Texas

Ultra Right-Wing Texas Activist Promises Green Will Fight "Obama on the Path to Socialism"

A few weeks ago, we noted how Texas Supreme Court hopeful Rick Green was touting the support of local ultra-right-wing activist Steve Hotze, the man who was behind the anti-gay mailings targeting Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker last year and believes, among other things, that "medical problems are frequently caused by personal sin."

Now, as the date of the run-off election approaches, Hotze has sent out an email touting his support of Green:

Now Steven Hotze, a Houston Christian arch-conservative, is sending out endorsements for Green. Hotze made news late last year for sponsoring mailers urging Houston voters to reject now-Mayor Anise Parker because she was endorsed by a gay and lesbian caucus.

As President of the Conservative Republicans of Texas, Hotze said he likes Green's clear-cut conservative stands. "Unlike most judicial candidates, we do not have to guess about Rick's philosophy or convictions," Hotze wrote.

The email that Hotze is sending calls Green "the true conservative choice" in the election and promises that he'll be a "vote against a liberal judiciary who will march lock step with Obama on the path to socialism":

Early Voting is already underway in the Republican Primary Runoff across Texas, and our outstanding conservative candidate for the Texas Supreme Court, Place 3, Rick Green needs your support and VOTE during this crucial week. Please make time to go out and vote as soon as possible, as the early voting will only last through this Friday, April 9th.

Rick Green emerged from the March primary as the top vote getter, because he represents the true conservative choice in this election. He has the right experience, at the right time for the Texas Supreme Court. Rick is a proven, conservative leader with a constitutional understanding of our founding principles. We need that type of leader in every branch of government, especially the judiciary, as we fight to put an end to the march of socialism across our country.

As a State Representative, Rick Green had a clear, consistent, conservative record. He earned pro-life and pro-family awards, Second Amendment and property rights awards, and the Fighter for Free Enterprise award. Unlike most judicial candidates, we do not have to guess about Rick's philosophy or convictions.

Like many other justices who started on the Supreme Court with no prior judicial experience (including our current Chief Justice), Rick Green brings a wide variety of experiences that will be valuable to the court and serve us well. Rick has been a businessman, attorney, mediator, arbitrator, state representative, speaker, teacher, and author. Recently-retired Supreme Court Justice Scott Brister says, "We need judges who will not wilt under pressure, or change their opinions to please the newspapers. Rick Green will be that kind of judge. His service in the Texas Legislature gives him a perspective on Texas law that no other member of the Supreme Court has. I urge Texas Republicans to support him in the April 13th runoff."

His strength of character, is among the many reasons why Rick is endorsed by most of the grassroots conservative leaders in Texas, including Richard Ford, David Barton, Tim Lambert, Kelly Shackelford, Carol Everett, Chuck Norris, Judge Paul Pressler, Peggy Venable, Michael Quinn Sullivan, and many more (see www.RickGreen2010.com for a full list).

And it is my pleasure to endorse him as well, as President of Conservative Republicans of Texas.

Early voting continues this week only, from today through Friday, April 9th. Runoff Election Day is Tuesday, April 13th. I urge you to stand with me in support of Rick Green , to ensure that our Texas Supreme Court will be served by a man with the RIGHT kind of experience that we need in our judiciary.

Every single vote counts, and every vote for Rick Green brings is a vote against a liberal judiciary who will march lock step with Obama on the path to socialism. Rick needs your vote and your support. Please visit his website at www.RickGreen2010.com and sign up to participate in his campaign and learn more information.

With much appreciation, I remain, as always,

Sincerely yours,

Steven F. Hotze, M.D.
President, Conservative Republicans of Texas
http://www.conservativerepublicansoftexas.com

Panicked At the Prospect of Green, Texas Legal Professionals Bankroll His Opponent

It seems as if legal professionals in Texas have become quite alarmed by the prospect that Rick Green could end up on the state's Supreme Court and have been dumping money into his opponent's campaign, at least judging by the latest campaign finance reports:

In a race focused on who is better equipped to sit on the Texas Supreme Court, the state's legal profession has picked its candidate for the GOP runoff election: Debra Lehrmann, a Fort Worth state District Court judge.

In addition to getting solid backing by lawyers and law firms, Lehrmann raced to a huge fundraising advantage with support from an array of business and professional groups, collecting $278,000 in the five weeks since the March 2 primary, campaign finance reports show.

