Texas voters on Tuesday dealt two big blows to the religious right in Republican nomination battles for the State Board of Education and the state Supreme Court. Perhaps the state board loss stings the most for the religious right, which effectively took control of the important education panel after the 2006 elections -- and it's hard to escape the conclusion that controversial actions by the board's fringe-right members in recent years angered and mobilized voters in opposition, even in GOP contests this year. Read More

It looks like Texas State Board of Education members Don McLeroy, R-College Station, and Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, don’t mind speaking to Republican organizations that discourage — intentionally or not — non-Christians from becoming members. McLeroy and Dunbar will be joining other far-right speakers at an education “conference” hosted by Golden Corridor Republican Women in the Dallas area April 24.

The Golden Corridor group covers Dallas, Collin and Denton counties in North Texas. Check out the group’s logo, which includes a Christian cross positioned over an American flag and an outline of Texas:

Of course, we defend the right of all Americans and private associations to show their faith as they see fit. But we imagine Jews and other non-Christians might not feel very welcome joining a party organization that seems exclusively for Christians. For that matter, we suspect mainstream Christians might feel a bit out of place as well. In any case, Golden Corridor is yet another example of how the Republican Party of Texas is increasingly an exclusionary organization that welcomes primarily conservative Protestant fundamentalists (and others who don’t mind having their personal faith slighted or ignored).

The conference’s audience… Read More

When Cynthia "Public Schools Are Tools of Perversion" Dunbar recruited Austin attorney Brian Russell to run for the seat she is vacating on the Texas State Board of Education, the obvious question was whether Russell shares her contempt for public education. We got a partial answer when it was revealed that Russell home-schools his kids. Then yesterday the Austin American-Statesman's Jason Embry reported Russell's favorable reaction to an anti-public schools screed posted to Facebook by an officer of the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT). Read More

Religious-right candidates in two key Republican runoff elections on April 13 are badly trailing their opponents in the campaign funding race. But will that mean much on election day?…… Read More

The Texas Tribune, an online news site launched just last fall, has done a great job covering the disaster commonly called the State Board of Education. Two stories in the last few days are particularly revealing of the political agendas that corrupt the board's job of ensuring that Texas students get a sound education. Read More