Barton Colleague Seeks High Court Seat

by Dan Quinn

It’s bad enough when legislators try to use government to promote their own religious views over those of everybody else. It’s even worse when politicians try to use the courts to do it. So anyone who supports religious freedom should be concerned that former state Rep. Rick Green — a Republican from Dripping Springs southwest of Austin — is seeking a seat on the Texas Supreme Court. And if he wins, Texas will have a justice who not only opposes separation of church and state but also excuses torture by our own government.

Green, who served in the Texas House from 1999 to 2003, is a featured speaker for David Barton’s WallBuilders, which argues that separation of church and state is a “myth.” From his bio on the WallBuilders Web site:

“Rick has influenced tens of thousands of Americans to become salt and light in their communities, helping them understand their dual citizenship and responsibilities both as citizens of Heaven and of America. Rick’s presentations contain compelling historical and Biblical facts that create interest and inspire patriotism.”

It’s possible that Green is an inspiring speaker (despite losing his race for re-election to the House in 2002), but his history background isn’t any better than Barton’s. Barton earned an undergraduate degree in religious studies. Green earned a bachelor’s in finance before getting a degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Yet both fancy themselves as historians.

On his own Web site, Green also notes that he designed a program called “Patriot Academy,” in which students ages 16-25 “learn about America’s system of government from a Biblical worldview.”

Does that “Biblical worldview” include support for torture? Writing on his blog, Green compares torturing terrorist suspects to teasing by his sister:

“Have we really become this soft? This spoiled? This spineless? . . . Is there no politician willing to stand up for the real live soldiers taking necessary AND ethical actions to defend our Nation? I am not suggesting we actually shoot them in the knee cap or do any permanent damage, but apparently even the middle school toilet swirly is off limits to our interrogators.”

And Green wants to become a justice on the Texas Supreme Court. Aren’t you proud?