Daring to Call it “Education”

Right or wrong, Alabama has a reputation for harboring some pretty extreme right-wingers in its leadership. This is, after all, the state where the Chief Justice is Roy Moore of the Ten Commandments fame. It doesn’t get much Moore (ahem) conservative than that.

But even by Alabama standards, this week’s news that former student of Pensacola Christian College who has never attended a public school, never sent his kids to a public school, and has, in fact, fought against efforts to raise school funding has been appointed by the governor to the Alabama Board of Education. Matthew Brown a man for all seasons only if that season happens to be summertime when schools are out.

But it gets worse.

A source who once attended church with Matthew reports that Matthew also has done work for creationism shyster and tax fraud Kent Hovind ,even staying in touch with him while Kent was serving his sentence for tax evasion. Matthew was a also known as “one of our go-to door knockers”, a soul-winning type who wasn’t above accosting lovebirds making out on a public bench and telling them that what they’re doing is a sin. High-schoolers, your petting parties stop now.

It will be interesting to see what happens when you put such a man in the place of helping make educational decisions for the children of an entire state. I hope they enjoy using A Beka.

I’m sure there will be more to follow on this story. Stay tuned…

190 thoughts on “Daring to Call it “Education””

    1. His mannogawd would say God Himself put him there to straighten out these hell hole schools. And he’d take a shot at Pres. Obama and common core somewhere in his “statement”.

  1. Will people in Alabama complain about the governor’s poor choice? I sure hope so. This should be the basis for a recall campaign, since the governor obviously does not care about the public schools.

  2. When the government decides they want to get out of a particular sector, they break it first, then point at the broken thing and go, “See,it’s broken.” Expect many, many, many charter schools in the future, and expect the quality to decline like a luge ride.

      1. Charter schools do reduce quality. This has been substantively demonstrated time after time.

        What is worse is that they drain money from the system to directly subsidize religious instruction and institutions. They turn public money’s into private hands for profit without adequate safeguards.

        1. Charter schools around here are not sectarian in any way. While the local charter school has drained funds away from my school district, it is open to students from many communities, thereby reducing the outflow from my district.

          I’m not thrilled with my district but I’m glad there’s more choice available. Standardized testing isn’t the be-all and end-all of school quality but the local charter school meets, and usually exceeds, my district’s scores. It seems to be improving and increasing educational opportunities, not worsening them.

        2. Frankly I’ve never seen one “religious” charter school. I guess it depends on the state. They don’t have a charter school law in Kentucky (nor do they have quality education). In Pennsylvania, where my brother used to teach at a charter school, the funds for charters were entirely separate from regular education funds, and the quality of education was much, much higher (albeit, charters are required by law to serve a certain sector, in this case foreign/ESL students; that may have had something to do with the exceptionally high quality of education).

        3. Charter schools have improved the public education experience in Washington DC. Here in Michigan, some are exceptional, some not so. None have religious ties.

          the Admiral

        4. In a lot of states (South Carolina, Louisiana, North Carolina) the golden dream of Charter Schools is finding itself tarnished. What appeared to be initial gains in test scores were often found to be due to selective admittance of students, taking the better ones while leaving the problem children to the public school system. Those who were unable to be selective in admittance didn’t fare so well, and their test scores were often no better than the other public schools.

          Charter schools in a lot of states have been associated with lower standards for teachers (along with lower pay). Indianapolis found several of its charter schools just completely failed and had to be taken over by the state.

          I won’t say there is no place for charter schools. I think the best work could be done by creating magnet schools in the PSS, and that is what a lot of localities are doing. And public control means public accountability, something a lot of charter schools lack.

          It seems to me that the schools are a reflection of the downward economic spiral many people face. If you have no money, you have poor nutrition. And students who show up hungry have a host of difficulties. Getting children adequate health care has been a problem. And yes, we have educational fads that brought us such spectacular failures as No Child Left Behind. Testing, testing, and more testing with no time for teaching.

          Economies of scale have pulled children into huge buildings, large classrooms, and with inadequate resources. Textbooks cost so much that some schools can’t afford them! Students segregated by grade don’t get a chance to learn from or to help teach each other. Lab equipment is often in disrepair.

          Where charter schools could help alleviate some of these problems, I would feel more favorably to them. But often times the gains the charter schools get come at reduced funding for needy schools. And that I object to.

