Education

Texas GOP Board Of Education Candidate Calls For 'Straight Pride,' Likens Gay People To Murderers

Lady Theresa Thombs, the Republican candidate for the Texas State Board of Education who rails against evolution, “socialist higher education” and “Devil worshipers,” today shared a Facebook post calling for “Straight Pride.”

When several commenters mocked her post, Thombs responded that she doesn’t hate gay people and only thinks that gay people are sinners, just like murderers: “We are not bigoted or hateful. Jesus said to love the sinner but hate the sin. God gives you free will to do what you want. But murder is a sin, but even a murderer is loved and forgiven if he asked to be. We both have the right to believe the way we choose is all that I am saying.” 

In another Facebook post, Thombs said that people who criticized her attack on evolution at a school board candidate forum are actually trying to take away the right of Christians to speak freely and run for public office.

The Texas Freedom Network wondered “who has argued that Christians ‘have no right to seek public office,’” reminding Thombs that almost all of the candidates for the post are Christian. 

NC Committee Upholds Teaching of Challenged Allende Novel

After Isabel Allende’s internationally-renowned novel The House of the Spirits was challenged by a parent this October, PFAW Foundation wrote to members of the Watauga County, North Carolina Board of Education, urging them not to remove the book from the county’s high school curriculum. Now, following a sustained outcry at both the local and national level – including from Allende herself – a county appeal committee has unanimously voted to uphold the teaching of the book.
PFAW Foundation

David Barton Explains How Teachers Can Sneak Christian Indoctrination Into The Classroom

During his recent appearance at Ohio Christian University, David Barton was asked by an audience member who is an education major at the school how he, upon graduating and getting a job, might be able to impart a Christian influence on his students without getting fired.

Barton suggested that the student get a job as an English or History teacher because that would allow him to sneak in discussions of the Bible or read Christian prayers in the classroom under the guise of simply teaching these subjects.

For instance, Barton recommend that, as an English teacher, he could have his students read the works of Shakespeare, which Barton claimed contain quotes from over two thousand Bible verses. "So what you can do," Barton said, "is look up that phrase he just said; well, that's right out of Matthew 7:23.  So you're just simply using English Lit."

He could do the same as a History teacher, Barton said, suggesting that he could teach his students about Founding Father Thomas McKean who used to deliver altar calls in the courtroom when he served as a judge. "You can read an altar call," Barton said, "here's what was done in 1779 in Thomas McKean's courtroom.  It's an altar call, but all you're doing is reading history":

Harvey: 'Trashy' Gay-Straight Alliances Promote 'Disease'

Ohio-based Religious Right activist Linda Harvey is upset that the Ohio Education Association is helping Gay-Straight Alliance clubs get off the ground, which she warns will lead more students into “sinful deviant behaviors that put young people at great risk of disease and other poor outcomes.”

“They deceive younger students who may be drawn to this behavior,” Harvey claims. “Kids are given misinformation that change is never possible and biblically faithful Christians are their enemies.”

The Mission America president says that thanks to GSA clubs’ “trashy, child endangering values,” kids will grow up into “diseased and despondent” adults:

This is terribly harmful to these children and terribly divisive in the school atmosphere. Where is the OEA going to be ten years down the road when some of these kids are diseased and despondent, having gone down this road with multiple broken relationships and needless heartbreak. We taxpayers are indirectly paying for such trashy, child-endangering values.

Barton: 'There Is No Model Whereby God Blesses Those In Secular Education'

While appearing on "Believer's Voice of Victory," David Barton and host Kenneth Copeland discussed the importance of all Christians homeschooling their children so they are not corrupted by the secular public education system.

As Barton explained, God does not approve of any sort of secular education and so how can Christians "expect to put your kids in something God has never blessed" and receive God's blessing. 

"There is no model whereby God blesses those in secular education," Barton asserted, adding that some Christian students might still received God's blessing if they are in the public school system but only if the refuse to acquiesce to the "Babylonian education."

"If you're going to be Moses, you don't get Pharaoh's education; you've got to get God's education, you get on the backside of the wilderness for forty years and come in thinking like God and you can do some things":

E.W. Jackson: More Guns Needed In Schools

E.W. Jackson, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, told a Republican forum prior to his nomination that a plan to have armed guards in schools didn’t go far enough to prevent school shootings.

He said that “every person who had a concealed carry permit and was trained to use a firearm” should be “allowed to bring that firearm to school,” adding that he believes it is a Second Amendment right to bring guns to schools.

