A.k.a. The Texas Dentist
McLeroy is a dentist. He is also a religious fanatic. In his own words: “Am I a religious fanatic? Absolutely. You’d have to be to do what I do.”
What McLeroy did, and what he was referring to, was being chairman of the Texas Board of Education. His term ended in 2009, and even though Texas’s insanely ignorant Taliban fundamentalist governor Rick Perry reappointed him, said reappointment was rejected by the Texas senate. Cynthia Dunbar remained, however.
McLeroy has, in his position as chairman of the Board, also attempted to reject advanced placement environmental science textbooks because they, in Don’s mind, contained errors (not found by any serious scientist). Over objections from experts in 2004, McLeroy also voted to approve health textbooks that stress “abstinence-only” in regard to instruction about pregnancy and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
In 2005, McLeroy – who is an utterly insane young earth creationist – conducted a sermon in his church, talking about the Board of Education, saying that naturalism is “the enemy” and that “Intelligent Design [is] the big tent [… b]ecause we’re all lined up against […] naturalism. Whether you’re a progressive creationist, recent creationist, young earth, old earth, it’s all in the tent of Intelligent Design.” The sermon is available online, as are McLeroy’s notes. He has also said: “I think what we’re doing is destroying America’s soul in science." Nevertheless, his mandate was how best to teach Texas’s kids about science.
His campaigns against evolution have been characterized by ignorance (especially here), lies, quote-mining, complete disregard of science and rank dishonesty. His motivation (in line with Gary Bauer and David Barton) is: “… we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan – he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes.” He seems to have got his talking points mostly from various creationist websites and the Discovery Institute.
The NCSE has provided a video of McLeroy’s statements. If you want to have your last hopes for the future of humanity crushed, see this (if our encyclopedia weren’t exclusively concerned with Americans, the whole country of India would presumably qualify).
Diagnosis: Flamingly moronic, ignorant Taliban-style religious fanatic bozo, McLeroy is one of the most determined and tireless crusaders against truth, science and knowledge, since these things, in McLeroy’s deluded mind, are among the biggest threats to religion. McLeroy has indeed managed to do real harm, but he is probably rather neutralized at present.