In a debate last week, Republican candidates vying for the Texas lieutenant governor seat said they support teaching biblical creationism and praying in public schools.
While the lieutenant governor doesn’t have direct say in the curriculum of Texas children, he does have a “great deal of influence in shaping policy and influencing laws that may eventually be passed by the Senate,” according to the state.
Of four candidates, three— incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhust, Sen. Dan Patrick and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples—said that evolution and creation should be taught.
“I believe that in fairness we need to expose students to both sides of this,” Dewhurt said. “That’s why I’ve supported including in our textbooks the discussion of the Biblical account of life and creation.”
Patrick: “Our students ... must really be confused,” he said. “They go to Sunday School on Sunday and then they go into school on Monday and we tell them they can't talk about God. I'm sick and tired of a minority in our country who want us to turn our back on God.”
Staples: “As a Christian, certainly creationism should be taught,” he said.
Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, however, indirectly endorsed teaching creation in schools.
““I see nothing wrong with standing up at least for a moment of silence,” he said. “Let those who wish to pray pray in their own faith. I see nothing wrong with having a prayer before a high school football game.”
The Republican primary election for lieutenant governor is set for early March. The winner will most likely face Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte in the Nov. 4 general election.
Publication Date: December 16, 2013.