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. Read More

Experience has taught us this: when someone from the religious right insists that a provocative event he has scheduled isn't really about politics, you can be pretty certain that politics is exactly what it's about. Today's example: a far-right group called Operation Save America plans on Saturday "to present a prophetic message" about 9/11 at an event in New York. Says the group's assistant director, Rev. Rusty Less Thomas, in a press release today: "We are going to New York City at this hallowed time not to politicize September 11th, but to present a prophetic message, that if heeded, may prevent future attacks and restore God's hand of blessing upon our beleaguered nation." Uh-huh. And what is that prophetic message? Read on:…… Read More

Bill Ames, appointed by Texas State Board of Education member Don McLeroy to a social studies curriculum writing team, has commented on our post about the relevance of abortion politics to the state board. We are reposting Mr. Ames’ comment here in its entirety:

I will explain exactly what abortion politics have to do with the SBOE.

In 2004, the SBOE adopted an abstinence-based sex education curriculum, in accordinance with the state education code.

Planned Parenthood was a substantial lobbyist for the anti-abstinence sex education curriculum demanded by TFN and other members of the education political lobby.

Planned Parenthood requires thousands of sexually active teens in Texas in order to keep its abortion mills profitably humming along.

Thus it supported the curriculum proposal that encourages teen sexual activity.

Abortion politics has lots to do with the SBOE………

So there you have it. According to Mr. Ames, people who oppose abstinence-only programs that keep students ignorant about how to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are simply trying to drum up profits for Planned Parenthood’s “abortion mills.”

The importance of rescuing the education of Texas schoolchildren from that kind of political hysteria and extremism… Read More

UPDATE: A TFN Insider reader recorded the robocall noted in this post. Great work! See below. The calls apparently were paid for by Texas Alliance for Life PAC. Because of the late date, it won’t be possible to know before election day tomorrow how much this political action committee has suddenly poured into State Board of Education races. The PAC reported more than $42,000 in cash on hand on Feb. 22.

We have a report that Joe Pojman of the far-right Texas Alliance for Life is robocalling voters in the District 10 Texas State Board of Education race today. Pojman is letting voters know that Brian Russell, one of the candidates in tomorrow’s Republican primary for the board seat, is “pro-life.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu0uGlJd54s&feature=player_embedded]

What in blazes does the State Board of Education have to do with abortion politics? Nothing — except for religious-right pressure groups and activists, for whom the “culture wars” are all-consuming. Telling voters about Russell’s opposition to abortion is Pojman’s way of letting religious-right voters know who should get their vote in the race for the state board seat currently held by the departing Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond. (Dunbar recruited Russell, an… Read More

Let’s see if we have this right. The Texas Legislature adjourned last week without passing legislation to keep five state agencies — including the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Department of Insurance — operating after Sept. 1, 2010.

So now Gov. Rick Perry says he is going to call lawmakers back for a special session to renew those agencies and deal with other legislation he considers critical. And here is what far-right pressure groups like Free Market Foundation Focus on the Family-Texas say:

If there are any transportation related issues addressed in the Special Session, then we will want to see the Choose Life License plate on the agenda.

This much should be clear about Texas politics: the radical right — which has the support of the governor — is far more interested in promoting fringe political agendas than in dealing with the real issues that working families care about. Instead of letting lawmakers focus on critical issues like transportation and insurance oversight, right-wingers want yet another divisive, distracting battle over turning license plates into platforms for promoting political agendas.

The same thing is happening in education. StateRead More