Elections Open Door to Radical Agendas

The Associated Press notes that the religious right is preparing to use the November elections to push a radical legislative agenda in states across the country starting in January. The religious right’s hit list includes women’s reproductive rights, embryonic stem cell research, divorce laws and equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans. The Texas Freedom Network has already identified other likely battles coming when the legislative session opens in Austin in January, including reform of the State Board of Education and responsible sex education in public schools.

You can help stop the religious right’s radical agenda in Texas by signing up for a ´╗┐TFN Rapid Response Team. TFN will keep Rapid Response Team members updated on critical legislation as it ´╗┐moves through the state House and Senate. We will also provide the tools you need to take action to top attacks on religious freedom, equal rights and public education.

But how does the Associated Press see the religious right’s legislative agenda shaping up across the country? Read on.

Women’s reproductive rights will come under heavy attack in many states where Republicans are taking control of both the executive and legislative branches of government. But the right’s radical efforts won’t stop there.

Embryonic stem cell research, which only recently has begun emerging from the eight years of bureaucratic and political shackles imposed on it by the Bush administration, is also endangered. Religious-right pressures groups and allied officeholders are threatening to ban that hopeful medical research entirely. People suffering from life-threatening diseases and other serious medical conditions such research could help — like Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer and spinal cord injuries — would lose what many scientists say is a promising route to possible treatments in the future.

Marriage laws are another target of religious-right groups. One goal is the passage of so-called “covenant marriage” measures that make it harder for couples to divorce. Advocates for victims of domestic violence have long warned that such governmental interference in private relationships would put spouses at increased risk of abuse.

Gay and lesbian Americans will also become targets of measures intended to further stigmatize and discriminate against their relationships. For example, religious-right groups are insisting on the repeal of laws in some states that simply allow the domestic partners of public employees access to health insurance.

The AP article explains that not all Republicans support such extremist policies:

“I’m a little bit nervous,” said Rep. Dean Kaufert, a Republican state House member in Wisconsin, where Republicans, including incoming governor Scott Walker, campaigned on enacting tough immigration legislation and banning embryonic stem cell research. If Republicans overreach, “the danger is the citizens of the state will just say we’ll clean house again and we’re going to keep doing it until we get it right,” he said.

Yet the religious right’s iron grip on the Republican Party in many states, especially in Texas, means that radical social policies — rather than policies truly intended to help working families in difficult economic times — will likely dominate legislative work. Republican officeholders who are insufficiently obedient will be relentlessly attacked in the lead up to GOP primaries in 2012.

We had hoped that the 2008 elections marked a turning point in the battle against the radical and intolerant agenda of the religious right. But bad elections results this November don’t have to lead to bad public policies next year. Sign up for a Rapid Response Team today and help TFN defend the mainstream values we all share — religious freedom, civil and equal rights for all and strong public schools.

5 thoughts on “Elections Open Door to Radical Agendas

  1. Calling the Cracker Right’s actions and agendas as radical are an insult to radicalism. It is closer to being rabid retroactionsim as the issues are rabidly in favor of a retroactive reaction to the days before the Nineteenth Amendment granted suffrage (voting rights to women) ratified on Augsut 18, 1920.

    Reactionary Retroactionism of the Right does not consistently support retractive reversion as no equal effort to repeal the 21st Amendment to repeal the repeal of prohibition. But we are in the midst of efforts to repeal the other misbegotten works of rampant suffragism, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.

    What is particularly true of the Righteous Right is the concentration of the mighty issues of the day to the litle head.

  2. The Republican Party now dominates my state legislature for the first time ever. Many are most likely nuts, including my new Republican legislator. I am thinking about writing to him and asking him to propose a new state law to ban teaching evolution in our public schools. I may ask for other nutcase things along the way. While I realize that TFN is oriented towards fighting fire with fire, I am personally getting more oriented towards encouraging the bad guys to overextend themselves into political “La La land” so badly that even the village idiot would not vote for them in the next election. I think it might just be possible.

  3. Charles, you’ve missed the point. We have elected the village idiots to office. More worser is that they have been elected with the assistance of a very effective and tightly controlled propaganda machine. Not even in the People’s Park in Berkeley have so many mouthed so consistently a consistent mish mash of gobbldygook.

    I am not one who believes in conspiracy theories as there are few in politics so selfless as to goose step in the same direction at the same time. This is a sophisticated operation, better organized than the SDS or the SS.

  4. We need also to be prepared for another round of efforts in Congress and state legislatures to get tax support for faith-based private schools through vouchers or tuition tax credits (tax-code vouchers). Expect GOPers in Congress to try to bring back the District of Columbia school voucher plan that Bush and the GOP pushed through and which the Dem Congress ended earlier this year. (Taxpayers across the US were paying for vouchers usable only in DC.) In Colorado GOPers in Douglas County (CO’s richest) are trying to get a voucher plan despite the fact that it would violate at least three sections of the state constitution and the fact that Colorado voters overwhelmongly rejected vouchers in referenda in 1992 and 1998. Expect also an effort to be made in Maryland to pass a tuition tax credit bill to provide up to $37 million per year to faith-based schools; such a bill was narrowly defeated in Maryland last April. A new effort is being pushed in New York to provide vouchers, in violation of that state’s constitution. We need to keep pointing out that tens of millions of voters have rejected vouchers or their variants in 27 statewide referenda from coast to coast by an average margin of two to one. — Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty, http://www.arlinc.org

  5. Not voucher. Vooshay. Vooshays are just an attempt to get the government to par for educations at private religious schools—and in effect support the school financially. The wingnuts and their assorted fruitcake cousins are all against welfare payments to poor people, starving people, sick people, imprisoned people, etc. However, they have no principle or shame when they extend their own tin cups for government welfare alms. Alms!!! Alms!!! Alms!!!