Archive for the ‘marriage’ Category

Poll Respondents: WHAT War on Religion?

March 16, 2012

The religious right insists that faith is under siege in America. Far-right leaders and pressure groups have pushed the “war on religion” trope for years now. Texas Gov. Rick Perry even used it during his doomed presidential campaign last December. Most recently, the right has argued that the Obama administration’s policy on insurance coverage for contraception is part of this mythical “war.”

But a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows that most Americans aren’t buying it. According to that poll, Americans by a 56%-39% margin say they don’t think religious liberty is under threat in America today. Of those who do believe religious freedom is threatened, only 6 percent mentioned the current debate over health insurance coverage for birth control. Others mentioned “hostility towards Christians/religion” (10 percent), “removing religion from the public square” (23 percent) and “general government interference in religion” (20 percent).

David Barton, president of Texas-based WallBuilders, plays especially on such fears. You can see that in Barton’s recent essay absurdly claiming that Barack Obama has been “the most Biblically hostile” American president.

The PRRI poll also shows that a majority of Americans support requiring that employers, including religiously affiliated employers other than churches and other places of worship, include coverage for contraception in their health insurance plans for employees. And 52 percent of Americans (including 59 percent of Catholics and 65 percent of white mainline Protestants) support the right to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

So the next time you hear folks on the right shrieking about a “war on religion” in America, just remember that most Americans know better.

You can read more about the poll on the PRRI’s website here.


Is Rick Perry OK with Open Marriages?

January 19, 2012

Today Texas Gov. Rick Perry ended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and threw his support behind former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia. Perry’s withdrawal from the race wasn’t a big surprise — his support in polls was very low after a series of embarrassing stumbles and gaffes over the past few months.

On the other hand, Perry’s endorsement of Gingrich is at least a little surprising. The Texas governor had aggressively courted conservative evangelical voters throughout a campaign that began just after he hosted a large prayer rally in a Houston football stadium last August. Perry had repeatedly pointed to his positions on social issues, including his desire to “protect” traditional marriage by opposing same-sex unions. But he decided to support thrice-married Gingrich anyway.

Moreover, just before today’s announcement, ABC News released an excerpt of an interview with one of Gingrich’s former wives. She says Gingrich had asked her for an open marriage so that he could continue an affair with the woman who would become his third (and current) wife.

From the ABC News interview (video available at the link):

In her most provocative comments, the ex-Mrs. Gingrich said Newt sought an “open marriage” arrangement so he could have a mistress and a wife.

She said when Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with a Congressional aide, he asked her if she would share him with the other woman, Callista, who is now married to Gingrich.

“And I just stared at him and he said, ‘Callista doesn’t care what I do,'” Marianne Gingrich told ABC News. “He wanted an open marriage and I refused.”

We don’t expect Gov. Perry to police Newt Gingrich’s marital bedroom, of course. In fact, we’d prefer that politicians focus on their own families instead of interfering in the personal lives of other folks. But we do wonder whether Gov. Perry thinks adultery and open marriages are as threatening to “traditional marriage” as a same-sex couple living in a legally recognized, loving and committed relationship allegedly is. Isn’t that a fair question now?

That Didn’t Take Long

July 28, 2011

Well, this isn’t a surprise. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is already walking back his comments last week that it would be “fine with me” if individual states decide to legalize gay marriage, like New York just did. It’s a states’ rights issue, he said at the time. But gay-hating pressure groups like the American Family Association and Family Research Council — whose political support Gov. Perry has been courting — started barking and growling about it. So now the governor says he was just misunderstood.

“Obviously, gay marriage is not fine with me,” Gov. Perry said today in a conversation with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. He and Perkins agreed that a constitutional ban on gay marriage would promote states’ rights by keeping states like Texas from being forced to recognize such marriages in other states:

“”The real fear is states like New York will change the definition of marriage for Texas,” he said. “That is the reason the Federal Marriage Amendment is being offered. It’s a small group of activists judges and really a small handful, if you will, of states and these liberal special interest groups that are intent on a redefinition, if you will, of marriage on the nation for all of us, which I adamantly oppose. Indeed, to not pass the Federal Marriage Amendment would impinge on Texas’ and other states’ right not to have marriage forced upon them by these activist judges and these special interest groups.”

But the Federal Marriage Amendment would prohibit any state from legalizing gay marriage. So to recap: Gov. Perry supports states’ rights, except when he doesn’t — and especially when anti-gay hate groups object.

The Constitution vs. the Bible?

March 6, 2011

A March 4 e-mail from the Houston Area Pastor Council demonstrates the religious right’s insistence that our nation’s laws be based on narrow religious beliefs. The e-mail features an essay by a pastor who argues that President Obama is guilty of pitting “the Constitution against the bible on a matter of fundamental human morality.”


Elections Open Door to Radical Agendas

November 27, 2010

The Associated Press notes that the religious right is preparing to use the November elections to push a radical legislative agenda in states across the country starting in January. The religious right’s hit list includes women’s reproductive rights, embryonic stem cell research, divorce laws and equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans. The Texas Freedom Network has already identified other likely battles coming when the legislative session opens in Austin in January, including reform of the State Board of Education and responsible sex education in public schools.

You can help stop the religious right’s radical agenda in Texas by signing up for a ´╗┐TFN Rapid Response Team. TFN will keep Rapid Response Team members updated on critical legislation as it ´╗┐moves through the state House and Senate. We will also provide the tools you need to take action to top attacks on religious freedom, equal rights and public education.

But how does the Associated Press see the religious right’s legislative agenda shaping up across the country? Read on.