Cynthia Dunbar and Hypocrisy

by

dunbar2Cynthia Dunbar (left) is defending her reckless and stunning attacks on the public schools she helps govern by playing the victim card. But this tactic only makes her look hypocritical.

As we noted last week, the Republican Texas State Board of Education member from Richmond (west of Houston) has authored a new book, One Nation Under God (Onward, 2008), in which she claims public schools are “tools of perversion,” “tyrannical” and “unconstitutional” because they aren’t supported by Scripture. Last Friday the Houston Chronicle quoted Dunbar as saying the intended audience for her book was “the body of Christ,” not the general public. She also claimed that Christians are unfairly attacked when they speak out on public policy.

I don’t think most people in the churches are aware of the venom against Christian America. So, it’s more of a wake-up call to be informed, to be involved. They are fine with the body of Christ as long as we stay hidden in our four walls of the church, sitting quietly in our pews. But if we become civically involved or active in public policy issues, then we’re going to be shot down.

What nonsense. It’s absurd to suggest that Christians are somehow under siege in a nation in which they make up an overwhelming majority of the population. But Dunbar isn’t really talking about all Christians. She’s talking about her kind of Christian — meaning, Christians who share her brand of radical politics. In fact, she makes it clear in her book that she doesn’t even see other folks as real Christians.

For example, Democrats can’t be Christians in Dunbar’s world.

(W)hat I am saying clearly and unequivocally is that you cannot be a Christian who believes in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God and support the Democratic Party’s platform either directly or indirectly through its candidates. It is simply impossible, for the simple reason that it is impossible to have two masters (Matt. 6:24). (page 24)

Dunbar also insultingly attacks those people she labels as “so-called evangelicals” (especially those under 35) who are increasingly alienated by the religious right’s relentless focus on abortion and homosexuality over nearly all other issues. She ridicules efforts to find common ground between those “so-called evangelicals” and the Democratic Party on issues such as “AIDS in Africa, poverty and social justice.”

Christians who truly possess a biblical worldview would know better than to buy into the lie that the Democratic position on even these issues aligns with Scripture; clearly, it does not.  (pages 3-4)

She also has scorn for Christians who support government aid for the needy — a role for government that she believes is contradictory to the Bible. She says giving civil government a role in aiding the poor is alien to a “biblical worldview” and is “socialistic and even communistic.”

Christians who support laws against hate crimes? They’re deceitful.

Either the Church in America has become so ignorant of the principles espoused within the Word of God or these “evangelicals” are not really who they say they are. (pages 5-6)

Christians who oppose the death penalty? Cynthia smites them.

It is also disheartening to note the number of people who argue that capital punishment is not Christian. Such people clearly do not know the meaning of the word Christian. (page 73)

That might come as news to the Roman Catholic pope and to countless other Christians who base their opposition to the death penalty on their religious beliefs.

Look, Cynthia Dunbar has every right to her own religious beliefs, but she has no right to use government to promote them over everybody else’s. And let’s make something else very clear. It’s naked hypocrisy when she cries about the “venom against Christian America” while ignoring her own poisonous words directed toward Christians whose political and religious beliefs differ from her own.

24 Responses to “Cynthia Dunbar and Hypocrisy”

  1. africangenesis Says:

    I hope Dunbar’s positions are more reasoned that can be seen from your excerpts. For instance, I don’t see how the two masters argument applies in the case of support for the Democratic platform. It isn’t as if one pledges allegiance to the platform. Note that she isn’t saying Christians can’t support the Democratic platform, just those who believe in the inerrancy of the bible can’t.

    She is probably quite correct that the Democratic platform on “AIDS in Africa, poverty and social justice” doesn’t align with scripture. The platform probably advocates using government means to address these issues, and the Christ of the New Testament did not advocate using coercive government means. Culturally Christians on the right look with skepticism on those who claim to be helping others, when they are being “generous” with other peoples money, not their own.

    She is engaging in a lot of wishful thinking, if she thinks she’ll find much support for the death penalty as practiced in the USA, in the new testament. The new testament doesn’t even provide much support for the prosecution of any crimes. Justice is rather to be expected in the afterlife. I often challenge Christians who claim they must vote their faith, to question the means that they use and to question their assumptions. The fundamentalists are just as focused on the old testament as the new. So it can be instructive to point out that while there was probably domestic abuse and infanticide occurring as there is any society, these issues are not brought up a the level of the tribes. So why must these issues rise to the federal level. In the old testament, they were probably handled within the extended family if at all. I also note that when they vote for politicians who support the FDA, they are committing mass murder of innocents by delaying access to potentially life saving drugs. Participating in politics is a dirty, morally compromising business, even if all you do is vote. The bible doesn’t have an anonymous booth exception to moral responsiblity.

