The nose of the Texas Gop is inside the tent

A little bird alerted us yesterday to an article, “The Texas GOP’s proposed platform would force the Bible in schools,” subtitled “The Texas Republican Party’s agenda contains everything on conservative Christians’ wishlist.” That about says it all. The article describes a tentative platform offered by the Texas Republican Party, which will be finalized by Wednesday. The author, Friendly Atheist, calls the platform a wish list for the far right but considers much of the document more performative than real. I wish I was as certain.

Atheist’s article singles out a handful of planks from the proposed platform. They are very troubling to anyone who believes in the separation of church and state, and particularly to anyone who does not conflate religion with right-wing Christianity. For example,

Plank 18

Plank 88, according to Atheist’s article, demands “instruction on the Bible, servant leadership, and Christian self-governance,” as well as demands that chaplains in schools “give guidance from a traditional Biblical perspective….” (I do not know what servant leadership means, but I can guess that Christian self-governance means governance over the rest of us.)

There is more, but it seems to me that what is most relevant to The Panda’s Thumb is this gem:

Plank d

We already teach scientific method, practices, and theories, including what we know about the origin of life; this sentence is a not so oblique reference to intelligent-design creationism. The phrase about climate changing throughout geological history is an equally not so oblique reference to climate change and in particular to climate-change denial. The Texas Republicans may pretend if they like, but evolution, that is, descent with modification, is an established fact, and the modern theory of evolution, while not perfect, is the best explanation we have for that fact. Anthropogenic climate change is likewise an established fact; the equally well-established fact that the climate has changed throughout geological times is an irrelevant smokescreen. You could nibble around the edges of both theories if you liked, but attacking them head-on is a fool’s errand.

There is more, and Atheist both explains and refutes it well. You may look aghast and exclaim that most of the platform is clearly unconstitutional. Well, maybe. To coin a phrase, the Constitution says what the Supreme Court says it says, and, given the opportunity, the present Supreme Court or an even more reactionary future Court could well overturn the Kitzmiller decision that intelligent-design creationism is not science and may not be taught as an alternative to evolution. It may even allow climate-change denial to supersede real science. Indeed, the nose of the camel may already be well inside the tent.