Religious Freedom

The Texas Freedom Network supports the constitutional guarantee of the separation of church and state, which protects the right of all Americans to practice the faith of their choice, or none at all, free of government interference.

Unfortunately, efforts to knock down that wall are a constant in Texas. Politicians and activists continually work to impose their views on others, especially around issues like abortion and access to contraception. And in a distortion of the principle of religious freedom, far-right groups have supported legislative efforts to allow individuals to use religion as an excuse to ignore laws they might not like and even as a weapon to discriminate against others.

Resources

Prayer in Public Schools: A Primer (2001 report)

The Texas Faith-Based Initiative (2002 report)NDOP_Report_2005_Revised

A Report on The National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (2005 report)

Reading, Writing & Religion: Teaching the Bible in Texas Public Schools (2006 report)

Reading, Writing & Religion II (2013 report)

Can This Class Be Saved? The ‘Hobby Lobby’ Public School Bible Curriculum (2014 report)

Texas state Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, lost her re-election bid in the Republican primary on March 2, but she’s still reinforcing her reputation as one of the Legislature’s biggest Islamophobes. Wednesday night she posted on her official Facebook page a link to a video featuring Brigitte Gabriel, one of the most vicious anti-Muslim extremists in America today. In the video Gabriel supposedly “reveals how the Muslim Brotherhood plan for America.”

When a commenter points out that the video is hateful nonsense, White replies:

“Yes, I hate Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and all terrorist organizations. I will fight for your freedom to be ignorant and hateful to your fellow Americans because I love America and everything she stands for even when her own turn against her.”

In further comments she defends her hatred of Islam and claims: “I know it, I have studied it, I have been briefed on it by experts.”

In Molly White’s twisted world, apparently, all of the world’s more than 1.6 billion Muslims are terrorists. And hating Muslims somehow demonstrates her “love” for America. Her love for America doesn’t seem to extend to America’s guarantee of religious freedom for … Read More

Ted Cruz: A True ‘Champion’ of ‘Religious Liberty’

Ted Cruz needs to just get it over with and start doing air quotes every time he utters the term "religious liberty." Or at least have a staffer stand next to him, ready to flash a cardboard sign with an asterisk every time he says it. Here was Cruz on "Good Morning America" on Monday: Read More

Ken Paxton, Obsessed with Defending Discrimination, Is Politicizing the Texas Attorney General’s Office

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller warned today that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is further politicizing the state’s chief law enforcement agency with the appointment of yet another prominent culture warrior to a top staff position in his office. Read More

Paxton Deputy: Words in the Law Matter, Except When They Don’t

Jeff Mateer, who was recently hired as a top deputy of indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, doesn’t believe there is such a thing as church-state separation. When he has spoken at schools or colleges, he has offered $100 to anyone who can point to where “separation of church and state” is mentioned in the Constitution.

“It’s not there,” he likes to say.

It’s odd, then, that when it comes to the law that required Paxton to offer to the general public the opportunity to apply for Mateer’s job, Mateer wants you to stop focusing so much on the letter of the law.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Paxton was required by state law to post Mateer’s position publicly if outside candidates were under consideration. Paxton didn’t post Mateer’s position nor did he publicly post the position of his new communications director Marc Rylander, who was previously a pastor at Paxton’s church in Plano.

But Mateer says that’s all cool. From the DMN article:

Mateer told The News that Paxton’s office believes the law allows the attorney general to appoint “people who are at the level of deputy and above.”

While … Read More

Texas Religious-Right Group’s Ridiculous Rant: Mickey Mouse Is Coming for Your Crosses

This is just plain Goofy. After Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's veto on Monday of a bill that would have encouraged individuals and businesses to use religion as cover to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, a Dopey religious-right group in Texas is warning that Disney could soon ban Christian crosses from its theme parks. Here's an excerpt from the Grumpy statement issued by Texas Values: Read More

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