        5. I just ran the numbers on our state achievement tests. We hit almost 75% district wide all grade levels in mathematics. A couple of big online “charters” that are supposed to be the cat’s meow can’t hit 35. They are NOT all they are cracked up to be. IIRC, one was even in the high 20s.

        6. My experience with charter schools has been exceptional, not the other way around, far exceeding the local school district.

          B.R.1

        7. I’ve heard that the charter schools here tend to make more kids repeat a grade than the regular public schools. This falsely increases their test scores because older kids usually do better. They also aren’t required to teach kids with special needs so that improves their scores too. This is a huge issue because kids who are held back have a lower graduation rate. Of course, the charter elementary schools don’t care. Almost all of them are elementary schools.

        8. Here in Texas, charter schools have performed worse than public schools by almost every possible measure.
          There are a few charter schools that are exceptions to this, but then, there are some public schools that are much better than average, too.

  3. This is going to be fun. I lived in Alabama for 18 years prior to moving to Maryland just a year ago, so . . . .

    In Alabama the only way you can win an election is to out-conservative your already-conservative opponent.

    By the way, one of the streets here in Frederick MD that I pass almost every day is named Bentley Way at Corporate Drive. (The current governor is Robert Bentley.)

    Let the games begin!

  4. Although I’m a registered Republican (and may soon re-register as an independent), these are the kind of candidates who cause me to frequently vote for the Democrat.

    1. Good for you, Linn!

      At present the Alabama state Democratic Party is in complete disarray, and there’s a GOP super-majority in both legislative houses. All the elected judges are Republicans.

      In the last election, when we lived in Montgomery, only one other house other than mine had an Obama sign. And the sign on my property was stolen.

  5. They’re just trying to emulate Jesus – how he rose to political leadership and overthrew the Roman government by changing the laws one at a time…

    1. Actually, in his first inaugural address,Bentley promised to dismantle the state’s tax on groceries, “one penny at a time.”

      Folks in Alabama are still waiting for this, and I still have an “untax groceries” bumper sticker on my car.

      In most Alabama cities the sales tax on groceries and just about everything else is a stiff 10%. In a particularly poor suburb of Birmingham it’s 11%, instigated by a mayor who is now a long term guest of the Federal government.

        1. Shifting the tax burden to the poor. Republicans call it “fair.” But I recall some dramatic statements in the Scriptures about how the poor should be treated.

        2. Stop bringing Scripture into Christianity. It creates a hostile environment for fundamentalism.

        1. We lived in Birmingham, then in Montgomery. About 150 miles to Florida and three hours’ drive each way.

        1. People literally do not know any better. Alabama’s population is stagnant-nobody moves in, nobody moves out really. So people grow up with it always being this way. They might complain on higher taxes in their county, but not statewide.

          Meanwhile, husband’s family are from Minnesota, which doesn’t tax clothes. If you are ever in Minnesota, go to the Mall of America and get your basic clothes shopping for the year done.

      1. Taxing groceries will push more low income people onto food stamps (EBT). Are EBT participants also paying this tax via their benefits? If so, what a racket! They are basically taxing the feds while hurting the poor.

    2. I do think you make an excellent point here. In my experience, Christians who get involved in the political system are not only NOT doing what we were told to do, but always wind up horribly compromised and inefffective.

    1. The Guv is actually a retired dermatologist.

      When he ran for Governor, he wanted his line on the ballot to read “Dr. Robert Bentley” so he went to court to legally change his name to that. When election officials ruled that he couldn’t do that, he went back to court to un-change his legal name.

      I am not making this up.

      1. In the 2006 election for Governor of Texas, candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn (who was state Comptroller at the time) tried to have herself listed on the ballot as “Grandma,” but the Secretary of State’s office (which approves the ballot wording) wasn’t having it. Ms. Keeton Strayhorn had to use her real name. Whether or not this factored in her eventual defeat at the polls is hard to say.

    2. Hear, Hear!!! I have to agree whole heartedly. While I’m not a teacher, my wife is and worked in a IFB christian school for 10 years until she/we got fed up and left. Not only that, but the “high school” program was a complete joke and not preparing my son for a future!! One of my biggest pet peaves was how they hired a “preacher boy” with no education background or training to be the administrator of the school. How can a person with no education background/training run an effective school program? Good thing though… at least he was a MAN!!!! We don’t want no woman (with many years of education training/background and experience with working with children) running our school. She might have to lead male teachers and tell them what to do and evaluate their work. What a sin that would be!!! Crazy ass thing though, in all the 10 years my wife worked there, she never received one job performance evaluation or class room visit/evaluation by the administrator. The reason is that the administrator had no clue how to complete the evaluation from a educational perspective as he had ZERO experience/training – but boy could he give a good sermon in chapel!!! He was too busy running around fulfilling all the needs of the great and mighty MOG. The longer I’m out of the IFB environment the more I just have to laugh out loud by the actions and mental capabilities of the leadership!!!

