Time to Find a New Planet

Maybe I should just join that group that’s being sent to Mars.

According to Think Progress, 

An Oklahoma legislative committee overwhelmingly voted to ban Advanced Placement U.S. History class, persuaded by the argument that it only teaches students “what is bad about America.” Other lawmakers are seeking a court ruling that would effectively prohibit the teaching of all AP courses in public schools.

The sponsor of the legislation, one Dan Fisher, belongs to a group called the “Black Robe Regiment” which argues “the church and God himself has been under assault, marginalized, and diminished by the progressives and secularists.”

I hate to inject snark into this deep theological debate, but–if God exists, and is the personal, all-knowing deity who favors some athletic teams over others, sends hurricanes to punish gays and otherwise demonstrates fearsome omnipotence–wouldn’t He (and believe me, this version of God is all male) be able to take care of Himself? Could such a deity really be “diminished” by people teaching accurate American history?

But I digress.

The Black Robe Regiment also attacks the “false wall of separation of church and state,” and claims that a “growing tide of special interest groups is indoctrinating our youth at the exclusion of the Christian perspective.”

Talk about projection!

So here we are in the 21st Century, with a Wisconsin governor who wants to replace university education with job training, and an Oklahoma legislature that wants to replace high school education with religious indoctrination.

I understand that crazy people have always been among us. I can handle that. What I want to know is who the hell elects these people?


  1. As I have previously stated; Intellectuals, are a minority. That should give you
    some idea as to who is electing these people.

    As to Education. An interesting recorded snippet on Public Radio (yesterday)
    They replayed the recording of one of the Police officers involved with the
    elderly Indian gentleman, who suffered a spinal injury at the hands of said
    police officers.

    He said, “He ain’t got a lic of english” I seriously doubt that this office had even
    a High School Diploma.

  2. I’m not sure that Mars would be far enough away, although that may be the only current option.

  3. Republicans keep trying to kill education on all levels. That tells me that they are convinced that ONLY stupid people will vote for them. I think they are right.

  4. ??????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Evangelicals are America’s embarrassment, America’s Taliban, American Medievels.

    “What I want to know is who the hell elects these people?”

    Are you sure you do? In many cases, A1PAC. The greatest supporters of Isr@el outside of New York City are Evangelical Christians.


    The maps shows that the dumber the state, the stronger the support for Isr@el.

    Scott Walker is an Evangelical. Scott Walker is going to Isr@el:

    “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said this week that he’ll probably travel to Isr@el in the near future — a trip that’s become almost a required pilgrimage for presidential candidates, particularly Republicans.”


    Without Evangelicals, America is no longer a country that commits massive military intervention to meddle in the Middle East for the benefit of Isr@el. Without Isr@el funding American elections, the Republicans might actually run a moderate. Without Isr@el, America is a country that can accept fossil layers can carbon dating.

    Right from the first sentence of an A1PAC page:

    “The evangelical Christian community plays an increasingly vital role in A1PAC’s work to strengthen ties between the United States and Isr@el.”


    “Furthermore, polls indicate that support for Isr@el is highly related to adherence to evangelical beliefs and frequency of church attendance. By one estimate, 20-25 million Americans define themselves as evangelical Christians, representing a tremendous pool of potential pro-Isr@el advocates. ”

    If the Goy1m don’t know their own History, but dutifully support Isr@el, eh.


  5. I had recently considered that the best view of the Statue of Liberty
    was from the deck of an ocean liner heading for Europe. However,
    things are getting a little crazy in that “neck of the woods” also.

  6. Thomas Jefferson 1787:
    “Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear”.

    (PS However , always an exception, If God does exist, he or she looks out for the Butler Bulldogs)

  7. My sad experience, low these many years, is that many (if not most) people will happily ignore the truth if presented with a lie they like better. Until we teach our youth critical thinking that is unlikely to change. The liars are just too good at what they do.

  8. Sheila; you might want to hold off on scheduling that trip to Mars. Front page of USA Today section of the Indianapolis Star (Mon. or Tues.) had large headlines regarding “Unearthly Eruptions on Mars…” with subheadlines stating scientists were confused as to what was causing the phenomenon. All we can do is hope and pray these are not the same scientists studying Global Warming; I would be concered had they found “earthly” eruptions on Mars which they couldn’t explain.

