Friday, May 29, 2009

Governor's Appointee Ousted for his Christian Beliefs

“I think Texas is watching here because I think, whether intentional or not, there will be a perception … that we are applying a religious test for serving in this state,” [said Senator Steve Ogden.]

-- From "School board reins yanked from McLeroy" by Gary Scharrer, Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau 5/28/09

In a rare rejection of an appointment by the Texas governor, the Senate Thursday ousted Don McLeroy as chairman of the State Board of Education, with his supporters claiming the Bryan dentist was the victim of his strong religious beliefs.

McLeroy is a devout Christian who believes in creationism and the notion that the Earth is about 6,000 years old. He has steadfastly argued that Texas students should be taught the weaknesses of evolution.

Earlier this year, the State Board of Education approved new science curriculum standards that changed a long-standing Texas tradition over how schoolchildren learn about evolution.

Democrats argued that McLeroy’s leadership has polarized the board, and that he has disregarded experts in the shaping of science curriculum standards and English, language arts and reading standards for 4.7 million Texas public school children.

“If this isn’t about evolution, if this isn’t about what the Bible teaches, what is it all about?” asked Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, referring to opposition to McLeroy.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.