Opponent Rick Green, a former legislator and conservative activist from Dripping Springs, raised $74,774 in the same period, largely from smaller donations — many in the $5 to $50 range — solicited over the Internet.

Early voting runs through Friday. The runoff election is Tuesday.

54% of Lehrmann's donations have come from lawyers versus less than one percent of Green's, while nearly a quarter of Green's donations have come from out of state, which he attributes to his time traveling the country for Wallbuilders.

And since Green has been badly out-raised by his opponent, he's been spending his limited resources in places that provide the best chance of reaching his target audience:

Since the primary, Green has spent $5,000 on phone bank and computer services through the Heritage Alliance, a Texas organization that supports limited taxation and a Judeo-Christian heritage in government. Another $2,500 went for advertising on the "What's Up" show on KKHT , a Houston Christian radio station.

Behold David Barton's Constitutional "Expertise"

David Barton of Wallbuilders likes to fancy himself an expert on the Founding Fathers, especially as it pertains to questions regarding their Christian faith and the fundamentally Christian nature of the nation they created.

But Barton also considers himself an expert on the Constitution, which occasionally leads him make absurd claims based on ridiculous analysis, such as his recent argument that any member of Congress who supports working on the Sabbath is violating the Constitution and needs to be tossed out of office.

But that is nothing compared to the argument he put forward yesterday on his radio program, discussing with Rick Green his objection to the use of "deem and pass" in getting health care reform legislation passed on the grounds that the Constitution requires that all votes in the House and Senate require a recorded Yea or Nay vote:

Constitutionally you can't do this. And it's real simple because the Constitution specifies how Congress is to vote. And if you look at Article 1, Section 7, Paragraph 2, which is repeated in Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 3 - and I don't mean to be throwing out numbers, but I do that just to say, hey, there are specific locations in the Constitution for this - those Constitutions [sic] say that the votes of both houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays.  In other words, you've got to go through and say "yes" or "no" individually ... The Constitution requires that those who have a voice have to sound their voice either as a Yea or a Nay ... and it also says that regardless of what House rules are, the Constitution says that if twenty percent of members of the House want a recorded vote, they get a recorded vote.

Now "deem and pass" is not a recorded vote ... that's not a vote on the bill, that's not Yeas and Nays, that is not a recorded vote on the issue ... You can't do it constitutionally.  The Constitution requires the yes and no votes on the particular issue. So we never should have even been at the place where we talked about "deem and pass," and what struck me was that nobody was citing the Constitution on it. 

Now, maybe the reason nobody was citing this "constitutional" argument is because Barton's analysis is laughably shoddy.

Let's take a look at Article 1, Section 7, Paragraph 2 (emphasis added): 

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Clearly, the section lays out the rules for a Presidential veto and Congressional options for overriding such a veto and the requirement for a recorded vote of yeas and nays is in reference to veto override votes only.  It does not say that every vote requires a recorded vote of yea and nays; it merely say that in situations where Congress is attempting to override a presidential veto, those votes require require yeas and nays and must be recorded.

Yet, in Barton's analysis, this means that every vote Congress requires yeas and nays and must be recorded.

Barton also claims that his analysis is supported by Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 3::

Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Somehow, Barton gleans from this provision mandating the occasional publication of the House journal a requirement that every single vote requires a recorded yea or nay vote. 

Keep in mind that this is the sort of expertise that Barton brought to the Texas State Board of Education when he was named to serve on its panel of "experts" to redesign the state's social studies curriculum ... and that sort of constitutional expertise that Green wants to take onto the Texas Supreme Court.

Rick Green: They Are All Lying About Me!

It looks like Rick Green's involvement in the run-off election for a spot on the Texas Supreme Court is starting to generate some press at last, judging by this new Associated Press article entitled "GOP elite oppose ex-legislator in Texas court race" that recounts some of Green's past troubles:

His legislative career, however, was tainted by ethical questions, although he was never charged or sanctioned.

Many of the questions related to his support for the nutritional supplement Focus Factor. The company used a testimonial filmed in Green's office in 2001, along with footage of him walking the Capitol halls, in a late-night informercial. When critics complained about improper use of his state office, Green said he got no money from Focus Factor and asked it to remove his segments from the ad and a companion radio piece.

In 2002, Travis County prosecutors looked into whether Green pressured the state health department of behalf of dietary supplement maker Metabolife, which was represented by his law firm.