  9. Wray McCalester you absolutely have it figured out. Now, how can we resolve this lack of critical thinking? The adults that practice critical thinking are far outnumbered by the adults that prefer to take the lazy way out and just blindly believe what Faux (news) or their pastors tell them to believe.

  10. I’ve become a fan of Jane Jacobs’s 2004 book, “Dark Age Ahead.” I’m short on time, so I’ll just paste in passages from the Wikipedia entry for it.

    She describes what she sees as the decay of five key “pillars” in North America:

    Community and Family
    People are increasingly choosing consumerism over family welfare, that is: consumption over fertility; debt over family budget discipline; fiscal advantage to oneself at the expense of community welfare.

    Higher Education
    Universities are more interested in credentials than providing high quality education.

    Bad Science
    Elevation of economics as the main “science” to consider in making major political decisions.

    Bad Government
    Governments are more interested in deep-pocket interest groups than the welfare of the population.

    Bad Culture
    A culture that prevents people from understanding/realising the deterioration of fundamental physical resources which the entire community depends on.

  11. The censorship of knowledge is of course as far away from the founder’s ideals as it’s possible to get. And completely unnecessary. Big media has accomplished it without benefit of law in a few short decades.

  12. The Lunatics are finally in charge of the Asylum …

    Its interesting to note, how current manufacturing in the US is a slave
    to foreign imports. Case in point, the west coast ports are closed to
    shipping traffic, many vessels are carrying components required for the
    Automobile assembly lines. Subaru, apparently cannot complete the
    assembly process and thus production stops. The work force is slowly
    grinding to a halt.

  13. This is the first time I have ever deigned to comment on two consecutive columns, Sheila, but I am compelled (it does happen once or twice a millennium) to issue a little bit of snark Myself in reply to your apparent lack of firm belief (or incorrigible skepticism) in My Existence. Please let Me take care of Oklahoma….you are taking it far too seriously. It’s only a musical by Rogers and Hammerstein. And Greg……excellent observation. I have a soft spot for Butler. Gotta go now and turn off those Mars eruptions.

  14. I wasn’t sure where to fit these remarks in so clicked on Sheila’s “Education – Youth” selection on her list and this popped up. I just watched the 1960 movie, “Inherit The Wind”, after many years I had forgotten what a powerful message it had and still has. For those who aren’t familiar with this movie it was loosly based on the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial; a teacher was arrested for teaching evolution to high school students in Tennessee. I have to admit my error in previously stating the GOP has moved us back to the 1950’s; they overshot it by decades. That 1925 case is being fought in this country every day of the week and covers more than the issue of education; it is encroaching on many areas of our lives. Now some of the states are changing our very history in an attempt to cover up dark chapters by rewriting history books to be used in schools. Denying not only the truth of our past but denying thinking on an educated level. Will we move all the way back to that 1925 “Monkey” trial; I see a distinct possibility due to governmental controls over education and life in general. Educating youth is educating our future leaders and this is a frightening thought these days.

  15. There is also a concerted effort to digitalize everything teachers do or say. Now, my own child had a 5th grade history teacher that worshipped George W. Bush and took patriotism to a degree that made me uneasy. I didn’t storm the school demanding she teach to suit my point of view or be fired. I just figured it was the price you pay for having a democracy. I doubt seriously that the powerful right would have any qualms about evicting liberal teachers on the basis of big brother oversight. There is also a bad side effect of all this testing mania. Science and Social Studies have been given short shrift in the “race to the top.” Many elementary teachers have told me that they barely
    teach those subjects because they must focus on math, reading and writing. Without the humanities and science we are doomed.

  16. Rep. Wesco has authored that same bill here in Indiana. You don’t need to
    go to Oklahoma for the crazies, we have them right here in our General Assembly.

  17. Outside of our borders, there are places where sanity prevails, where even conservative parties are not some odd Christian version of the Taliban. I’d check them out before lining up to go Mars.

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