They say that everything here in Texas is bigger. One thing that sure is bigger here is right-wing Christian hypocrisy. A rider to a finance bill in the Texas State Senate would outlaw any procedure that would result in the destruction of an embryo, effectively reinstating the Bush ban on stem cell research for Texas scientists. This is bad enough, but to really savor the irony, you have to consider that here in Texas we lead the nation in the number of citizens with no health insurance, including 1.6 million children. Again, that is one million six hundred thousand children with no health insurance. Truly, in Texas life begins at conception and ends at birth. To be fair, the fundamentalists have been distracted by a bigger issue lately–trying to make sure that public school students are informed about the “weaknesses” of evolutionary theory. Why, surely, they huff, students should be informed about the strengths and weaknesses of all scientific theories, right? Why, what could be fairer than that? But when you inquire about the specific “weaknesses” they would like mentioned, you get the same old tired litany of creationist complaints (“no transitional fossils,” “can’t explain the Cambrian explosion,” etc.) that they have been trotting out since the Cretaceous. The State Board of Education is chaired by Don McLeroy, a fundamentalist dentist, and scientific ignoramus, from Beaumont. The other “social conservatives” on the SBOE include one Cynthia Dunbar, graduate of Regent University (Pat Robertson’s diploma mill) and a true head case (she posted on a “Christian” web site that Obama would bring in gangs of terrorists to take over the government). Alas, despite the fundies’ best efforts, the SBOE as a whole voted to take out the “weaknesses” language, a rare victory for science here deep in the heart of Jesusland. Republican members of the SBOE who voted withthe majority against the “weaknesses” language have been viciously attacked as “not true Christians.” It has always amazed me that the vitriol fundamentalists ladle out for atheists is nothing compared to the flamethrowers they aim at other Christians who depart from the doctrinal straight and narrow.