KnightExemplar wrote:"Christians" are very diverse. There are more denominations between Christians than there are political parties in America, so its a bit dishonest to paint with a large brush and imply that "Christians removed TJ from Textbooks".
"Christians" did not remove TJ from Textbooks. The Texas Board of Education did (and they happen to consider themselves Christian)
Agreed, lots of diversity. The incident with TJ and the TEA is just one of the things I've mentioned.
And now I'll explain to you its significance. Yes it was the TEA who removed them from the text books. However the TEA are elected individuals. People get elected by pandering to the desires of their constituency, our government officials get into place due to the values of our people, and when someone who is a Creationist gets onto the board it says something about the values of that district. When majority of the board in of our biggest states voted to remove TJ from the text books it suggests something about the constituency of Texas.
Texas politics can be very misleading about what the actual values of the majority of Texans actually are.
For starters, the constitution requires that almost all public positions be elected, there are very few appointed positions in the Texas government. The state constitution also requires most of these positions to be filled at any given time with someone who was elected to that position. At the same time, most of the legislation passed by the state government must pass a popular vote to become law.
In practice, this means that for each election, the ballot is roughly nine thousand pages long and covers everything from the town dog catcher (literally in some counties) up to the state legislators and any law that was introduced in the last session of the legislature (or by the governor, or the local governments etc.). Even for a committed political participator, that's a lot of names and positions to remember (it doesn't help that the format for legislation on the ballot is itself confusing). So most people end up either skipping the majority of the ballot, or voting straight party ticket.
This isn't helped by the popular perception of Texas as a redneck redoubt of evangelical christian right wingnuts (historically, most of the state was actually relatively liberal until ten or twenty years ago or so, and the major population centers have mostly remained such). Since voting is already a pain, and everyone in Texas is constantly being told by everyone else in the country how religious and conservative we are, its no wonder that most of the liberal population stays home on election day. Heck, the Texas population is ethnically mostly Hispanic, and the perception that the conservative WASP is always going to to win that they hardly vote either in most districts.
And then, on top of this already fucked up, apathetic system, you have the independent school districts and the TEA which are all fucked up in their own special ways.
Besides having it's own voter demographic issues (who do you think is more likely to vote for educational positions?), the TEA itself is composed, unlike virtually every other governmental body in the state, of single member districts that are geographically
distributed. this means that major population centers such as Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and Austin (which account for nearly two thirds of the States population and consistently vote Democrat), get one board member each, and sparsely populated districts (which makes up only a third of the population but more than two thirds of the geographic area, and mostly vote republican) also
get one vote each, and outnumber the more populous urban education districts.
The situation is so bad that many of the State legislature (including the Speaker for the House, a republican) have made statements to the effect of the whole thing needing to be scrapped and re-structured. The sorry state of the TEA is likely to be a major issue of the currently seated state legislature (although the budget crises will likely take precedence and education may get pushed back until the year after next)