Texas

Understanding the Focus on the Family Mindset

Last year I noted how is seemed that those who work at Focus on the Family just seem to be fundamentally incapable of realizing that there are millions of people in this nation who do not share their Christian views.

Here is some more evidence of Focus' myopia, as President Jim Daly wonders just how anyone could possibly oppose the National Day of Prayer:

But even an enthusiastic atheist would have a difficult time explaining how merely recognizing the first Thursday in May as a "Day of Prayer" (without any denominational attribution or financial support) is akin to establishing a national religion. By Judge Crabb's standards, if the federal recognition of the National Day of Prayer is illegal, so is Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.

As a Christian, I view the matter of prayer with an admitted bias, but one studied with both my head and heart. Clearly, prayer means different things to different people. Personally, I receive my understanding of prayer and its collective purpose and power from the Old and New Testaments in the Bible. I do not view prayer as merely a recitation of personal requests, though I do regularly pray for the health and well-being of my wife and two boys. Prayer is very personal; it helps me remember again and again that life is not about me and how utterly and wholly dependent I am on God.

I am not alone in my understanding and practice of this both mysterious and reflective practice; but we Christians support a National Day of Prayer for reasons well beyond selfish interest. A colleague of mine at Focus on the Family tells the story of a mentor back in Texas who used to say he always got down on his knees to pray because "it makes it real clear who's in charge."

Christians understand prayer to be powerful because it is the way in which we humbly and gratefully praise God. We don't believe prayer changes God's mind, but rather that prayer changes our hearts. And changed hearts lead to a more humble, grateful and healthy nation of Americans.

Who, may I ask, could possibly be opposed to that?

First of all, Easter is not a federal holiday.

And secondly, does Daly really not understand who could oppose a National Day of Prayer after he explicitly explains that prayer is important because it allows us to "humbly and gratefully praise God" and therefore reminds us God is always in charge?

I'll tell you who could opposes that: the millions of nonbelievers in this country and organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

I wonder if Daly would have a different reaction if we declared, say, a National Day of Blasphemy. 

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Texas Freedom Network: David Barton’s Contempt for Teachers.
  • Think Progress: Limbaugh: Volcanic eruption in Iceland is God’s reaction to health care’s passage.
  • David Weigel: Tancredo: Send Obama 'back' to Kenya.
  • Towleroad: President of Duke College Republicans Forced Out After Fellow Students Discover He's Gay.
  • Steve Benen: Leave The 19th Amendment Alone.
  • Greg Sargent: Palin: Founding Fathers Wouldn’t Agree With Separation Of Church And State.
  • Box Turtlle Bulletin: National Institutes of Health Director condemns anti-gay pediatrician group.
  • Finally, Good As You: Focus on the Family's ME outpost: Gay tolerance will destroy America, just like it did the World Trade Center.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Texas Freedom Network: Yet Another Historian Corrects David Barton.
  • Justin Elliot: Koch Industries: We Don't Fund Tea Parties (Except For The Tea Parties We Fund).
  • Sarah Posner: The Lord Is My Insurer.
  • Think Progress: GOP Rep. Paul Broun Admits To Illegally Sending Back An Incomplete Census.
  • Raw Story: Tucker Carlson’s ‘non-ideological’ news site sponsors Tea Party bash.
  • Media Matters: Myths and falsehoods surrounding the judicial nomination of Goodwin Liu.
  • Finally, do not ask Rep. Steve King about his justification of the suicide plane attack on an IRS building:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • A federal judge has ruled the National Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional. The American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defense Fund react negatively.
  • Richard Viguerie really is quite smitten with the Tea Party movement.
  • Rick Green says his Texas Supreme Court loss is really a win for "liberty-loving patriots."
  • Matt Barber attacks ENDA in the Washington Times.
  • The Alliance Defense Fund is launching its "Church Project, a new legal effort to protect churches from excessive and unconstitutional government intrusion prohibited by the First Amendment" designed to bloster its "Pulpit Initiative."
  • Troy Titus is a graduate of both Regent University and Liberty University ... and he'll now be serving 30 years in prison for defrauding clients out of $8 million through a Ponzi scheme.
  • Finally, Eric Buehrer complains that the American Library Association's list of most frequently "challenged" books is really an attempt to "put a chilling effect on the free speech of parents." Buehrer is apparently utterly unaware of the irony of that complaint.

