In case you didn’t see them in our previous post, check out these sneering tweets this afternoon from Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams. Adams is referring to the orange-clad activists who have swarmed the Texas Capitol over the past two days in opposition to legislation interfering in the private medical decisions women make about when or whether to have children. Adams refers to those activists as “stinky stalking feminists” and “feminazis.” But she isn’t the only religious-righter who has resorted to degrading rhetoric over the past couple of days. Last night state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Houston, called opponents of the proposed anti-abortion bills “pro-death” and suggested that they are worse than Nazis who murdered Jews.

Read More

As the Texas House of Representatives considered extreme anti-abortion legislation on Sunday, orange-clad opponents packed the House gallery and Capitol rotunda to demand that politicians stay out of women’s private medical decisions. They far outnumbered blue-wearing anti-abortion activists at the Capitol, a fact that bothered state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Houston, one of the Legislature’s most extreme religious-righters. Riddle wrote this vicious Facebook post around 7:30 p.m.:

“This is a tough fight – the Gallery is full of orange shirts – very few blue – orange are the ones I call Pro-death. I am Pro-life – so they must be Pro-death. A human is a human prior to birth just as it is human after it is born. We have killed 50 million babies after Roe v Wade. Hitler killed 6 million people.”

We wonder if Riddle also thinks the folks at the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Hospital Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are “pro-death” because of their opposition to Sunday’s legislation. Medical professionals rightly get upset when they see politicians interfering in the patient-doctor relationship.

Perhaps one reason to oppose such interference is that politicians often don’t know what in the world they’re… Read More

State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, made herself sound like a champion for the poor during Thursday’s debate in the Texas House over a measure barring public funds for private school vouchers. (The measure passed overwhelmingly.) She wanted to know why opponents of private school vouchers weren’t considering “the poor families of Texas” who can’t afford private education for their children. Wow. Talk about chutzpah. Just two years ago Rep. Riddle voted with a majority of Texas legislators to slash billions of dollars in funding for the very public schools that educate the children of those “poor families of Texas” (and most other kids in Texas). But here’s what she said Thursday on the House floor:

“Iā€™m really surprised with this amendment because it appears that you oppose for families that do not have a great deal of wealth to have the same choice that families that have wealth can make for their children. Is that correct? I find that hard to believe that you would actually do that to the poor families of Texas. I would think that you would want them to have the same choices for education that the wealthier families in Texas have for… Read More

Social conservatives have long pointed to the constitutional bar on government-sponsored prayer in public schools as the source of many of society’s ills. Just last week, when a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, some trotted out the “If only we had prayer in schools” argument as a solution for preventing such tragedies.

Texas state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, however, has her own solution. In a post on her Facebook page Monday, she seems to accept the fact that government-sponsored prayer is not allowed in public schools ā€” though students are free to pray in public schools as long as it’s not officially sanctioned by administrators ā€” and she offers an alternative:

I say have a reading out of Proverbs each day in our classrooms.

No, really, she said it. Here’s her full post:

Formal prayer has been taken out of our schools. How about this idea? Read from the book of Proverbs from the Bible. Proverbs is a book of wisdom. Proverbs is in the Holy Scriptures for Christians and Jews. As for other religions ā€” the wisdom won’t do them any harm. This nation was built on Christian and Jewish values and the Bible… Read More

The step from demagoguery to enacting real policy change can be remarkably short, and a prime example of this is on full display in Texas right now. In 2003 state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, had this to say about the state's obligation to provide public education for its citizens: "Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it's cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It's not a tender heart. It's ripping the heart out of this country." At the time, Riddle's remarks were roundly decried as a dangerous, fringe opinion. Fast forward to 2011, when state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, says almost the same thing, albeit in more diplomatic language. Acknowledging that the school finance plan currently under consideration does away with the longstanding guarantee that Texas schools would get enough money to provide a basic, foundational education for each student, Patrick is quoted in today's Austin American-Statesman: "[The school finance change in the new budget] is a true cut in an entitlement... There are no guarantees, and for…… Read More