Jackson has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners of America, and earlier this year blamed urban violence on young people “treating [their] bodies as sexual objects.”

Schlafly: Public Schools Trying 'To Prepare Us To Accept Death Panels From Obamacare'

Phyllis Schlafly claims that an assignment in an Illinois high school’s sociology class and a Oregon health class assignment dating back to 1984 are signs that the public education system is trying to “prepare us to accept death panels from Obamacare.”

St. Joseph-Ogden High School, a public school in St. Joseph, Ill., gave its sophomore class an assignment to choose which of 10 people were “worthy” of getting kidney dialysis when the hospital had only six machines. The assignment instructed the students, “four people are not going to live. You must decide from the information below which six will survive.”

The students were given the list of the 10 who desperately needed kidney dialysis with identification about their occupation, age and ethnicity, and told to give each a score. The instructions stated: “Put the people in order using 1-10, 1 being the person you want to save first and 10 being the person you would save last,” with the assumption that those getting scores 7 through 10 would be marked for death.

Since when are high-school students allowed to judge who may live and who must die? Is this to prepare us to accept death panels from Obamacare?

Unfortunately, such public school class assignments are not new. A Department of Education hearing in Seattle on March 13, 1984, heard a parent describe the Health class at Clackamas High School in Oregon.

Students were presented with the “lifeboat situation”: Too many people are in the sinking lifeboat, and the students were ordered to choose whose lives are not worth saving and should be thrown overboard so the lifeboat won’t sink. Variations of the lifeboat situation have been widely used in public schools for many years.

Naturally, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Todd Starnes are also on the case.

The principal at the high school responded to a reporter from the conservative ChampionNews.net and explained that the assignment in question was meant to educate students on “social value biases” and “how people in our society unfortunately create biases based off of professions, race, gender, etc.”

The assignment you are referring to is not a “Death Panel” assignment. The assignment is one in the sociology unit of our Introduction To Social Studies class. The purpose of the assignment is to educate students about social values and how people in our society unfortunately create biases based off of professions, race, gender, etc. The teacher’s goal is to educate students in the fact that these social value biases exist, and that hopefully students will see things from a different perspective after the activity is completed. The teacher’s purpose in the element of the assignment you are referring to is to get students emotionally involved to participate in the classroom discussion, and to open their minds to the fact that they themselves have their own social biases. The assignment has nothing to do with a “Death Panel.”

We encourage parents to contact their son/daughter’s teachers if they have any concerns about an assignment in the classroom. That line of communication typically clears up any potential misunderstanding.

Parsley: Satan Using Public Schools To Attack Children

Televangelist Rod Parsley is promoting his new book with a warning to parents about the dangers of public education, telling them that public schools are under Satan’s control.

“Our children are our righteous seed, and Satan is after them,” Parsley writes. “He has turned our public schools into cesspools of godless propaganda where God is publicly mocked and reviled. It is time to take a stand against the devil.” 

Parsley founded the private Harvest Preparatory School, which is based in his megachurch and has seen its share of controversy.

God made a covenant with Abraham and pronounced a multitude of blessings upon him. Why? Because God knew Abraham would raise his children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

Abraham became the father of many nations, and the entire earth has been blessed through his seed. You are engrafted into the family of Abraham and are blessed because of his righteous seed.

Our children are our righteous seed, and Satan is after them. He has turned our public schools into cesspools of godless propaganda where God is publicly mocked and reviled.

It is time to take a stand against the devil. The blood-bought saints of God must rescue this generation with the blood of Jesus, with the Word of God, and with prayer. Pray a hedge of protection around the children in your life.

What stand is Christ calling you to make in Your family, at work, in church, and in your community? Are you will to stand up for Jesus no matter what the cost?

Jesus, give me the courage to stand firm on Your truth. Guide me in raising my children in the fear of God. Protect my children and family from every attack. Amen.

Fischer Calls For The Use Of Corporal Punishment In Public Schools

Bryan Fischer spent a large portion of his radio program today hailing the effectiveness of spanking as a biblically-approved form of discipline and cackling as he recounted how he and his wife used a wooden spoon to spank their own children on their bare bottoms because "the bottom is just designed by God for that."

Eventually, Fischer got around to calling for the use of corporal punishment in public schools, saying failure to allow teachers to physically discipline children is why there are so many behavioral problems in school and why children today are getting such a poor education.

