Religious-right activists can’t be a happy lot today. The week started with the U.S. Senate voting Monday to short-circuit attempts to filibuster the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect LGBT people from job discrimination. A Senate vote to pass ENDA is expected this week. Rick Scarborough of Texas-based Vision America denounced the Senate’s vote in a Tuesday email to his list:

“In practice, this means that Christians, observant Jews and others who don’t want to hire or promote people who flaunt dysfunctional sexuality will face government tyranny and ACLU lawsuits.  As already is the law in California, businesses that will not subsidize same-sex relationships will be denied government contracts. Beyond all this, the bill is flatly immoral. It means that government coercion will be used to encourage people to remain trapped in sinful behavior instead of seeking help to overcome it.  This makes the government an enemy of biblical morality.”

Also on Tuesday, voters rejected two stridently anti-gay and anti-abortion candidates, Ken Cuccinelli for governor and E.W. Jackson for lieutenant governor, in Virginia state elections. And today the Illinois General Assembly voted to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in that state.

Religious-righters… Read More

The Houston Area Pastor Council — one version of essentially the same group (along with the Texas Pastor Council and U.S. Pastor Council) headed by Houston hate-meister Dave Welch — is rallying his troops again as an election day nears. But it’s fair to ask whether the nakedly anti-gay hysteria Welch promotes is fading as an effective political weapon, at least in local elections.

Texas voters will go to the polls Nov. 5 for elections in some cities and to weigh in on proposed state constitutional amendments. Welch’s group is particularly focused on city elections in Houston.

Houston voters will decide whether to re-elect Annise Parker to a third term as mayor. Welch has been particularly vicious in his attacks on Parker, who is openly lesbian. He calls gay people a “morally depraved special interest group” and Parker a “sodomite.” He was one of the leaders of a group of social conservatives who warned of a “gay takeover” of Houston’s City Hall if Parker were elected mayor in 2009. He later cited her election as evidence that Houston is a “sin-sick city.”

To further his anti-gay crusade against Parker, Welch is pointing to the San Antonio City Council’sRead More

Just days after Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott received an award on March 22 from the far-right Houston Area Pastor Council/Texas Pastor Council, the group’s executive director says supporters of marriage equality for gay and lesbian Americans are “enemies of God” and is calling on Christians to pray for their destruction.

The Pastor Council’s Dave Welch issued his call for “imprecatory prayer” on Monday, the day before the U.S. Supreme Court took up the first of two marriage equality cases it is hearing this week. Welch compared those cases to the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that protected the right of women to choose whether to have an abortion. Welch said the Roe decision had been handed down while abortion wasn’t socially accepted:

“In contrast, the enemies of God have been much wiser and have turned the hearts and minds of many if not most people away from His standards of morality and His design of gender and marriage – preceding the Supreme Court case and decision.

The court will issue a ruling in June so it is incumbent on God’s generals to lead our congregations in imprecatory prayer through then – and of… Read More

We just sent out the following press release:

The president of the Texas Freedom Network today called on Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to decline an award from an activist group whose leader says President Obama is “anti-Christian” and an “enemy” of America, compares the president and other Democratic leaders to Nazis, calls Houston’s twice-elected mayor a “sodomite,” and has praised a prominent evangelical known for his anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish statements in the past.

A group called the Houston Area Pastor Council/Texas Pastor Council plans to present Abbott with a special award at a major fundraiser for the organization on March 22 in Houston. The group’s executive director, Dave Welch, has made numerous incendiary statements about President Obama and other leaders in recent years.

“We applaud and stand with clergy who work to build stronger communities and reject the language of division and hate,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “But it’s troubling that the attorney general of Texas would lend his name in support of a group headed by someone whose rhetoric is so incendiary that he likens the president of the United States to Nazis and regularly engages in offensive personal attacks against the twice-elected mayor of our state’s… Read More

No one could doubt that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Baylor University President Ken Starr are social conservatives. But do those two honestly think it’s a good thing to associate themselves with — and even aid — people who call the president of the United States “anti-Christian” and compare him and Democratic leaders to Nazis? Who call the mayor of Houston a “sodomite”? Who suggest Muslim Americans aren’t loyal citizens and praise someone with a history of making anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic smears? Who question — in truly vicious language — the religious faith of fellow pastors if they disagree on issues?

Yet Abbott and Starr are supporting people who say such things next month in Houston. The Houston Area Pastor Council/Texas Pastor Council plans to present Abbott with a “Faithful Citizenship Award” at a major fundraiser for the group on March 22. Starr will be the featured speaker at the same event.

Now, you might think a group that goes by the name “Pastor Council” offers a relatively benign venue for an ambitious politician and the head of a prominent Baptist university. But the group’s executive director, Dave Welch, is notorious for the deeply divisive and downright… Read More