Wednesday, December 1, 2010

#117: Cynthia Dunbar

Perhaps the most influential loon in our Encyclopedia, at least in 2009-10 – her antics caused severe, maybe irreparable damage. Hopefully, her power to do harm may have abated, but I’ll be reluctant to write her off.

Dunbar is a lawyer and author in Richmond, Texas and currently a Republican representative on the Texas State Board of Education. She is a graduate of Regent University School of Law (Pat Robertson's university) and teacher of law Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. In other words, she has a fake education, and her lack of real knowledge or understanding is displayed by her utter stupidity, lack of knowledge and understanding, her anti-science anti-intellectualism, ignorance, dishonesty, zealous conspiracy theories and general wingnuttery.

In 2006 she won the Republican nomination for the Texas State Board of Education for District 10, claiming that people voted for her because she supports teaching intelligent design in science classes. So what else does she stand for?

Her book “One Nation Under God” argues (asserts) that the Christian religion should be more prominent in the public square and championed by the government. She is herself a homeschooler, and also claims that public education is a "subtly deceptive tool of perversion" and that "the establishment of public schools is unconstitutional and even 'tyrannical'." (here
- because, of course, they disagree with respect to whether schools should actively promote Christian reconstructionism of Barton’s or DeMar’s styles, or creationism).

What has she achieved? As a member of the Texas State Board of Education, in March of 2010, she proposed and won ratification of a number of modifications to Texas K-12 social studies curriculum, including the removal of Thomas Jefferson and mention of the Age of Enlightenment (i.e. any implication that reason should be the foundation for authority; more here). More precisely, the previous formulation:

- “explain the impact of Enlightenment ideas from John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Jefferson on political revolutions from 1750 to the present.”

was changed to

- “explain the impact of the writings of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and Sir William Blackstone on political revolutions from 1750 to the present.” (important enlightenment thinkers such as Aquinas and Calvin were added, in other words)

So Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, had to go. On the other hand, a new focus on the "significant contributions" of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war was added. Furthermore, the study of Sir Isaac Newton was dropped in favor of examining scientific advances through military technology; and she suggested an amendment to the effect that the anti-communist witch-hunt by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s may have been justified.

Another curriculum amendment describes the civil rights movement as creating "unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes" among minorities, and at the same time drops references to the slave trade in favor of calling it the more innocuous "Atlantic triangular trade".

Dunbar says these are important steps to overturning what she believes is the myth of a separation between church and state in the US (she is, with DeMar and Barton, explicitly endorsing the view that the United States was ultimately governed by the scriptures.) In fact, she thinks government should be guided by a “biblical litmus test.” She endorses a system that requires “any person desiring to govern have a sincere knowledge and appreciation for the Word of God in order to rightly govern.” (in other words theocracy, Taliban style). Here is her prayer before the board voted to distort history for Texas’s kids. And here is an intelligent discussion of the system that allows such loons through to positions of influence. Another of her public prayers is discussed here.

If you have children in Texas, you should move.

She is, of course, a pathological liar, but I suspect it is unintentional – this nitwit wouldn’t be able to distinguish truth from falsity if it hit her with a shovel.

She has also written (for the Christian Worldview Network website) that a terrorist attack on America during the first six months of an Obama administration would more likely "be a planned effort by those with whom Obama truly sympathizes to take down the America that is threat to tyranny." As if ayatollah-sycophant Taliban theocrats such as Dunbar would be able to distinguish tyranny from freedom.

She is also a birfer who thinks Obama is, secretly, a muslim.

Diagnosis: Total moron, and probably one of the loons that has caused the most harm of all the loons covered thus far. She is off the board now (she didn’t run for reelection), but much damage has been done, and it doesn’t mean she won’t reappear elsewhere.

Also indicted is fellow board member, Democrat Rick Agosto, who aligned himself with the Taliban on most issues concerning education. Do not forget him. The abominable Ken Mercer will get his own entry (Barbara Cargill has already got hers). As mentioned, Dunbar was not herself running for reelection in 2010, and her handpicked successor Brian Russell (equally lunatic) lost the runoffs. At least a glimmer of hope for the future of sanity in Texas.

5 comments:

  1. After TBoE Dunbar seems to have ended up here

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  2. In fact, Dunbar is currently a law "professor" at Liberty University. And boy, is she still crazy.

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  3. Dunbar tries to explain how the boy scouts have committed gay activist suicide. She fails.

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  4. Dunbar thinks that teaching kids about climate change is socialized education - apparently taking a firm stance against the apparently liberal bias of reality.

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  5. Apparently Ms. Nutbar is running Cruz's campaign in VA!

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