Friday, 29 June 2012

This is a hoax, right? Please? Crap, it's not.

I wish I was making this up.  I've held off posting for two days in the hopes this is a hoax or a cruel joke or something other than another example of the twisted reality we live in.

Texas GOP: "We oppose the teaching of higher order thinking skills, critical thinking skills and similar programs...[which] have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."  Clicking the link above opens a pdf document from the official Texas Republican Party website.  Scroll down to pg 20 of 30 (using the app), 2/3 of the way down the page, the section marked "Knowledge-based Education".

That's right.  They want their children to be unable to think, so they are unable to challenge authority.

While we're at it, here's some other juicy bits.

Early Childhood Development – We believe that parents are best suited to train their children in their early development and oppose mandatory pre-school and Kindergarten. We urge Congress to repeal government-sponsored programs that deal with early childhood development. (pg. 20)

We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. (pg. 20) - that's code for "we ain't teaching evolution or global warming".

We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until marriage. (pg. 21).  No wonder they've got one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world.

We urge the Legislature to end censorship of discussion of religion in our founding documents and encourage discussing those documents. (pg. 21) - that's either "The Founding Fathers were religious" or school Bible study, not sure which, possibly both.

Textbook Review – Until such time as all texts are required to be approved by the SBOE, each ISD that uses non-SBOE approved instructional materials must verify them as factually and historically correct. Also the ISD board must hold a public hearing on such materials,... (pg. 21) - translates to "we'll teach what the community (controlled by the local Fundamentalist church) thinks is true, the facts be damned".

Private Education – We believe that parents and legal guardians may choose to educate their children in private schools to include, but not limited to, home schools and parochial schools without government interference, through definition, regulation, accreditation, licensing, or testing. (pg. 21)  Let's fill little Johnny's head with lies, bullshit, heresy and batshit science, then turn him loose on the world.  What could possibly go wrong?  And just to make sure...

U.S. Department of Education – Since education is not an enumerated power of the federal government, we believe the Department of Education (DOE) should be abolished. (pg. 22)

Other issues...

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) ― We demand the immediate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we believe to be unconstitutional. (pg. 19).  A little late for that considering the Supreme Court says it is constitutional.  Guess they just don't want Canadian-style health care and would prefer to stick with a system that's the most expensive in the world and least effective.

Religious Symbols - We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Decalogue or other religious symbols. (pg. 15)  In other words, the ability to post the 10 Commandments in courtrooms.

Pledge of Allegiance - We support adoption of the Pledge Protection Act. We also urge that the National Motto “In God We Trust” and National Anthem be protected from legislative and judicial attack. (pg. 15) Ignoring that the National Motto is a federal issue.

American English - We support adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States. (pg. 15)  Ignoring that there's no such language.

American Identity Patriotism and Loyalty – We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. (pg. 20) - Like jingoism worked so well in the 50's.

Two pages (16-17) on abortion.

Conscience Clause - We believe that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, any employees of hospitals and insurance companies, health care organizations, medical and scientific research students, and any employee should be protected by Texas law if they conscientiously object to participate in practices that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs, including but not limited to abortion, the prescription for and dispensing of drugs with abortifacient potential, (pg. 17) - in other words medical professionals can refuse to handle blood products if they are Jehovah's Witnesses or dispense the morning after pill to rape victims.

Immunizations ― All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves or their minor children without penalty for refusing a vaccine. (pg. 19)  So I guess they want polio back.

...and of course...

Homosexuality ― We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.  (pg. 16)

...and its corollary...

Family and Defense of Marriage ― We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists. We call on the President and Congress to take immediate action to defend the sanctity of marriage. We are resolute that Congress exercise authority under the United States Constitution, and pass legislation withholding jurisdiction from the Federal Courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage. We further call on Congress to pass and the state legislatures to ratify a marriage amendment declaring that marriage in the United States shall consist of and be recognized only as the union of a natural man and a natural woman. Neither the United States nor any state shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse. We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.

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