By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
A Buzz prayer: We thank Thee, Yahweh/Allah/Brahma/Insert Name Here, for the Texas State Board of Education and its continuing efforts to make Texans appear like the biggest group of yahoos in the nation, outside of Oklahoma. We ask that You sustain them in their task of making our opinionating easier and thus preserve us from the necessity of acquiring a real job. Amen.
That's right. Stalwart conservatives on the SBOE—who think the planet is 6,000ish years old and that the role of nonwhite people in U.S. history was to carry Manifest Destiny's luggage—are at it again. Last week, the board voted, 7-6, to take a stand against...against...umm. What were they against again?
Oh, yes. The creeping tide of pro-Islamic bias that's sweeping the nation, threatening to turn Texas schoolchildren into a horde of Sharia-spouting, burka-wearing Muslims. You say you thought the nation was pretty virulently anti-Islam already? Well, citizen, that just shows you don't have the brains to be a conservative on the SBOE. (Congratulations.)
The board, however, counted up the lines of text in three social studies schoolbooks and found that Islam was getting more ink that Christianity. (None of the books have been used in Texas classrooms since 2003, but let's not allow facts to obscure our paranoia.) The board majority also was perturbed that one of the books mentioned Christian crusaders' slaughter of Jews while neglecting to point out that Tamerlane was really, really bad. (It's terrible that Texas students might not know who Tamerlane was, though it's probably worse that many of them don't know who the U.S. vice president is. For the record, kids, Tamerlane was an early '70s soft rock band that your parents "grooved" to. Your parents are lame.) The board also noticed a sizable investment from Dubai in a major U.S. textbook publisher. Putting two and two together, the board came up with its usual answer. Six.
We kid. Actually, the board passed a resolution that it "will look to reject future prejudicial social studies submissions that continue to offend Texas law with respect to treatment of the world's major religious groups by significant inequalities of coverage..."
Whew! Thank Whomever for the board's vigilance—at least till November, when voters have a chance to tip the balance of the board back to reality, which is way less entertaining. In the meantime, let's all hope the board stands firm against the perversions of thought threatening our state. (For instance, did you know there are some "experts" who believe the Earth revolves around the sun? Save us, SBOE!