The Peculiar History of a Religious-Right Kingmaker in Texas

In February we told you about Conservative Republicans for Texas, a right-wing political action committee run by Houston physician Steven Hotze. Hotze has been a prominent religious-right leader in Houston for decades; in fact, one of the most extreme and vicious. His activist resume includes especially venomous and vile anti-gay campaigns, including against the city’s current mayor.

But the LGBT community hasn’t been the only target of Hotze’s vitriolic attacks over the years. The Houston Press this week has a fascinating piece about Hotze’s war on the Texas Medical Board and its first female president. That war apparently was precipitated by the board’s desire to crack down on bad doctors, including one the board thought was injecting his patients with some weird concoction derived from diesel fumes and jet fuel. That doctor claimed he was a victim of the board’s persecution. There have been others, the Houston Press reports:

There’s the poor, innocent neuropath who found himself in the medical board’s crosshairs just because he left an anesthetized patient with an open surgical site in the operating room for 12 minutes without an attending physician while he hit the cafeteria chow line. There’s the ob-gyn who told a patient suffering from female sexual dysfunction that he needed to examine her throat in order to determine whether she had had oral sex. The family-practice physician who led police officers on a high-speed chase, saying she was afraid the medical board had sent them after her. Victims, all.

The Press’s account of how Hotze and others attacked the Texas Medical Board is especially alarming in a state that severely restricts the ability of patients injured by medical malpractice to get justice and fair compensation through the courts.

And then there’s Hotze’s own peculiar — downright bizarre — history. Again from the Press piece:

Steven Hotze, a Houston physician who in 1986 aligned himself with a group called the Coalition on Revival, which believed that all disease and disability is caused by the sin of Adam and Eve; that doctors shouldn’t provide medical services on the Sabbath; and that Christians “need better health” than “non-Christian counterparts, for the advancement of God’s Kingdom.”

Hotze traffics in scientific certainties either ignored or unreported by his mainstream counterparts. Birth control pills, for example, stifled the production of women’s pheromones, “making them less attractive to men.” But perhaps Hotze’s finest contribution to the world of medicine is the groundbreaking discovery that men who have lost their testicles to disease or injury “have difficulty reading a map [and] performing math problems.”

Well, golly. That all sounds reasonable, yes?

You can read the full Houston Press piece here. Lots of scary stuff — right-wing politics, death threats, Phyllis Schlafly’s son.

5 thoughts on “The Peculiar History of a Religious-Right Kingmaker in Texas

  1. And scripture tells us that men who have lost their testicles to disease or injury can not enter the kingdom of heaven. I guess it just goes without saying no women will get in. Does he think Christian women receive medical care?

  2. Does anyone know if there is a similar piece on the AAPS — which I first discovered as part of the anti-vax crowd. A fairly well-known web figure — I won’t embarrass him — was arguing that maybe there was something in the supposed autism connection, and quoted from the AAPS Journal, believing it was a reputable organization. (It was some years ago, in retrospect he must have just been sent the one article, not a cite to their site, or he wouldn’t have fallen for it.)

    I wrote him, giving the background and suggesting he read the index of articles they had published — believe me, the article gives only a hint of how racist, quack-loving, and insane they are. He issued a public apology for quoting them shortly thereafter.