President Obama’s declaration Wednesday that he supports marriage equality for same-sex couples has religious-righters practically foaming at the mouth. Here are just a few of the comments from right-wing extremists in Texas.

Dave Welch of the Houston Area Pastor Council says the president is an enemy of God:

“When marriage is everything, marriage is nothing. Obama and his radical allies of the sexual diversity agenda cannot redefine marriage, they can only undefine it and destroy it. Our prayer and commitment is that the people of this nation will continue to make it clear that we will not allow enemies of God and His design of marriage and family to destroy it on our watch. President Obama today not only came out against marriage, he came out against God.”

Steve Riggle, a Welch ally and senior pastor of Grace Community Church in Houston, went for a two-fer — attacking President Obama as well as Houston Mayor Annise Parker (already one of Riggle’s favorite targets):

“In November, the people need to speak once again, overwhelmingly, and tell President Obama by not giving him another term that we want our leader to believe in and support traditional… Read More

The religious right insists that faith is under siege in America. Far-right leaders and pressure groups have pushed the “war on religion” trope for years now. Texas Gov. Rick Perry even used it during his doomed presidential campaign last December. Most recently, the right has argued that the Obama administration’s policy on insurance coverage for contraception is part of this mythical “war.”

But a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows that most Americans aren’t buying it. According to that poll, Americans by a 56%-39% margin say they don’t think religious liberty is under threat in America today. Of those who do believe religious freedom is threatened, only 6 percent mentioned the current debate over health insurance coverage for birth control. Others mentioned “hostility towards Christians/religion” (10 percent), “removing religion from the public square” (23 percent) and “general government interference in religion” (20 percent).

David Barton, president of Texas-based WallBuilders, plays especially on such fears. You can see that in Barton’s recent essay absurdly claiming that Barack Obama has been “the most Biblically hostile” American president.

The PRRI poll also shows that a majority of Americans support requiring that employers, including… Read More

Today Texas Gov. Rick Perry ended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and threw his support behind former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia. Perry’s withdrawal from the race wasn’t a big surprise — his support in polls was very low after a series of embarrassing stumbles and gaffes over the past few months.

On the other hand, Perry’s endorsement of Gingrich is at least a little surprising. The Texas governor had aggressively courted conservative evangelical voters throughout a campaign that began just after he hosted a large prayer rally in a Houston football stadium last August. Perry had repeatedly pointed to his positions on social issues, including his desire to “protect” traditional marriage by opposing same-sex unions. But he decided to support thrice-married Gingrich anyway.

Moreover, just before today’s announcement, ABC News released an excerpt of an interview with one of Gingrich’s former wives. She says Gingrich had asked her for an open marriage so that he could continue an affair with the woman who would become his third (and current) wife.

From the ABC News interview (video available at the link):

In her most provocative comments, the ex-Mrs. Gingrich said… Read More

Well, this isn’t a surprise. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is already walking back his comments last week that it would be “fine with me” if individual states decide to legalize gay marriage, like New York just did. It’s a states’ rights issue, he said at the time. But gay-hating pressure groups like the American Family Association and Family Research Council — whose political support Gov. Perry has been courting — started barking and growling about it. So now the governor says he was just misunderstood.

“Obviously, gay marriage is not fine with me,” Gov. Perry said today in a conversation with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. He and Perkins agreed that a constitutional ban on gay marriage would promote states’ rights by keeping states like Texas from being forced to recognize such marriages in other states:

“”The real fear is states like New York will change the definition of marriage for Texas,” he said. “That is the reason the Federal Marriage Amendment is being offered. It’s a small group of activists judges and really a small handful, if you will, of states and these liberal special interest groups that are intent on a redefinition, if you… Read More

A March 4 e-mail from the Houston Area Pastor Council demonstrates the religious right's insistence that our nation's laws be based on narrow religious beliefs. The e-mail features an essay by a pastor who argues that President Obama is guilty of pitting "the Constitution against the bible on a matter of fundamental human morality."…… Read More