Religious right still in firm control of Texas GOP

I’m sure that’s no surprise. It’s also no surprise that I’m not a member of the religious right or the GOP. So why does their party platform still depress me? Some of the passages in the official platform document shock me in their zeal to promote discrimination based on very personal issues – sexuality and religion. I also do not understand the “we love education” and the “let’s cut all official education funding” paradox.

Some of my “favorite” passages:

“All innocent human life must be protected.” – as long as we decide what constitutes innocent.

“We believe that good government is based on the individual, and each person’s ability, dignity, freedom, and responsibility must be honored and recognized.” – unless, of course, we don’t agree with their idea of dignity.

“We believe that the future of our country depends upon a strong and vibrant private sector unencumbered by excessive government regulation.” – unless you are talking about things as private as your religion and sexuality and then we are all about intrusive government regulation.

“Abolish the School Property tax – we can fully fund public schools using surplus revenue, existing budget resources, consumption taxes, nd funds released by cutting unnecessary expenditures.” – since schools are already under-funded and we have been facing consistent government revenue shortfalls, this is simply ludicrous.

“Further, we urge Congress to withhold Supreme court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.” – because they might not agree with us and that would be wrong. *pout*

“Any form of desecration of the American Flag is an act of disregard for our nation and its people and penalties should be established for such.” – I personally don’t understand the desire to desecrate the flag (or revere it for that reason), but the right to show disregard for our nation is huge part of the idea of true democracy. Dictatorships don’t allow you to express disregard for your nation.

“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.” – because only homosexual sex spreads 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.” – make that “our definition of God and our interpretation of his words”. Oh, and forget the fact that our founding fathers wanted government to remain religiously neutral given the fact that they had first-hand experience at what kind of persecution state-sponsored religion could bring about. But…more on that later.

“We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between ersons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits.” – and by “special” we mean the exact same rights we claim for ourselves.

“We are resolute regarding the reversal of Roe v. Wade.” – because, again, why should the law remain neutral on “personal” issues when we can instead expand government into the personal lives of everyone.

“Because of the personal and social pain caused by abortions, we call for the protection of both women and their unborn children from pressure for unwanted abortions.” – as opposed to the personal and social pain that being forced to give birth to a child you are not ready to care for or can’t afford. I’m not denying that abortion can cause intense personal pain and feelings of regret. I’m just wondering why that pain can be protected by legislation and not the other.

“We oppose any public funding for Planned Parenthood or other organizations/facilities that provide, advocate or promote abortions.” – even if they might also help prevent the unwanted pregnancy in the first place.

“We propose legislation that entitles hospitals to refuse to perform abortions because government has no moral authority to require such an abortion.” – nor do they, in my opinion, have any moral authority to deny an abortion.

“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.” – because homos are just big old pervs…despite that fact that most sexual abusers are heterosexual.

“We oppose mandatory open adoption and adoption by homosexuals.” – goodness forbid we allow those children we forced women to have by denying them an abortion go to homes with homos in them!

“However, because AIDS represents such a severe threat to both the health and economic well–being of our citizens, we insist that the epidemic be de–politicized and that as a society, we take all appropriate steps to protect our citizens from this epidemic. All people, no matter what disease they may contract, are worthy of deep respect as humans; however, behavior has personal and social consequences.” – so where’s the section on smoker’s with lung cancer? Obese people with adult on-set diabetes? Alcoholics with liver disease? I could go on and on…

“We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until heterosexual marriage.” – because we love those unwanted babies!

“We support school subjects with emphasis on Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems.” – that’s not slippery at all, is it?

“We demand abolition of bilingual education.” – cause we don’t like “those” kind of people.

“We urge school administrators and officials to inform Texas school students specifically of their First Amendment rights to pray and engage in religious speech, individually or in groups, on school property without government interference.” – well, I guess as long as they don’t promote one religion over another. RAmen!

“We support objective teaching and equal treatment of strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, including Intelligent Design.” – because, you know, science and religion are the same thing. RAmen!

“We urge legislators to prohibit reproductive health care services, including counseling, referrals, and distribution of condoms and contraception through public schools.” – did we mention we love those unwanted babies?

“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.” – a myth? Have these people read (and understood) any of the writings of our founding fathers?

“We support the Boy Scouts of America and reject any attempt to undermine or fundamentally change the ideals of the organization.” – because, again, homos are pervs. How many times do we have to tell you? (And seriously, this is a platform plank?)

“We oppose taxes levied and regulations imposed based on the alleged threat of global warming.” – denial is so much fun, isn’t it?

“America is a country of immigrants, we should insist that any immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself/herself to the United States. He/she shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else. This is predicated upon the fact that the person is in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance. Anyone who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t American at all. We have room but for one flag, the American Flag. We have room for but one language here and that is the English language. We have room for but one sole loyalty and that is loyalty to the American people. (Teddy Roosevelt, 1907)” – the mind boggles.

“We believe it is in the best interest of the citizens of the United States that we immediately rescind our membership in, as well as all financial and military contributions to, the United Nations.” – again, boggles.

Surprisingly enough, there are some things I wholeheartedly agree with:

“We believe that government spending is out of control and needs to be reduced.” – let’s start with that pesky war.

“The No Child Left Behind Act has been a massive failure and should be abolished.” – enough said.

“We advocate the elimination of the TAKS test.” – again, enough said.

Re Congressional pay raises: “We support elimination of the independent pay raise committee and recommend that all pay raises be passed just as all other bills. We support separation of congressional pay raises from pay raises of all other government officials so they may be voted as separate bills with recorded votes.”

“We encourage all Americans to support the brave and patriotic men and women of our armed forces. They should be paid a wage sufficient to prevent them from ever needing food stamps and that encourages retention.” – too bad they followed that up with a lot of unsupportive language about certain people serving in the military.

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