Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is to be honored by a far-right group whose leader has a history of comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler and attacking gays and lesbians.
Abbot is to receive an honor from two local affiliates of the U.S. Pastor’s Council, the Texas Pastor Council and the Houston Area Pastor Council. It’s unclear to what extent the groups are “groups”: all three share a website and are led by a single man, extremist pastor Dave Welch.
The groups are also planning to honor Paul Pressler, who helped lead the “conservative resurgence” within the Southern Baptist Convention. Former Clinton inquisitor Ken Starr, who now works for Baylor University, is delivering the keynote address.
The Texas Freedom Network first noticed the event and highlighted Welch’s extreme rhetoric.
For example, Welch has:
- Argued that Obama is creating a “Fourth Reich.”
- Likened pastors who vouch for Obama’s Christian faith to Nazis and asserted that “Obama’s anti-Christian, anti-life, anti-marriage, anti-constitutional and anti-American policies” prove he only seeks to “use the church in the same way as a previous leader on a different continent,” Hitler.
- Claimed the judge who ruled that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is unconstitutional is a treasonous “domestic enemy.”
- Referred to gays and lesbians as “forces of spiritual darkness” and a “morally depraved special interest group.”
- Said the election of openly gay Houston mayor Annise Parker, whom he called a “sodomite,” is a sign of a “cancer of the soul among the people” and that “we let our position on the wall be breached by the enemy.”
- Told the Daily Show that he wouldn’t support any Muslim candidate for Speaker of the Texas State House because he has “deep concerns about the loyalty of Muslims to the Constitution.”
But working with radicals like Welch is just part of the game for Texas Republicans, who continue to compete with each other to see who can be farthest to the right.