      1. We had a counselor (not school counselor) become principal. Not only did he know nothing about education, we weren’t allowed to discipline students or hold them accountable to higher academic standards because it would damage their emotional well-being.

  6. This is the tragedy of our time, that we have let ourselves become so polarized that we elect people to office whose primary goal is to dismantle governance.

    This is being done, in part, to foster anarchy. After all, if they can create the conditions of the Last Days, Jesus will have to come back, won’t He?

    So we have fundamentalists who love their freedoms enough to destroy them for others with deliberately engineered ignorance and lies. Fundamentalist churches are mini-dictatorships, conditioning their members to accept authoritarianism and limiting their right to think for themselves.

    People owe it to themselves to think for themselves, and not to turn that responsibility over to the MoG or to elected officials or to appointed officials or to Fox News talking heads.

    1. This is being done, in part, to foster anarchy. After all, if they can create the conditions of the Last Days, Jesus will have to come back, won’t He?

      There’s a reason the military will NOT put two Born-Agains in the same missile silo or anything with arming access to nuclear weapons…

      1. Oh yeah, because right wing conservative white Christian males are so reluctant to bomb the heck out of any country the government points them at. Just look at all those conscientious objectors who signed up to do that very thing.

      1. You mean like creationism, anti vaccination, anti-science, pro-business, anti-worker, conspiracy theorist who advocates limiting the rights of minorities and old people to vote, kill the gays or at least put them in prison, support your local police as they hunt and kill black people for fun, love the flag of traitors, deny educational opportunities to poor and minorities, and attempt to force your religious viewpoints on others by law?

        I wouldn’t call that thinking for oneself. I’d call that a kind of barbaric anti-Christianity. It involves belief without evidence and a spectacular disregard for the wellbeing of others.

        1. Intererstingly, if you search for the most socialist countries in the world and then search the ranking of countries by education, you will find that there is some similarity in the list. In other words more government involvement in schools is better for the quality of the education, than less.

        2. Rtg, you watch too much TV. Maybe you should take more leisurely strolls in the country. [almost] Everything you mention in your list (limiting rights of minorities and old people to vote, kill the gays, police hunting and killing black people for fun, love the flag of traitors…) are all “talking points” of the media.

          Remember, just because they say it on TV doesn’t mean it’s true.

        3. Huh? What planet are you on? Or do you think sticking my head in the sand is going to make me feel kindly toward religious demagoguery?

          Oh, and I disconnected the TV years ago.

        4. Norm: Do you think that somebody out there is pretending that black people are being straight-up murdered by police officers in situations where white people would be let off with a warning or even helped? What are the corpses of the victims made of, Play-Doh and balloons? Are their bereaved loved ones just pretending they existed? Do you think that the ongoing chronic evil of black churches being burned is imaginary? Do you think that WorldNet Daily is run by pranksters who are going to stand up and carol, “Ha ha, PSYCH!” someday?

      2. I get along with lots of people whom I do not see eye to eye with. But fundamentalists want to impose ignorance and inequality on our society. They would impose religious law in America every bit as evil and oppressive as Islamic Sharia.

        If that is thinking for themselves, they certainly don’t want others to have any rights or opinion they can’t counter.

        I don’t really care if they want to live that way — but I care if they want to make others live that way!

    1. Where fundies are involved, they make everything worse.

      The current situation the public schools find themselves in is the result of long years of conservative efforts to break several systems at the same time. It is not a singular phenomenon.

  7. I live in Alabama. I have a kid in public school. I’m not too worried.

    Conservative Republicans in response to a progressive Liberal being elected or appointed to a position: “OH NO! IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!”

    Progressive Liberal in response to a conservative Republican being elected or appointed to a position: “OH NO! IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!”

    Funny.

    1. Well, progressives worry because fundamentalists in office invariably make things a heck of a lot worse. Kansas is a great example.

      And institutions that were fairly robust against occasional mismanagement are crumbling under concerted attack. It is like taking a sledgehammer to a car to prove your assertion that it is broken and unfixable.