    It is plausible that arguments can be made that the public schools are “tyrranical” and “tools of perversion”, but nothing is unconstitional because it isn’t supported by scripture. There are certainly enough stories of girls being suspended for possession of midol, children not allowed to call their parents even though they have broken bones, harsh cultures dominated by bullies, etc to make the tyrannical case. Appallingly, child protective services never steps in and sanctions the schools in these circumstances, even though the schools are supposedly “in loco parentis”. While some of the perversion may come from the teaching, political correctness for instance, probably most comes from the dominant peer culture which is exerting sexual pressure at younger and younger ages. Either the peer culture dominates the factory model schools or the schools become more tyrannical with one shoe fits all tough love and discipline.

    One would think that if Dunbar were going to the trouble of putting thoughts to paper, she would take more trouble to make carefully reasoned arguments.

    However, lets see what kind of actions, what you characterize as her “venom” leads to. Let’s judge her by her actions. Does she take coercive measures, or does she opt for more choice and freedom.

  2. JC Dufresne Says:

    The proper response to this Luddite is to vote her out of office.

  3. Robangel Says:

    I don’t think we can wait for a vote…she needs to be removed immediately. This women is insane!

  4. africangenesis Says:

    Robangel, Do you just want to take over the system so that you can impose your ideology instead, or do you want to reform the system? Once school choice and vouchers are established, they will have constituencies that will make it hard for the SBOE to gain control again. Let’s make the return of control to the parents as permanent and unassailable as we can. As a homeschooler herself, Dunbar may be a friend on this.

    BTW, if you can’t wait at least until an impeachment or recall or competency hearing, then you should be reported to the authorities. “removed immediately”? Don’t get over incited by the incendiary language here.

  5. Larry Fafarman Says:

    africangenesis said (December 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm) –
    –Robangel, Do you just want to take over the system so that you can impose your ideology instead, or do you want to reform the system? Once school choice and vouchers are established, they will have constituencies that will make it hard for the SBOE to gain control again. –

    We don’t even need school choice and vouchers — we just need to get rid of state standards for education. I used to be in favor of national educational standards for the sake of uniformity and to avoid unnecessary duplication, but no more. I am now also in favor of doing away with state educational standards (except for the required numbers of courses in different subjects). The more centralized the standards for education are, the greater the opportunities for high-pressure special-interest groups to slant and dogmatize education. Textbook authors are — or should be — experts in their fields and should not need to be told how to write textbooks. Look at the proposed Texas science standards — they are full of philosophies of science, which do not belong in standards for science education. The new Florida science standards redefine “scientific theories” as being strong by definition; that’s ridiculous — there are strong scientific theories and weak scientific theories. And the new Florida science standards have the outrageous cockamamie statement that evolution is “the fundamental concept underlying all of biology.”

    I would suggest calling Cynthia Dunbar the “Steven Schafersman of the fundies,” but he is much, much worse than she is.

  6. jdg Says:

    Larry Fafarman, so you think that Stephen Meyer is a science expert. What is his degree in??? Microbiology??? Evolutionary Biology???

  7. James F Says:

    jdg,

    I’ll happily field that one. Meyer has an undergrad degree in geology and a doctorate in the history and philosophy of science. That’s all well and good, but he’s not a practicing scientist. Not only does he have zero peer-reviewed scientific research papers to his credit, the one paper he was able to publish in a peer-reviewed journal (a review, not a research paper) was officially repudiated by the journal for breach of editorial policy (http://www.biolsocwash.org/id_statement.html). In short, he’s one of the head PR men for the Discovery Institute and party to academic misconduct, hardly a science expert.

  8. Larry Fafarman Says:

    James F said (December 11, 2008 at 5:32 pm) —
    –”I’ll happily field that one. Meyer has an undergrad degree in geology and a doctorate in the history and philosophy of science.”–

    – which makes him eminently qualified to evaluate the proposed Texas science standards, which are full of philosophies of science, which BTW do not belong in state science standards.