Green also came under scrutiny for lobbying the state parole board for the early release of an elderly man sent to prison for defrauding investors. The man had loaned one of Green's startup companies $400,000.

Green denies wrongdoing in each of those cases.

He blamed "liberal prosecutors from Austin" for the criminal investigation just before the 2002 election and said they ignored similar work done by Democratic lawmakers.

The $400,000 loan from the man before the parole board was repaid in full with cash and stock, Green said.

His last political maneuver was the 2006 punch to Democrat Patrick Rose, who won Green's House seat following a bitter 2002 campaign.

Green, who was charged with a misdemeanor and paid a fine, now says it was "wrong, foolish and simple."

In an online book, Green wrote he was angry about a campaign mailer linking him to Rose's opponent when he struck his one-time rival outside the church on Election Day. A witness told the Austin American-Statesman that Green swung at Rose, calling him "a big baby."

"It was the first real punch I had thrown since I was a kid, but it sent him to the ground," Green wrote. "I guess if I do ever run for office again, we will have a great slogan for the next campaign: 'He'll fight for Texas!'"

The AP says Green declined to be interviewed for the article, but that doesn't mean Green is remaining silent, as he posted a new video just yesterday in which he dismissed all of these allegations, with the exception of punching Rose, though even on that he insists "the whole things was dismissed, there was no adjudication of guilt, no conviction of assault, or any of these other things."

Of course, that is not exactly accurate:

The Hays County sheriff’s office issued an all-points bulletin for Green’s arrest after the altercation, and he ultimately paid a fine and served six months probation on misdemeanor assault charges. In exchange for the fine and probation, Green received deferred adjudication, which means his record is now clear.

Elsewhere in the video, Green calls himself the only true conservative in this race, declaring that he opposes Roe v. Wade and equal rights for gays while supporting public prayer before rattling off a list of right-wing groups - including Wallbuilders, Alliance Defense Fund, the American Center for Law and Justice, and Liberty Counsel - as groups that he proudly supports:

And I supposed we should also mention that, in two weeks, Green is scheduled to speak at a rally being organized by the Odessa Tea Party.

Get Ready For the Virtual Tax Revolt

Do you remember earlier this year when the Virtual March for Life was held to coincide with the annual National March for Life, where individuals could create avatars of themselves and join in an on-line march with the avatars of Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Tony Perkins?

Well, if you missed out on that, get ready to participate in the "Online Tax Revolt":

Tea Party activists are planning an Online Tax Revolt that will send an army of avatars on a virtual march on Washington on Tax Day, April 15.

The interactive march is being spearheaded by conservative activists such as former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist. It also includes some current members of Congress, such as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. The campaign is protesting the tax policies of the Obama administration.

Once again, Mike Huckabee is participating as are Grover Norquist, Dick Armey, John McCain, Joe The Plumber, Phyllis Schlafly, Richard Viguerie, and dozens of others:

"Last Man Standing" On The Texas Supreme Court?

Over the last few weeks, we written several posts about Rick Green, the Chuck-Norris-approved-Alan-Keyes-supported-WallBuilders'-employed-pseudo-historian-TEA-Party-Religious-Right-activist, who has made it into a run-off election for a spot on the Texas Supreme Court.

With the April 13 election rapidly approaching, we though it might be valuable to take a look at the 2004 documentary "Last Man Standing: Politics Texas Style" which chronicled Green's re-election bid to the Texas legislature and which provides an excellent look at just what sort of ultra-right-wing views Green would bring to the Texas Supreme Court.

Perhaps nothing we have posted so far quite captures Green's ultra-right-wing views like this clip in which he declares himself part of a "conservative movement raised on Rush Limbaugh" but one who has managed to tone down the rhetoric a bit so as not to "come across as bomb throwers." Green claims that he cannot be pigeonholed as a right-wing Christian conservative, but then admits that "I am pretty much a right-wing nut" and is then shown at one of his campaign fund-raisers where he takes to the stage to warn that liberals are trying to turn America into a socialist state and  declare that the difference between the Islamic faith and "the Judeo-Christian values that our people share" is that Muslims serve a God that requires them to die and kill while "we serve a God that was willing to die for us":

