Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

Faith and Climate Change

November 24, 2010

We told you earlier this month that Texas Congressman Joe Barton, R-Ennis, could become chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in January. Such a possibility worries climate scientists because Barton is hostile to efforts to reduce carbon emissions as a way of slowing global warming. For example, Barton bizarrely opposes even replacing the “traditional, incandescent light bulb” with more environmentally friendly and efficient CFL bulbs — or, as Barton calls them, “the little, squiggly, pig-tailed ones.”

So would climate scientists be more comfortable with the other Republicans vying for same committee chairmanship? Not necessarily. The Toronto Star reports that one possible chairman of the committee, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Illinois, is an evangelical Christian unconcerned about dangers to the environment because of his religious beliefs. The Star reports that Shimkus dismissed the issue of climate change at a hearing in 2009. The congressman recited a Biblical passage (Genesis 8:21-22) about God’s promise to Noah (after the Great Flood) never to permit the destruction of life on Earth:

“I believe that’s the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it’s going to be for his creation,” Shimkus said.

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TFN, National Groups Support Resolution

August 10, 2010

The Texas Freedom Network just issued the following press release:

TFN Joins National Groups Opposing Politicization of Curriculum Standards in Texas

Letter Supports U.S. House Resolution Calling for Experts to Determine Standards, Not Politicians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2010

The Texas Freedom Network and the Texas Faith Network have joined nearly two dozen national organizations in support of a U.S. House resolution criticizing the politicization of social studies curriculum standards by the State Board of Education in Texas.

“We have joined with members of Congress and other advocates for public education, religious freedom and civil liberties in calling on politicians to stop undermining the education of Texas schoolchildren,” TFN President Kathy Miller said today. “Curriculum standards and textbooks should be written by teachers and scholars, not by politicians who are more interested in promoting their own personal agendas than sound scholarship in our public schools.”

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Lawmakers to Texas Ed Board: It’s Time to Talk

March 31, 2010

Today Texas lawmakers picked up a bigger megaphone to get the attention of a bitterly divided, out-of-control State Board of Education. At a Capitol press conference, members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) announced that they are scheduling a public hearing for April 28 to examine how and why the state board has run off the tracks and what the Texas Legislature should do about it.

Calling the board a “national circus,” MALC Chairman Trey Martinez Fischer (photo), a Democratic state representative from San Antonio, said the hearing will focus on the board’s badly broken process for developing curriculum standards and adopting textbooks. The hearing will also look at the highly controversial decisions the board has made in the development of new social studies standards this year.

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