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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This time the ol’ playbook didn’t work, and the extremists lost.

We’re talking about the races for chair and vice chair of the Texas Republican party, which in the end weren’t even close by the time Jared Woodfill and Cathie Adams conceded to current chair Tom Mechler and current vice chair Amy Clark at the party’s state convention last week.

Adams is no stranger to readers of this blog. Once the chair of the Texas GOP herself for less than a year ending in 2010, Adams was most recently the head of the Texas chapter of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum. Some of Adams’ greatest hits include blaming Texas’ sky-high teen birth rate on the “morals” of Mexican immigrants and comparing President Obama to Hitler.

Woodfill’s most recent claim to fame was his lead role in the campaign of lies and fear tactics that took down the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) last year.

Woodfill and Adams’ campaign against Mechler and Clark was based on the notion that the Texas Republican Party isn’t conservative enough. Let’s repeat that and let it sink in: Woodfill and Adams don’t think the Texas Republican Party is conservative enough! According toRead More

Bruner: ‘We’re About to Win That (Global Warming) Battle’

No matter how wrong she is on a host of issues, Texas State Board of Education candidate Mary Lou Bruner probably thinks she really would help Texas children get the best education possible and go on to succeed in life.

Here’s the problem: She cares more about pushing her own bizarre political agenda.

She’s a partisan ideologue. Here’s the even bigger problem: She’ll read something, or is told something by some random dude, and — if it fits her political agenda — she’ll run with it, no other fact-checking necessary. That trait was on display earlier this month when she told a group that teacher shortages were such a big problem, that the Lufkin Independent School District had started the current school year with a shortage of 91 qualified teachers that was being filled with full-time substitute teachers. The Lufkin ISD superintendent, who happened to be in the room and would know these things, assured Bruner that the district had a full slate of qualified teachers. Bruner countered that she knew the district was short 91 teachers when the school year started because some random dude living in Lufkin ISD told her that was the case.

That brings… Read More

Patrick Calls Transgender Student Rights Debate a ‘Come and Take It Moment’

This morning the U.S. Department of Education issued a letter to public school districts across the country advising them that federal law requires them to protect transgender students from discrimination and allow them to use bathrooms and locker rooms "consistent with their gender identity." Naturally, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has been on potty patrol every single day this week, wanted to rail against the letter and called a press conference, which started only a few minutes after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state's formula for funding public schools was constitutional. That court ruling carries with it heavy implications for the state's schools and whether they'll be adequately funded in years to come. Read More

A New Low for Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has been charged in state and federal courts with securities fraud, has released a video in which he insists that he's being persecuted because he's a "conservative Christian" and a person of "strong faith." Read More

Bullies

It's hard to imagine a more disgraceful demonstration of ignorance, fear-mongering and bullying. That's what we're seeing as one of the state's highest elected officials joins with religious-right groups in demanding that the Fort Worth Independent School District rescind a policy allowing transgender students to use the restroom in peace. Read More

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