      The “end of the world” for conservatives seems to be the prospect that minorities will gain long denied civil and economic rights. They have to sto that, no matter what the cost.

        1. Yeah, Norm, it was the leebruls who ruined Detroit and Chicago. Absolutely, and no other factor came into play, such as jobs moving overseas, masterminded by nice Christian conservative executives.

        2. Actually, it is probably inaccurate to call Detroit liberal, and if one is using the term correctly (i.e. not as a euphemism for “anyone who disagrees with Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh), Chicago is anything but liberal as well. I believe the term you are looking for is “crony capitalist” or possibly “economic oligarchy” or possibly “la cosa nostra”. Hint: just because elected officials sing a “progressive” social tune does not mean they are liberal at all. It is all about economic policy. It has always been about economic policy. I’m sure Christian Socialist can back me up on this one! 🙂

    2. I remember when Clinton was elected and then when Obama was elected. The conservatives sounded just like your example of progressive liberals. It seems to me this may be the crux of the problem. The two sides look at the other side as not having the best interest of the country at heart and therefore, the other side no matter what is going to bring the end of the world.

      1. Leanne, the solution to the riddle is what your definition of “the country” is.

        To conservatives, “the country” is the military-industrial complex, the bankers and businessmen who want huge profits and cheap labor. Power should be vested in the hands of the few who are rich. The poor aren’t being blessed by God, so they don’t count. They are not part of “the country.”

        Progressives and liberal see the country as everyone, with the rich having no more rights than the poor. In order to rectify injustices, access to rights and opportunities have to be expanded to the poor and disenfranchised.

        “Good of the Country” means different things to different people.

    3. Which school district, Norm? Mountain Brook?

      And of course you know the saying in Alabama: “Thank God for Mississippi. It makes Alabama look good!”

  8. It doesn’t surprise me since I have heard many conservatives state they want to do away with the department of education at the federal level and force issues of education down to state and local government levels. This choice seems to fit that picture–get a champion for homeschooling in and soon any education will be at the discretion and responsibility of the parents rather than any government entity.

    1. Alabama does not value education. It only values football.

      Indeed, I have talked with people who are surprised to learn that The University of Alabama and Auburn actually hold classes and grant degrees.

        1. Rtg, then you are ignorant too.

          And by ignorant, I don’t mean lacking in intelligence, I mean uninformed or unaware.

          Are there white people who don’t want to help black people? Absolutely. But that is not what is meant by “limited government” in many people’s minds.

        2. It certainly isn’t how conservatives talk about their positions. It is how those positions wind up affecting lives.

          You can SAY what you like about what you believe. It is how what you believe is manifested in action and policy that matter.

          I will not return your insults. However, I am far more aware than you think I am. And I have heard and read a lot of the side talk in the “right” that demonstrates the essential prejudices behind their policies.

  9. Oh, rtg, please don’t take my statement of your ignorance as an insult. Ignorance is not a dirty word. I am ignorant of many things. I am not saying you are ignorant across the board. I am simply saying that, in this case, you are ignorant. If you believe that [all] people (or even the majority of people) who speak of “limited government” are referring to not helping black people financially, then you are ignorant of what they mean when using that phrase. Again, it’s not an insult, it’s a fact. We’ve been overwhelmed in the past few years of not calling things what they are. Ignorant is not [always] an insulting term.

    1. Save us the lecture Norm. It sounds like a Fox News talking point. We all know what the word ignorant means. But most people don’t use it unless they are trying to belittle someone. And you used it twice to two different people.

      How about you look up the meaning of sarcasm, nuance and satire. The original “limited government” comment had all 3 attributes yet you missed them all and considered the comment ignorant. Very strange way to interpret something that was humurous.

    2. Norm, first of all that comment was never meant to be a definition for “limited government.” It was something of a comment on motivations.

      Second, I note that those who are the hottest for “limited government” as in Don’t help the Poor with Social Programs just love government subsidies for the rich. Down the line, with only one or two exceptions. They also love to use the power of government to intrude into the bedroom, deny the right to vote and require unnecessary and expensive drug testing for help like unemployment insurance (as evidenced by laws passed by Republican legislatures the nation over). Many of these laws have been overturned as unconstitutional, but they keep passing them!

