Dan Flynn, R-Van

State Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, is of two (or three) minds when it comes to the role religion should play in American law and society.  Warning: Do not try to reconcile these statements, all of which were made over the last five months.

Flynn, on the urgent need to post the 10 commandments in public school classrooms (the subject of his own HB 51):

“Our country was founded on Judeo Christian principles. The Ten Commandments, one of the supreme doctrines of the Christian faith, naturally provided a type of moral compass for the men who created and founded the rule of law and government for America. From an historical standpoint, a proper understanding of the historical importance of these commandments is essential to the necessary education of our children.”

Translation: Christian doctrine is the basis of the American rule of law and government. We must teach it to our kids!

Flynn, on the need to protect Texas citizens from the apparently dire threat of Islamic Sharia law (the subject of his own HJR 43):

“A court of this state may not enforce, consider, or apply any… Read More

Another anti-Sharia measure received a surprise hearing in the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, even though there was no advance notice for the hearing. HJR 43 is a constitutional amendment by Dan Flynn, R-Van, stating that a “court of this state may not enforce, consider, or apply any religious or cultural law.”

Strangely, the bill’s author never uttered the words “Sharia” or “Islamic law” when explaining his bill, offering only bland, empty platitudes about respect for Texas law and courts. Rep. Flynn also announced that he was working on a committee substitute that changed his proposal in ways he did not specify. But, adding to the odd presentation, he did not bring any new language to show the committee.

The proposal as filed shares all the flaws of the anti-Sharia bill (SB 1639) that was heard in the Senate a few weeks ago — and then some, since the language of this constitutional amendment is MUCH more broad. Unfortunately, since the committee provided no advance warning for the hearing, they did not hear the full range of opposition that mobilized against SB 1639  in the Senate Business &… Read More

UPDATE: Rep. Flynn apparently has pulled HJR 43 from committee consideration today. We’ll keep an eye on it.

The absurd campaign to ban the mythical threat of Sharia law (Islamic law) in Texas has returned to the state Capitol. Today the House State Affairs Committee will consider a proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution that says state courts “may not enforce, consider, or apply any religious or cultural law.” Efforts in 2011 to pass similar measure failed, although proponents kept trying into the summer.

HJR 43, by state Rep. Dan Flynn, is based on similar measures that have been pushed in various states. (In 2011, we looked at the man behind the anti-Sharia bills around the country.) Earlier efforts in other states ran into constitutional problems because they singled out Sharia law, making their anti-Muslim bias obvious. So supporters dropped those specific references to Sharia law and, like HJR 43, seek a broad ban on “religious or culture law.” But hysteria over Islam typically take center stage during debates over these measures.

We have a briefing paper on HJR 43 here, but here are the key points about HJR 43… Read More

When the Texas State Board of Education approved controversial new social studies curriculum standards last year, far-right board members patted themselves on the back for requiring that students learn about the Constitution. Of course, Texas students were already required to do that. But state board members were simply trying to distract attention from the way they had manipulated the standards to promote their own personal and political biases on a host of issues (including their own distorted interpretations of the Constitution they claim to hold so dear).

Well, state Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, is still pushing the right-wing myth that Texas students aren’t learning about the Constitution. Flynn’s House Bill 2362 would require that high school seniors “complete a course on the United States Constitution as part of a district’s social studies curriculum.”

News flash for Rep. Flynn: such a course is already part of the required curriculum in Texas high schools. It’s called U.S. Government.

And if that’s not enough, students also learn about the Constitution in their (required) U.S. history classes. Flynn can read the requirement for those courses in the same chapter of the EducationRead More

Forrest Wilder

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