    –”Not only does he have zero peer-reviewed scientific research papers to his credit “–

    You Darwinists complain to the courts that criticisms of Darwinism are not peer-reviewed, but the dirty little secret is that most law journals are not peer-reviewed or even faculty-reviewed but are just student-reviewed! Furthermore, these law journals are not just educational exercises for the students but have been cited thousands of times by the courts — the Harvard Law Review alone was cited 4410 times by the federal courts alone in the decade 1970-79 alone — see

    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2008/05/judge-jones-hypocritical-about-peer.html

  9. James F Says:

    Larry,

    What do law journals have to do with scientific research? That has absolutely nothing to do with the failure of Meyer and his colleagues to present any data in the scientific literature. Why do you suppose they have failed? Incompetence? Suppression by the Global Darwinist Conspiracy™? Or the simple fact that ID is not science?

    Meyer leads an organization that claims to be scientific even though it has failed to produce of body of research and actively promotes pseudoscience – is that what you call a science expert?

  10. Larry Fafarman Says:

    James F said,
    –What do law journals have to do with scientific research? –

    I just explained that. It was very hypocritical of Judge Jones to point a finger at the lack or scarcity of articles about ID in peer-reviewed scientific journals when the journals in his own field, law, are typically not peer-reviewed or even faculty-reviewed but are just student-reviewed.

  11. grandma Says:

    Larry writes that Steve Schaferman, a Ph.D. geologist with real-world experience, is “much, much worse” than Dunbar. He follows that by pronouncing Stephen Meyer, a corrupt poseur, “eminently qualified to evaluate the proposed Texas science standards”.

    There goes any credibility on which Larry might have gained a toehold.

    Then Larry says, “It was very hypocritical of Judge Jones to point a finger at the lack or scarcity of articles about ID in peer-reviewed scientific journals when the journals in his own field, law, are typically not peer-reviewed…”

    So Larry wants everyone to use the same standard of rigor for separate endeavors in disparate, unrelated fields. Otherwise, he’ll stoop to an ad hominem attack on the person who doesn’t. Does he also do this to people who don’t utilize the same standards of rigor for, say, dispensing Pepsi as for dispensing pharmaceuticals?

    So much for the shred of credibility Larry might have had left. Gone.

    As the saying goes…don’t feed this troll.

  12. Larry Fafarman Says:

    grandma said (December 12, 2008 at 6:06 am) —
    –Larry writes that Steve Schaferman, a Ph.D. geologist with real-world experience, is “much, much worse” than Dunbar. –

    Schafersman has “real-world experience” in being a crackpot. As a blogger on Houston Chronicle’s Evo.Sphere blog, he has been arbitrarily censoring comments, and it is not even his own blog — Houston Chronicle staffer Eric Berger set up the blog, advertised it, invited Schafersman to blog on it, made the decision to moderate comments, and checks the blog for comments awaiting approval. Schafersman says anything he wants to on the blog and no one can disagree with him. Here are some of the outrageous things he has done on the blog –

    (1) — repeatedly said that the “strengths and weaknesses” language in the state science regulations dates back to 1997-98, ignoring the ~10-year preceding period that the language was in the textbook proclamations, which he called the “de facto” state standards of that period.

    (2) Without evidence, he called all seven of the Texas board of education’s known supporters of the “weaknesses” language “radical religious right creationists.”

    (3) — said that none of the Texas board of education members have a background in science. Of the seven known supporters of the “weaknesses” language, four have a background in science, at least three of them in biology.

    Because Schafersman identified himself on the blog as a member of the Texas Education Agency’s Earth and Space Science standards-drafting committee, I have filed a written complaint with the TEA. Even though he is not a permanent full-time TEA employee, he still represents the TEA as a member of one of the standards-drafting committees.

    –Then Larry says, “It was very hypocritical of Judge Jones to point a finger at the lack or scarcity of articles about ID in peer-reviewed scientific journals when the journals in his own field, law, are typically not peer-reviewed…”

    So Larry wants everyone to use the same standard of rigor for separate endeavors in disparate, unrelated fields. –

    Law is the only scholarly field that does not use the “standard of rigor” called peer review. Richard A. Posner, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, said,

    “IN ACADEMIC LAW, AS IN MOST ACADEMIC FIELDS, the principal vehicle for the publication of scholarly work is the scholarly journal. But in other academic fields, except law, the most prestigious journals are edited by seasoned specialists, usually professors, who have had years of experience both as editors and as scholars in the field covered by the journal. Not only that, but in deciding what to publish, the scholar-editors usually are strongly influenced by the advice they receive from other professors, to whom they refer the submitted articles for peer review . . . .