      Political Conservatism and Religious Fundamentalism are pretty similar in a whole host of ways. They are legalistic, hypocritical and are interested in control rather than freedom. They want to destroy institutions that help the poor while building up institutions like the police, the military, and the prisons. They are dedicated to “privatizing” Social Security — code for giving already wealthy and unendingly greedy financial (mis)managers access to the retirement funds of Americans so they can steal them or gamble them away. They deny Medicaid to the poor, and they want to do away with Medicare. They even gnash at the teeth at the thought that some poor kids (blacks, usually) get free or reduced cost school lunches and several have openly stated their preference that the kids go hungry. Usually followed by hastily saying they were misquoted or taken out of context or something like that.

      Conservative economic policy is nicely parodied in Star Trek’s Ferengi. But the parody isn’t grossly out of scale.

      I have stated this often enough, but I was a fundamentalist for most of my life, and a political conservative, many years on the right wing fringes. I know how the true feelings are run through filters so that the prejudicial essence and effects remain but aren’t easily detectable in legislation. I know how conservatives play to the fringe elements privately while pretending to distance themselves publicly, all the while promoting their policy agendas.

      Ignorant? No. And for what I don’t know, truth will suffice, not name calling. You want me to be better informed? Then inform me. Use facts. Don’t patronize me, sonny boy!

        1. Keep up the sarcasm and nastiness, Norm! You reveal the true you.

          On the other hand, you could address the real issues and play nicely in the sandbox.

          For example, why do you think people associate conservatives with racism? How do you think that could be corrected?

          See? There are lots of ways to address the issues instead of sniping and running. I know you have it in you to do this. I also know it can be hard if you don’t want to face real examples.

          A few years ago I was introduced to the talk.origins newsgroup. When I entered, I mostly observed and asked questions. But I discovered something interesting. The creationists would give these snarky responses, accusations, and attitudes. They would lie blatantly. Even if a point was exposed as a lie, they would still use it! The scientists and science students gave long, patient explanations regarding the science, the problems with a theological interpretation of the evidence, and were generally courteous. Occasionally they were obviously put out by the nastiness of the “pastors” and “believers,” but they were far better behaved.

          I inquired about this and was told that is how the game was played. The unbelievers acted far better than the believers did, but the believers considered themselves righteous warriors for the “truth.” Not that they actually had any.

          It turned out that the bad behavior of the creationists allowed me to see the lie in their position. So yes, I am a Christian. I accept evolution, a long time frame for the universe and the earth, and I reject biblical literalism and inerrancy. Yes, I am still saved. Unless you think Christ goes back on His word?

          If you want to be an influence, play nicer. Use facts. And recognize that people who disagree with you have their reasons. Sometimes those reasons are actually good ones.

      1. Please don’t propagate the myth that there are more black poor in the US than white. There are actually close to 20 million poor whites and a little more than half as many poor blacks. So those free and reduced cost lunches are more often going to whites than blacks.

        the Admiral

  10. I guess there’s a reason why I quit discussing on this side of SFL. It’s too hard to follow a train of thought. As has been stated, I missed the point.

    I saw this statement:

    “Limited government” = [equals] “the less our white money helps out the blacks, the happier we’ll be.”

    That statement in and of itself is ignorant. I apologize if I missed the sentiment behind it.

    1. It wasn’t a definition, Norm. It does express the intent behind a many of those who call for “limited government.”

      The phrase was often used some years back while opposing “affirmative action.” Basically, white people were angry that blacks got to be represented in more than just a cursory fashion. Employers had to be careful that their hiring and firing decisions were not racially biased.

      Conservatives were outraged. That was “government overreach.” It was intruding into private business matters. Why Rand Paul even announced his opposition to the Fair Housing Act and the Civil Rights Act. He was not a racist, he said. But he opposed laws that protected blacks from the effects of racism. Oh, and his campaign manager at one point was a documented racist.

      It isn’t too hard to follow the conversations on this side of the forum, Norm. Not if you are honest and polite.

      “Limited Government” has been the catch phrase for denying help to those in need, while still somehow giving largess to the rich.

      Look, you messed up here. So what? You can do better in the future. Just stop trying to squelch others by calling them “ignorant.” First of all, we are not going to be squelched. We are not going away. And we will not bow to anyone’s supposed superiority. Nor do we expect you to bow to us. We just want to be treated fairly.

      1. Rtg, there are quite a few things I would like to discuss with you in regards to your last reply, but the biggest question is this.

        You say “we are not going away”; “we will not bow to anyone’s supposed superiority.”; we don’t expect you to bow to us”; “we just want to be treated fairly”.

        Who is the “we” you are referring too?

