It’s not a shock that the Republican Party of Texas’ official platform, announced and adopted this month, is a seething morass of racism and homophobia. Republicans: That’s how we do! Nor is it surprising that the platform comes out in favor of employee discrimination and corporal punishment in schools, and opposed to comprehensive sex education, environmental protections, affirmative action, and the Voting Rights Act. Yawn, really. But get ready to hand your $10 to Nick Fury, because they actually managed to pull out something so blatant that it surprised even jaded old me: The Texas GOP’s platform is explicitly opposed to critical thinking skills.

Here’s the relevant text:

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

To be fair, I guess Texas is willing to grandfather in people who already use critical thinking skills — as long as those skills don’t cause them to support things like marriage equality, voter enfranchisement, environmental responsibility, social justice of any kind, or not hitting children. They just don’t want this stuff to SPREAD. Don’t pass your dirty Communist “logic” on to OUR children, buster, or by god we will have you drinking hemlock.

According to Talking Points Memo, the party is now backpedaling the whole “brain thoughts are for homogays” approach, claiming that it was “not the intent of the subcommittee” to come out against critical thinking and that they “regret” the oversight. But they don’t regret it all that damn much, apparently, because they also say what’s done is done: The convention approved the platform, so it can’t be changed until the next state convention in 2014. By which time, if Texas Republicans had their druthers, there would be nobody left who even knew how to read the thing.

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