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

Ken Starr, Baylor University president and Bill Clinton bête noire, has some interesting things to say in a Washington Post op-ed published Sunday. And David Barton, founder of the religious-right and historical revisionist organization WallBuilders, won't like much of it. Starr's column addresses the question of whether Christians such as himself could vote for a Mormon, such as Mitt Romney, for president. In short, his answer is yes: "Without endorsing or even praising (much less criticizing) any candidate, I strongly encourage Americans who would ask this question of themselves to consider and weigh thoughtfully our nation’s constitutional traditions. At their best, those are traditions of welcoming religious forbearance. . . . (T)he litmus for our elected leaders must not be the church they attend but the Constitution they defend." Starr goes on to discuss previous American presidents and their beliefs about religion: "(A) number of great presidents have come to the White House without membership in any faith community. Thomas Jefferson was a Deist and was vigorously attacked for his religious views (or lack thereof). Abraham Lincoln, as a matter of conscience, refused to join any church. Yet our nation’s capital rightly dedicates two of its most stately monuments to those two men of unorthodox spiritual worldviews." ... Citizens as voters do well when they pause to reflect on our nation’s history and traditions. If an unbeliever such as Jefferson or non-churchman like Lincoln can serve brilliantly as president, then America should stand — in an intolerant world characterized all too frequently by religious persecution — as a stirring example of welcoming hospitality for highly qualified men and women of good will seeking the nation’s highest office. Jefferson was a "deist"? An "unbeliever"? Uh-oh. Don't tell "historian" David Barton. In pursuit of his political argument that the founders intended to establish a Christian nation with its laws and society based on the Christian Bible, Barton places Jefferson in a pantheon of early American leaders who used their public offices to promote Christianity. Here's what Barton said about Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and others of the nation's founders in a discussion with Glenn Beck on Beck's Fox News program from April 2010: Read More

Lilith Fund

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