        1. Why Norm, do you think I am all alone in my little ignorant liberal opinion here on SFL? You have called others “ignorant,” too.

          Surely, you can read! You can get an idea of who people are that quite possibly disagree with conservatism. You can also look back in your postings to see whom you have, on a variety of occasions, insulted. Put those two groups together and you have a “we.”

          And although I may be absent from posting for a short time during the move and while I get settled, I’ll be back!

        2. The “we” is liberals. Thanks rtg.

          I get insulted all the time for being a conservative. Eventually you put your big boy pants on and deal with it.

        3. Shit! Norm found out who “we” are.

          Quick everyone, delete your e-mails, erase your browser history and let me remind you that the cheese is in the trunk. I repeat, the cheese is in the trunk.

  11. There is a quote attributed to Sinclair Lewis; “Fascism will come to America carrying the Bible and wrapped in the flag.” I think this could be amended with “and appropriating the label and the rhetoric of ‘Libertarian'”.

    I can imagine some Right-wing populist, yet crypto-authoritarian political party that could co-opt the term “Libertarian” in their full, official name. That’s if one or more third parties happen to upset the two-party system paradigm.

  12. This development is, indeed, a disgrace to Alabama.
    But Alabamians are not alone in their shame. The new Governor of Texas has just made an almost identical appointment to the State Board of Education.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/06/christian-homeschooler-will-chair-texas-state-board-of-education/

    Among other things, the Texas Board of Educatio has control over the content of school textbooks that are used in most states. You’re welcome.

  13. I’ll quote Ronald Reagan here (that should really get the progressive feathers ruffled), “It’s not that our liberal friends are ignorant, it’s that they know so much that isn’t so.”

  14. It just dawned on me that this site truly is becoming less and less about the peculiarities of the IFB and more and more about ridiculing conservative Christians.

    This post was because Mr. Brown attended PCC and has now been placed in political office and it’s disaster because he’s going to bring all his “crazy fundy” along.

    Dare we inspect Mr. Obama’s past and critique it? His “foreign student” classification in college? His muslim heritage and influence? If we’re scared of someone’s “fundy crazy” we’d better be frightened beyond belief of someone’s “muslim crazy”.

    1. This is the second time this week that I have come across this anti Muslim crap. Do you think Extremist Christians are not scary? Also do you think that anti-American sentiment in Muslim countries happened in a vacuum? You have one of the most cultured, honourable men the political world stage has seen in a long time and all you can do is sling racist mud. I have to tell you, much of the rest of the world is amazed at your ignorance in doing so. By the way, Ronald Reagan also said, “Facts are stupid things.”

        1. I was not referring simply to your comment but to many things I have heard said. Frankly, I am puzzled. What happened to all the hand on the heart pray for the president stuff? It is convenient to pretend to be holy when you like it but the Conservative Christians talk out of the other side of their faces when they don’t like how things are going. You either believe that God put that man there and you should support him, or you don’t. You can’t change that claim with different presidencies and retain your integrity. Again, Norm, I am not speaking just to you but to a trend in the United States today.

        2. MiriamD, you are so very, very right in what you described about either you believe God put the man there and you should support him, or you don’t. I agree with you. Yes, I (as a Christian) should very much pray for him and support him. This is true. And I will admit I often fail at this.

        3. I asked a question. I need to tread carefully because I do not want to offend. I don’t agree that we should support the government willy nilly but I heard so often during Bush’s time in office earnest claims that God put him there and it was the duty of each citizen to support him. When the same people are confronted with the workings of democracy in the person of someone they don’t like, all that flies out the window. It calls into question the integrity and honesty of those people.

        4. Miriam, I have no wish to get political here and I will not express my likes or dislikes of particular politicians.

          I think some people confuse respect and support. I may not like a particular politician – I actually like very few – but I will respect the office. Whether one likes the politician or not, it is a difficult job with a lot of responsibility.

          I can respect Politician Jones without liking the policies espoused by the person or supporting him/her in any way. I like my former governor as a person but I never liked his policies.

          For me, support implies being some kind of cheerleader who elevates the person above the office and does so without ever disagreeing. I do not believe that any one candidate, politician, or party has the capacity to fix all ills. I found fundamentalists especially guilty of holding to this idea even if they wouldn’t come out and say it.

        5. I am related to some Fundy Americans and I was going from my own experiences. When it was a president they agreed with they treated him next to God and said it was their duty to do so. Now they treat the president like a dangerous, renegade threat to their godly country. I admit my politics are very different, my country is different and my experience is different and I find the flip flopping disturbing.