"I want to tell you," Fischer said, "we are not going to have a functional education system where kids are actually learning, you're not going to have an environment conducive to learning until we bring corporal discipline back into our elementary schools, into our public schools. That is the only way you're going to be able to maintain the kind of environment in a class room where kids can actually learn something":

Harvey: Schools 'Selling Gay Behavior To Kids'

On her radio show today, Linda Harvey said that the real problem facing students today isn’t bullying, but anti-bullying programs that are “selling gay behavior.”

Harvey cautioned parents to keep an eye out for the efforts of the anti-bullying group GLSEN, which she said will be using pledge cards, posters, t-shirts, signs, and all kinds of merchandise as part of a “re-education” plan to “pressure” students during Ally Week.

“It’s not appropriate for schools to allow this since, once again, it’s a backdoor way to get people to give approval to known high-risk, immoral, troubling behavior,” Harvey claimed, telling schools to prevent students from participating in Ally Week since “no responsible organization or school should be selling gay behavior to kids in the first place.”

Voucher Programs Still Don't Make the Grade for Students, Parents and Taxpayers

Conservatives have long touted the game-changing impact that voucher and similar taxpayer funded K-12 school tuition programs have on improving educational success, but as you peel back the layers we find lackluster results at best.

A recent Politico article shines a light on this issue as states are set to spend upwards of $1 billion dollars on private school vouchers and similar programs in 2014. What we see are outcomes that don’t making the grade for students, parents and taxpayers, with some of this money even going to schools that teach creationism and religion as science. According to a 2011 study published by the Center on Education Policy, when compared to similar public school students, voucher recipients have generally performed at the same level on reading and math assessments.

With the lack of real and positive impacts for students, as we see in so many places around the country, including Louisiana, Wisconsin and Ohio, we should question why states are not putting that public money back into public schools to help the children that need it the most.

Earlier this summer, People For’s Peter Montgomery wrote an excellent piece that highlights right-wing strategies on vouchers, entitled “Choice’ School Accountability in the Eye of the Beholder – or Big Donor.”
 

PFAW

Glenn Beck Reveals The Progressive Dishwasher, Cursive Handwriting Conspiracy Theories

Glenn Beck is angry that he can’t go anywhere without seeing the word ‘progressive,’ which he believes is part of a wider conspiracy to brainwash people into becoming progressives.

Beck said he found a progressive dishwasher, progressive appliances, progressive paint, and even a paint color named after Woodrow Wilson.

“Look at how they are just embedding this everywhere to make sure that you always understand that progressive is a good thing that means newfangled, that means special,” Beck lamented. “They are embedding it everywhere.”

That’s not the only ‘conspiracy’ Beck revealed today. Beck’s The Blaze has criticized Common Core for not requiring cursive lessons, and today Beck said that the reason fewer schools are teaching cursive is part of a plot to create the next generation of slaves.

Beck, who has been actively campaigning against Common Core, said that a lack of cursive instruction is “making our children into slaves” just like black children under slavery: “this is what they would have done in the 1850s to black children.”

“Why are they not teaching cursive writing?” Beck asked. “They’re not teaching cursive writing because the easiest way to make somebody a slave is to dumb them down, make sure they can’t read or write.”

COPE: Teaching Science Violates Rights Of Christians; Courts Must Block Science Curriculum

Last week, we reported that an organization called Citizens for Objective Public Education filed a lawsuit contesting science standards in Kansas schools, arguing that lessons on evolution represent an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

John Calvert of the Intelligent Design Network, an attorney involved in the lawsuit, told conservative talk radio host Janet Mefferd today that lessons on evolution are “religious education” in violation of the rights of parents, children and taxpayers. Mefferd replied that it is “crazy” to think that public schools could teach evolution to Christian students.

The religious rights that are being promoted here are the religious rights of parents to direct the religious education of their children and a state interferes with that when it seeks to promote an atheistic worldview. The second right is the child’s right, the child has a right not to be indoctrinated by the state to accept a particular religious viewpoint, that right is being taken by the framework. The last right is the taxpayer has a right, you know I pay taxes to Kansas, real estate taxes, a good part of my real estate taxes go to fund Kansas public education and I don’t want the taxes used to promote a nontheistic worldview.

“This really is a case about the establishment of a complete worldview,” Calvert said, arguing that public schools violate the Constitution by teaching “materialistic science” and therefore courts should block the curriculum and instruction on evolution.

