Texas GOP: Another Step Toward Theocracy?

I am used to some closed-minded rhetoric (from both sides of the aisle, sometimes) concerning matters that I find important. It's usually one or two wing-nutty individuals like Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin who set me off, when they spout some inane statement about subjects like homosexuality or secular government. I try not to habitually make statements dismissing an entire political group as worthy of scorn or protest [with notable exceptions, of course]. However, I happened to read the platform of the Texas GOP [PDF] recently; it simultaneously made my skin crawl and my blood boil. There were so many offensive, backward and repressive items in this platform, I stopped reading about 3/4 of the way through.

I finally had a chance to continue reading the document tonight, so I wanted to point out just a few bits to give you the gist of why I was incensed. I pulled the following examples from the text of the actual platform document:

Family Values: We affirm that this section is a response to the attacks on traditional family values. These include well-funded, vigorous political and judicial attempts by powerful organizations and branches of the government to force acceptance, affirmation and normalization of homosexual behavior upon school children, parents, educational institutions, businesses, employees, government bodies and religious institutions and charities. These aggressive, intolerant efforts marginalize as bigots anyone who dissents.
My favorite part of this is how they refer to anyone who seeks to "normalize" homosexual behavior as aggressive and intolerant, then they go on to state that they wish to criminalize homosexuality, equate homosexuals with child molesters and make the issuance of a same-sex marriage certificate a felony. It seems to me that the Texas GOP has marginalized itself into the very definition of bigot.
Homosexuality: We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.
Texas Sodomy Statutes
: We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.

Child Support and Visitation

: We also believe that no homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation with minor children by such persons should be prohibited but if ordered by the court limited to supervised periods.
Let's not forget about the military! They also oppose repeal of DADT, support the disqualification of homosexuals from military service, and (oddly) support removing women from combat and submarine roles. Not only are homosexuals worthless to the military, let's make women second class citizens too!
Support of our Armed Forces: disqualification of homosexuals from military service; immediate discharge of HIV positive individuals; separation of men and women in basic training; exclusion of women from ground and submarine combat roles...
In addition, our support of Israel should be based on the idea that the god of the Bible thinks that country is extra special, and the US will receive cosmic goodies if we are nice to them. That's reassuring.
Israel: In our diplomatic dealings with Israel, we encourage the continuation of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but oppose pressuring Israel to make concessions it believes would jeopardize its security, including the trading of land for the recognition of its right to exist. We call on the U.S. to cease strong arming Israel through prior agreements with the understanding of delivering equipment to them to defend themselves in exchange for future diplomatic concessions, such as giving up land to the Palestinians on the West Bank. We support the continuation of non-recognition of terrorist nations and organizations. Our policy is based on God’s biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise.
Moving on to education, they simultaneously want parents to be able to use taxpayer dollars to educate their children in any school the choose, but at the same time, not have any government regulations of said private schools. While I think parents should be able to educate their children in private schools, home schools or parochial schools if they choose, I DO NOT think the government should provide funding for said education without any regulations as to the quality or content of the education in place.
Parental School Choice: We encourage the Governor and the Texas Legislature to enact child-centered school funding options – which fund the student, not schools or districts – to allow maximum freedom of choice in public, private or parochial education for all children. As a prerequisite, we urge passage of a constitutional amendment prohibiting imposition of state regulations on private and parochial schools.
Not only would this suck funding away from public school systems when parents choose to enroll their students in private schools at government cost, but there would be no limitations on the private schools when it came to religious or political instructions (indoctrination) of the students. Most church/state separation supporters I've encountered have a focus on the school system, in an attempt to make it a level playing field and a safety zone for students from a variety of backgrounds. The goal is to have a well rounded student who learns of religion, morals, etc. at home, and school subjects such as math, science and history at school. If we remove these safeguards, we basically stand to open the gates for state funded religious and hyper-political instruction of students; creating the theocracy we are still fighting to avoid. If you think my reaction to this section is too knee-jerk and slippery-slope of me, consider the next tidbits:
Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties: We affirm that the public acknowledgment of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state.
Traditional Principles in Education
: We support school subjects with emphasis on Judeo-Christian principles (including the Ten Commandments) upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems. We support curricula that are heavily weighted on original founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and Founders’ writings.

Pledge of Allegiance in Public Schools:

Students should be led daily in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas Pledge, the National Anthem, and be taught flag etiquette and patriotic songs to ensure that the loyal and patriotic spirit of Texan and American heritage is preserved.
Of course we should have education in the founding documents; they are the foundation of the country. However, the Ten Commandments are not part of that group of documents. Furthermore, there is absolutely NO mention of Christianity in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. The founders' writings are certainly an interesting part of our history, but they are not law giving documents - they are opinion pieces, in a nutshell.

As I've echoed in posts on several subjects recently, I again ask: "What are the Judeo-Christian “values” you are promoting? Do said values match a common sense of decency and human rights, without any subjugation of women, condemnation of homosexuality, exclusion of religions other than Christianity or belief in magical or mystical cures for society’s woes" If any of the above are included or promoted, then said values are to be considered antiquated and NOT something the populace of our country needs to be exposed to [on a legislative level]. As far as the "myth of separation of church and state", see my

Evolution of Society and Secular Government=Neutral Government blog posts where I elaborate on this further.

The last one I am posting is concerning sexual education. They do support allowing sexual education (with parental consent):

Sex Education: We recognize parental responsibility and authority regarding sex education. We support policies that mandate parental notification and consent before any sex education program is presented to their child. Parents must be given an opportunity to review the material prior to giving their consent. We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until heterosexual marriage.
Given that Texas currently has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the US, I certainly can understand why they need to take this issue well in hand, and make serious changes to how they approach sex education in public schools. What's that? They already focus on abstinence until marriage in Texas schools? At least they do have the option of teaching contraception and protection, even if they can't distribute condoms in school. Well, I guess this Abstinence Until Marriage approach might at least keep the teen pregnancy rates from rising. Oh my, I guess that isn't the case either, since those rates have risen 2% from 2006-2009. There was a recent study which finally showed an abstinence only approach that worked, but it was for younger students from a specific demographic, and didn't demonize sexuality or focus on abstaining until marriage. See my blog post concerning sexual education for more information about sex-ed (rather, the lack thereof in this country.

There are plenty of other infuriating gems in the

Texas GOP platform, which further denigrates the LGBT community, erodes the reproductive rights of women and glorifies America, Texas and Judeo-Christianity as infallible and worthy of undying loyalty and patriotism. Did I mention they also want to outlaw porn? :)

I can only hope the people of Texas have better sense than to vote for such asinine, bigoted, antiquated ideas of governance and imposed morality.

Since first coming across the document last week, the Human Rights Campaign has issued a statement calling for the Republican National Committee to Reject the Texas GOP's platform, due to its discrimination of LGBT individuals. Please take a moment to read the statement, and if you are in agreement, please sign the petition to Michael Steele and the RNC:

Call to Action: Reject the Texas GOP's Platform

Views: 111


You need to be a member of Atheist Nexus to add comments!

Join Atheist Nexus

Comment by deletedsoul on June 28, 2010 at 4:51pm
I'm planning on visiting Boston next summer - I might want to stay. :-]



Update Your Membership :



Nexus on Social Media:

© 2019   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: The Nexus Group.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service