November 22, 2004


Revision Marches to Social Agenda
: Conservative state Board of Education leans on publishers to tweak marriage and sexuality references in public school health textbooks. (Scott Gold, November 22, 2004, LA Times)

Outside the Spring Church of Christ, a large roadside sign says a lot about the prevailing sensibility in this cordial town. It reads: "Support New Testament Morality."

This is the home and powerbase of Terri Leo, a state Board of Education member representing 2.5 million people in East Texas.

At the urging of Leo and several other members — who describe themselves as Christian conservatives — the board this month approved new health textbooks for high school and middle school students after publishers said they would tweak references to marriage and sexuality.

One agreed to define marriage as a "lifelong union between a husband and a wife." Another deleted words that were attacked by conservatives as "stealth" references to gay relationships; "partners," for example, was changed to "husbands and wives." A passage explaining that adolescence brings the onset of "attraction to others" became "attraction to the opposite sex."

Leo said she pushed for the changes to combat the influence of "liberal New York publishers" who by "censoring" the definition of marriage were legitimizing same-sex unions.

Some education advocates have criticized the board's decision.

"This was never about defining marriage," said Samantha Smoot, president of the Texas Freedom Network, an Austin-based nonprofit that opposes what it calls religious "extremism." "It was an effort to get anti-gay propaganda in the books."

In place of the gay propaganda.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 22, 2004 8:48 AM

It drives libs crazy that textbook reviews take place in my fine state. Yet another reason to love the (former) Republic. :)

Posted by: kevin whited at November 22, 2004 10:05 AM

One can only imagine how loopy textbooks would be without the size of the market of the good folks of the Lone Star State.

Leaving aside why schools are in the 'public health' teaching business for a while, why shouldn't they focus on the traditional morality of the parents of the kids reading the books. It is not something like 2 + 2=4, about which no reasonable person may have a dispute. Parents are the consumers and they are the ones whose concerns should be met by the publishers of these texts. If parents of public school kids in Texas want their kids to learn about sexual and similar matters from a Biblical perspective, then the schools should do precisely that.

Of course, the converse is true for the parents in San Francisco.

Posted by: Bart at November 22, 2004 12:07 PM

The wretchedness of "Gay"-ness is not really something about which reasonable men and women may differ, but whay would we expect that PARENTS in San Francisco would be all that different from parents elsewhere.

The great majority of parents, it so happens, are of heterosexual orientation, which is how they got to be parents. These parents, I hope, would continue to love their children even if those children were given up to shameful lusts, but I am sure that they would prefer that their offspring were not steered in that direction.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 22, 2004 4:15 PM


True. But apparently God at time isn't particularly concerned about what parents prefer for their children.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 22, 2004 7:28 PM

Like any high-school kid is going to believe that a marriage is "lifelong".
They should have said that the goal of marriage is...

kevin whited:

A "Republic" by accident of history...
Sam Houston wanted to join the USA the next day, but that was held up for years by wrangling over whether Texas would be a slave state, or not.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at November 22, 2004 7:52 PM