Listening to right-wing radio often leaves us wondering whether we need to get a rabies vaccine. It’s really that bad. But we monitor those programs so we can shine a light on the frothing, hateful nonsense they promote.

Case in point: today’s “Faith and Freedom” radio program from Liberty Counsel, the Florida-based organization so extreme that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists it as a hate group. Today’s program featured Liberty Counsel’s chairman Mat Staver talking to his colleague Matt Barber about one of their big obsessions: abortion.

Staver and Barber applauded politicians in the Texas Legislature for barring health clinics affiliated with abortion providers from participating in the publicly funded Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program for low-income and uninsured women. As the Dallas Morning News has reported, only providers in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program can enroll women in the Medicaid program that helps fund cancer treatment. And now Planned Parenthood and other clinics affiliated with abortion providers have been barred from participating in that critical screening program.

This is a continuation of the far right’s war on women’s reproductive health care. Four years ago state lawmakers threw away tens of millions of federal dollars by barring Planned Parenthood from participating in the… Read More

UPDATE Late Thursday the haters at the right-wing Texas Pastor Council sent out an email promoting a “Save Our Scouts” rally on Wednesday at the Boy Scouts of America national headquarters in Irving (near Dallas). The message promotes the smear that gay people are inherent threats to children and churches:

Pastors, if the scouts fall, the church is next in the sights of the activists committed to forcing their immorality on society – WILL YOU COME?

Fathers, if we allow our boys to be targeted by those who believe there is no moral code and no definition of gender – WHO WILL DEFEND OUR CHILDREN?

Mothers, your voice of courage and protection of the virtue of our children is desperately needed – WILL YOU STAND ALSO?

The email includes a link to a website where activists can get phone numbers (provided by the American Family Association) for each board member for the Boy Scouts of America. The website encourages activists to insist that board members not “allow homosexuals to serve with boys.”

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News that Boy Scouts of America is considering whether to end its national policy banning gay scouts has sent the religious right… Read More

David Barton claims Christians are under attack in America, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem with fellow extremists who promote religious bigotry. A Twitter post from Barton pointed us today to a Washington Times column from Matt Barber of the right-wing, virulently anti-gay group Liberty Counsel. Liberty Counsel is based in Florida but also has offices in Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. In a column that drips with bigotry and hatred, Barber argues that Christians must vote for Mitt Romney in the November presidential election:

“President Obama is a wolf. Though he purports to be Christian, his policies are decidedly un-Christian. This man eagerly advances a culture of death. He is the most radically pro-abortion president in American history. He has dutifully signed off on – and implemented at each opportunity – every extremist demand of the radical pro-abortion and homosexual activist lobbies…. Scripture says that Christians are known by their fruit. Mr. Obama’s fruit is rotten to the core. He talks like a Christian while his actions scream secular-socialist. I intend to work with every fiber of my being to see that Mr. Obama is not re-elected. To the… Read More

Lynch mobs don't care about facts. And lynch mobs made up of politicians and pressure groups really, really don't care about facts. What they care about is manufacturing rage to advance political agendas. And that brings us to the story of a gay teacher and one of his students in a Fort Worth high school. Last week a Fort Worth mother charged that her 14-year-old son had been sent to the principal's office and assigned to in-school suspension for simply telling a classmate that he's a Christian and that "being a homosexual is wrong." According to a Fox News story, the mother asked for help from Liberty Counsel,  a right-wing litigation group the Southern Poverty Law Center says focuses heavily on anti-gay activism. The Fox story repeats claims that the student's comment came when a discussion in German language class somehow shifted to religion and homosexuality in Germany. The student said his side comment to a classmate got him in trouble with the teacher: “It wasn’t directed to anyone except my friend who was sitting behind me. I guess [the teacher] heard me. He started yelling. He told me he was going to write me an infraction and send me to the office.” Matt Krause, the Liberty Counsel attorney helping the student and his mother, protested the suspension (a punishment that the principal reversed). The student "should never have been suspended for exercising his constitutional rights,” Krause said. Liberty Institute, the Plano-based Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family, also weighed in. The group's director of litigation, Hiram Sasser, claimed the student was simply exercising his First Amendment rights: “All the kid did is leaned over and said that that kind of lifestyle was against the Bible.” David Barton, head of Texas-based WallBuilders (which argues against separation of church and state), got in on the act, pushing the story on his Twitter account: "Texas Boy Punishes Student for Opposing Homosexuality." And, predictably, notorious anti-gay hater Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association rejoiced when the school district  suspended the student's teacher with pay while it investigated the incident: "Great news: teacher who got student suspended for biblical view of homosexuality has been suspended by school. You agree?" But is this really a case of a public school trying to silence a student's free speech? Or is it, rather, a textbook case of a lynch-mob strategy in which far-right groups manufacture a controversy to inflame passions and promote a political agenda? Read More

Texas Freedom Network

Austin friends, This coming Monday, the @txlgbtqcaucus will be in town for the next in a series of town halls and happy hours across the state. We're proud to sponsor these events in support of LGBTQ equality and you're invited! Details: bit.ly/2MFbUyQ pic.twitter.com/pVYL…