When Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker (of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX) finished his prepared testimony, State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy reacted, saying (Click here for the audio.):
I don’t think you’ll find a single Board member that has ever advocated — in fact I don’t know of a single Board member that has ever advocated — teaching creationism, teaching intelligent design, or teaching supernatural explanations in the science classroom.
8:10 p.m. – Board Chairman McLeroy just said he doesn’t know of any board member who has ever advocated teaching creationism in public schools. That’s not true, and he should know. McLeroy and other creationists on the board are on the record in past voter guides as supporting teaching creationism and, later, “intelligent design” in Texas public schools. TFN has copies of those voter guides.
Well, it turns out TFN did indeed have those voter guides, which they have now posted on their blog.
This is all the more remarkable for the fact that just about a half-hour earlier, McLeroy had engaged in this exchange with Wendee Holtcamp (who had not come equipped, that day, with alligator):
Wendee has posted her own account on Daily Kos (with text, commentary, and even an mp3 audio of her complete testimony). Here’s her account of that part:
Then [I] continue:
Despite what the creationist members of the Board say – Ms Lowe, Ms Leo, Ms Cargill, Ms Dunbar, Mr Mercer, Dr McLeroy and others – everybody in the nation knows that this is absolutely a religious battle, that your dislike of evolution and naturalism and any changes to the TEKs that are supported by the Discovery Institute are religiously motivated. Kitzmiller vs Dover clearly showed that ID and these issues are religious in nature. For you to sit there and tell everyone it is not smacks of arrogance and deliberate willful deception. In other words, lying. I know who the Father of Lies…
At which point Chairman McLeroy interrupts me to say, flustered, “We don’t say that word here. You can’t say that word.”
I look at him, confused.
“Lies. You can’t say lies.”
“I can’t say the words lies?” I ask, incredulous.
So I continue, not finishing the sentence that I was going to say, which was “I know who the Father of Lies is, and it’s not Jesus and it’s not God.” I then continue on with my asking them why they are willing to play dice with our taxpayer money to risk a lawsuit, and why they’re willing to play dice with our children’s future, and kept to the rest of the testimony I’d written – but because of the time McLeroy took away from me by interrupting me I was not able to read my closing few sentences.
One more detail here worth noting: If you go back and listen again to the audio of Holtcamp and McLeroy, you will hear Board members laughing shortly after Wendee reeled off the names of “creationsist” Board members. Here’s what they were laughing about (from Wendee’s post on Daily Kos):
One other thing someone from the audience told me, when I named the creationist members of the Board, I heard laughter from them. What may have caused that is that apparently Mr. Bradley, who I didn’t name, waved his hands up in the air like “What about me? You forgot me!” and Dr McLeroy shot him a proud look. And they claim they are not religious? Can you be proud of being a “creationist” without it being religious? Ah, the irony….Or should I say hypocrisy?
Added December 4, 2008 — Jeremy Mohn has a post on stand up for REAL science linked to this post, and he adds:
In addition, McLeroy wrote an op-ed in August 2008 in which he openly advocated for the inclusion of supernatural explanations in Texas’s curriculum standards.
If science is limited to only natural explanations but some natural phenomena are actually the result of supernatural causes then science would never be able to discover that truth — not a very good position for science. Defining science to allow for this possibility is just common sense.