The confrontation before the State Board of Education had little to do with education and much to do with political ideology. The board has been rewriting the curriculum that will guide Texas schools -- and heavily influence the writing of school textbooks -- over the next 10 years. The debate over the science curriculum was the most heated, but the conservatives led by McLeroy have followed the same ideological line on other subjects. They ignored the recommendations of panels of professional teachers and educators who studied the proposed changes in the teaching of English for two years, instead producing a document that appeared at the hotel doors of board members the day of the vote. The social conservatives on the board can be counted on to continue their efforts as other subjects come up for review.That is sad. Science should never be held hostage to ideology. As Richard Colling said in his wonderful, but short article Evolution and Faith: Communicating their Compatibility in Christian Higher Education:
It is truly a sad day in the life of a Christian community when new understanding and insights into God’s marvelous creation revealed by biology and genetics - including evolution - are viewed as a threat to faith. No doubt there are many legitimate questions to address, but continued denial of evolution by the Christian community is a sure-fire losing proposition for the credibility of the gospel and our Christian faith. We can, and must do better. The next generation is depending on us to confidently speak the truth in love - and with no fear!