Tea Party Activism and The Religious Right's Unrequited Love

Even though the Religious Right can get no love from the Tea Party movement when it comes to adopting even a small part of their social agenda, it seems that Religious Right leaders are just tripping over themselves to speak at Tea Party rallies whenever the chance arises.

For instance, WallBuilders' Rick Green is speaking at a rally in Texas, and the Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly is addressing an event in Michigan, while Ralph Reed is joining Bob Barr and Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for a Tea Party rally in Atlanta.

On top of that, the AFA's Bryan Fischer is speaking at an event in Mississippi and Alan Keyes was at one in Ohio, while Vision America's Rick Scarborugh is speaking at an event in Oklahoma where he will share the microphone with Oklahoma state Senator Randy Brogdon, who is trying to create Tea Party militia to defend the state's sovereignty from federal encroachment.

So I think it is safe to say that the supposed efforts by Tea Party organizers to salvage their reputation by distancing the movement from the crazies was, at best, an isolated incident.

Disaster (Barely) Averted: Rick Green Loses Texas Supreme Court Run-Off

It turns out that Texas Republicans decided that a Chuck-Norris-approved-Alan-Keyes-supported-WallBuilders'-employed-pseudo-historian-TEA-Party-Religious-Right-activist-with-no-judicial-experience might not be the best candidate for a seat on the state Supreme Court and so, last night, handed Rick Green's opponent a victory in the run-off for the GOP nomination:

Republicans have picked their nominee for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court and next will try to fend off Democrats to maintain their tight GOP grip on state government.

Family law judge Debra Lehrmann played up her judicial experience and her opponent's lack of it in defeating ex-legislator and evangelical speaker Rick Green on Tuesday in the court nomination race, the only statewide race on the ballot. Lehrmann told voters she stood the best chance of bringing home a Republican victory in November.

"We've been able to communicate to the voters that judicial experience is important," said Lehrmann, who emerged with Green from a crowded field in the March primary. She won 52 percent of the vote in Tuesday's runoff, to Green's 48 percent. She will face Democrat Jim Sharp in the November general election.

Despite the fact that the Texas legal establishment largely supported Lehrmann and helped her vastly out-raise Green, he still managed to capture 48 percent of the vote, which is pretty remarkable.  Even Green sees it as a victory:

Duty is ours, results are God's. The prairie fire starts tonight no matter what. This is one race in a generational battle between socialism & freedom. We had the ENTIRE establishment, lobby, etc. against us and it's s...till neck & neck! That's a great sign that "we the people" are back in the game!

Republican Congressmen Joining May Day Prayer Rally to Establish a "Virtual Theocracy"

Last month, we posted a video of Janet Porter speaking at the Convergence 2010 conference during which she prayed that God would had control of the media over to Christians so that they could take dominion over the nation:

She followed that up a few days later by explaining that this was part of an effort to "to take dominion in every area" in order to "occupy until Jesus comes."

When Porter says that it is her goal to "take dominion" over every aspect of American culture, she is entirely serious, as this is a key part of a movement to capture the "7 Mountains" and is going to be a central feature of her upcoming May Day prayer rally:

7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Every hour will generally feature times of prayer and proclamation, including words from the Constitutions of all 50 States, as well as a number of our Presidents and American patriots. Prayer times will include both corporate and personal silent prayer. Prayers of repentance will be offered about each of the "Seven Mountains of Culture," which are: (1) Business; (2) Government; (3) Media; (4) Arts and Entertainment; (5) Education; (6) Family; and (7) Religion. A number of leaders have been asked to offer prayers of repentance in each of these areas and subcategories, such as the military and our court system.

