Click here for a list of all blog topics.

Can you believe it’s been 13 years since Cecile Richards, Ann Richards‘ daughter, started the Texas Freedom Network?

Neither can we.

But it’s true!

For 13 years we’ve been fighting — with your invaluable help — to strengthen our public schools, ensure respect for all faiths and keep the government from infringing on religion and vice versa.

To celebrate, we invite you to our 13th Annual Celebration in Austin — a celebration of freedom and public service.

Get your tickets today. It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make this year.

Can’t wait to see you there!… Read More

The Texas Education Agency’s former science curriculum director, Christine Comer, has filed a federal lawsuit charging that the agency’s policy of neutrality on teaching biblical creationism is unconstitutional. You might recall that TEA forced Comer to resign last fall after she forwarded an e-mail to colleagues and others outside the agency about an Austin talk by Prof. Barbara Forrest of Southeastern Louisiana University. Forrest is an expert on the movement to promote “intelligent design”/creationism as an alternative to evolution in public schools. TEA directors claimed that forwarding the e-mail about Forrest’s lecture created the perception that the agency opposed teaching “intelligent design”/creationism rather than remaining neutral on the controversial topic. In her lawsuit, Forrest points out that federal courts have ruled that teaching “intelligent design”/creationism in public schools unconstitutionally promotes religion. “The agency’s ‘neutrality’ policy has the purpose or effect of endorsing religion, and thus violates the Establishment Clause,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit comes as the State Board of Education — itself chaired by a biblical creationist — prepares to begin debate over revising the curriculum standards for Texas public school science… Read More

The rest of the nation seems to be having second thoughts about the religious right’s radical agenda, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at the Texas Republican Party platform adopted earlier this month. Religious extremists who control the party are doubling down, pushing a platform that’s as radical as any in the past. The Texas Freedom Network has analyzed the party platform here.

Here’s a taste of what Texas would look like under the GOP platform:… Read More

Oh, this should be fun. The Texas Republican Party Convention is this weekend in Houston, and already social conservatives are pushing the party to take official positions that are sure to alienate mainstream folks. One delegate argued that the party platform should include a plank calling for the removal of naked people in paintings and sculptures in the National Gallery of Art and other public places in the nation’s capital. “You don’t have nude art on your front porch,” he said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “You possibly don’t have nude art in your living rooms. So why is it important to have that in the common places of Washington, D.C.?” In an unusual example of moderation, the party platform committee voted against that plank.

Another delegate has argued against a plank calling affirmative action “simply racism disguised as social value.” That kind of language, he said, would alienate African Americans and keep them from joining the GOP. (Gee. You think?) The platform commitee disagreed, keeping the language in the platform for now.

The platform, which the state party is set to adopt today, is likely to include support for teaching… Read More

The Free Market Foundation, the Plano-based Texas affiliate of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, has a new pitch for donations — and don’t expect much in the way of truth.

Near the top of the list of whoppers in Free Market’s letter is a claim of victory in a lawsuit over a Bible class offered by the Ector County (Odessa) Independent School District in West Texas. “The district will permanently have a Bible course, with the Bible as the textbook, and may use additional outside resources as well,” Free Market crows in its letter. “Our victory was a huge setback for the ACLU’s national plans.”

Well, no. The American Civil Liberties Union sought to forbid the school district from using an error-riddled, blatantly sectarian Bible curriculum that promotes the religious views of Protestant Christian fundamentalists over everybody else’s. The ACLU succeeded. During mediation, school officials agreed to drop the curriculum of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools and develop an alternative set of class materials. So long as the district uses a curriculum that neither promotes nor attacks anyone’s religion, the district may continue to offer the course. (The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund released a report about the National Council’s dreadfulRead More

Texas Rising

#SB9 is a truly horrible bill for voting rights. That's why @TFN signed on to the letter. Check out the @TXCivilRights thread below for the truly horrible details. #txlege twitter.com/TXCivilR…