Many of the hateful, sometimes highly political comments some of the people connected to The Response — the Gov. Rick Perry-hosted and supposedly nonpolitical prayer rally in Houston later this summer — are anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Home Depot, anti-Barney the Dinosaur, anti-you name it. And also pro-violence? The event's info packet lists  Pastor Stephen Broden as one of the endorsers of The Response. Broden, of Dallas, ran for Congress as a Republican in 2010 but was defeated in the general election. A few weeks before the election, a Dallas TV reporter confronted Broden about comments he has made from the pulpit, including that the violent overthrow of the government was "on the table" if elections did not produce the results he wanted. Vote for me, or else? From Broden: We have a constitutional remedy. And the Framers say if that don't work, revolution. Read More

Gov. Rick Perry and his spokespeople have for a couple of weeks continued to claim that The Response, a Christian prayer and fasting event organized by the hate group the American Family Association and the governor, is not a political rally. Gov. Perry can continue to make that claim, but the people he's partnered with have no reservations about mixing religion and politics. Read More

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's decision to host a Christians-only prayer event with a vicious hate group is beyond appalling. The governor and his staff claim that the August 6 event in Houston is meant to bring the nation together in prayer. But how is that remotely possible when the event is designed to promote a conservative evangelical Christianity (a perspective certainly not shared by all Christians) and the governor has asked the American Family Association to organize it? In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the AFA as a hate group on par with Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church, the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations. Instead of uniting people of faith in prayer for our nation, this event will actually sharpen divisions among Americans along religious and political lines. So it's time for Texans, regardless of faith and political perspective, to stand up for decency, respect and tolerance. Sign on to an open letter that calls on Gov. Perry "to make this gathering open to speakers and attendees of all faiths and welcoming of people of good will who are not affiliated with a faith tradition." Moreover, the letter calls on the governor  "to demonstrate your commitment to religious tolerance by ending the association between your office and the American Family Association." You can sign on to the letter here. Read More

Big news over the weekend: Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced that he's hosting a Christian prayer rally and day of fasting this summer in Houston.  He claims the event  isn't political. But if that's the case, why is the event being hosted by, well, a politician -- in particular, a politician with possible presidential aspirations and who has a history of using faith as a political weapon to divide voters? And why was a documented hate group -- the American Family Association -- picked as the event's main funder and organizer? This won't be political? We'll see. Read More

It's bad enough that the State Board of Education claims David Barton is an "expert" who is qualified to help guide the revision of social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. But now we're told Barton is a "constitutional expert," too. Wow. Not bad considering that he earned only a bachelor's degree in religious education, right? Read More

Sophie Novack

Today's the last day of trial on TX law mandating burial/cremation of remains after abortions or miscarriages across the state. Catch up on some of what's happened in court here: texasobserver.org/as… And on what the law could look like: texasobserver.org/in… #txlege #SB8

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