Be Careful What You Pray For: The Blurred Lines of Separation of Church & the State of Texas
The beauty of being an American, living in America, is the art of laws crafted to include the rights of all. One of our most prized possessions in law, is the separation of church and state. This means that the ideals of religion cannot make their way into state institutions. When it does, it opens the door for other religions to lay claim to their beliefs being represented. Such a claim is being prepped for Oklahoma, and it could just as easily happen here as well.
Back in October, I wrote about the attempt to include creationism into Texas’ science textbooks. Certain members of the board felt that the separation of church and state did not exist, due to the fact that such language isn’t actually written into the law. Well, since that time, a New York based group, The Satanic Temple has formally submitted a request for a Satanic statue to be erected at the Oklahoma state capitol. This is in response to a statue of the Ten Commandments that was erected on the site in 2012. The door has been opened, and the state of Texas should ready itself for any and all forms of religion to have a say in what children are taught via textbooks; and furthermore, what they are presented as fact. This can include Satanist beliefs of how the world was formed, alongside every other recognized religious belief; as per the U.S. constitution. It makes one wonder, if those that are so vehemently pushing for this, have even considered the consequence of their actions.
According to recent reports, our Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, and Houston’s own Baltimore native Senator Dan Patrick are both huge proponents of creationism in our public school system. To quote Dewhurst, “I believe that in fairness we need to expose students to both sides of this,” he said. “That’s why I’ve supported including in our textbooks the discussion of the biblical account of life and creation, and I understand there are a lot of people who disagree with me, and believe in evolution.” Apparently, no one clued Dewhurst in on the fact that creationism was ruled unconstitutional to be taught in our public schools back in 1987. The same could be said for Senator Patrick who was quoted as stating, “Our students … must really be confused. They go to Sunday School on Sunday and then they go into school on Monday and we tell them they can’t talk about God,” said Patrick. “I’m sick and tired of a minority in our country who want us to turn our back on God.”
The belief that such things could be taught, that the minority is against “God,” is ludicrous. Perhaps someone should clue Patrick in on the fact that not all of us are Christian? Some of us are a completely different religion, some of us are not religious at all. And, some of us, are worshipers of Satan. Once creationism and accounts from the bible begin to be taught, the state of Texas is opening a huge can of worms. To follow the constitution, our schools would also legally have to offer accounts from the Torah, the Koran, and every other recognized religion in the US. That includes Neopaganism, Wicca, and Druidry; as well as Scientology. In a nation made up of many faiths, these candidates for LT. Governor, are asking for Texas to receive their own statue of Satan, literally.
We have reached an ethos in this country. We are at a place where the hateful and mysoginism that most americans would consider a fringe part of Christianity in the US, have become much broader and wider ranging group. It seems as if the ideas that are omnipresent throughout the bible like, Genesis 1:27 are not what some christians want to follow anymore. The denial of the Boys Scouts by over thirty churches in Houston, the lack of rights on how women can govern their own bodies, and the lack of scientific truths when teaching children are just the beginning. In a time where Texas is running out of water and is a gateway to the cartel war in Mexico, we are having to debate why religion has no place in public education. We can do better, we should strive to do better, or start hiring those who can erect the best depiction of Satan for our public schools.