My Canadian friend Pauline cannot understand why some Americans support certain politicians whose election would not be given a second's thought in Canada or almost all other nations in the so-called Free World. She was particularly critical of the news lately concerning the right wingnut-packed Texas School Board's proposals to take Thomas Jefferson and Bishop Oscar Romero out of history texts for obvious theocratic motives.
First I pointed out that the governor who appointed a significant number of the TSB did so out of theocratic considerations (he wanted Texas to secede so his friend, Rev. John Hagee, can try a little Dominionism here). Rick Perry, the Secessionist, was mentored by George W. Bush, and progressives Progressives have taken to calling him "Gov. Hair" because or his silly Blogoyavich mop, the ample black cowl held aloft with gel or hair spray.
Obviously, these geeks are evangelicals dedicated to destruction of the doctrine of separation of church and state. But rather than present two sides to the argument and by so doing allow free debate in what Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes called "the marketplace of ideas," the TSB obliterated the name of Thomas Jefferson from history texts. Jefferson happens to be the guy who wrote much of the Declaration of Independence and coined the expression. You won't hear Justice Scalia demanding that we interpret the Constitution by examining the writings of the Founding Fathers on issues like this, but there is plenty of precedential authority for the proposition that the doctrine is not a "myth," as the evangelicals claim, but the result of a logical analysis of the Establishment Clause.
Now watch as Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy (mostly dogmatic Catholics) dismantle Jefferson from Constitutional law, another legacy of George W. Bush and corrupt GOP political shenanigans (though that other party has plenty of shame to rue). At a legal seminar I attended a day ago, one of the speakers illustrated with PowerPoint "the New Majority, almost all neo-conservative and religiously dogmatic -- backward -- cases coming out of our highest court under Roberts have the same majority five." A lot of progressives are asking, "How did those guys get on the Court?" The answer is, spineless Democrats who worked out secret deals, as well as legislative procedural tactics used recently to get so-called health care "reform" passed. The Dems became what they beheld.
But there were other names removed from TSB-approved history texts. Hispanic students will not learn anything of Cesar Chavez and Bishop Oscar Romero. I explained that the former represented an "uppity Meskin" who made the cost of grapes higher in the supermarkets, while the latter was not only a Catholic, he practiced the same sort of passive resistance as Gandhi and the same ahimsa as any devout Buddhist. I tried to explain tea party mentality, that these people represent the last vestiges of an unevolved being not quite human but predatory and dangerous.
Mostly evangelical, they can justify even slavery with reference to the O.T. of their Booble. And because, as we all know, slaves have traditionally been African, no way should this Muslim from Indonesia be sleeping in the White House. When I was growing up, crackers called Rev. King "Martin Luther Coon," and I should think quite a few tea partiers would still get a guffaw out that one. Although they don't call it that, these people are aware of the power of non-violence, but they have lizard brains. They agree wholeheartedly with the GOP pol who had to wither away in disgrace after say that if we'd only elected segregationist Strom Thurmond way back then, we wouldn't have the civil rights campaign thrust upon us. Hell, we wouldn't have had Barack Hussein Obama to bother with.
Oh, darn, I forgot to include in the email the fact that in Latin America there is a tradition of Catholic bishops aiding and protecting indigenous peoples, as one sees today in Chiapas, Mexico, where the most tourist-visited, fascinating city, San Cristobal de las Casas, was named for Bartolome de las Casas, the first bishop in that state. I don't know if Romero was cut from that same cloth, but if he was, what difference does it make if he's a Roman Catholic?