        1. Facts ARE tricky little buggers.

          No, not at all.

          They make things like “All republicans are rich, white, racist men”… untrue.

          But no one made that assertion, now did they? The FACTS don’t support that any of us said that, your insinuation notwithstanding.

          No, I find FACTS to be very comforting and very helpful. I find insinuations like yours to be mean, nasty (yes, nasty. Deal with it. Change if you don’t want to be that!) and deceptive.

          Oh, I know. You could come back and say, “But I never said you said !” The insinuation was clear. It makes you look bad.

          There was a character in the Lord of the Rings that used backhanded statements and insinuations and all of that to subvert the King of Rohan. Anyone remember his name?

        1. In 9/11 America suffered what a lot of countries had already being suffering, albeit on a slightly less spectacular, less-well-televised scale. America’s response to that atocitity was just as devastating to nations seen to be “enemies”, with the blessing and prayers of Christians and with God apparently approving it…..

        2. And the fact that Christians so easily lusted after the blood and suffering of our “enemies” rather than exhibiting the gentle qualities of our Savior convinced me that their “faith” was a sham.

          That Jesus did not take retribution on them despite their sins made no difference in how they treated others, much like the servant owing the 10,000 lifetimes of wages, yet being unwilling to forgive a debt of less than half a year’s wages.

    2. The fact that he has no background in public education should be a big red flag.

      Would you consult a plumber for an electrical problem? Would you hire a painter to bake your wedding cake? Why should someone whose background actively opposes public education be appointed to oversee and manage public education?

    3. Norm, Obama is a Christian and has often attended church. He doesn’t now very much because it causes a distraction wherever he goes.

      And there is no evidence whatsoever that he is Muslim. Were he Muslim, his attendance at church and his affirmation of his Christian faith would have been considered apostasy.

      To quote a well respected member of this community, “Facts ARE tricky little buggers.”

      Sigh. I need to get on to more profitable things than arguing with you.

        1. Maybe you aren’t but if you don’t want to be accused of sounding nasty, you should be more careful of your word choice.

        2. Just saw your apology and offering of forgiveness, rtg. Thank you, and your apology is warmly accepted as well.

        1. Norm did apologize sincerely. Norm, I forgive you.

          Now I am going to apologize for the “sonny boy” reference as well as anything I said that was offensive. And I confess, I was t.o.d enough that as yet I don’t feel sorry. But apologizing is the right thing to do, and if I start there maybe my feelings will come into line. It usually works that way.

          Pray for me. My irritation may not have been all from you. The things I am doing getting ready to move, the extra expense involved when I don’t have the resources yet are taking a toll. I am a bit edgier. I dread the trip by myself. As I force myself to toss this item and that I am flooded with conflicting emotions.

          Plus, my wife’s father is in the hospital. And there is some unpleasant business I have to handle (not with them).

          So please understand. I appreciate your apology. I should have apologized sooner.

    1. Perhaps you didn’t mean it as nasty. It came across that way to several people, including me.

      If the person to whom one is communicating doesn’t understand the message – which can easily be miscontrued online without the benefit of hearing tone of voice or seeing arms crossed and a duckface accompanied by the eyeroll – then upon learning of the misunderstanding it is incumbent on the communicator to make the meaning plain.

      Now fellas, greet one another with a holy kiss and then make up, ‘k? Thxbai.

      1. See, down here in the south, that’s how we speak. Yes sir, no sir, yes ma’am, no ma’am. Particularly to those who are older than us.

        Again, in this case, it was extremely sarcastic. But it was definitely not nasty.

        1. “Extremely sarcastic” — sarcasm is mocking or conveying contempt. “Nasty” is something highly unpleasant.

          The term “sarcasm” comes from the root “to cut” and indicates a cutting, demeaning speech. That, to my mind, is highly unpleasant. Nasty.

          Nasty is as Nasty does, Norm. If you must be cutting and sarcastic, you don’t have to make it personal.

          By the way, do you really want to do childishness? What about I Corinthians 13?

        2. Not everyone here is from the South. That said, some of us Yanks know what “bless your heart” means. It’s not always the polite, holy meaning that it first looks like to the uninformed.

          It seems that several people thought your “yes, sir” comments were nasty. Now you can use that information to communicate in a way that doesn’t come across in such a fashion if you choose. Or you can use that information to willingly come across as nasty and even childish. Why anyone who carries the xian label would willingly want to come across as either nasty or childish is rather puzzling. I’m thinking that deliberately doing either is against the teachings of your deity.

