Barton Colleague Seeks High Court Seat

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?

20 thoughts on “Barton Colleague Seeks High Court Seat

  1. Unrelated to this post, but I’d like to know: What does TFN think of the recent revelations of multiple levels of deceit among leading global warming scientists? See, for example:

    What does this say about TFN’s unquestioning reliance on “mainstream science” and “the experts”?? What kind of science needs to hide, manipulate and cherry-pick the data? And cover it up afterwards?

  2. Thanks Silas. I was wondering what this story was about but had not had a chance to read up on it because of preparing for Thanksgiving. Most disturbing.

    I plan to keep an open mind and look at both sides of this story as more information becomes available in the coming weeks and months. It sounds as if we know some of the story now, but it will be interesting to see what the rest of those 3000 e-mails say and to see if the climate scientists in question have any sort of believable defense.

    Could you please help me with something that I don’t understand (i.e., explain it to me). Please follow along with me for a few minutes so you can see what I am getting at and then enlighten me according to your understanding as a conservative. Here we go:

    Statement 1

    I plan to rob a bank this afternoon and get at least $70,000. Reward: So I can purchase my own deep sea fishing boat down in Florida.

    Statement 2

    I plan to kill the guy who has been seeing my longstanding girlfriend behind my back. Reward: I want to have her all to myself.

    Statement 3

    I plan to burn down my uninsured auto mechanic’s shop tonight. Reward: Feel good because I will have deprived him of his only source of income to pay him back for that $3000 transmission job that he screwed up.

    Statement 4

    Liberal politicians are creating a nonexistent climate change crisis that will put them in control of every tiny aspect of our personal lives. Motive: So they can what? What is their big pay off? What is their big reward? For example, if liberal politician Joe Blow can take control of my life by forcing me to install solar panels rather than use my coal furnace, what tangible reward does Joe Blow get out of that?

    This is not a trick question or a setup. I would really like to know the answer. Taking away someone’s liberty by strangling them with government requirements doesn’t sound like much of a reward to me. I would much rather have a year-long vacation to Tahiti. Wouldn’t you? So, when liberals controlling of every tiny aspect of people’s lives gets well underway someday, what are the BIG REWARDS that the liberal controllers will get out of it? Thanks!!!

    Statement 2

  3. Silas, it appears you really want this to be a big deal, but so far, it isn’t. Doesn’t appear it will be, either.

    A Reuters story says: ‘The vital point being left out, he [Michael Mann] said, is that “regardless of how cherry-picked,” there is “absolutely nothing in any of the emails that calls into the question the deep level of consensus of climate change.”‘

    Can you refute that? You want a smoking gun, but it’s just not there. Seriously, 3,000 emails and that’s the worst they can find? Imagine what I could find if I sifted through 3,000 of Barbara Cargill’s emails. Or Cynthia Dunbar’s. You think I couldn’t find statements that would really make them look bad?

    Besides, even if global warming turned out to be the biggest con job ever (you’ll need a lot more than a handful of misconstrued emails to prove that), if you think that means we should all abandon “mainstream science,” frankly, that’s just crazy. You want to live like we’re back in the Dark Ages? Be my guest. But don’t insist that we join you there.

  4. Silas Says “What kind of science needs to hide, manipulate and cherry-pick the data? And cover it up afterwards?”

    Science is self correcting. Science fraud is exposed by those trying to verify others scienctific claims. And it is dealt with severely in the fields of science with ruined reputations and loss of credibility.

    Look around you. Every single man made thing in your life was given to you in some manner by science. If you want to reject science then don’t accept anythjing in your life that was given to you by use of the sciencetific method. Of course you will be arrested for running naked in the street and you will have a much shorter and painful life without medicine if you don’t starve to death first because you refuse all food available and have to resort to eating berries and leaves.

    So if you want to reject “mainstream science”, go ahead. Next time you are sick, call a witch doctor. He won’t use any evil mainstream science on you.

