Texas GOP Passes Theocratic Platform
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 03:09:22 PM EST
The 2008 Platform of the Texas Republican Party -- will make the Religious Right weep for joy. That is, no doubt, because they wrote it. The Religious Right continues to dominate the state party in Texas and the 2008 platform is Exhibit A.

Fortunately, The Texas Freedom Network has sifted through the platform for us -- and found a document that demonstrates that politicaly powerful elements of the the religious right not only have a theocratic agenda -- they have put it in writing.  

Here are a few examples from the TFN's just-released report that illustrate my point.  

The Texas GOP declares that "America is a nation under God founded on Judeo-Christian principles" and that the party is pledged "toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state."

We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) or other religious symbols."

The Texas GOP supports congressional passage of the so-called "Constitution Restoration Act," which would among other provisions bar the U.S. Supreme Court from hearing and ruling in cases regarding governmental entities or officials who acknowledge "God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government." The law would also permit the impeachment and removal of judges who listen to such cases.

The party would forbid judges from determining the constitutionality of laws and end Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom and the Bill of Rights. It calls for the impeachment of judges who, through the subjective judgment of others, "abuse their authority."

Despite problems such as abuse of clients and financial mismanagement that have plagued some programs in the past, Texas Republicans call for less oversight and regulation of faith-based providers of social services.

The Texas GOP would undermine the teaching of evolution in science classes by promoting "intelligent design"/creationism and the so-called "weaknesses" of theories such as evolution. The platform does not acknowledge that evolution is the foundation of all the biological sciences and that scientists have repeatedly debunked arguments about so-called "weaknesses" of the theory.

Texas Republicans "oppose any sex education other than abstinence until heterosexual marriage." That position would prohibit teaching students age-appropriate, medically accurate information about birth control and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.

The party platform opposes medical research involving embryonic stem cells even though scientists have identified such research as holding the most promise for treating and curing serious medical conditions such as cancer, spinal cord injuries, juvenile diabetes and Parkinson's disease. Moreover, the party would impose criminal penalties on medical professionals and scientists who engage in such research.

The platform declares that Texas Republicans "deplore all discrimination." Yet the platform also commits Republicans to widespread and systematic discrimination against anyone who is not heterosexual.

By supporting "sodomy" laws, the Texas GOP would have government imprison and/or fine adults who engage in even private, consensual sexual intimacy with someone of the same gender. Texas Republicans also call for removing from federal courts any jurisdiction over cases involving same-gender sexual relations.

The party opposes the right of gay and lesbian parents to adopt or even to have legal custody of their children. The party would also bar visitation rights for gay and lesbian parents unless ordered by a court and supervised under government authority.

Republicans oppose allowing gay men and lesbians to serve in the nation's armed forces.

The Texas GOP supports a federal constitutional amendment that bars a woman from choosing to end her pregnancy. It also supports extending constitutional protections to fetuses, the effect of which would be to criminalize abortion with no exceptions.

The platform calls for a strict candidate litmus test, instructing Republicans to support only candidates who oppose abortion.

It should be noted that the Texas GOP's platform hasn't changed much in the past couple of election cycles.  They are indeed controlled by the wingnut wing of the party.

The good news is that this can only help the Texas Democrats win back control of the Texas House of Representatives in November.  In light of record turnouts in the Democratic "primacausus", and general dissatisfaction with the Bush administration, it doesn't seem all that unlikely that the State Dems will win back the 5 seats they need to regain the majority in the House.

In addition, the gerrymandering of the Congressional Districts the Republicans did in 2003 could also backfire on them in a big way.  They did create more republican leaning districts but they also spread the Republican votes much thinner as a result.  Any sort of robust showing for the Democrats in November could swing a good number of districts to the Democrats.

In the long run, the Texas GOP is going to have to moderate or risk being marginalized for good.  The demographics do not look good for them, with increasing urbanization and a growing Hispanic population.  McCain is doing horribly with Hispanics and even though culturally they could find natural allies in the Texas GOP, the Republicans' scorched earth immigration policy has successfully alienated many of them, and probably for a long time to come.

Whether the Texas GOP withers on the vine or reforms itself back towards the center, it's a win-win situation for the rest of us.

by tacitus on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 04:50:15 PM EST

Scary stuff. Complete AmTaliban takeover of a state level party apparatus. Very un-American.

by SharonB on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:44:38 PM EST

...the Texas GOP get a lot of TV time to present its platform in full at the National GOP Convention? Don't know how many Republicans that might encourage to stay home on election day, but it would surely be a few.

by Meteor Blades on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:17:08 AM EST
that the greatest hits of the Texas GOP platform ought to required reading on the campaign trail.

Maybe a good project for blog swarm.

Lot's of possibilities in this modern age.

by Frederick Clarkson on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:22:45 AM EST

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