“We’ve asked the court to enjoin the whole package, they just need to go back to the drawing board,” Calvert told Mefferd. “In the alternative, if the court is not willing to do that, the court should at least enjoin the teaching of origin science in the primary school grades from kindergarten through the 8th grade.”

Calvert and Mefferd claimed it is only fair to teach creationism and intelligent design alongside evolution. Otherwise, Calvert claimed, schools would be teaching atheism.

“It’s clear that there are lots and lots of people who hold to the biblical account of creation or at the very least a view of intelligent design, share it as a perspective, evolution is not the only perspective out there,” Mefferd said.

Well, there are also “lots and lots of people” who believe that the sun revolves around the earth (one out of five Americans), so is it really settled science that the earth revolves around the sun and schools should teach both points of view?

Must schools also incorporate the claims that the earth is flat into lessons regarding the shape of the earth?

After all, we must keep the curriculum balanced and respect flat-earth proponents who think religion and science back up their beliefs.

Texas School Board Chair Hails Creationist Dietitian And Businessman As Biology Experts

At a Texas State Board of Education meeting last month, the Republican head of the school board defended the qualifications of a biology textbook review panelist who said that “creation science based on biblical principles should be incorporated into every biology book that is up for adoption.”

SBOE chair Barbara Cargill defended the panelist, who is not a biologist but… a dietitian. Cargill defended another Creationism advocate on the panel, a businessman, because he has a degree in chemical engineering, saying that not enough biology teachers wanted to serve on the panel reviewing textbooks.

“They might be well-qualified in their own professional fields, but they are no more qualified to review biology textbooks than a biologist would be qualified to review a mathematics or engineering textbook,” Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network points out.

He also notes that Cargill’s claim that teachers didn’t step up to serve on the panels is baloney, as 140 of the 183 of the “individuals who applied or were nominated by State Board of Education members to serve as biology textbook reviewers” were educators, and the “vast majority of them have degrees and teaching experience specifically in biology.”

“Some of them are among the 28 individuals appointed as biology textbook reviewers. But all of the others were passed over for the dietician, business and finance professionals, and various chemical, mechanical, systems and civil engineers who used their positions on the review teams to promote completely discredited junk science attacking evolution (or simply to call for teaching “creation science based on biblical principles” in biology textbooks).”

Liberty Counsel: LGBT History Classes Are 'Sexual Assault'

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver released a statement today warning members that their kids may be in schools that are “celebrating LGBT History Month,” which he said will focus on “sex and murder.” Staver is especially upset that students may learn about Gwen Araujo, a seventeen-year-old transgender woman who was beaten to death by a group of men.

He said such lessons amount to “sexual assault on our children.”

Washington, DC - What are your kids studying in school today? Public schools from California to Florida are celebrating LGBT History Month, where they highlight a homosexual or lesbian each day. Today, America’s school children are learning about Edward-turned-Gwen Araujo, who was intimate with men who allegedly beat him when they discovered that he was not a woman.

“If parents think our school children should be focused on science and math, not sex and murder, they need to talk to teachers, principals, and school boards to ensure that this program is stopped,” cautions Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“The sexual assault on our children is mind-boggling,” Staver says. Earlier this week, Mat Staver was in federal court in New Jersey challenging the new law that bans minors in the Garden State from receiving counseling to overcome unwanted same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, or identity. Liberty Counsel has already challenged a similar law in California. Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia have introduced like measures that insert the government between the client and the counselor.

“Parents and concerned citizens must stand up to protect our children,” says Staver. “Enough is enough! The innocence of our children is under assault in the public schools. Parents and concerned citizens must stand up and demand that public schools focus on the essentials of learning and not become vehicles of a sexualized agenda.”

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

Kansas Group Tries To Remove Evolution From Schools By Claiming Science Is A Religion

A Kansas-based group that “promotes the religious rights of parents, children, and taxpayers” is challenging the state’s science standards because they include the teaching of evolution, which the group claims is a religion and therefore should be excluded from science class.

As the AP reports, Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) claims that public schools “promote a ‘non-theistic religious worldview’ by allowing only ‘materialistic’ or ‘atheistic’ explanations to scientific questions.” The group argues that by teaching evolution “the state would be ‘indoctrinating’ impressionable students in violation of the First Amendment.”

COPE’s challenge [PDF] states that the teaching of evolution “amounts to an excessive government entanglement with religion” and violates the rights of Christian parents.

Indeed, COPE’s stated mission is to create “religious[ly] neutral” schools that do not promote “pantheistic and materialistic religions, including Atheism and Religious (‘Secular’) Humanism” - a category under which it includes “Darwinian evolution.”