    The system of scholarly publication in law is starkly different. With a few exceptions, law reviews are edited by law students rather than by professors or other professionals. The law reviews are numerous, are published bimonthly or at more frequent intervals, are edited without peer review, and are seemingly unconstrained in length . . . . ”

    – from

    http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/November-December-2004/review_posner_novdec04.msp

    –As the saying goes…don’t feed this troll. –

    This “troll” is going to feed you, granny.

  13. TFN Says:

    Please be nice, folks.

  14. James F Says:

    Judge Jones wasn’t examining the relative merits of the peer review system in science and law. He was examining evidence relevant to the question, “Is intelligent design science?” Lack of data in peer-reviewed scientific research papers is exceptionally strong evidence that ID is not science; a body of research in the scientific literature is a defining feature of all modern scientific disciplines. Furthermore, it is irrefutable proof that ID is not on equal footing with evolution: 0% vs. 100%.

  15. africangenesis Says:

    L Fafarman, Dr. Schafersman has never censored me at the Evo.sphere blog. Perhaps that is because I was a fellow Darwinist, but we had plenty of disagreements that he felt strongly about, and he did not run from them. He probably censored more than you or I would have. I think he claims he is censoring personal attacks and spamming the blog with large amounts of boiler plate from other sources. I can’t independently validate that this was the case in your instance or any other. If a post is too be censored that isn’t pure vandalism, it should be a courtesy to explain what the reasons were.

  16. Larry Fafarman Says:

    James F said (December 13, 2008 at 2:15 pm) —
    –Judge Jones wasn’t examining the relative merits of the peer review system in science and law. –

    Duh. As if I didn’t already know that.

    The lack of peer review in law journals is a scandal and an outrage. Not sharing my sense of outrage about this shows low moral standards.

    –He was examining evidence relevant to the question, “Is intelligent design science?” –

    Is law a scholarly field? How can law be a scholarly field if most law journals are not peer-reviewed or even faculty-reviewed but are just student-reviewed?

    Ever hear the expression, “the pot is calling the kettle black”? Or “physician, heal thyself”? Or “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”? Or “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”? Can you dig it? As I said, it was very hypocritical of Judge Jones to point a finger at the lack or scarcity of ID in peer-reviewed scientific journals when most law journals are only student-reviewed.

    africangenesis said (December 13, 2008 at 2:17 pm) —
    –L Fafarman, Dr. Schafersman has never censored me at the Evo.sphere blog. –

    Schafersman censored one of my comments because I pointed out the following facts –

    (1) He repeatedly said that the “strengths and weaknesses” language in the state science regulations dates back to 1997-98, ignoring the ~10-year preceding period that the language was in the textbook proclamations, which he called the “de facto” state standards of that period.

    (2) He presented no evidence to support his claim that all seven of the Texas board of education’s known supporters of the “weaknesses” language are “radical religious right creationists.”

    As I said, it is not even his blog — Houston Chronicle staffer Eric Berger set it up, advertised it, and invited him to blog on it.

  17. James F Says:

    Larry,

    Again, how law journals are reviewed has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that no data has been presented in support of ID in the scientific literature. That’s simply a fact; one doesn’t need a degree in law or science to realize that, just reading comprehension. If law journals were rigorously reviewed by faculty members or received no peer review at all, it doesn’t affect the facts in evidence.

    If you want to complain about peer review in law journals, by all means, write an editorial or contact some law journal editors. It certainly isn’t specific to Dover, you could invoke it for any case that refers to The New England Journal of Medicine, for example. Why focus on one case if that’s your complaint? But trying to use your complaint to deny facts is a waste of your time.

  18. africangenesis Says:

    James F, I believe Larry’s point is not that law journals have something to do with ID, but that they have something to do with the judge being a hypocrit, requiring one standard for science, while honoring a lesser standard for law. If he cited a law review article as “authoritative” in his decision about science that would seem particular egregious and not something commanding respect in scientific circles. Personally I would hate for science standards to be lowered to those for the law. Under the doctrine of stare decisis, the law honors past decisions, even if they are wrong. In a sense, the law can get invaded by the equivilent of viruses, decisions erosive of super majority constitutional protections are particularly problematic, since that was supposed to require an amendment process.

    Peer review in science has also come under quite a bit of criticism, for being weak, closed, political, etc.

  19. James F Says:

    africangenesis,

    Judge Jones wasn’t requiring a higher standard for science – science requires it. He took into account the simple fact that ID has no data backing it up, and the standards of modern science, in his decision.

    Unless ID proponents truly believe that there is a global conspiracy against ID, they must know they’re lying when they call ID science.

