Cultural Studies, Pedagogy

The Ongoing Scandal of the Evangelical Mind [Texas Education Edition]

I’m adding Slactivist to my list of blogs to read. I’ve read him for years – most notably for his insightful running commentary on the Left Behind series, a level of literary and theological pulp that I just won’t read so I let him read it for me. It’s good stuff. He also does insightful commentary on evangelicalism, most recently on “secrets and lies and the deeper scandal of the evangelical mind.” Basically, he’s writing about evangelicals and intellectualism and the lack of academic integrity within the community. It’s good stuff and he’s spot on.


Last night, I finished watching Independent Lens’ The Revisionaries on PBS. It’s about Texas’ School Board of Education and textbook adoption. You can watch the whole hour-long documentary here until February 27. I encourage you to watch it so you can understand what’s going with education in Texas. The new Texas School Board of Education has just started meeting and they’re discussing science curriculums that will affect the state for the next ten years. I can’t really write too much about Texas and education anymore because it exhausts me, my life is way too intertwined with it and I’ve already written about it online in various places. But it’s important that I mention it so that others can learn.

Why anyone moving to Texas doesn’t pay more attention to the politics of education astounds me. The evangelicals run that place from the top down. If you agree with Mark Noll in saying that “the scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of one,” then you should go spend time with Texas Evangelicals, especially the ones in power. It’s proof-texting, apologetics, shoddy reasoning, and circular rhetoric. And they want your kids for their Jesus. And they want you, too. I have liberal Christian friends throughout Texas and I know it’s tough. I have great respect for those who still live there because they know very well what they’re up against. Texas is not going to change.

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