All the Republican candidates running for Texas lieutenant governor agree: Creationism needs to be taught in schools.
At a statewide televised debate Monday, the four Republican candidates said they would like to see the religious theory taught in the classroom, according to videos of the event.
The candidates spoke about their views on creationism after being asked by Norma Garcia of Texas outlets Telemundo 39 and KXTX-TV what specific aspect of creationism they would like to see included in textbooks and if they think this would undermine a previous Supreme Court decision that barred teaching the theory as a science.
While the candidates danced around the specifics of the question, they all stood firm in their commitment to having creationism taught in Texas classrooms.
State Sen. Dan Patrick and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples indicated they think the absence of creationism in schools is an affront to Christianity.
“I don’t think we have to live in a state where we need to apologize for being a Christian. ... [Creationism] is something that most Texans believe in, and our children need to be exposed to this,” Staples said.
“Christians have yielded to the secular left,” Patrick said of the lack of creationism in schools, bragging that he co-sponsored the state's 2013 “Merry Christmas Law,” which ensures that students and teachers can say “Merry Christmas" and sing Christmas songs without fear of punishment.
Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson recommended that creationism be taught in schools alongside intelligent design and evolution.
“I happen to believe as a Christian in creationism, but I understand that it alone cannot be taught,” said Dewhurst.
Texas curriculum standards currently say that students should examine all sides of scientific theories, but do not direct educators to teach creationism.
Earlier this month, science advocate Zack Kopplin accused the largest charter school network in Texas of teaching creationism. The Texas Education Agency is currently reviewing the situation.