In this second clip, Green is shown delivering a Wallbuilders-type of presentation in a local church about how America was founded to be a Christian nation and there is no such thing as the separation of church and state.  That is followed by an examination of Green's various ethical scandals while in office, which earned him a spot on Texas Monthly's 2001 "Worst Legislators" list:

This final clip features Green during a debate with his opponent, claiming his wears his Texas Monthly designation as one of the state's worst legislators as a "badge of honor" and engages in some Tea Party-type talk about his opposition to expanding health care coverage on the grounds that it will just lead people to go to the doctor for every little sniffle and would eventually lead to socialism.  This was back in 2002, mind you, which explains why he has eagerly linked up with the Tea Party movement today:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC's Tom McClusky says his statement about President Obama being our "first gay President" was just a joke.
  • Liberty University Chancellor defends secretly recording a meeting with city officials as the school seeks to pressure the City Council to change its zoning status.
  • Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert has signed two bills authorizing the state to use eminent domain to seize land held by the federal government.
  • Hooray!  Another person with ties to Wallbuilders is running for office in Texas.
  • Governor Rick Perry of Texas and Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota have declared April as Abortion Recovery/Awareness Month.
  • Rob Schenck and Pat Mahoney have completed their annual Stations of the Cross pilgrimage.
  • I never thought I 'd see that day that Concerned Women for America claimed Christians don't have the right to protest and exercise their religion.
  • Finally, behold Sean Hannity praising tea part activists as "Tim McVeigh wannabes" :

Texas Attorney General Accepts Vision America Award

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott stopped by Nacogdoches last night to speak at Vision America's "Guardian of the Family" Gala and accept the organization's "Texas Guardian of the Family Award" ... and judging by the speech he delivered, it's easy to see why Vision America felt he deserved the honor:

Stoking patriotic sentiments among the crowd, made up of various Christian congregations and local elected officials, Abbott read off a list of politically pointed quips that parodied comedian Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck" one-liners that were popular in the 1990s.

"You might be a true American if it never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase 'one nation under God.' You might be a true American if you've never protested against a public display of the Ten Commandments," he said. "You might be a true American if at Christmas time you still say 'Merry Christmas' as opposed to 'Happy Winter Festival.'"

But on a more serious note, the state attorney general also addressed his appeal to a Texas judge's decision to grant two Dallas men who were married in Massachusetts a divorce this past October. Abbott claimed that because Texas already has a ban on same-sex marriages, allowing the divorce of the two men would retroactively recognize same-sex marriages.

"Marriage is not man-made law. It's man's decision to adopt God's law. Man cannot redefine God's law, and yet they still try," Abbott said. "This is the first time that any judge has ruled that traditional marriage laws violate the U.S. Constitution."

The ruling judge in that case argued that the courts do indeed have jurisdiction to dissolve legal marriages from other states, and just last month, another such same-sex divorce was approved by another judge in Austin. Abbott has also sought an appeal to that case involving two women, also married in Massachusetts ... Abbott then praised his own defense of a 2003 law that requires public school students to begin their school day by observing a mandatory one-minute of silence in order to pray, reflect or remain quiet. The courts upheld the constitutionality of the moment-of-silence law because it did not require that students use it exclusively for prayer.

Abbott had to duck out early because he was scheduled to make an appearance on Fox News' "The Sean Hannity Show."  But before leaving, he made sure to stress the need for Christians to mobilize politically:

"Think what the country would look like if 100 percent of the people who worship God voted their values in each election. Together they would ensure a country that is more reflective of a God that gave us our inalienable rights," he said.

Rick Green's Nakedly Political Judicial Campaign Vows to Stop Obama's Socialism

Last week, Debra Lehrmann faced off in a debate against Rick Green the Chuck-Norris-approved-Alan-Keyes-supported-WallBuilders'-employed-pseudo-historian-TEA-Party-Religious-Right-activist, heading into the run-off election for a spot on the Texas Supreme Court next month, during which he compared himself to Sarah Palin, saying that the myriad of complaints about his suspect ethics while in office were little more than liberal persecution because, after all, "they only tackle the guy with the ball."

