Daniel Goeb Patrick (born Dannie Scott Goeb) is the 42nd and current lieutenant governor of Texas, serving since January 2015, having previously worked for a long time as a radio talk show host (he is largely responsible for launching Rush Limbaugh’s career, for instance) and radio and television broadcaster, before representing the 7thDistrict (and the Tea Party) in the Texas Senate.
Creationism and education
On most issues Patrick supports the populist and deranged versions of the positions you would expect from someone like him (he ran on trying to scare voters with ISIS infiltrating Mexican drug cartels to sneak their way into the US among illegal immigrants – who also are “bringing Third World diseases with them,” for instance). For our purposes, he is particularly notable for being on record as a determined champion of including creationist pseudoscience in the Texas public school curriculum, the Constitution be damned – though a passionate defender of what he imagines the Constitution to say, Patrick is actually no fan of what the Constitution in fact says. (“There is no separation of church and state. It was not in the constitution,” says Patrick.) Instead, Patrick has strong dominionist leanings, claiming that the US is a Christian nation, that politics is about building God’s kingdom, and that America’s policies must be grounded in the Bible; indeed, elected officials must look to Scripture when they make policy “because every problem we have in America has a solution in the Bible.” This is not true. Though he has emphasized that his call for a “biblically-based” policy mindset “doesn’t mean we want a theocracy,” he followed that up by saying: “But it does mean we can’t walk away from what we believe,” which, given the context, pretty much contradicts the previous sentence.
During the LG primaries in 2013, Patrick blasted the school curriculum for teaching evolution (and not also creationism), calling it a form of “political correctness” and linking it to a broader sense of moral decline in America: “The breakup of the family in this country has started when we took God out of the classroom,” said Patrick, who apparently thinks biology is a branch of theology. As he sees it “[o]ur children must be really be confused. We want them to go to church on Sunday, and we teach them about Jesus Christ. And then they go to school on Monday. They can’t pray. They can’t learn about creationism. They must really be confused. And they have a right to be confused because we as Christians have yielded to the secular left and let them rule the day in this country. … When it comes to creationism, not only should it be taught, it should be triumphed. It should be heralded.” At least Patrick is confused, no question, but it’s hardly the schools’ fault.
For the record, the other candidates fpr the 2014 gubernmental election, then Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples all agreed. “As a Christian, certainly creationism should be taught,” said Staples (why “as a Christian” matters is worth pondering), and Dewhurst agreed: “It’s a fair discussion to expose students to both sides and let them make the decision with the advice and counsel of their parents,” he said, taking a page from the Discovery Institute’s Teach the Controversy campaigns and missing the whole point of, you know, school. Patterson also lamented how the country has removed religious instruction from government institutions such as schools; surely, he is referring to this.
It is worth mentioning that Patrick used to chair the Senate Education Committee, where he promoted creationist teaching materials and fought bitterly against what he delusionally perceived to be “un-American, anti-Christian, pro-Islamic and Marxist” contents of the school curricula (he admitted to not even having read them, of course). But then, when it comes to American history, for instance, Patrick relies on the pseudohistory and fabrications of David Barton, including Barton’s many fake quotes, to justify an alternative (and false) historical narrative. Here is Patrick on sex-ed.
Patrick, a firm defender of bathroom bills, doesn’t like gay people, and has vowed to fight the Supreme Court decision ruling bans on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.
Hours after the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Patrick tweeted a picture of Galatians 6:7: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Though it was deleted and one of his adviser’s claimed it had been pre-scheduled and therefore didn’t reflect Patrick’s reaction to the shooting, Patrick intervened and emphasized that God’s “word is never wrong,” which sort of suggests that he at least doesn’t mind the rather obvious implication of the tweet.
As you’d expect, Patrick is no supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. In July 2016, with regard to the infamous Dallas protest, Patrick called participants “hypocrites” for running from gunfire when the shootings started, characterizing them as being “anti-police” but still expected the police to protect them once the shooting started. No, he doesn’t really have a clue what the BLM movement is about, but doesn’t care (neither do his voters, of course). Then he said that concern about police violence is new and must stop. This is not true. He is also no fan of Planned Parenthood, though his attempts to attack them don’t always turn out the way he plans.
With regard (presumably) to climate change, Patrick criticized Obama for thinking that he can change the weather; Obama thinks he can, Patrick claimed, “because he thinks he’s God.He thinks he is the smartest person in the country. He thinks he knows better in Washington what we do in Texas.” As for himself and his own religious beliefs, Patrick apparently also believes that God is speaking through the Duck Dynasty reality TV star Phil Robertson.
Diagnosis: Theocratic conspiracy theorist and staunch anti-science and anti-education activist. A thoroughly frightening guy. Texas, as expected, promptly elected to give him lots of power.