A few weeks back, we noted that Religious Right activists in Texas were lining-up against Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and that the campaign had started to take on religious overtones as activists openly sought to replace Straus, who is Jewish, with a true “Christian conservative.”
David Barton has been deeply involved in this effort and he even produced a six minute video outlining the reasons that Straus needs to be removed. Starting at the 2:20 mark, Barton claims that the campaign against Straus is in no way rooted in antisemitism:
Also not surprisingly, liberals and those from left-of-center have come to the defense of Speaker Straus. For example, Harvey Kronberg, editor of a popular political newsletter, is claiming that the conservative movement against Straus is being fueled by antisemitism. But most Texans are unaware of Straus’ honorable Jewish heritage and it wouldn’t matter if they did know, for they are not reacting against his venerable religion, but rather against his liberalism.
While Barton is claiming publicly that the effort against Straus has nothing to do with his religion, emails obtained by the Texas Observer seem to suggest otherwise:
Well in case you thought the bout of anti-Semitism in the Speaker’s race was over, think again. An email between State Republican Executive Committee members, obtained by the Observer, shows some Republicans at high levels are concerned at the idea of a non-Christian Speaker of the House—sentiments earlier expressed by some activists.
“We elected a house with Christian, conservative values,” SREC member John Cook wrote Tuesday morning to other SREC members. “We now want a true Christian, conservative running it. This is not about Straus, this is about getting what the people want.”