Religious-right organizers are gearing up for another major effort to politicize churches in support of Republican candidates for office. This month they’re targeting Texas pastors.

United in Purpose, founded by Silicon Valley venture capitalists in 2011, will host a “Voter Mobilization Strategy Summit” on March 25-26 at a DFW Airport hotel. The event will feature speakers such as phony historian David Barton of Texas-based WallBuilders, Rick Scarborough of Texas-based Vision America and right-wing fire-breather Glenn Beck.

According to the United in Purpose website, the organization’s mission is “to unite and equip like-minded conservative organizations to increase their reach, impact, and influence through the latest technology, research and marketing strategies for the purpose of bringing about a culture change in America based on Judeo-Christian principles.”

Groups like the Texas Pastor Council headed by gay-hater Dave Welch are helping recruit pastors to a “Special Strategy Session for Church Leaders” at the two-day event. A Texas Pastor Council email on Thursday says the session’s purpose is to “help pastors think through effective strategies for getting out the vote in their congregations in 2014.”

Inviting pastors to closed-door gatherings where they’re encouraged by prominent religious-right… Read More

The religious right had a decent Tuesday night in Texas.

There was state Sen. Dan Patrick, easily beating his opponents and forcing a runoff against incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. In his race, Sid Miller was the top vote-getter in the agriculture commissioner’s race.

Sure, Steve Stockman was soundly beaten in the U.S. Senate primary, but no one really expected him to be much of a challenge to Sen. John Cornyn.

Then there was Wayne Christian. Beaten in a bid to retain his state House seat in 2012, Christian, a Republican, is now running for a place on the Texas Railroad Commission. With almost 43 percent of the vote, he advanced to the May 27 runoff against Ryan Sitton.

So if Christian wins the runoff, he stands a decent chance of being an elected official again. Which means he’ll be giving plenty of public speeches again. Like the speech — one of our favorites — he gave on the House floor in 2011, where he recounted how he was discriminated against when his high school was integrated.

The transcript from the Texas Observer:

I’m one fellow that was racially discriminated against. See back in the 70s I was… Read More

Each of the four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Texas lieutenant governor raced as far to the extreme right as they could during their debate Monday night. Each one, for example, expressed support for banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Each one insisted that government should intrude into the end-of-life decisions families make for their loved ones who are brain dead. And each one insisted that public schools be put in the position of deciding whose religious beliefs about creation should be taught in their classrooms.

On the issue of creationism, disregard for now the fact that the four candidates were supporting something that would get the state’s cash-strapped public schools sued for violating the U.S. Constitution. The candidates would also create an impossibly difficult dilemma for public schools. Should those schools teach students that Earth is 6,000-years-old and that humans walked the land with dinosaurs? Should they teach competing religious beliefs about creation? Or should they simply leave, as they do now, religious instruction to families and congregations while focusing instead on teaching students established, mainstream science that prepares them to succeed in college and the jobs of the 21st century?

Just as appalling was… Read More

Earlier today, San Antonio Express-News reporter Kolten Parker live-tweeted a meeting of the paper’s editorial board with the three Republican candidates in the state Senate District 25 race.

Here’s a picture:

At @mySA editorial board meeting with @DonnaCampbellTX, Mike Novak and @Elisa_Chan, candidates for #SD25 #txlege

— Kolten Parker (@KoltenParker) January 24, 2014

The contest is between incumbent state Sen. Donna Campbell, former San Antonio city councilor Elisa Chan and former Bexar County commissioner Mike Novak.

At one point, Sen. Campbell said this:

Campbell, who has four adopted children, says removing barriers to adoption is a social issue she plans to work on #txlege

— Kolten Parker (@KoltenParker) January 24, 2014

An overwhelming majority of Texans would likely be in favor of Sen. Campbell’s plan. Who could possible be against making it easier for parentless children to find a loving home?

But then, a follow-up question:

Should gay couples be allowed to adopt? Chan: No, Campbell: No, Novak: I'm not the judge #txlege

— Kolten Parker (@KoltenParker) January 24, 2014

And… Read More

Texas Freedom Network

It took years to convince the @TXSBOE to create a Mexican American studies course for the state's public schools. It's great to see school districts offering it to students.