  5. Charles: good questions. On some level, global warming makes sense: if CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and if the amount has increased (and it has) then things should be warming up. That is, if the increase is significant in the big scheme of things. But to your point, how would politicians benefit? First, let me say that I don’t doubt that politicians and scientists believe global warming is real and man-caused; I do NOT think very many are lying about what they believe. So, even given the deceit revealed in the emails, I don’t see it so much as a conspiracy as a rush to judgement. But in so doing, the politicians certainly appease the environmentalist parts of their voter base, which is significant for the democratic party. Plus they appease anyone who has been convinced along the way, whether they were part of the environmentalist movement or not. But more importantly, they appear to care. For all I know, global warming is real. But they way dissenting scientists have been maligned and marginalized is scandalous and a real indictment of the way these things are discussed and decided upon. And the deceitful emailsshould trouble anyone who reads them (keeping data out of the hands of dissenters, deleting emails to avoid Freedom of Information Act requiremnets, plas the apparent data manipulation to show what they “know” the trend should be)

    P Harvey: You do me a disservice to imply that I am anti-science. Note that I said “unquestioning acceptance of mainstream science”, keyword is unquestioning, as in ignoring dissenting opinions, conflicting data, etc. I know you won’t believe this, but I am a scientist myself and hold a PhD in a hard science and am a professor at a major university. The fact is that I love science. But there are things science knows and then there are things that are more speculative. The dividing line is not always clear, but journalists often like to confuse the two categories even when it is.

    Ben: Thanks for the link, I checked it out; we’ll see where things fall out.

    Anyway, I wish you all a happy thanksgiving!

  6. Global warming is a fact, I don’t know what silas is trying to lead us to….

    BTW …. 150 yrs ago Origin of the Species was published

  7. Thanks Silas and Happy Thanksgiving to you.

    I am not sure you actually answered my question, but it may be that you are more of a scientist than a two-bit political hack. It would probably take a two-bit political hack like Michelle Bachmann to answer my question. On the two-bit political hack side, numerous conservative articles and blogs that I have read put forward the same point, and it is almost always phrased as some variation of this:

    “Liberals like Al Gore need a crisis like global warming so they can use it as an excuse to deprive us of our freedom by taking control of every small aspect of our daily lives.”

    Now, let’s think about this for just a minute. A woman by the name of Caroline lives two doors down from my house. I don’t know her all that well but did spend some time with her dad (a fairly famous chemist) at a party one night. I would like to deprive Caroline of her personal freedom by taking control of every small aspect of her daily life. I would like to start by setting her toaster lower so her breakfast bread will be lightly toasted rather than darkly toasted. That chrome-colored car key of hers is next. It needs to have a golden shimmer instead. I will see that it happens. She has been eating pork on Fridays. It will be fish from now on.

    Do you see how ridiculous this is Silas? What’s in it for me? Nothing that I can think of right now. Grand conspiracies or even little conspiracies usually have so kind of BIG REWARD that is large enough to make the controller’s efforts worthwhile. I don’t see what the controller’s big reward is for global warming. I suppose one could just say that liberals are control freaks and the pay off is just control itself. However, going back to my control of Caroline’s life, I can’t see any good reason why I or anyone else would want to take that kind of control over her. There’s just no real pay-off that makes any sense to me.

  8. Silas says “I am a scientist myself and hold a PhD in a hard science and am a professor at a major university”

    The way you write makes me doubt it. Such things as “if CO2 is a greenhouse gas” and “if the increase is significant” are not things a legitimate scientist with any knowledge of the facts and basic chemistry would say. You may want to puruse a freshman chemistry book. All of them cover the greenhouse effect and global warming and explain the atmospheric chemistry behind it.

    If you were legitiamte you should know that the evidence for man made CO2 warming is overwhelming and no amount of contrary finding is going to change the overall body of evidence. And fraud certianly won’t change the objective evidence because, it is fraud.

    You call it a rush to judgement. Again, that makes me suspicious you are not a legitimate, credible University science professor. I have chemistry 101 books as far back as 1971 that explain the global greenhouse effect due to CO2 from fossil fuels. This effect has been understood for well over half a century. There is nothing new about it. It just wasn’t a problem politicians needed to solve back then, but the academics new about it.

    Winters are shorter, the poles are warmer, invasive plants, animals and insects are migrating to new latitudes, oceans are rising, and glaciers are retreating, and you call it a rush to judgement with no understanding that we are performing an uncontrolled laboratory experiment on the only home we have.

