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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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DeLay: Do not send your kids to A&M

To the sound of applause in a church sanctuary, U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay told parents not to send their children to Texas A&M or Baylor universities.
In response to a question from the audience of Pearland’s First Baptist Church last week, House majority whip DeLay (R-Sugar Land) urged parents to ask the state to “throw the P.C. out and bring God in.”
DeLay, a 1970 graduate of the University of Houston, criticized A&M, saying his daughter, a 1995 A&M graduate, was shocked to learn students had sex in their residence halls.
“Texas A&M used to be a conservative University,” DeLay said. “It’s lost all of its conservatism and it [has] renounced its traditions. It’s really sad. My daughter went there, she had horrible experiences with co-ed dorms and guys who spent the weekends in the rooms with girls and all this kind of stuff went on there.”
DeLay was unknowingly taped by someone in the church April 12, and the tape recording was then released to the media by the Washington-based group Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
“Here in Texas, even at Baylor, they can’t even teach creationism without being kicked out of the … college,” the unidentified audience member says on the tape. “Is there anything we can do about it, besides pray?”
In response, DeLay says, “Don’t send your kids to Baylor. And don’t send your kids to A&M.”
A&M spokesperson Cynthia Lawson declined to comment on DeLay’s remarks, but said most graduates feel they received a good education.
DeLay told the approving audience there are still Christian schools in Texas.
“There are still some Christian schools out there, good, solid schools,” he said. “They may be little, they may not be as prestigious as Stanford, but your kids will get a good, solid, godly education.”
Baylor public relations officer Larry Brumley told The Associated Press that DeLay should visit the Waco campus before criticizing it.
Steve Benen of Americans United said DeLay’s response to hearing it was their organization that released the tape was: “They’re just liberals.”
“It’s surprising to see someone of his position and stature take a public pot shot at these universities,” Benen said. “DeLay was criticizing these universities for not being godly enough. In his perfect world, he would like to see his religion pushed on these universities.”
Benen said such public statements raise “alarming issues” in the matters of religion and state in public universities.
“It’s so inappropriate, not only to criticize them on religious issues, but given his position in the public, to criticize them at all,” Benen said.
DeLay’s office said the comments, made before a church to address a specific question, were taken out of context and reemphasized that DeLay did not know he was being recorded.
DeLay issued a statement Thursday saying he didn’t want his statements to be misunderstood.
“I was giving advice for the specific type of education they were seeking for their child,” he said. “Let me make it clear to Texas: I’ve been a longtime supporter of Baylor and Texas A&M. My daughter went to A&M and in Congress I’ve worked hard to help fund these two prestigious universities. I apologize for any misunderstandings my comments may have caused.”

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