He also posted a new campaign video in which dismissed his complete lack of judicial experience by saying that Texas voters won't "be fooled by this pretentious argument" that such experience is necessary. In fact, Green says, his lack of judicial experience will bring variety to the court, which is especially important during these "serious, serious times":

Our nation is in a debate right now about whether we're going to march down the road to socialism with this President and Congress or whether we'll rediscover and return to those made America the most successful nation in history.  The only way to renew those principles and protect them for future generations is if we elect leaders at every branch of government - that's the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary - and at every level of government - local, state, and federal.  We must elect leaders that understand and value those principles and will defend those principles from the branch within which serve ... If you want to send a message to Austin, to Washington, DC, and indeed straight to the White House that Texans are not going to let the Constitution of the United States of America be trampled upon, then vote for Rick Green for the Texas Supreme Court.

While Green claims to respect the idea that the judicial branch is completely different from the legislative branch and therefore requires a completely different mindset, you'd never know if from the nakedly political campaign he's been running. 

Rick Green Touts Support of Right Wing Doctor Who Believes All Disease Is Caused By Sin

We've already written several posts about Rick Green, the Chuck-Norris-approved-Alan-Keyes-supported-WallBuilders'-employed-pseudo-historian-TEA-Party-Religious-Right-activist who has made it into a run-off election for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court despite the fact that he has exactly zero judicial experience. 

And we've noted already that he's been endorsed by a who's who of local and national right-wingers, including David Barton, Mat Staver, Kelly Shackelford, and even Steve Hotze:

Now Hotze may not be a household name, but even by the standards of your average Texas right-winger, he is something special. 

He was behind the anti-gay mailings targeting Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker last year and he has a long history of weilding his influence in right-wing Texas politics

Thin and long-faced, 46-year-old Steven Forrest Hotze has carved out a niche in local politics over the past decade as an unyielding and occasionally strident opponent of abortion and public acceptance of homosexuality. He may not be a household name outside Republican circles, but within the party he is admired by a devout coterie of followers, catered to by secular conservatives and feared by moderates, who find themselves in a position of needing his approval to win nominations in GOP primaries. Those summoned to kiss his ring encounter a tough, uncompromising zealot who is used to getting his own way.

...

It's a considerable amount of clout for someone whose stated beliefs place him to the right of the religious right. "If we are to survive as a free nation, and if justice and liberty are to be restored in our land, then biblical Christianity, with its absolutes, must once again be embraced by our citizens," he wrote several years back in a Chronicle op-ed piece. "Only then can we expect to see Christianity's influence once again to be reflected in the laws of our civil government."

As the Houston Press reported a few years back, Hotze's medical credentials and views are also rather suspect:

Hotze was able to better articulate his views in 1986, when he was one of dozens of ministers, professionals and laypersons who signed the Coalition on Revival's Manifesto for the Christian Church. The coalition claims on its Web site to be a national network of religious leaders aligned in a mission "to help the Church rebuild civilization on the principles of the Bible so God's will may be done on earth as it is in heaven." They want all aspects of life -- government, science and education -- to adhere to fundamental biblical beliefs. These beliefs include the following:

• A wife may work outside the home only with her husband's consent

• "Biblical spanking" that results in "temporary or superficial bruises or welts" should not be considered a crime

• No doctor shall provide medical service on the Sabbath

• All disease and disability is caused by the sin of Adam and Eve

• Medical problems are frequently caused by personal sin

• "Increased longevity generally results from obedience to specific Biblical commands"

• Treatment of the "physical body" is not a doctor's highest priority

• Doctors have a priestly calling

• People receiving medical treatment are not immune from divine intervention or demonic forces

• Physicians should preach to their patients because salvation is the key to their health

• "Christians need better health to have more energy, tolerate more stress, get depressed less often, and be more creative than our non-Christian counterparts for the advancement of God's Kingdom."

Last week, Rick Green made a campaign stop at Hotze's Wellness Center:

Wonderful visit with Dr. Steve Hotze at his Wellness Center on Friday. What a Blessing he is to SOOO many people!!!