The National Center for Science Education calls COPE’s lawsuit “silly” and “frivolous,” and the Baptist Joint Committee says COPE’s argument “makes no sense” and that the group is effectively saying schools should be “teaching no science at all.”

Just like the bogus “teach the controversy” or “teach both sides” refrains, COPE’s lawsuit is part of a long line of Creationist challenges to the teaching of evolution.

Religious Right heavyweight John Eidsmoe, a mentor to conservative politicians like Michele Bachmann, wrote in his 1984 book God & Caesar that conservative Christian activists should base their attacks on evolution on the premise that evolution is actually just as much a religious idea as Creationism, and therefore the two should be treated the same way.

Eidsmoe writes that the government “promote[s] humanism” through its “support for evolution.” He decries “secular humanism” as “the religion of the American public schools,” a result of successful push by humanists “to use the public schools to promote a religion of secular humanism.”

As Eidsmoe understands it, science classes that “contain evolutionary thought” are no different from schools that exclusively “promote Christianity or creationism.”

“Why should government ally itself with the faith of humanism?” Eidsmoe writes. “[J]ust as the government cannot actively promote Christianity, so also the government should not actively promote secular humanism.”

He claims that the “religion” of humanism “violates the fundamental beliefs of orthodox Christians,” and urges Christians to “demand that public schools which teach evolution teach creation also” or “ask that the humanistic materials be removed.”

COPE is clearly following the blueprint laid out by Eidsmoe, with its claim [PDF] that it is defending Christians’ “rights to not be indoctrinated by Kansas public schools to accept the materialistic/atheistic religious Worldview which the [Framework and Standards] seek to establish.”

Harvey: GLSEN Leading An 'Assault On Our Children'

During her daily radio commentary today, Linda Harvey of Mission America once again took aim at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which she accused of leading an “assault on our children” by “promoting homosexuality to kids.” She asserted that GLSEN wants kids to engage in “high-risk behaviors” even though “none of these boys is born homosexual.”

She also went after the Human Rights Campaign for hosting a “Time to Thrive” conference for its Youth Well-Being Project. “The problem is, kids won’t thrive if we keep labeling them with deviance and telling them homosexuality is fine,” Harvey said.

“Well, since the Human Rights Campaign is fine with pushing kids towards harmful behaviors and affirming them in this direction, it is unlikely this effort will teach kids what they really need to hear – which is that you have a choice,” she claimed. “You don’t have to go down this road, and especially considering the health risks, why would any responsible group tell them anything else? I just think these are either hard hearts or corrupted ones, and our kids are the ones suffering for it.”

Pat Robertson And Ron Paul Agree Progressives Use Public Schools To 'Indoctrinate Children'

Ron Paul appeared on the 700 Club today to promote his new curriculum for homeschoolers, of which televangelist Pat Robertson is a big fan. Robertson said that Paul’s curriculum, which includes instructions on “the Biblical principles of self-government” and “a thorough understanding of Austrian school economics,” is necessary to stop “indoctrination” in public education.

“Don’t the so-called progressives and whatever, don’t they really want education to indoctrinate children. It’s not just a question of educating they want to indoctrinate them in their philosophy, don’t they?” Robertson inquired.

“I think that’s the whole purpose, it’s indoctrination; it’s compulsory; it’s conformity; destroy creativity; destroy individuality,” Paul maintained. “They don’t want kids to be curious, they have to conform and mold it and then they are obedient to the state.”

Paul said that the NSA surveillance program, government spending and militarism are all the consequences of the public schools’ efforts to “condition” children “to say the government knows best, they’ll take care of it.”

Watch:

Harvey: LGBT-Inclusive Education Sign Of 'A Self-Destructive Society'

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality joined Mission America’s Linda Harvey over the weekend to discuss how groups like GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) are attempting to use schools to make kids gay and transgender, which they suggested would increase the rate of HIV.

Responding to GLSEN’s Transgender Students Rights initiative, Harvey asked: “Why in the world are we doing this to kids? You know, a self-destructive society would do these kinds of things, wouldn’t they? And look at us.”

“Yes. A healthy society discriminates against perverse and dangerous and unhealthy behaviors such as homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism,” LaBarbera said. “That’s what a healthy society does.”

Tell the Texas State Board of Education that science belongs in science textbooks, not religion.

Tell the TX State Board of Education: Creationism is religion and doesn't belong in a science textbook -- science does.
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