(Here's the beginning of an opinion piece I wrote that AOL News posted last week. You can read the rest here.)
"First they came for Darwin and I did not speak out, then they came for Jefferson and I did not speak out, and then they came for me."
When German cleric Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) wrote the prototype of that phrase, he chronicled the Nazis' progressive elimination of Jews, Communists and trade unionists, and of the danger of not speaking up before they eventually came for him. His insight echoes in our ears with the recent scandalous revision of history and science textbooks in Texas high schools.
It is no accident that Thomas Jefferson was the first political leader to be excluded, following the exclusion of naturalist Charles Darwin, from the curriculum's pantheon of giants. Why Jefferson?
Jefferson was not only a man who could run a country, design a graceful building and make an accurate land survey -- he was also a scientist.