Now that the abortion limitations bill has cleared the bicameral Texas legislature, it is a foregone conclusion that the delusional governor of the state, a man who hobnobs with such lunatics as the Reverends John Hagee, Rick Scarborough, and Robert Jeffress (all on various human rights hate lists), will sign it into law, it might be instructive to see just how far the state has gone to dissolve the barrier between church and state. Bear in mind, evangelicals have preached for years that church-state separation is a "myth," and they've even gone so far as to trot out a "historian" to prove the point: David Barton, whose last book was so riddled with error the Christian publishing company that printed it withdrew it from the market. (Barton, also from Texas, holds one college degree, in Christian education, from that lofty institution of higher learning, Oral Roberts University.) I know Henry Ford is famous/notorious for claiming that "history is bunk," but the discipline in Barton's hands produced, in his book, The Jefferson Lies, what has been called "the least credible history book in print." He is a regular on Huckabee and Beck.
Given that the far right wingnut base of the Republican Party supports their position on abortion with nothing but paternalistic dogma grounded in scriptural presentism, it might seem a little silly, nonsensical really, to hear the pols in Austin claiming that their vote for a post-20-week ban on abortion, along with measures reducing the number of facilities performing the service from 42 to 6 and requiring expensive hospital privileges of the remaining clinics, is not a "political" one. Yet, here we have Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), author of The Second Most Important Book You Will Ever Read: A Personal Challenge to Read the Bible and right wing radio talk show host, addressing the legislative body and saying, "This isn't about poltics. This is about life." His speech was well larded with claims that the United States is "a nation based on Judeo-Christian values."
Oh? Again (and I apologize to those readers who are all too familiar with such quotations), here is Jefferson on the matter:
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
What is the Republican War on Women but roguery? What is Dan Patrick, a fool or a hypocrite? Or both.
"An alliance or coalition between Government and religion cannot be too carefully guarded against......Every new and successful example therefore of a PERFECT SEPARATION between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance........religion and government will exist in greater purity, without (rather) than with the aid of government."
If curtailing abortion in any manner offensive to the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade is not "political," it is difficult to see what could be. For people who regularly rant about the need to curtail "big government," these louts are both foolish and hypocritical: foolish because their actions will end up costing the taxpayers in their states megabucks in defending their measures in the courts of the land, and hypocritical in exercising governmental interference in citizens rights to privacy and, should the coat hangers be brought out anew, the most important of the Constitutional guarantees of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.Texas Sen. Dan Patrick
I happened to be in Dallas/Fort Worth yesterday and had the opportunity to watch the vote take place live on television just before midnight last night. I was absolutely appalled at the blatant, in-your-face recitation of prayer just before the vote and the politicians fawning over themselves to declare their total admiration for such a heartfelt and beautiful prayer. It was sickening and disgusting behavior. I was embarrassed for our country last night. I thought I was watching a local church council meeting. For some of these Texas politicians, separation of state and church truly is a myth.
Less a myth than something they want to dispense with ... very likely not realizing the implications and consequences of such an event. Those people are thoughtless to the point of being beyond stupid.
I don't know which state is more strange. Texas or Florida. Or Arizona. At the moment, it's Texas.
Maybe it's all that sunshine.
Tampons confiscated, guns allowed at Texas legislature.
Back when Ann Richards was governor (recall, she was a liberal Democrat), I was saying "Texas is Southwestern, not Southern"). I can no longer say it. Texas, like Florida, is "Deep South." It would seem that conservative Republicans in retirement homes like Sun City have made Arizona "Deep South" as well, at least politically, although geographically it is Western. The geographical descriptions no longer measure up to the political ones. You are certainly right about not knowing what state is stranger. I think you are using euphemisms. Don't you mean, which state is crazier?
James, you got me on that.
Sad. When I was a young soldier, 170 pounds and barely needing to shave, fresh off the Illinois cornfields, I was stationed, first at boot camp - Fort Polk Louisiana, then training for 6 months at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. At Fort Polk, I developed a love for Tabasco on everything - still do. And Cajun food and Zydeco. I'm trying to grow Louisiana figs in my yard, even now.
Then at Ft Sam, what I reviewed as the "romantic" history of Texas, with wide open spaces, SW history, good natured and somewhat crazy in a good way. My best friend was Jimmie, from Odessa - tall and lanky and crazy wild funny.
LBJ and Ann Richards and Molly Ivans made me think Texas was going places in a good way.
Was I naive? Or did it change that much? Or both?
You describe the Texas of my youth. I'll be returning to live there, come next year. I'll return with fire in my breast and my voice loud and strong. They should know better than to think Texas women would take this sitting down. November 2014, 2016... I'll make sure my voice is heard alongside other Texas women and supportive men.
Sentient, don't forget Kansas!
You are right, Kansas too. I guess I'm thinking, who does "strange" in the biggest, most grating obnoxious way possible. Kansas may not have enough people to be really strange, even with a few big-time crazies here and there. Although Kansas City jazz is awesome. Or was.
And John Brown. However, in Brown's case, I did not learn in school that his motivation was religious. I saw him played by Raymond Massey in an old 1950s movie, Seven Angry Men. He prayed about every ten minutes in the film and seemed totally oblivious to the fact that the Buy Bull is full of references to slaves and advice on dealing with them.
North and South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Utah are as right wing crazy as any Southern state.
This is true, Jim. In some cases, even loonier than Tex-ass.