Archive for the ‘culture wars’ Category

2011 in Quotes: Potluck Nuttery II

December 31, 2011

As our review of what we heard from the right in 2011 comes to an end, here are some last random snippets of nuttiness and extremism. Read more quotes from the far right in 2011 here.

“Right now there are six true conservative Christians on the board, so we have to fight for two votes. In previous years, we had to fight for one vote to get a majority.”

– Barbara Cargill, shortly after her appointment as chair of the Texas State Board of Education, discussing the political landscape of the state board. Fellow Republicans who apparently didn’t meet Cargill’s definition of “conservative Christians” were – no surprise – offended. Houston Chronicle, July 18, 2011

“The latest rumor I hear, and I don’t know if this is true or not, is that he’s used about 25 different Social Security numbers … YouTubes are infallible.”

– Texas State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, casting doubts on President Obama’s citizenship and citing one of the Internet sources for his doubts. Texas Tribune, February 28, 2011

“Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had! #2012.”

— Lauren E. Pierce, the president of the College Republicans at the University of Texas at Austin, an intern for Americans for Prosperity-Texas and for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s campaign for U.S. Senate, in a message posted on Twitter after Pennsylvania State Police arrested a 21-year-old Idaho man for allegedly firing a semi-automatic rifle at the White House. Texas Tribune, November 16, 2011

“My president’s black, he snorts a lot of crack. Holla. #2012 #Obama.”

– Cassie Wright, who replaced Lauren E. Pierce as president of the UT-Austin branch of the Texas College Republicans, in a Twitter message posted Sunday. Burnt Orange Report, December 19, 2011

“Make no mistake, the final responsibility is ours, and we are warriors. We will bend public education to our awe, or break it all to pieces.”

–  Tennessee state Sen. Jim Summeville, a Tea Party Republican, demanding that his state’s legislature pass radical “reforms” targeting public education. NEA Today, April 19, 2011

“[P]lease look into protection for your family. An attempt on you could bring the republic down.”

– Television and radio commentator Glenn Beck, reading a letter he wrote to Sarah Palin after the shooting in Arizona that critically wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and killed six others. The Hill, January 10, 2011

“All of these monsters (Hitler, Stalin) began by confiscating private arms, then literally soaking the earth with the blood of tens and tens of millions of their own people. Is there any wonder, then, why liberal, socialist, and communist-bent government officials are so bent on destroying America’s Second Amendment right? Now you know the truth.”

– Narration of a video created by Pastor Carl Gallups of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, Fla., asserting in the wake of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., that gun control leads to genocide. Religion Dispatches, January 11, 2011

“Government does not improve our lives.”

– Texas Eagle Forum President Pat Carlson, explaining why drastic cuts to social services for poor people — even taking Texas out of the Medicaid system — would be fine with her. Texas Tribune, January 26, 2011

“When you talk about rabbis, understand that most — most people who are not Jewish don’t understand that there are the Orthodox rabbis, and then there are the reformed rabbis. Reformed rabbis are generally political in nature. It’s almost like Islam, radicalized Islam in a way, to where it is just — radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics.”

– Glenn Beck, explaining the difference between Reform Judaism and Orthodox Judaism by equating the first with radicalized Islam. Media Matters for America, February 22, 2011 (audio clip from The Glenn Beck Program, Premiere Radio Networks, 2/22/2011)

“I’m not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes. I’m not not saying that either. Whether you call it Gaia or whether you call it Jesus there’s a message being sent. And that is, ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing? Not really working out real well. Maybe we should stop doing some of it.’ I’m just saying.”

– Glenn Beck, on the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. Huffington Post, March 14, 2011 (Audio clip from The Glenn Beck Program)

“If you want to know why we can’t pass legislation in Texas, it’s because we have 37, no 36, Hispanics in the Legislature. All of the states that have passed legislation have a handful and I mean literally, some of them have NO Hispanic legislators, well, maybe 3 or 5 or something. So that’s, umm, part of our problem and we need to change those numbers. . . . So the problem is these Hispanic legislators . . . is that it’s too close to them and they, umm. . . simply cannot vote their conscience correctly.

– Tea Party speaker Rebecca Forest, complaining at a rally at the Texas Capitol about the difficulty in passing a bill barring so-called “sanctuary cities” (which don’t exist in Texas anyway). (Video also available at the link.) Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance, June 14, 2011.


