Courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter:
Revolving around the State Board of Education's review of textbook standards, the film opens with a worrisome market-based observation: Since Texas and California are the country's largest purchasers of textbooks, anything unlikely to meet Texas standards may well not get published. And since BOE elections are down-ticket races most voters barely even notice, it doesn't take much for an outsider to become one of the most important figures in the U.S. education system.
Take Don McLeroy, a dentist whose strict interpretation of the Bible holds that the earth was created less than ten thousand years ago. Though his only education experience is teaching Sunday School, McLeroy was the chair of the BOE for almost two years -- a period during which the board examined guidelines for the science texts that would mold young minds for years to come.
McLeroy is a decent fellow, and unlike some of Rick Perry's other political appointees (like Forensic Science Commission officer John Bradley, in the recent doc Incendiary) he didn't steamroll opponents with underhanded bureaucratic maneuvers. But whatever he could do in good conscience to weaken textbooks' presentation of the theory of Evolution, he did.
Essentially this McLeroy fellow's overriding problem with Evolution was that he simply did not understand it. He much preferred the children's fable presented in the Bible to the complexity of a scientific theory.
Therefore he felt perfectly justified, due to his deep religious faith, to remove from public school textbooks the information that challenged his religious beliefs and made him think too much.
THIS kind of intellectual laziness and prejudice toward education is permeating, not just our public school system in this country, but also our politics.
The message being delivered by Fundamentalists, Conservatives, and Republicans is do not trouble yourself with thinking, it is much TOO hard. Instead believe, and sleep the restful sleep of the ignorant, while your rights and independence are stripped from you like valuables from a newly murdered corpse.
The Founders of this country knew what they were doing in separating church and state, however even THEY must have known that was a separation that would have to be enforced and protected, against "decent fellows" like Don McLeroy.
There is a must see interview that Stephen Colbert conducted with McLeroy that you can watch here.
The problem with defending ourselves against attack by anti-education religious forces is that there are so many truly kind people who feel under personal attack when their faith is challenged or their religion called out for aggressive actions. However in my opinion to stay silent is to demonstrate cowardice in the face of an enemy that ultimately cares little about faith, and everything about control.