It hasn't been about whether evolution is true or false for a very long time. It's about whose team you're on and how many points they're up by in the third quarter. Texans can't help themselves. They have to pick a side, and when they do they support it all the way.
Go to any small town in East Texas on a Friday night in September. Around 7PM, folks start streaming out of their houses and heading to stadiums whose size rivals that of some colleges' playing fields. They're there to rally their team on, violently if necessary.
Texans choose sides in ALL aspects of their lives. Ford vs. Chevy. Big Mac vs. the Whopper. Citizens vs. Illegals. Cattlemen vs. Farmers. Evolution vs. Creationism. Whatever the issue, no matter how weighty or how trivial, Texans can figure out a way to polarize it and turn it into a contest. And if it has team jerseys, all the better.
In some ways, this is Texas' greatest strength - that its citizens are willing to stake everything on the team they support, win, lose, or draw. In other ways, the stubborn unwillingness to give up, even in the face of overwhelming strength or indisputable argument can lead to, well I think we all remember the Alamo.
People tend to think of the idea of "teaching the controversy" as an insidious effort to get religion's foot in the door. In fact, it's one of the most amazing things that Team Texas Religion has ever done- offer a compromise. For a Texan to even admit that the other side's point of view EXISTS is jaw-droppingly astounding. To offer to teach it alongside their own is nothing short of miraculous.
The only way to resolve this conflict is to understand Texas and embrace its stubborn, contentious, headstrong culture. Ignoring it will only make the issue worse. The sooner people realize this, the better off we'll all be. Texas, as much as we hate to admit it East of the Mississippi, isn't all that different from the rest of the country.