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Vandals hit at least five Dem offices nationwide, threaten to ‘assassinate’ children of pro-reform lawmakers.
  • Steve Benen: Someone Send Glenn Beck John Lewis' Bio.
  • Texas Freedom Network: Don McLeroy Has Trouble Explaining Texas Social Studies Curriculum Standards.
  • Americablog: School violated Constance McMillen’s constitutional rights, but won't require school to hold the prom.
  • Pam's House Blend: Jesse Helms, gay rights advocate? That's what his estate says.
  • Finally, do 24 percent of Republicans really believe that Barack Obama "may be the Antichrist"?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Several state Attorneys General have already filed suit against the health care reform legislation that President Obama just signed into law today.
  • In related "news," the Religious Right doesn't like the health care bill and is ready to fight.
  • Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will receive the "Vision America Guardian of the Family Award" at the organization's dinner and gala on Monday, March 29.
  • A tea party organizer who urged activists “to drop by” Rep. Thomas Perriello’s house to voice their displeasure with his health care vote, but mistakenly gave out the address of Perriello’s brother stands by his research skills.
  • Erick Erickson is urging people to send Rep. Bart Stupak (aka "Judas") 100 pieces of silver.
  • I genuinely have no idea what the point of this Catholic League press release is supposed to be.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Dennis Prager: "I write the words 'civil war' with an ache in my heart. But we are in one. Thank God this civil war is non-violent. But the fact is that the left and the rest of the country share almost no values. The American value system and the leftist value system are irreconcilable. If the left wins, America's values lose."

Cass: Tea Party Movement Is The Work of the Holy Spirit

One of the things I've been following lately is the attempt by the Religious Right to hijack the Tea Party movement by claiming that, at heart, the movement shares the social conservative's political and cultural agenda. 

While undoubtedly there is overlap between the agendas of the two groups, the efforts by the Religious Right to claim the Tea Party mantle are getting more and more blatant.  Just last week Vision America's Rick Scarborough announced his "Truth Exalts America Patriot Pastors' Tea Party" to be held in San Antonio, Texas in July, which is basically a Religious Right prayer rally dressed up to look like a Tea Party event. 

Now we have Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission claiming that the entire Tea Party movement is actually the work of God as part of a "spiritual awakening":

I think the Tea Party movement is the move of God. A lot of people are wondering, you know, is the Lord done with America? Why are things going the way they're going? And I really believe what is happening within the Tea Party movement is a spiritual awakening that has been precipitated by political circumstances.

I think what's happened, perhaps for the first time in many people's lives, they had an awakening where all of the sudden their conscience just has compelled them to engage on a political level - probably for the first time for many people, maybe the first time in a long time for some folks - but they're just constrained by their conscience, they have to do something, and I again believe that's the work of the Holy Spirit in people's hearts.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer admits he's the one who yelled "baby killer" at Rep. Bart Stupak.
  • Andrew Schlafly has been named the new lead counsel for the committee seeking to recall Senator Robert Menendez.
  • Several former Texas Supreme Court Justices, including Alberto Gonzales, have endorsed Rick Green's opponent.
  • Jim Garlow last week was named chairman of Renewing American Leadership, a group Newt Gingrich formed to champion the country's Judeo-Christian heritage.
  • Finally, Randall Terry is demanding that Nancy Pelosi be excommunicated and the removal of Washington DC Archbishop Donald Wuerl for not refusing her Communion.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW Statement: Texas Board of Education Rewrites History.
  • Media Matters: Rep. Paul Broun Compares Health Care Reform To "The Great War Of Yankee Aggression."
  • Justin Elliot: California Bar Now Investigating Orly Taitz.
  • David Weigel: Sarah Palin: The Series.
  • Timothy Kincaid: Another Baptist church not anti-gay enough for Texas.
  • Finally, Good As You digs deeper into this weird CWA nutritional drink partnership/fundraising scheme and it just gets weirder.

Rick Scarborough's Blatant Hijacking of the Tea Party Movement

Frankly, we have never really understood how Vision America's Rick Scarborough managed to get himself associated with the Tea Party movement ... and now it makes even less sense.

A few weeks ago we mentioned that even though he had been a featured speaker at the National Tea Party Convention, he was now launching his own Religious Right version of the Tea Party movement, changing the TEA Party's "Taxed Enough Already" acronym to "Truth Exalts America" and unveiling something he called the "Patriot Pastors' Tea Party."

Now Scarborough is announcing the group's first gathering, and it sounds a lot more like the standard Religious Right prayer rally than it does any sort of Tea Party gathering: 

A National Call to Pastors: Pastors across America are coming to San Antonio, Texas, on July 7th, for a Patriot Pastors’ T.E.A. Party in San Antonio, Texas, July 7, 2010. We urge Pastors to come to the Seventh largest city in America on the Seventh Day of the Seventh month for Seven hours of rallying and education, followed by Seventeen weeks of commitment concluding on Election Day. The prayerful goal of this effort is that we might experience a II Chronicles 7:14 revival in America.

Rationale: When Elijah became dismayed over the state of his nation and cried out to the Lord that he was the only prophet left who cared about God’s honor, God rebuked him and informed him He had 7,000 more who had not bowed to Baal.

There are thousands of Pastors in America who have not surrendered to the Baals of our culture and who faithfully proclaim the truth of God’s Word without compromise every day. We are calling them to join us in San Antonio for one day during which we will repent of our sin of complicity in the moral meltdown of America, and we will call upon our gracious God to restore our nation.

Many Pastors would have difficulty affording a trip to Washington DC and absorbing the cost of food and lodging there. We have chosen city in the central part of America where Pastors can take a stand for Christ and participate in an effort to call the 70 million Evangelicals in this country seek God for national renewal and revival.

The National Patriot Pastors’ T.E.A. Party will meet on the Plaza of the Alamo where 180 courageous “Texicans” made the ultimate sacrifice to confront tyranny and to gain their freedom. The Alamo holds profound symbolism for all Pastors and Christians in America. We too, must be willing lay it all on the line for Christ and for revival.

The rally will take place in the morning before heat is a problem. We will then reconvene in the afternoon in a church or civic auditorium (TBA) for training and strategy. The afternoon meeting is being arranged and the location will be announced here soon.

Mission: To experience genuine revival, so that Pastors may once again provide spiritual guidance for the Nation.

I have a sneaking suspicion that when the Tea Party movement first emerged, Christian prayer rallies calling for revival in America carried out by people who liken themselves to the prophet Elijah and the nation to Baal was probably not at all what they had envisioned.

Janet Porter Goes 9 for 9

You know how yesterday I was marveling at the fact that there it was seemingly impossible for any right-wing activist to be considered so radical that Republican members of Congress would refuse to be seen anywhere near them? 

Allow me to follow that up with this simple observation that, over her last nine radio program, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter's has had nine different Republican members on Congress on as quests:

March 9 - Guest: U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska)

March 10 - Guests: Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming)

March 16 - Guests: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

March 17 - Guests: U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

March 18 - Guests: U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri) and U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona)

March 19 - Guests: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia)

Do I really need to recount all of the crazy things Porter has said?

And yet multiple Republican members of Congress have been making time to appear on her radio program on a regular basis. 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he will sue if Congress passes health care reform.
  • Pastor Don Hamer, founder of the right-wing "Better Courts Now" campaign, died of a heart attack yesterday.
  • Ralph Reed's Faith & Freedom Coalition of Georgia is partnering with the Tea Partiers at Americans for Prosperity for a "Defending the American Dream Summit" which will feature Neal Boortz, Herman Cain, Erick Erickson, Jonathan Krohn, and others.
  • Apparently, Alberto Gonzales and several other former Texas Supreme Court Justices are preparing to endorse Debra Lehrmann in her run-off election against Rick Green.
  • Were gay soldiers responsible for the massacre at Srebrenica?
  • Finally, Mike Huckabee tells the Boy Scouts that the keys to America success are the "Judeo-Christian values system" and the Ten Commandments.

Texas School Board Member Cynthia Dunbar Joins May Day Prayer Rally

Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter continues to move ahead with her organizing for the "May Day: a Cry to God for Our Nation in Distress" prayer rally at the Lincoln Memorial on May 1:

Porter called on Christians to take part in a 40-day fast prior to the event. She said participants will give up something important to them in the days leading up to May Day.

"We just want God to know we're serious about standing in the gap for America," she said. "We are calling the remnant to come and repent. It's a two-fold plan to not only pray but to proclaim what our founders believed – that we are one nation under God."

Vision America President Dr. Rick Scarborough added, "We need to let God know we're serious about turning back to Him and fasting from something – whether it's television, dessert or food – will provide the breakthrough we desperately need as a nation."

...

Pro-family leaders across denominational boundaries have joined together for the effort including: Dr. James Dobson, American Family Association President Tim Wildmon, Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright, Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver, NRB President Dr. Frank Wright, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, Dutch Sheets, David Barton and many members of Congress.

Porter has explained that the event is designed to break the curse that our nation is under for having elected President Obama, and now she's picking up some interesting new supporters for her effort:

Porter said Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer who serves on the Texas State Board of Education, will attend and ask God for forgiveness for how the nation has removed Him from American schools.

