Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cynthia Dunbar Should Step Down

State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, should step down from her position, according to the Texas Freedom Network.

The Texas Freedom Network, a group that opposes religious influence on public education, is reacting to Dunbar’s newly published book, One Nation Under God, which refers to public education as "a subtly deceptive tool of perversion" and calls the establishment of public schools unconstitutional and "tyrannical."

That's pretty standard fare from the social conservatives, but the problem is that this woman is actually in charge of content in those public schools:

Dunbar has served as the state board’s District 10 representative since 2006. Her district covers 16 counties in Southeast Texas, including half of Travis County. She is a member of the board’s instruction committee, which oversees curriculum and graduation requirements, student assessment programs, library standards, and the selection of textbooks.

Having someone like Dunbar in charge of content in a public school is like having an arsonist as your chief of police. It gets worse when we read that Dunbar's allegiance is to the Bible, not the Constitution:

In her book, Dunbar writes that she believes public schools are unconstitutional because they undermine the scriptural authority of families to direct their children’s education. Her own children have been privately educated and home-schooled.

Now there's a neat legal trick: claiming something is unconstitutional, not because it conflicts with the constitution, but because it conflicts with the Bible. Perhaps Dunbar has never noticed that our government works on allegiance to the constitution, which in its first amendment clearly implies that it cannot align itself with any religious text.

It is high time these politicians have their feet held to the fire on this issue by being asked a simple question: If your understanding of the constitution conflicts with your understanding of the Bible (or whatever your arbitrarily chosen holy book is), which will hold your loyalty when you are acting as a servant of the state? It is a simple question, and one they should be able to answer easily, without dodging the issue by claiming there is no conflict, or that the constitution subsumes the Bible (I'd love to see someone explain that one in detail).

The United States is not a theocracy. We are a constitutional Democracy, with a purely secular constitution. Anyone who cannot operate within those limits needs to get out of government positions, and we can start with Cynthia Dunbar.


alex said...

Could it be that maybe Obama picked Dunbar with the ideas in her book in mind?

alex said...

Whoops. Scratch that.
I was thinking about someone else entirely, Arne Duncan. Dunbar, Duncan -- OK, Alex, wake up!

Anonymous said...

faith-based, Christian-minded? I just toured Cynthia Dunbar's website, and where is "Mr. Dunbar"? I guess the kids were immaculately concepted?