  20. africangenesis Says:

    James F, I think you got a point there.

  21. Larry Fafarman Says:

    James F said (December 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm) –
    –Larry,

    If you want to complain about peer review in law journals, by all means, write an editorial or contact some law journal editors.–

    What is wrong with my writing “editorials” (as you call them) right here about this hypocritical double standard regarding peer review? If peer review is so important, then why don’t the courts require or expect that law journal articles that are authoritatively cited in court opinions be peer-reviewed? You just don’t understand the meanings of the terms “hypocrisy” and “double standard.”

    –If law journals were rigorously reviewed by faculty members or received no peer review at all, it doesn’t affect the facts in evidence. –

    Wrong — law journal articles that are only student-reviewed can contain factual errors and/or faulty reasoning that might have been corrected by peer review.

    africangenesis said (December 14, 2008 at 4:07 pm) —
    – Under the doctrine of stare decisis, the law honors past decisions, even if they are wrong. In a sense, the law can get invaded by the equivilent of viruses –

    Yes. Because of the doctrine of stare decisis, factual errors and bad reasoning in law journal articles that are authoritatively cited in court opinions tend to become enshrined in court precedents. There is no doctrine of stare decisis in science.

    As I pointed out, the student-reviewed Harvard Law Review alone was cited 4410 times in federal court opinions alone in the period 1970-79 alone — see

    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2007/04/hahvahd-law-school-snobbery.html

    BTW, the Dover decision itself was never “peer-reviewed” because it was never reviewed by a higher court.

    James F said (December 14, 2008 at 6:07 pm) —
    –africangenesis,

    Judge Jones wasn’t requiring a higher standard for science — science requires it. –

    The courts don’t set the standards for science journals — the science journals do. And by using peer review as a standard for judging ID, Judge Jones was holding ID to a higher standard than the courts hold law journal articles.

    africangenesis said (December 14, 2008 at 7:25 pm) –
    –James F, I think you got a point there. –

    And what point is that?

  22. africangenesis Says:

    L Fafarman, I think science does require the application of the science standards and should be judged by that. It was appropriate for the judge to apply science standards.

  23. grandma Says:

    Yes, Fafarman’s argument is weak, very weak.

    What’s a Californian doing sticking his nose in on Texas’ business anyway?

  24. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Why can’t the courts be criticized for this hypocritical double standard regarding peer review? Oh, I know, criticizing the courts is a violation of the principle of “judicial independence.” Judge “I am not an activist judge” Jones has been criss-crossing the country lecturing that his critics have no respect for “judicial independence.” The courts are above criticism.

    africangenesis said,
    –It was appropriate for the judge to apply science standards.–

    The Supreme Court’s’ following standards for peer review in science, from Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993), are far less demanding than Darwinists think they are:

    “Another pertinent consideration is whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication. Publication (which is but one element of peer review) is not a sine qua non of admissibility; it does not necessarily correlate with reliability, see S. Jasanoff, The Fifth Branch: Science Advisors as Policymakers 61-76 (1990), and in some instances well grounded but innovative theories will not have been published, see Horrobin, The Philosophical Basis of Peer Review and the Suppression of Innovation, 263 J. Am. Med. Assn. 1438 (1990). Some propositions, moreover, are too particular, too new, or of too limited interest to be published. But submission to the scrutiny of the scientific community is a component of “good science,” in part because it increases the likelihood that substantive flaws in methodology will be detected. See J. Ziman, Reliable Knowledge: An Exploration of the Grounds for Belief in Science 130-133 (1978); Relman and Angell, How Good Is Peer Review?, 321 New Eng. J. Med. 827 (1989). The fact of publication (or lack thereof) in a peer reviewed journal thus will be a relevant, though not dispositive, consideration in assessing the scientific validity of a particular technique or methodology on which an opinion is premised.”
    – from http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/92-102.ZO.html

    The courts should declare the evolution controversy to be non-justiciable. Questions are considered to be non-justiciable when there is “a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards.” Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267, 277-78 (2004). Judging the evolution controversy is like judging the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Anti-ID legal scholar Jay Wexler said that if one judge can practice philosophy of science, what is to prevent other judges from doing the same? A judge may come along who says that intelligent design is a better explanation than evolution theory.

    Granny said,
    –What’s a Californian doing sticking his nose in on Texas’ business anyway? —

    What are Texans doing sticking their noses in on the business of Pennsylvania, Kansas, Ohio, Florida, etc.? Duh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: