Texas Textbook Reviewers Are Trying to Push Creationism Into the Classroom

How did the Texas State Board of Education get back into the news?! I thought we were done with them after Don McLeroy left, but they’re back and they’re once again promoting bad science:

Records show that the textbook reviewers made ideological objections to material on evolution and climate change in science textbooks from at least seven publishers, including several of the nation’s largest publishing houses. Failing to obtain a review panel’s top rating can make it harder for publishers to sell their textbooks to school districts, and can even lead the state to reject the books altogether.

The Texas Freedom Network and the National Center for Science Education put out a joint press release this week explaining how the TFN obtained the review panel’s notes from the Texas Education Agency “through a request under the state’s Public Information Act.”

Among the most egregious examples they found:

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Judge Throws Out Atheists’ Lawsuit That Would Have Removed ‘In God We Trust’ from U.S. Currency

Earlier this year, Michael Newdow, the atheist who took his case to remove “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Supreme Court nearly a decade ago, filed a complaint in a New York district court in order to remove “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency:

The plaintiffs included Newdow, his mother, the New York City Atheists, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, several families (with children), while the defendants included the U.S. Congress and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

href=”https://www.dropbox.com/s/swkzl1532chynf4/167161662-Newdow-v-United-States.pdf”>threw the lawsuit out.

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Christian Pastor: No One Names Their Kid Barack… ‘Except Crack Whores’

We already know Pastor Steven Anderson has gone from religious-based anti-women hate-rhetoric to just plain spiteful racist bigotry. Last week, he called Mecca a “Giant Black GameCube” and now, in a sermon mentioning the biblical character Barak, he went on a rant against the President:

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The Cross Must be Removed from the 131-Year-Old City Seal of DeLand, Florida

This is the city seal of DeLand, Florida:

There’s a heart, an anchor, and a cross. One of those is a problem. But until now, no one has ever taken serious action on it.

Acting on a complaint from a local resident, Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent a letter to city officials late last month asking them to reconsider their seal because of it’s endorsement of Christianity. They haven’t received a response yet, but the media and Christian Right are flipping out:

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Group with Atheist-y Name Claims Responsibility for Bombing of Christian Group’s Veterans Memorial

You may recall that, back in August, there was a small explosion near the Mingus Park Vietnam War Memorial cross in Coos Bay, Oregon. No one was hurt, but the cross was slightly damaged.

At the time, the fingers were pointing straight at atheist groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation:

“We unfortunately are now to the point where explosive devices are being placed next to crosses,” said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation at the Liberty Institute.

“These people will stop at nothing to intimidate communities to tear down their veterans memorials,” Sasser told Fox News. “Now the crazies are trying to blow one up.”

Sasser called on the FFRF to stop “fanning the flames of hostility toward veterans memorials.”

“There are consequences for fomenting hatred for what were once obscure veterans memorials,” he said. “The FFRF should immediately condemn this dangerous criminal act.”

FFRF challenged the religious memorial on legal grounds, but we know they would never resort to tactics like this. Still, days later, just to set the record straight, FFRF condemned the actions:

FFRF condemns this violent and reckless act. We are in fact not aware of any act of violence committed by a nonbeliever in the name of keeping religion out of government. We have had FFRF billboards and banners vandalized and stolen on occasion, and been the recipient of many threats of violence over the years, so we know how it feels. Dynamiting the Buddhas at Bamiyan or terrorizing abortion clinics are the tyrannical tactics of religious fanatics, not the Freedom From Religion Foundation. We have never, and will never, advocate or employ violence against those with whom we disagree.

In the weeks to follow there was little development in the case, but yesterday, there was a strange breakthrough: All City Council members and The World (a newspaper serving the Coos Bay community) received a letter from the purported criminal(s).

The writer appears to be a member of an atheist group.

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