News & Politics

Egads! Ben Carson for Dept of Education?

Carson has called public schools "the best propaganda system in the world."

Photo Credit: AFP Photo

President-elect Donald Trump is beginning to form his transition committee and create shortlists for the various cabinet positions awaiting his administration in January. One of the most threatening to the future of this country is his choice to short-list creationist Ben Carson for the job of Secretary of Education.

Carson, a renowned medical surgeon, is also a young-earth creationist, believing the earth is only 6,000 years old and that all life was created by the Christian god in only six days. Carson also said, during his short run for president, that the Egyptian pyramids were built by the biblical character Joseph for the means of storing grain.

Scarier than his lack of scientific and historical knowledge, however, are his views toward public education.

"Ben Carson is for a vast expansion of vouchers, claiming that ‘the best education is homeschool, the next is private schools,'” wrote Freedom From Religion staff attorney Andrew Seidel, adding, “He has called public schools ‘the best propaganda system in the world.'"

Carson has been vocal about his mission to remove the “ban on Christianity in our public schools,” a ban that is nonexistent on all counts. If appointed, Carson would be the leading government official on all things education and he has a clear plan to use public education to spread his religious message.

According to his book, America the Beautiful, Carson wants to display banners in all public schools that read “THINK BIG,” an acronym that stands for “Talent, Honesty, Insight, Nice, Knowledge, God.”

In an interview with conservative radio host Glenn Beck, Carson explained the role he believes the department should play.

“I actually have something I would use the Department of Education to do,” Carson explained. “It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists.”

Carson is building on the conservative belief that higher education institutions are nothing but liberal conspiracies, educating students to reject conservative Christian beliefs. If handed the keys, he would ensure that public education, especially institutions of higher learning, would be shut down if they got off-message from the Trump administration, a message that seems to be one of cultural intolerance and a love of free-market capitalism.

Dan Arel is the author of Parenting Without God and blogs at Danthropology. Follow him on Twitter @danarel.
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