This 7 Mountains theology was started by Bill Bright, Loren Cunningham, and Francis Schaeffer back in 1975 and aims at quite literally having Christains defeat "the enemines of the Gospel" in order to  gain complete control over every aspect of American life:

When it comes to government, the goal of the movement is to install a "virtual theocracy" overseen by "true apostles" who will fight Satan and his Antichrist agenda

All governments suffer from corruption, a built-in sabotage that guarantees their eventual implosion. The only government that will never have any corruption is the theocratic Kingdom of God. Here on earth, there will always be something less than a perfect government. We can (and should), however, insist on high ideals, principles, and individual character—people who can help manifest a form of government that is a blessing to a nation. We cannot instill a theocracy in a human government because theocracy is transcendent to humanity. The Kingdom of God can be superimposed on people through influence, but only God Himself can be “theo.” Therefore, any attempt to establish a physical theocracy is ill-conceived unless it is reinterpreted as something other than what it actually means. (-cracy—government, theo—of God). A government can potentially function as a virtual theocracy, but only as the individuals in power allow themselves to be puppets (i.e. servants) of the theocracy (God’s rule and reign). The goal is to bring the influence of heaven to bear on whatever political machinery that exists

...

One of the primary roles of future government leaders will be to instruct in righteousness. The more God’s judgments are poured out on earth, the more explicitly will they be able to give that instruction

...

We need to fill the entire mountain with children of the Kingdom who know why they are there: to allow the Lord’s house to be exalted. This mountain has many niches and grooves and many ways to approach it. Some may be called to go after unjust laws as their arena of action. Others may be called to formulate foreign policy or push for budget reform. The more significant the repercussions of those laws and policies, the higher the mountain level represented. However high we go, enough grace will be provided because this is our Promised Land

...

A new model of national leadership will develop as God exalts His mountain above all other mountains. There will be Joseph-type presidents of nations who will carry great spiritual authority and great civil authority. At various times, these presidents will need to step back and forth between those roles and address the concerns of each. There will be times to address the nation and say, “I will now speak to you outside of my civil authority but in my capacity as a minister and servant of God.” One can then address the moral and righteousness issues of the nation and speak out of the spiritual authority God has given him or her.

Among those listed as participating in Porter's May Day prayer rally are dozens of Religious Right leaders including James Dobson, Rick Scarborough, Mat Staver, Wendy Wright, Harry Jackson, and David Barton, as well as several Republican members of Congress: 

Congressman
Randy Forbes (Virginia)

Congressman
Trent Franks (Arizona)

Congressman
Louie Gohmert (Texas)

Congressman
Steve King (Iowa)

Congressman
Cliff Stearns (Florida)

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rep. Steve King are BFFs.  Why is that not surprising?
  • Why is Sen. Scott Brown's daughter now a contributor to "The Early Show"?
  • Rick Santorum says the only reason he endorsed Arlen Specter last time around was because Specter promised to support President Bush's SCOTUS nominees.
  • Focus on the Family has kicked-off a 12-city tour aimed at educating couples on how to strengthen their marriage, parenting skills, and family life.
  • Harry Jackson defends Michael Steel, saying Steel deserves more time to get things organized.  Seriously.
  • Quote of the day I from Dave Welch on standing up to gays: "We must stand boldly, declare God's standard of morality for the good of the people and take back the ground that has been yielded to the forces of spiritual darkness by cleaning house at every level of government, education, media and the arts. However, as it will be with God's judgment, we must start in the house of God. "
  • Quote of the day II comes from those who don't want to see Rick Green on the Texas Supreme Court: "Let’s not jeopardize that good work by electing someone who is likely to attract criticism and ridicule for himself and our entire judiciary."

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"?
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