July 9, 2009

Hoo wee. Via Fred Clark, this story about Texas Gov. Rick Perry considering the appointment of a right-wing extremist Christian to head the state's Board of education.

Oh, and she just happens to despise public education, thinks it's unconstitutional and thinks public schools should be abolished. (She also thinks Barack Obama is getting ready to impose martial law.) Yep, she sounds perfect for the job - at least, in Wacky Wingnut World.

thumb_mediumCynthia Dunbar_a437e.jpg

Fred sums it up nicely:

...Just like the fire departments, school boards seem to attract a significant unhinged minority of firebugs -- people who just want to destroy public education and laugh while it burns.

Dunbar is a member of what one blogger called "the Texas Taliban," a coalition of state school board fundamentalists. Since this is the year the board purchases new textbooks, their goal is to make sure the textbooks selected are as wingnutty and deliciously wacky as their own personal beliefs.

By the way, she's a graduate of Regent University School of Law, founded by that noted legal scholar, Pat Robertson. Another notable grad? Monica Goodling.

AUSTIN — Critics who engineered the recent ouster of State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, in part because of his strong religious beliefs, could end up with someone even more outspoken in her faith.

Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, who advocated more Christianity in the public square last year with the publication of her book, One Nation Under God, is among those that Gov. Rick Perry is considering to lead the State Board of Education, some of her colleagues say.

Critics are gasping and allies are cheering over speculation that Dunbar, a lawyer, could win a promotion to the leadership spot.

“It would certainly cause angst among the same members of the pagan left that rejected Don McLeroy because he was a man of faith,” said David Bradley, R-Beaumont, one of the seven socially conservative members on the 15-person board.

Nicely done, Dave. So any mainstream Christians who dare to disagree with you are secret pagan sympathizers!

Perry’s office declined to comment until “a final decision is made.”

[...] In a book published last year, Dunbar argued the country’s founding fathers created “an emphatically Christian government” and that government should be guided by a “biblical litmus test.” She endorses a belief system that requires “any person desiring to govern have a sincere knowledge and appreciation for the Word of God in order to rightly govern.”

Also in the book, she calls public education a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion.”

The establishment of public schools is unconstitutional and even “tyrannical,” she wrote, because it threatens the authority of families, granted by God through Scripture, to direct the instruction of their children.

Perry’s appointment of Dunbar would send a statement “that

the governor shares her shocking hostility toward public education,” said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, an organization that monitors the State Board of Education.

“Just as bad, he would be siding with a faction of self-righteous politicians on the board who have made it crystal clear that they believe the only real Christians are the ones who agree with them,” Miller said. “If the governor really decides that selling out our kids like this is a good re-election strategy, then this state has an even bigger problem than we thought.”

From the Houston Chronicle's Lisa Falkenberg (hmm. Isn't that a Communist-sounding name?):

If the chatter from some board members proves correct, and Gov. Rick Perry is indeed considering appointing member Cynthia Dunbar as the board’s new leader, we may find ourselves reminiscing fondly about the good ol’ days when Chairman McLeroy simply disregarded experts, sidelined teachers and insisted on inserting his religious beliefs into public policy-making.

Dunbar’s shortcomings go far beyond ideology and poor leadership skills to beliefs promoting paranoia and bigotry.

This is the same Richmond Republican who penned an online essay shortly before the presidential election warning Barack Obama was plotting with terrorists to attack the country. She refused to retract her claim, even under pressure from Republicans.

Gov. Perry will do just about anything to woo the far right fundamentalists, won't he?

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