Mind Meld at Liberty Institute?

Well, here’s a neat trick. Liberty Institute/Free Market Foundation, the Texas affiliate of the far-right organization Focus on the Family, has placed the same shrill 0p-ed attacking the “liberal left” in the San Antonio Express-News (yesterday) and the Houston Chronicle (today). But the op-ed, which focuses on the State Board of Education’s revision of social studies curriculum standards, is bylined by two different people. The San Antonio paper runs the piece under the name of the group’s Austin-based lobbyist, Jonathan Saenz. The Houston paper, on the other hand, runs it under Jennifer Grisham’s name. Grisham is Liberty’s media director. It’s amazing how two different people came up with the identical hack piece. No attempt to mislead anybody there, right?

8 thoughts on “Mind Meld at Liberty Institute?

  1. The comments made by the readers of these articles were interesting. One individual opined that the Religious Right is our own unique American Taliban. I think that is a pretty fair evaluation. If you look at their ideology and the things that are important to them, you quickly see many “threads that runs so true” through both the Religious right and the Taliban. For example, their insatiable desire to limit and control the personal property they call “women.” About the only major difference is that our Religious Right Taliban have not resorted to widespread violence—-yet. However, as I have told you in the past, people of this same ilk write regularly to my local newspaper and strongly imply how happy they are for the Second Amendment to the U.S. constitution because it allows them to “stock up” on the firearms they will need to overthrow a liberal United States government—even a democratically elected one.

    How is that any different from the Afghanistan Taliban seeking the violent overthrow of the democratically elected governments of Pakistan or Afghanistan. It all boils down to the same thing: “You and I do not see eye-to-eye on our religious beliefs, so I am going to kill you.”

  2. I suspect the editors of these newspapers may not even care about such things. Both of the editorials identify the authors as belonging to the Liberty Institute so it’s not like they’re trying to disguise themselves as “ordinary citizens.” Do the newspapers even have a policy about editorial authorship?

  3. “If you look at their ideology … you quickly see many “threads that runs so true” through both the Religious right and the Taliban. … About the only major difference is that our Religious Right Taliban have not resorted to widespread violence—-yet. ”

    Yet? Only for those who have not been paying attention.

    – In Kansas doctor George Tiller was gunned down in church by Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion campaigner.
    – In Tennessee Jim Adkisson shot two people in church and left a note saying he was targeting the church because of its gay-friendly outlook.
    – James von Brunn’s killed a black security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.
    – In Michigan members of the Hutaree “Christian” militia were arrested after (allegedly) plotting to attack a law enforcement officer and then detonate improvised explosive devices to kill more during the funeral procession.
    – In Pittsburgh Richard Poplawski shot and killed three police officers he believed might be trying to take away his weapons.
    – In Main, only after being murdered by his wife did we find out that James G. Cummings was building a “dirty bomb” , and,
    – oh yeah, the Oklahoma City Bombing.

    Increasingly, it seems that the only difference is between the Far-Right and the Taliban is that the Far Right have their own Cable News Channel.

  4. My guess is the editors would be quite irritated as they don’t usually want to run identicle material, nor be seen as being manipulated by their readers.

  5. Ha, what’s funny is that I looked at these editorials this morning, and now they’ve changed the byline in the Houston Chron to Saenz.

    However, the comments still reflect that the writer is a woman.

    So it would be interesting to hear the story of how that change came about. I assume the Chron editors are annoyed at the deception.

  6. Thanks Charles. I’ve been telling folks the same thing for the past few years. The only real difference between our nation’s uber right and those found in support of the Taliban, et al, is the name of the god they claim to know the mind of.

  7. Jonathan Saenz is completely clueless. I’ve had some battles with him on his blog, when he allows the posts. But lately, I don’t post there anymore since he censors.

  8. You know what? If one of his website/blog readers were to come over to the TFN Insider blog for a visit, I think that person would just read this string of posts and automatically assume that any censorship Saenz does over at the Liberty Institute is focused on dirty words, curse words, and deletion of hate mail.

    Based on his past deletions of my posts to his blog, my impression (honestly held) is that he censors facts and ideas that he does not wish his followers and subscribers to know about—what radio broadcaster Paul Harvey would call “The Rest of the Story.” That seems to be the same experience that you other folks are relating here. I guess this concerns me because it is the same manner in which totalitarian dictatorships deal with information. They never want the people to know the whole story with all related facts laid bare on the table. Instead, the leaders want their people to know only the few facts and thoughts that jibe with the current official “party line.”

    As a Christian, that makes me feel sad because all Christians should be in the truth business—the business of real truth. Some people mistake their personal perceptions for truth. Some people take the wishy-washy approach to truth like Meryl Streep in that old movie “Sophie’s Choice, “Zee twuth. Zee twuth. I don’t know what is zee twuth?” Personally, I have always liked the “lay all the cards on the table and deal with them” approach to truth. Sometimes the truth is good looking. Sometimes she is ugly as sin. It does not matter which. You just accept it and face up to the reality of it.

    I suspect Saenz’s truth is of another kind—that to me is not necessarily truth. He would probably say that his website is devoted to promoting a “Christian worldview.” Well, a worldview is not necessarily the truth. It is simply one of several different “ways of looking at things.” This so-called truth is fundamentally slanted or biased in a predetermined direction. Anything that agrees with your bias is regarded as truth. Anything that disagrees with your bias is regarded as untruth. If you define truth in that manner, then the truth can be anything you want it to be. A boldfaced lie can be made into a truth using the bias filter.