2011 in Quotes: Potluck Nuttery I

December 30, 2011

As we continue our review at what we heard from the right in 2011, here are some random snippets of nuttiness and extremism. Read more quotes from the far right in 2011 here.

“If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision as under the law. If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you and God bless America.”

– Crockett Keller, a store owner in Mason, Texas, in a radio ad offering a concealed handgun training course but not to anyone who is a supporter of President Obama or a Muslim. KVUE TV (Austin), October 27, 2011

“The flip side of Obama’s ’empathy’ is apparent hatred and contempt for white people, traditional families, small business owners, evangelical Christians, conservatives, and everyone else that liberals call the ‘racist, heterosexist, nativist, Christianist, capitalist, homophobic power structure’ in America. In other words, what most of us call normal people.”

– Peter Morrison, right-wing culture warrior from Southeast Texas, trying to explain his (stunningly ignorant) understanding of civil rights history. TFN Insider, January 10, 2011

“Compromise is the companion of losers.”

– Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, arguing against the suggestion that appealing to social conservatives makes a candidate less viable in a presidential general election. The Hill, September 27, 2011

“The reason that we fought the Revolution in the 16th century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown, if you will.”

– Texas Gov. Rick Perry, saying the American Revolution took place two centuries before it actually did. ABC News, October 12, 2011

“I don’t have any idea.”

— Governor Rick Perry, a Republican presidential contender, on whether or not he believes President Obama was born in the United States. New York Times, October 23, 2011

“No; giving that size deduction to unmarried parents, defined as ‘individuals and their dependents,’ means rewarding bad behavior and is, by definition, outside the middle class. Regardless of income, you can’t be middle class without respecting middle-class values, the most important of which is marriage.”

– Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, arguing that Gov. Rick Perry’s tax plan would undermine marriage. TFN Insider, November 2, 2011


– Texas Gov. Rick Perry, at a Republican presidential candidate debate, forgetting the third of three federal agencies he would eliminate if elected in November. Quoted everywhere, including here. November 9, 2011

“I am the candidate Glenn Beck trusts to lead America back to prosperity.”

– Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann, in an email to supporters touting Beck’s announcement that he would support the Minnesota congresswoman in the Republican presidential primaries. Roll Call, November 29, 2011

Rick Perry’s Record in the Culture Wars

July 6, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has turned his office into a command post in the far right’s purposely divisive culture wars over the past decade. The governor has shamelessly used faith and issues like school prayer, same-sex marriage and creationism to divide voters in the service of his political career. And the likelihood that he will once again wield faith as a political weapon in a campaign for the White House grows stronger — in fact, it appears he’s already doing it.

The Texas Freedom Network has pulled together a record of Gov. Perry’s positions and statements on issues that have animated the culture wars in Texas and across the country. Check it out here. And check back as we add more to this resource in the coming months.

The Year in Quotes: Social Studies

January 4, 2010

We’ll finish out our series on the craziness we heard from the far right in 2009 with quotes on the revision of social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. The State Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the proposed new standards on January 13 in Austin. TFN Insider will be live-blogging during that hearing.

Click on these links for other posts in our The Year in Quotes series: science, kooky, sex education, religious freedom, gay bashing, potluck nuttiness. Now on to social studies:

“That, sir, my friend, is why I contend that there is an overrepresentation of minority content. And that’s all TEKS driven. The specific TEKS say ‘the problems of women,’ ‘the problems of immigrants,’ ‘the problems of minorities.’ There is nothing in the current TEKS that talks about celebrating America’s positive successes.”

– Bill Ames, a far-right member of a social studies curriculum (TEKS, or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) writing team, complaining that too many minority figures are included in history standards,  TFN Insider, May 22, 2009

“My own personal guess is that the reason (César Chávez) was included in (the Texas social studies standards) is that it reflects the leftist bias of the people who wrote the guidelines last time. I don’t know; I don’t know who wrote them. But I’m suspicious of that. … In comparison with [other figures], Chávez doesn’t warrant much attention. … He’s just not real high on my list.”