    We can’t afford to be wrong. If we are, the consequences may be that we make the planet uninhabitable for the larger mammals, including 7 billion humans. And that is a risk we should not take.

  9. PHarvey said:

    “Winters are shorter, the poles are warmer, invasive plants, animals and insects are migrating to new latitudes, oceans are rising, and glaciers are retreating, and you call it a rush to judgement with no understanding that we are performing an uncontrolled laboratory experiment on the only home we have.”

    I would like to add a personal anecdote. When I was a kid, it was much colder in the area where I live than it is now. We used to have several accumulating snowfalls every year, each followed by bitter cold that would keep an icepack on the streets for a week afterwards. We have not had a single decent snowfall in 14 years.

  10. Charles, agreed.

    I have lived at the same latitude all my life. It was much, much colder when I was a kid. And it snowed 3-4 times a year. Not anymore. I remember having to wear jackets to high school football games in October and we could see our breath, wearing long underwear undernear my halloween costume, squirril hunting in October when there were no leaves on the trees. None of that happens anymore.

    I have not bought a heavy coat in about 18 years because I don’t need one anymore. It just doesn’t get that cold for any length of time anymore.

    Winters are very mild compared to 40-50 years ago.

  11. Gentlemen, as much as I agree with you about AGW – yes, it is taking place, anecdotal tales of how “much, much colder” it used to be are just that – anecdotes.

    Unfortunately, the opponents of climate change legislation will manage to use such quotes even from those of us who aren’t climatologists, in adverse ways. Our memories aren’t perfect. What if a sceptic went back and pulled the data for your hometown and was able to show that your memories of cold Octobers were only valid for a few years in the past fifty and that today’s temps were 0.4 degrees C cooler. I know it seems trivial but those fighting against science can and will use it against the rest of us even while denying the overall thrust of scientific argument.

    AND – even though the world as a whole may be/is warming, there will be segments that will bet colder/cooler. One example that could be of great consequence is northern Europe, including the UK. Today, palm trees can grow on the south coasts of England and Ireland due to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream. As Arctic ice and the Greenland glaciers melt, the resultant flow of fresh water will probably change the course and flow of the Gulf Stream. No Gulf Stream and northern Europe’s climate will become more like Labrador’s – not a lot of farming in Labrador.

  12. Thanks Somerville. However, we already know that. That’s why we were careful to call them “anecdotes.” We do a little light chit-chat around here too.

  13. Silas, let me assure you that dissenting scientists have not been maligned and marginalised in the Murdoch press. In Australia, Murdoch’s broadsheet and tabloids mock the science of global warming almost everday. Just remember Murdoch’s motto, ‘we dissemble, you decide’.

  14. Sorry, Silas, but I too question your legitimacy as a scientist and agree with your opponents here. One reason for my doubt is your use of the phrase “global warming.” Accumulated knowledge has proved that description a little misleading. The updated, more accurate one is “climate change.” Some regions are getting warmer and drier while others are becoming cooler and wetter. If you are the legitimate scientist you claim to be, you would know these things.

    As far as policy goes, I think of it as car insurance. If you doubt you’ll ever have an accident since there is no “hard science” to prove you’re going to have an accident (despite the risk), why not save lots of $$ by ditching your insurance? Makes sense to me. But what if you do have an accident? Would you not want to be insured? In the same sense, why not take out “climate insurance” for the future? If in the future, climate change is proved false, what have you lost in developing new and better eco-friendly technology? So what if people in the future no longer need to burn fossil fuels because other energy sources have been discovered? Where’s the loss in that? Or would you prefer we remain dependent on fossil fuels from countries that hate us? Do you have children? Do you care about their future? Maybe your descendants will appreciate the efforts we made in the 21st century and praise us for our foresight. On the other hand if we’re wrong, so what? What damage will we have dealt them?

    It’s interesting that people who dispute climate change the most tend to be people who have children. Interesting irony there. They seem not to give a s**t about what kind of earth their descendants will inherit. They assume our current lifestyle is eternally sustainable. Thanks to dissenters, I think climate is beyond redemption already anyway. There is no budget or political will to do anything about it. Another reason I’m so glad I never had children.