The religious right strategically uses religion and religious language, combined with patriotic symbols, to push a political agenda that has little connection to the values of mainstream people of faith. It is, in short, a political rather than religious movement. The Texas Freedom Network has monitored the religious right in Texas since 1995.

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The Lies Behind the Hate

Dave Welch, the Houston-based religious-right leader who helped lead the smear campaign to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance last year, wants folks to think he really supports equality for all. But his own rancid rhetoric betrays him. Read More

There was a remarkable and blistering editorial published last week in the Longview News-Journal. The paper’s editorial board writes about an email distributed by JoAnn Fleming to members of the influential East Texas tea party group she leads, Grassroots America-We the People (GAWTP).

In the email, Fleming complains of “the politics of personal destruction” as some members of her group reportedly lashed out at her, with insults, after GAWTP voted to withdraw its endorsement of controversial Texas State Board of Education candidate Mary Lou Bruner. Bruner subsequently lost her SBOE District 9 Republican runoff in late May.

Here’s the blistering part. Of the attacks on Fleming — she’s been told she’s “going to hell” for being a “turncoat” and a “Saul Alinsky acolyte,” among other things — the paper’s editorial board writes:

And this surprises her?

Over-the-top tactics have always been a part of her group’s playbook. There’s nothing new there. Of course, the words usually are directed at moderates or liberals (though there are few of the latter in East Texas).

Now, Fleming is learning firsthand that once the weaponry of personal destruction is used, it becomes the tool of choice.

In other words this is like far-right Republicans who have… Read More

Bruner: I Ran to Expose the ‘Evil’ Actions of ‘Cock-Roaches’

An update has been added to the end of this post.

One more (possibly final?) thing on Mary Lou Bruner. As far as we can tell, she has not returned phone calls from reporters seeking comment on the election results that saw her lose the Texas State Board of Education Republican primary runoff to Keven Ellis of Lufkin.

But she still has the Facebook account where she made the many controversial comments that first made the SBOE District 9 race a national story. A few hours after the race was called, Bruner took to Facebook and offered a dignified concession:

While campaigning and traveling across the beautiful rural counties of Texas SBOE-9, I have been blessed to get to know so many wonderful families in North and East Texas.

I want to thank all of the faithful volunteers and friends who supported my candidacy and shared my dream of Texas schools returning to the traditional knowledge and skills that made the USA the leader of the world.

But then, the following day, she added another post in which she appears to call those who opposed her as “cock-roaches” and “evil.” She first refers to them as the “Establishment”… Read More

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller issued the following statement on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s announcement that his office will file a legal challenge to the Obama administration’s directive that public school districts protect transgender students from discrimination.

“It is shameful that Attorney General Paxton has decided to use the power of his office to join the lieutenant governor in bullying transgender students in our public schools. There have been more criminal charges filed against Paxton than there have been cases – zero, in fact – of transgender people using non-discrimination policies as an excuse to enter public restrooms to commit assaults, but that fact doesn’t seem to be stopping top state elected officials from stoking irrational fears about a problem that doesn’t exist and stigmatizing transgender children. The Obama administration’s directive simply asks school districts to acknowledge a student’s gender identity and shield them from discrimination.”

Far-right politicians and political activists have used bathroom access issues to target non-discrimination policies across the country that protect everyone, including LGBT individuals. Last year in Houston, the same fear-tactics were used to overturn the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance. And in North Carolina, the state legislature passed legislation to overturn a… Read More

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller released the following statement regarding tonight’s loss by Mary Lou Bruner in the runoff for the Republican nomination for State Board of Education District 9:

“Texas escaped an education train wreck tonight. If Bruner had ultimately won election to the board, she would have instantly become the most embarrassingly uninformed and divisive member on a board that already too often puts politics ahead of making sure our kids get a sound education. We commend the majority of East Texas voters for their wisdom in this particular race.”

The State Board of Education sets curriculum standards and adopts textbooks for the state’s more than 5 million public school students.

The victor in the GOP runoff was Keven Ellis, a chiropractor and president of the school board in the East Texas town of Lufkin. Bruner, a retired educator from Mineola, drew national attention to the race with outrageous statements made on her Facebook page, in public forums and in media interviews. Among them:… Read More

Tx Freedom Network

The House State Affairs hearing today has been moved to room E2.028. #txlege

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