The Texas Home School Coalition is a religious-right front group more interested in promoting a political agenda and fighting the culture wars than in ensuring kids get a good education. An email today from the group’s leader, Tim Lambert, demonstrates that point pretty clearly.

The email to the group’s list touts a series of events around the state designed to rally opposition to protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination. As we reported last month, the tour also targets “adversaries” who support access to safe and legal abortion care for women in Texas. Neither of these issues has a thing to do with homeschooling.

Lambert’s email today focuses mostly on opposing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which includes protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as well as race, sex, age, military status and other characteristics. Lambert’s email claims that the ordinance represents a “radical homosexual position,” essentially arguing that protecting people from discrimination somehow threatens freedom:

I hope you will come to one of these gatherings in your area and listen to men and women of faith who are challenging Christians to become engaged in the battle for our culture and to protect our freedom.

Lambert also argues that passage of HERO last year and decisions in… Read More

It’s one thing to support the right of parents to educate their own children at home. But are right-wing groups like the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) simply hostile to the concept of public education altogether? Sure seems like it considering that former Pennsylvania senator and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will be the featured speaker at a major THSC fundraiser next month in Lakeway west of Austin.

Santorum’s extremist views on issues like opposing LGBT equality and birth control have made him a hero among religious-right activists. For example, Santorum has compared marriage equality to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and argued that overturning sodomy laws would lead to “man on child, man on dog” sex. (He went on to lament the fact that government “doesn’t have the rights to limit individuals’ wants and passions.”) He has also suggested that states should have the authority to ban people — everyone — from using birth control.

But Santorum is also hostile to public education, something else that thrills religious-righters. Santorum and his wife home-schooled their children. During the Republican presidential nomination contest in 2012, The Hill reported about Santorum’s educationRead More

We often hear right-wing groups claim that liberals lack sufficient respect for the principles and rights enshrined in America’s founding documents. The protection of inherent freedoms, they argue, makes the United States exceptional among the nations. So we think it’s a bit ironic to see Texas Eagle Forum, Empower Texans and other groups on the right promoting an event that highlights part but not all of a key phrase of the Declaration of Independence.

In an email to conservative activists today, Texas Eagle Forum invites folks to attend the “LIFE, Liberty and Property Tour” in Dallas (Jan. 15) and Fort Worth (Jan. 16). Other far-right groups sponsoring the event are Empower Texans, Texas Home School Coalition, Grassroots America and Texas Right to Life. Attendees will be treated to “dinner and discussion with leading conservative groups, consultants, candidates and office holders.” (Exciting!)

Yes, we’re aware of the debates over the origins of the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. But who needs highfalutin philosophical debates? We want to know what Texas Eagle Forum and its partner groups have against the pursuit of happiness. Maybe they think property is all that’s necessary to make one happy.… Read More

First, let’s make clear that the Texas Freedom Network doesn’t oppose the right of parents to educate their children at home. Nor does TFN oppose the right of private organizations to invite whomever they wish to speak to members at their convention. And finally, we realize that people choose to home-school their children for many different reasons, religious and otherwise.

So with that out of the way, we do think it’s interesting to see that one of the most prominent home-school lobby groups in Texas has invited Ken Ham to be the featured speaker at its state convention Aug. 1-3 in The Woodlands near Houston. Ham, a young-Earth creationist from Australia, founded the Christian ministry Answers in Genesis. The organization seeks “to train others to develop a biblical worldview” and “to expose the bankruptcy of evolutionary ideas, and its bedfellow, a ‘millions of years old earth’ (and even older universe).”

Check out this video of Ham attacking Bill Nye (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), a science educator, engineer, comedian and popular television host. Nye has strongly criticized teaching creationism as science:

“If you want to deny evolution and live in… Read More