenz. The term “Great Commission” is not in the Bible either—but it is still there.

    Buck up folks. There is still an election in the fall and an opportunity to end the “reign of whatever in the heck this is.”

  31. Rabble Rouser
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Hey Kathy…I just watched you get skunked on CNN with Campbell Brown.

    The words, “separation of chuch and state” are NOT in the U.S. Constitution. There’s nothing remotely close to such a statement anywhere in our founding documents.

    TFN supporters, don’t send money, send a pocket size copy of the constitution. Hurry, before it’s too late. Kathy’s next national television appearance depends on it.

  32. ryan
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    this is horrifying. i will donate what i can.

  33. Posted May 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    that should be the
    Stay involved! What is coming up next?
    anchor. Somehow, the link in my earlier comment doesn’t go there.

  34. Posted May 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    http://www.tfn.org/site/PageServer?pagename=involved_latest_campaigns_just_educate#Stay%20Involved!

    needs to be updated. If you want to get some sleep (or some wine) first, that’s understandable.

Post a Comment

TFN Insider Comments Policy

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>