NTSC: Aron Ra

Here I am at the North Texas Secular Convention.  Yesterday was a lot of fun.  It was good to see fans and friends again.  Since I’ll be hanging out watching talks today (which leaves little time for blogging the news) and drinking (which leaves even less time for normal blog activity), I’m going to live-blog some highlights from the talks. 

First up is Aron Ra.

1.  Rep. Dwayne Bohac, state rep in Texas, has submitted a bill that would allow teachers to decorate their classrooms with pieces of their particular religion and to tell their students about their religious perspective.  It is titled the “Merry Christmas Bill”.

Because as much as Texas politicians piss and moan about the economy and what Obama has done to the country, this type of thing is a priority.

2.  On the Pledge of Allegiance: “My country should be forced to earn my allegiance, not have it promised to it.”

Hell yes.  I hate flags, and I hate the pledge.  They serve to balkanize the world.  They are little more than affirmations that we are on a team that isn’t “the world.”

3.  Nominee for the state board of education: “All I hear is ‘this is how life began’ or ‘this is what the fossil record proves’, but that’s only one side.”

Yes, it is one side – the only side, in terms of science.

On the woman’s website (he only said her name once and I missed it…Barbara something or other) she promotes books that insist on abstinence-only.  Apparently it’s an almost all-Republican (only one Democrat) group voting, so the odds are stacked in her favor.

4.  Voucher program being pushed in Texas.  It will result in privileged students learning pseudoscience, which impacts them because it’s demonstrably false, and it will also result in other children being stuck with underfunded schools.

But it’s in the name of Jesus, so it must be a good thing…

5.  Of course students can still pray in school.  You can’t stop somebody from talking to themselves.

Made me lol.

6.  When dealing with a possible wrong-doing, legal or otherwise, get the evidence before you make the accusation.

Yes.  Hell yes.  If a teacher is proselytizing in class, use your smart phone and record it.  Send the teacher and email asking “Are you really saying x, y, and z?”  Don’t jump the gun.  You want to make it stop?  Be patient and make a case they’ll have a hard time wiggling out of, because they will try.

7.  House Bill 1287 allows for a bible elective course.  An investigation found that only 3 out of 25 courses taught the course in a constitutionally responsible way.  The bill also says the schools teaching the class must get “additional resources”.  Where do you think those are going to come from?

Other materials have been the films The Ten Commandments, The Passion of the Christ, and Left Behind.  Head meet desk.

How many times before “Trust us!  Yeah it’s religion, but we’ll handle it responsibly” stops fooling people?  Of course, people would have to stop wanting to be fooled.

Aron is now going through the list of schools in Texas and talking about some of the “additional resources” they use.  I laughed at the first two or three.  Now I’m wondering if this list will ever end while fighting back tears and trying to resist the urge to commit seppuku.

Test questions at one school:

1.  Explain what happens between Genesis I and II according the gap theory.
2.  What is the strongest evidence of the bible’s divine origin?  (Answer: fulfilled prophecy).
3.  How might the passover be a foreshadowing of Christ?  Have fun, Jewish students.

Amarillo’s course utilized a chart titled “Racial histories as traced to Noah.”

Jesus Christ on a raft, this list just keeps on going.  Many of these “additional resources” go so far as to tell students they need a relationship with Jesus.  This is in tax-funded, supposed-to-be secular schools.  I hope this talk goes on youtube.  I’ll post it when it does.

8.  Defund Planned Parenthood!  Support accidental parenthood.

Texas has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the country.  Hallelujah.

In December of 2012, Planned Parenthood was effectively defunded in Texas for spending 3% of their funds on abortion.  PP was the healthcare provider for 48,000 of Texas 110,000 impoverished women.  Way to deprive almost half the low-income women in your state of healthcare.  Be proud of that, Texas.

Well, now I’m good and filled with cynicism.  Is it beer time yet?

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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