"When science education standards, or history or health education standards, are being revised in Texas, Texas Freedom Network
is there to help to keep religious ideas out and good scholarship in," Scott said.
Disclosure: Rice University and the Texas Freedom Network
have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors.
The Texas Freedom Network
, begun in 1995, has trained advocates in more than forty Texas counties, serves as a resource in campaigns against religious-right school-board candidates or agendas, acts as the rhetorical counterweight to the religious right for the media, has organized a broad-based constituency to oppose religious right sorties at the state board of education and has created a network of clergy to reclaim the moral high ground when religion enters the public debate.
She left office at the end of January 1995, but only a few weeks later her 38-year-old daughter, Cecile, a longtime organizer, began to fill her considerable shoes, founding the Texas Freedom Network
. The group is dedicated to countering the politicking of the radical right.
"We are in a national moment where we're correcting history on this score, all around the country, even in Texas," said Ryan Valentine, deputy director of the Texas Freedom Network
, in his testimony.
I can't list them all, but they include the American Civil Liberties Union, national teachers' unions, Texas Freedom Network
, the Interfaith Alliance, People For the American Way, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, humanist and atheist groups and so many others, including numerous faith communities.
The forum--and article--highlight a troubling issue that my organization, the Texas Freedom Network
, has been observing for the past several years on the ground in our state: namely, that organizations on the religious right increasingly cast themselves as defenders of "religious liberty," but they intend something very different by this term than its traditional meaning.
That wording drew the ire of the Texas Freedom Network
and the National Center for Science Education, which described it as "stealth creationism" because they posit that the default hypothesis for life's origin has to be that there was an intelligent agency involved.
The Texas Freedom Network
, which promotes religious freedom and individual liberties, says the Texas school board manufactures controversy instead of focusing on education.
Some of these changes are as radical as wanting "students to know George Washington was saved by a divine miracle," says Dan Quinn, communications director of the Texas Freedom Network
Kathy Miller, presidenta de la Texas Freedom Network
, dijo que "no es correcto imponer una creencia religiosa a personas en una institucion".
"With three open seats, this is a really important election for the state board, because the board has moved closer to the center over the last several election cycles," said Dan Quinn, spokesperson for left-leaning state board watchdog Texas Freedom Network
. "The question is whether it will continue to do that or if we'll see a swing back to the fringe politics that have dominated the board for the last 20 years, or longer than 20 years."