Big Defeats for the Far Right's Culture Warriors in the 2013 Texas Legislative Session

We just sent out the following press release:

Today Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller had the following comments on the end of the legislative session:

“Going into this legislative session, culture warriors insisted that they would focus on divisive issues like passing private school vouchers, undermining sex education and continuing their attacks on women’s access to birth control,” Miller said. “But an increasing number of lawmakers in both parties demonstrated that they are losing patience with those who want to turn legislating into tests of ideological purity rather than solve real problems. The real concerns of the vast majority of Texans are good schools and a strong economy. Promoting the culture wars provides no solutions to those concerns.”

Miller noted some important victories for Texas families in the 2013 session of the Texas Legislature:

– Lawmakers restored funding for primary health care and family planning for low-income women, and legislation that would have undermined responsible sex education in public schools across Texas failed to pass.

– No private school voucher bills made it to the floor of either chamber, and the Texas House voted overwhelmingly to bar any public funding for private school vouchers.

– Legislation that would have undermined religious freedom for Texans of all faiths failed to pass. That included an ill-considered constitutional amendment undercutting important protections in the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

– Legislation that would have forced colleges and universities to give official approval and even funding to student organizations that discriminate failed to pass.

– A bill essentially requiring institutions of higher education to treat creationism as legitimate scientific research was never even considered in committee.

Sadly, Senator Dan Patrick, R-Houston, succeeded in bullying the state’s Education Service Centers into eliminating a key component of the CSCOPE program that more than 850 small and mid-size school districts relied on to teach the state’s unwieldy and cumbersome curriculum standards, Miller said.

“It’s shameful that Sen. Patrick and a handful of other lawmakers legitimized a witch hunt that unfairly and absurdly demonized Texas teachers as somehow helping to indoctrinate students into Marxism and Islam,” she said. “Hundreds of school districts were counting on the curriculum assistance and lesson plans provided by CSCOPE next school year. So the results of this witch hunt could be increased costs to taxpayers and lining the pockets of education profiteers.”

6 thoughts on “Big Defeats for the Far Right's Culture Warriors in the 2013 Texas Legislative Session

  1. no, sex war, not culture war, culture war sounds like people are arguing over Shakespeare or Mozart, they are arguing over sex, sex education, gay rights, etc.

    1. The term ‘culture war’ is very likely a German loanword referring to the German precedent of the Kulturkampf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulturkampf). The main difference is that then it was two archconservative factions battling each other over dominance with the liberals in the end becoming the victims (the German ‘Liberale’ would be described better as libertarians or economic laissez-faire-ists).
      Although both sides claimed it was about culture, at the centre it was about control and social dominance. I would say the same is true about the US ‘culture wars’. Morals and sex are just a cover for a political struggle about who is in control (while I would say it is mainly one side seeking control while the other prefers no one to be able to enforce/impose his/her narrow views on others. The Rove-ians don’t give digestive final product about morals, culture or sex but they need the culture warriors as auxiliaries (=useful idiots) to gain and keep control (while often failing to keep those same auxiliaries under control afterwards).

  2. I am appalled at this Legislature. The lack of funding in public education; the total ignorance of those legislators who have no understanding of CSCOPE and it’s curriculum. Total lack of understanding of low income women who use women’s health agencies for preventative measures; not just for abortions. Get those idiots out!

  3. I believe the ‘lady’ was quite eloquent and spoke the truth. If schools are hurt with poor teacher all for the personal reasons that ‘are for access to & with unaccountability access’ and stirring in Creation w/Real Science, the next generation will be doomed in the job market. Too, that women at any income level can’t get health care, be prepared 15 to 20 yrs from now to have an overpopulated prison population, because when many mothers die from health issues, this leads to many children who will have no mother to care for them & pass on the culture will be those who will fill those prisons, all of which there is documented research. Sen. Patrick’s view is that no child really needs to go on to school, but he paid for his son to go to college and to law school, which today sets in a judge’s seat. Double standards for the rest, isn’t appropriate for a state or its next generation’s success. When I heard what Sen. Patrick’s words, I knew that his view for Texas just wanted to have people be ‘to lead’, but not strive or attempt to reach for ‘leadership’ positions as they arrived in the workforce to compete internationally. If that bill goes through requiring institutions of higher education to treat creationism as legitimate scientific research, that money will be ‘unaccountably taken without considered in committee, that will be the end for me. Again, that will be an accountable reach for money in the higher education areas, which is expensive enough for parents to send their children. Again if Sen. Patrick can’t have his charter schools with poor teacher who would teach Creationism with Real Science, he’s determined to get his money unaccountably anywhere he can get it. If that goes through, I won’t be supporting any of the universities in Texas. My child will be going out of state, even if it will be expensive; I will know where my money will be going and not to some lawmaker with no accountability. The citizens of Texas aren’t a ignorant as the State legislature hoped we were. This isn’t representing, this is stealing from the higher education for one’s own agenda. (voter, mother, grandmother, Vietnam veteran.)

  4. I would also like to comment that anything that goes through the Texas legislature is based “centering on access of where the money is” and to get “the more unaccountability the better”. Control of those above is what is important politically via personal agendas, which comes through loud and clear in as the Texas’ legislature’s who doesn’t want to INVEST IN CHILDREN’S EDUCATION AND the understanding of CSCOPE, and not allowing health care of and for low income women all of which reflects all of this potential Control. However, all of this poor lawmaking for ‘the people’ is based on the political agenda of ‘who want the power’ over representing the people, which will inevitably come back to haut the state of Texas later on, down the road, with unavoidable, inescapable and ineluctable results. All which one could view these as consequences, which will leave permanent effects on Texas. All of which will give the power to the Democrats. It’s really too bad that not all of us are NOT going along with the ‘hope you aren’t listening agenda which those in charge are counting on. It’s too bad that I do know my rights, and know when law makers are acting to forge through their own personal agenda. (voter, mother, grandmother, Vietnam veteran who had to give up her rights to serve her country, which has made her more aware of what’s really going on in Texas,that is being attempted to taken away and what rights should be rightly given to her and the ‘rest of the people of Texas’.)

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