We'll finish out our series on the craziness we heard from the far right in 2009 with quotes on the revision of social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. The State Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the proposed new standards on January 13 in Austin. TFN Insider will be live-blogging during that hearing. Click on these links for other posts in our The Year in Quotes series: science, kooky, sex education, religious freedom, gay bashing, potluck nuttiness. Now on to social studies: "That, sir, my friend, is why I contend that there is an overrepresentation of minority content. And that’s all TEKS driven. The specific TEKS say ‘the problems of women,’ ‘the problems of immigrants,’ ‘the problems of minorities.’ There is nothing in the current TEKS that talks about celebrating America’s positive successes." - Bill Ames, a far-right member of a social studies curriculum (TEKS, or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) writing team, complaining that too many minority figures are included in history standards,  TFN Insider, May 22, 2009 "My own personal guess is that the reason (César Chávez) was included…… Read More

So what do religious-righters think about religious tolerance and keeping government separate from religion? More memorable quotes from 2009: "There is no dialogue, no common ground, no reaching across the aisle in this battle. We are not called to build bridges to Islam. We are called to storm the gates of hell — to defeat the false god of Islam with the unsheathed Word of God and to set people free from the monstrous tyranny and bondage of this religion birthed in the deepest pits of hell." -- The Rev. Flip Benham, director of the extremist group Operation Rescue/Operation Save America, writing about a planned gathering of American Muslims in the nation's capital on Friday, TFN Insider, September 24, 2009…… Read More

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“This is a seed sowing ministry. God does the harvesting Himself.”

— Bill Spencer, a teacher and football coach in Tennessee’s Hamilton County public school district, discussing his district’s privately funded Bible education program. Spencer, who also coaches football, said he believes God called him to teach Bible history.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.Read More

Can David Barton really be serious? The head of Texas-based WallBuilders, which opposes separation of church and state, now says that Congress is violating the Constitution when its members meet on Sundays, the Christian Sabbath. Really. In an e-mail to WallBuilders activists, Barton is criticizing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for having senators work on health insurance reform legislation on Sunday. "Sunday sessions have been extremely rare because of the U. S. Constitution's Article I 'Sundays Excepted' Clause, which excludes Sunday from the federal lawmaking process. The Framers of the Constitution held great respect for the Christian Sabbath and therefore removed it from the federal lawmaking calendar." Ummm... no, David. Read More

In case you were wondering, it's legal to wish people a "Merry Christmas." Of course, no one really doubted that. But attorney Kelly Coghlan has decided to take the phony "War on Christmas" nonsense to even more absurd levels by letting people know that federal law officially calls December 25 "Christmas." Coghlan (www.christianattorney.com) is the Houston lawyer who wrote the so-called Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act, which the Texas Legislature passed in 2007. The law requires that school events -- including required student assemblies -- be turned into public forums in which students may evangelize, if they choose, to fellow students and others in attendance. It's a thinly veiled end run around constitutional protections for religious freedom and has forced public school districts across the state to pay attorneys to help them craft policies in ways that don't get them sued. Now Coghlan has circulated an e-mail -- audience unclear, but presumably parents and perhaps school districts on his address list -- reminding them that Christmas is a legal holiday. Thanks for the news flash, Kelly. His purpose, of course, is to reinforce the misperception that Christmas is somehow under attack in America. Never mind that the vast majority…… Read More