        3. Not everyone who contributes is from America either. I’m not. Neither is MiriamD. There *is* a world outside America, and there *are* Christians living in it. It is not just the IFB who find that difficult to believe.

        4. You mean the world is round after all, Paul? I’m shocked.

          Darrell, why are you letting in these heathinz from Canada? And Ireland? They are gonna take away our freedom and make us drink beer and watch actual football (soccer).

        5. I don’t have much interest in soccer/ football. I never understood why grown men should be paid obscene amounts of money for running about a field in shorts, trying to kick an inflated pig’s-bladder ( or its slightly more modern equivalent) into a frame with netting in it….

        6. And the fact that I have the same surname as a very famous player doesn’t change that….

        7. Rodney Dangerfield said he went to visit some friends in Canada one time. He went to a fight and a ice-hockey match broke out

        8. Canadians drink beer. The Irish play football. And they drink beer.

    1. Yep, this one man single-handedly will bring the education system of Alabama to it’s knees.

      If the man in the white house can’t single-handedly bring America to her knees (even though he’s trying extremely hard) I really doubt this one young man will bring Alabama’s education system down.

      1. Norm – seriously give the politics a fucking break. It is getting really old really fast.

        The post is about someone who attended Darrell’s alma mater who was just placed in charge of an institution that he has ZERO experience with and is obviously not qualified for that position. People are responding to that and posting relevant material to that. Jay just posted a link to an article with absolutely NO political commentary at all.

        You bring politics into many of your comments and when some people don’t agree, you think all of SFL is out to get you. There are plenty of political blogs that you can share your theories on.

      2. The Alabama education system is already down. Way, way down.

        Education system rankings by state consistently rank Alabama at or near the bottom in every category except football.

        By the way, Norm, have you ever seen the state Department of Education building in Montgomery, named for Gordon Persons? It is absolutely huge, and one needs a trained guide to get around in it. I’ve been in it a few times.

        My younger daughter is an elementary school teacher in Montgomery County, Maryland (not Montgomery County, Alabama.) I once drove her past the building and she was amazed. So many bureaucrats!

      3. If he’s going to have no effect, why have him? Get rid of the office and save some money.

        Look, I’m a big fan of home education. I was home educated. Well. My parents are both college educated and took our education very seriously. But if I were appointing somebody to an education directorship, I’d at least want somebody with some experience in education beyond “I homeschool my kids.” That’s not enough. You want the BEST person for the job, not the kinda mediocre guy you happen to like who probably can’t do tooooo much damage, but I like his personality and his religion and he’ll probably cut spending because to him public education is like “meh” at best. I want somebody whose feelings are stronger than “meh” about their job.

    1. Norm, I have views about certain issues that may not be shared by the majority of the contributors on this blog. I think I may have irritated some, and been irritated by some. I might be considered “conservative” by some people here, and “liberal by others. That’s ok. God didn’t make is all the same. We are not clones, besides the labels “conservative” and “liberal” are often arbitrary, simplistic and inaccurate. People are complicated. Even Jesus, if he walked into different churches today, would probably be labeled differently by different people.
      Sorry, as we say in Ireland, I’m “blethering” ….

  15. “Pro-family, pro-life, pro jobs, and limited government” are not meaningful in any way. The most progressive liberal you can find would be Pro-family, pro-life, pro jobs and limited government. No one is anti-life, anti family, anti jobs, or even for unlimited government.

    1. Nathan, obviously pro life means what the progressive media refers to as anti abortion. You are pretending that the public isn’t aware of this distinction. No need to be disingenuous. The same goes for the other referenced terms.

      the Admiral

      1. I would argue that most people are pro-family. People just don’t like that families can look different from a heterosexual couple with 1.75 kids (or in fundyland 14.363 kids), a dog, living in suburbia with a single income. My family looked like that (2 kids, one dog, one cat, single income, family dinner every night–we were pretty much the poster family for the “traditional family”, but a whole lot (most?) don’t. If conservatives were really pro-family, they’d be looking to support families as they exist, not pick and choose what actually gets to be a family.

  16. Gossip former Fundies like?
    “A source who once attended church with Matthew reports that Matthew also has done work for Kent Hovind and even stayed in touch with him… “

    1. If you think about it, every document that gives any kind of news is relying on gossip. It’s all reporting what someone said or did.

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