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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Dave Welch, the Houston hate-monger who runs the right-wing U.S./Texas/Houston Area Pastor Council, played a leading role last year in promoting the deeply misleading argument that the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance would give sexual predators access to women's restrooms. Of course, this bathroom predator argument, which we're now hearing around the country, is essentially a lie. But that hasn't stopped Welch and others who support discrimination against LGBT folks. They even seem to be trying to tie just about any assault or harassment in a public restroom to protections for transgender folks. Here, for example, is a screenshot from an email last Friday from Welch's group: Read More

Religious-right leader Robert Jeffress, pastor of a Dallas megachurch, told listeners of a Family Research Council radio program Monday that protecting transgender people from discrimination means America is "headed toward chaos" and represents "rebellion against the plan of God." Our friends at Right Wing Watch report how Jeffress insisted that anti-discrimination efforts are a threat to religious freedom, and he specifically blamed the Chamber of Commerce and business interests. In fact, he told guest host Todd Starnes, Islamic State terrorists are less of a threat: Read More

Buyer’s Remorse? Tea Party Group Pulls Bruner Endorsement

An influential East Texas Tea Party group has taken back its endorsement of Mary Lou Bruner, the controversial Republican vying for the District 9 seat on the Texas State Board of Education.

The group, Grassroots America-We the People, took issue with Bruner’s refusal to address the numerous inaccurate statements about public education she made at a gathering of school superintendents earlier this month. On the other hand, though, the group doesn’t seem to have much of a problem with Bruner’s many, many other inaccurate claims and her peddling of outlandish conspiracy theories, which Grassroots America surely knew about when they first endorsed her months ago.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Grassroots America executive director JoAnn Fleming announced that a majority of the group’s board of directors voted to pull the endorsement. It was the first time Grassroots America had taken such a step in the organization’s seven-year history, she said.

From the release:

One of the reasons we endorsed Mrs. Bruner was because of her long years of experience as a teacher. We believe the practical classroom experience of teachers is not respected or valued enough by many public school administrators, trustees, and legislators attempting to “fix”… Read More

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

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