"She is going to come to May Day and repent for how we have taught our children lies, not only in revisionist history but also evolution, how we've kicked God out of school," Porter said. "She will repent on behalf of the education system, and she's also going to welcome God back in."

Dunbar played a central role in Texas' recent rewriting of its social studies requirements in order to make them better reflect the conservative worldview and, given her views, it is no surprise that she would team up with the likes of Porter:

In 2008, Cynthia Dunbar published a book called “One Nation Under God,” in which she stated more openly than most of her colleagues have done the argument that the founding of America was an overtly Christian undertaking and laid out what she and others hope to achieve in public schools. “The underlying authority for our constitutional form of government stems directly from biblical precedents,” she writes. “Hence, the only accurate method of ascertaining the intent of the Founding Fathers at the time of our government’s inception comes from a biblical worldview.”

Then she pushes forward: “We as a nation were intended by God to be a light set on a hill to serve as a beacon of hope and Christian charity to a lost and dying world.” But the true picture of America’s Christian founding has been whitewashed by “the liberal agenda” — in order for liberals to succeed “they must first rewrite our nation’s history” and obscure the Christian intentions of the founders. Therefore, she wrote, “this battle for our nation’s children and who will control their education and training is crucial to our success for reclaiming our nation.”

After the book came out, Dunbar was derided in blogs and newspapers for a section in which she writes of “the inappropriateness of a state-created, taxpayer-supported school system” and likens sending children to public school to “throwing them into the enemy’s flames, even as the children of Israel threw their children to Moloch.” (Her own children were either home-schooled or educated in private Christian schools.) When I asked, over dinner in a honky-tonk steakhouse down the road from the university, why someone who felt that way would choose to become an overseer of arguably the most influential public-education system in the country, she said that public schools are a battlefield for competing ideologies and that it’s important to combat the “religion” of secularism that holds sway in public education.

On a related note, Rev. Paul Blair of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ has put together this video urging people to attend the May Day event and "appeal in penitent prayer to the King of Kings for revival in our land":

Meet The New Texas Social Studies Requirements

The New York Times reports on the changes made to Texas' Social Studies curriculum that have been forced through by the right-wing members of dominate the state Board of Education:

The conservative members maintain that they are trying to correct what they see as a liberal bias among the teachers who proposed the curriculum. To that end, they made dozens of minor changes aimed at calling into question, among other things, concepts like the separation of church and state and the secular nature of the American Revolution.

“I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state,” said David Bradley, a conservative from Beaumont who works in real estate. “I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.”

They also included a plank to ensure that students learn about “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schalfly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.”

Dr. McLeroy pushed through a change to the teaching of the civil rights movement to ensure that students study the violent philosophy of the Black Panthers in addition to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent approach. He also made sure that textbooks would mention the votes in Congress on civil rights legislation, which Republicans supported.

“Republicans need a little credit for that,” he said. “I think it’s going to surprise some students.”

Mr. Bradley won approval for an amendment saying students should study “the unintended consequences” of the Great Society legislation, affirmative action and Title IX legislation. He also won approval for an amendment stressing that Germans and Italians were interned in the United States as well as the Japanese during World War II, to counter the idea that the internment of Japanese was motivated by racism.

Other changes seem aimed at tamping down criticism of the right. Conservatives passed one amendment, for instance, requiring that the history of McCarthyism include “how the later release of the Venona papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government.” The Venona papers were transcripts of some 3,000 communications between the Soviet Union and its agents in the United States.

In economics, the revisions add Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek, two champions of free-market economic theory, among the usual list of economists to be studied, like Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes. They also replaced the word “capitalism” throughout their texts with the “free-enterprise system.”

“Let’s face it, capitalism does have a negative connotation,” said one conservative member, Teri Leo. “You know, ‘capitalist pig!’ ”

In the field of sociology, another conservative member, Barbara Cargill, won passage of an amendment requiring the teaching of “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” in a section on teen suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders.

“The topic of sociology tends to blame society for everything,” Ms. Cargill said.

Even the course on World History did not escape the board’s scalpel.

Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among the conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”)

“The Enlightenment was not the only philosophy on which these revolutions were based,” Ms. Dunbar said.

Mavis B. Knight, a Democrat from Dallas, introduced an amendment requiring that students study the reasons “the founding fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring the government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion above all others.”

It was defeated on a party-line vote.

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