— Peter Marshall, head of Peter Marshall Ministries and a member of the State Board of Education’s panel of social studies “experts,” discussing his reasoning for wanting to remove César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall (no relation) from social studies curriculum standards, Austin Chronicle, July 24, 2009


The Year in Quotes: Just Plain Kooky

December 23, 2009

Today we continue our review of the nonsense we heard from the far right in 2009. Some quotes defy attempts to categorize. So let’s just say these are, well, just plain kooky. (Click here to see crazy quotes from the right about science and science education this year.)

“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here? … Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”

— State Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell, speaking to a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans during testimony on a voter identification bill in the Texas Legislature, Houston Chronicle,April 9, 2009


‘War on Christmas’ Watch

December 2, 2009

Drive down almost any street in America and you can see it’s that time of year again. Christmas trees strapped to cars or in the back of pickup trucks headed home. Glittering string-lights stretched across eaves and wrapped around shrubs. Colorful holiday displays in front yards. Church signs with messages of peace and the holy birth.

It should be clear to most people that Christmas is thriving in America today — unless your post box or e-mail account has been filled with paranoid messages from religious-right groups. This is prime fundraising season for the religious right, and the phony “War on Christmas” in America is a big moneymaker for those seeking to frighten people about a supposed anti-Christian conspiracy by “secular humanists,” atheists and assorted other demons.

An e-mail from the far-right group In God We Trust today illustrates our point:

The national advocacy group In God We Trust today condemned efforts of national atheist organizations and left-wing legal groups aimed at terrorizing Americans into not celebrating Christmas.


Pornography and Hypocrisy

November 27, 2009

Concerned Women for America — which exists “to protect and promote Biblical values among all citizens” — tells us in an e-mail blast that Americans don’t like pornography:

“While cultural elites downplay the negative influences of pornography, a new study by Harris Interactive shows that the American public is not so accepting of it.”

We didn’t find the poll on the Harris Web site, but we did see a related Oct. 28 press release from the far-right group Morality in Media:

“Overall, 76% of U.S. adults disagree that ‘viewing hardcore adult pornography on the Internet is morally acceptable’ and 74% disagree that “viewing hardcore adult pornography on the Internet provides, generally, harmless entertainment,” according to a survey commissioned by Morality in Media and conducted by Harris Interactive.”

That may very well be the case, but we couldn’t help but recall how often the far right blames sexual immorality of any sort on “liberals.” In fact, the Morality in Media press release points a finger at the Clinton administration in the 1990s: “Under President Clinton, the Justice Department turned its back to the proliferation of hardcore adult pornography on the Internet.”

And then we were reminded of a Harvard study we saw earlier this year. The study indicated that eight of the top 10 online porn-consuming states lean Republican and voted for John McCain in 2008. Six of the 10 states rated as the smallest consumers of online pornography voted for Barack Obama. Hmmm…


Talking Points

November 19, 2009

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“There’s a cultural war going on in our society today. I feel that homosexual behavior is an affront to the family values of one man-one woman, and homosexual behavior, to any society that’s embraced it, has led to the extinction of that society.”

— Dave Wilson, longtime anti-gay activist, defending his new mail piece to Houston voters attacking one of the candidates in the city’s mayoral runoff election because she is a lesbian

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

David Barton’s Vision of America

October 16, 2009

As David Barton helps guide the revision of social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools, it’s important to keep his agenda in mind. In fact, that agenda will be the focus of a conference for right-wing legislators Barton’s organization, WallBuilders, is hosting Nov. 5-8 in Dallas.

WallBuilders hopes to draw lawmakers from states around the country to its ProFamily Legislators Conference. The event’s speakers and session topics are all geared toward promoting Barton’s agenda: basing our nation’s laws and society on a fundamentalist Protestant interpretation of the Bible. The WallBuilders Web site promises that lawmakers will get “a fresh perspective on the historical application of Scripture to public policy-making with a deeper look into what the Bible says about current issues.”


‘Culture Wars’ Still Disruptive in Texas

June 16, 2009

In an op-ed column that has run in various newspapers (including in Houston and Austin), Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller explains how the recently ended legislative session demonstrates that the “culture wars” are still a divisive and disruptive influence in Texas politics. We are to publishing the op-ed for TFN  Insider readers here.

Legislative Session Shows ‘Culture Wars’ Still Thrive in Texas

National elections last November seemed to signal that voters are exhausted by relentless battles over divisive social issues. But the recently ended legislative session showed that the culture wars still thrive in Texas.