Figure 1. John T. Scopes on Trial for Teaching Evolution in High School
Please give this a quick view:
Betsy DeVos said:
I want to return power in education back to where it belongs—with parents, communities, and states.
Ms. DeVos, your new U.S. Secretary of Education and head of the U.S. Department of Education, is a died-in-the-wool Christian fundamentalist. When she was a child, did she matriculate through a local public school system (K-12) like you did and like our children do today? No. She attended Christian schools, sent her sons to Christian schools, and had her two daughters homeschooled. It is a well known and statistically supported fact that most parents who homeschool their children are Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals who hate public education, despise their local public school systems, and falsely accuse them of being “indoctrination centers for Godlessness.”
In previous posts on this blog, we have discussed how Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals regularly tell lies to the American people and communicate with each other in a unique code language that most fundies understand. The Betsy DeVos quote that began this blog article is a classic example of fundie code language.
Go above and read that quote again slowly and carefully. It is a code language message sent out from on-high in Washington, D.C. to Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical public school administrators, school teachers, parents, and students all over the United States. What does it really mean? Here is my best translation of this coded message:
We fundies worked for decades in our efforts to gain religious DOMINION over the tightly straight-jacketed federal government, and we failed miserably. Since that time, we have made an important discovery. State and local governments are pushovers! They work on the “local good-ole-boy” system. Bubba is as Bubba does. Grease the palm of some local political Bubba or an influential businessman with the right offer or barter, and you are suddenly at Table No. 1 in Alice’s Restaurant. Play your cards right, suck up good, push the right buttons, and:
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant—including Alice.
Moreover, we discovered it is easy to elect a Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical majority to a local school board. Yes. Your time is at hand—finally—at long last—and we are on your side. You go ahead and do whatever you like with state and local education!!! The U.S. Department of Education will not dictate to you or unduly interfere with your local educational affairs. Feel totally free to do any of the following things and even more, which we know you have been hankering to do for many years:
(1) Go to the ballot box and stack those state and local school boards with die-hard lay fundies and fundie preachers.
(2) You local public school systems can go ahead and persecute LGBTQ school children and their parents as much as you like. It’s okay. After all, God’s law in the Bible says the right thing to do is kill the faggot children. If God wants them all dead, then what’s wrong with a somewhat lesser program of constant harassment, bullying, and systematic persecution? Go for it!
(3) Feel free to sneak some creationism, creation science, intelligent design, and teach the controversy into your K-12 science classes—and call it real science. We agree that Charles Darwin was wrong. Evolution is an atheistic religion and not true science. Just skip over Chapter 11 in that biology textbook. Sure, it is against the law to teach creationism and intelligent design in a public school classroom, and the federal courts might come after you if they find out—but if you hide it well—they most likely will not. If you do go to federal court, know that the Trump Administration and U.S. Department of Education are on your side.
(4) Just think of all those poor, poor, poor children in your classrooms. You know the ones. Their moms and dads are apostate Christians (e.g., United Methodists), followers of other religions, atheists, agnostics, and “nones.” Throw away that First Amendment! You go right ahead and sneak some fundie Bible studies and good, old-fashioned fundie evangelism into your local school classrooms. Be sure and tell all the first graders that the only “true” Christians are fundie Christians, and if they do not become fundies, they and their parents are all going to burn forever in a skin-melting Hell where they will feel excruciating pain but never be able to die. Yes, it is illegal. You will have to do it unobtrusively. However, if you do go to federal court, know that the Trump Administration and U.S. Department of Education are on your side.
(5) It is okay to teach American exceptionalism and revisionist history in your local K-12 social studies classes. The United States really is the New Israel. In the Revolutionary War, George Washington really was rendered bullet proof by an act of God. He really did throw a silver dollar across the Potomac River, and he really did chop down that cherry tree. The Biblical patriarch Moses really was a founding father of the United States. Senator Joseph McCarthy really was an American hero, and global warming is a left-wing, God-hater’s political plot to destroy the United States and its people. You can also teach them that The United Nations was established to be the future throne of the Anti-Christ. Teach them that slavery had almost nothing to do with the War of Northern Aggression. Teach your children all this and tons more idiocy just like it. The Trump Administration and U.S. Department of Education are on your side now.
(6) One of the great virtues of local control in education is the ability to communicate American conservative values to our children in the classroom. You know: God loves rich people more than poor people; all poor people are just lazy bums who refuse to work; racism is a good thing; white supremacy is good; black lives do not matter; money and material things are more important than people; he who dies with the most toys wins; sick people who cannot pay need to go ahead and die, etc. Teach your school children all these indispensable conservative values and tons more just like them. The Trump Administration and U.S. Department of Education are on your side now.
(7) Local community perspectives on science can now be taught as unvarnished truth in your public schools. Man-induced global warming is a hoax. The Big Bang never happened. The Earth is only 5,000 to 10,000 years old. Dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time and played together. Noah’s worldwide flood really happened, and it carved the Grand Canyon. All fossil hominids were just apes who had no relationship to modern humans. God really did clone Eve from Adams Rib—a famous restaurant in Chicago. Tobacco will kill all the worms in you horse’s GI tract. If the wooly worms have more fur in August, it will snow more times the coming winter. If a dog bites a man under a full moon, the dog will bite humans again.
(8) All this and far more just like it exhibit the true value of state and local control in American public education. So, sneak all of this and so much more into your local public school classrooms—and sh-oo-oo-sh!!! Mums the word. We won’t tell if you don’t tell. We have just punched your ticket. Do whatever extremist, nutjob thing you like in the name of public education. The Trump Administration and the U.S. Department of Education have your fundie backs.