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

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

UPDATE: The Pflugerville ISD Board of Trustees refused Thursday night to rescind a new policy providing access to health insurance benefits for unmarried domestic partners of district employees. After hearing public testimony, the board voted 5-1 to uphold the policy. It goes into effect on January 1. From an Austin American-Statesman report:

“We’ve worked really hard in this district to teach our students that every person has value and deserves to be treated with dignity,” said Trustee Carol Fletcher, prior to the vote. “It means everyone. There are no exceptions to our policy. This is just good business.”

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For anti-gay groups, it’s not enough that the Texas Constitution bars same-sex couples from getting married. They also want to crush any effort to treat gay and lesbian families with even a shred of dignity. So religious-right activists are trying to bully the Pflugerville Independent School District Board of Trustees into reversing a decision to make health insurance available to the unmarried partners of district employees.

Trustees for the Austin-area school district will meet tonight (Thursday, December 13) to consider the issue. This follows weeks of agitating by religious-right groups like Focus on… Read More

The right-wing Texas Pastor Council is pushing hard to get conservative Christians to the polls in November. But perhaps the group should consider choosing a messenger who doesn’t offend a lot of those very Christians.

An email Wednesday from the group to supporters includes an appeal for Tim LaHaye, a prominent fundamentalist preacher and coauthor of the apocalyptic “Left Behind” books, to pastors:

“As a Bible-teaching pastor for the past 66 years and a Christian author, I am more deeply concerned about America than ever before. Not just because the anti-Christian secular left controls the media, public education, most of the entertainment industry and our present government, but BECAUSE A MAJORITY OF EVANGELICALS AND ALL CHRISTIANS DO NOT EVEN BOTHER TO VOTE!”

The rest of LaHaye’s message calls for pastors to preach politics from their pulpits on October 7 — part of what religious-right groups are calling “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” a challenge to the federal law that prohibits tax-exempt nonprofits from engaging in partisan politics.

All of that is standard religious-right fare. But the Texas Pastor Council also prefaces its message with a headline calling LaHaye “one of the greatest pastors of our time.”

Really? More than a few Catholics… Read More

Texas Freedom Network

@SIECUS @kmillertfn @TXCapTonight This campaign for medically accurate, comprehensive and inclusive #SexEducation will stretch into next year when the TX State Board of Education is scheduled to make a decision. Find the TFN and SEICUS recs and ways to get involved at: tfn.org/sex-ed #TeachTheTruth pic.twitter.com/eoMv…