by TFN

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“If you want to know why we can’t pass legislation in Texas, it’s because we have 37, no 36, Hispanics in the Legislature. All of the states that have passed legislation have a handful and I mean literally, some of them have NO Hispanic legislators, well, maybe 3 or 5 or something. So that’s, umm, part of our problem and we need to change those numbers. . . . So the problem is these Hispanic legislators . . . is that it’s too close to them and they, umm. . . simply cannot vote their conscience correctly.”

— Tea Party leader Rebecca Forest, complaining at a rally at the Texas Capitol about the difficulty in passing a bill barring so-called “sanctuary cities” (which don’t exist in Texas anyway). (Video available at the link.)

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The so-called “Tea Party” movement has claimed the last couple of years to be focused on shrinking government. But often the intolerant rhetoric of its leaders betrays such claims as terribly disingenuous. Case in point: Dallas Tea Party leader Phillip Dennis’ televised attacks on the faith of President Obama and on Muslims this week.


MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews asked Dennis whether he thinks President Obama is a Muslim. Dennis apparently couldn’t help himself, replying, “I don’t know.”

Pressed further by Matthews, Dennis said:

“If he’s a Christian, I certainly don’t like the brand of Christianity he went to in Chicago for 20 years.”

Then he criticized the president for “reaching out to Muslims”:

“President Obama certainly has a soft spot in his heart for Islam.”

Dennis also attacked Islam, smearing all Muslims for the actions of extremists, before once again questioning the president’s clear and repeated statements that he is a Christian:

“I have a big problem with Islam. It calls itself the religion of peace when everyday it continues around the world to show itself to be anything but. So I think those people [who question President Obama’s faith] have a right. Certainly it’s understandable… Read More

Think the tea party is going to tone down its violent rhetoric in the wake of the horrific shooting that left six innocent people dead in Arizona last weekend? Think the religious right is willing to let lawmakers focus on critical fiscal issues in these tough economic times? Think the far right has recognized the need for compromise to govern in a sharply divided nation? Not in Texas. "Do they [politicians] have the willingness to die to overturn the tyranny we see not only in this nation but in this state? That's what it's going to take. Do you hear me? That's what it's gonna take!" [youtube=] That's Apostle Clāver T. Kamau-Imani of a group called "Raging Elephant," speaking at a rally of several hundred tea party activists at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday. Kamau-Imani and other speakers left little doubt about what their extremist vision for politics in Texas entails. Read More

Polls show a significant minority of Americans voice support for the Tea Party, an anti-government movement tied closely to a variety of right-wing funders, lobbyists and causes. Whether or not we agree with them on specifics, we don’t doubt that there are civic-minded Tea Partiers frustrated about what they see as over-reaching government. But it has become clear that the Tea Party movement is tied more and more to religious and political extremists. The newest example is an online rant by Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips against, believe it or not, the United Methodist Church. Writing in a blog post on Sunday, Phillips attacks the church for its support of immigration reform and allegedly a “social justice manifesto [that] is like reading a socialist wish list”:

“They want amnesty, they want ‘economic justice’, they opposed ‘global climate change’ (earth to the Methodists, man isn’t doing it), fighting global poverty (here is another hint, most poverty is caused by a lack of freedom and lack of a free enterprise system). Not shockingly, the Methodists side with the Islamists against Israel, and of course oppose America in Iraq.”

Phillips says his dream is “no more United Methodist… Read More

Tea party activists across the country have been doing a lot of shouting about what they say is government getting involved in things it shouldn’t. But we’ve seen a number of tea party-backed candidates in this year’s elections, such as Senate candidates Christine O’Donnell of Delaware and Sharron Angle of Nevada, who don’t seem to have a problem with government getting involved in religious matters. In fact, they want to mix government and religion. Think Progress provides another example: Ken Buck, the Republican nominee for the Senate from Colorado. Here’s what Buck had to say at a candidate forum last year:

I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state. It was not written into the Constitution. While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not gonna have a religion that’s sanctioned by the government, it doesn’t mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion. And so that, that concerns me a great deal. So I think there are cultural differences, I think there, we are as strong as we, our culture, our culture gives us our strength, I guess is the best way… Read More