Friday, August 17, 2012
Excerpts from hell or the Texas 2012 State Republican Party Platform
I'm really not picking on Texas. I lived in Texas for years. We had fun in Texas. Texas is filled with fine people. Unfortunately, very few of those fine people are involved in Texas' political life. Texas is ruled by the Christian Republican Party and that has had dire consequences for the state. For example, the Texas education system is rated at the bottom of the barrel and the reason is the Texas State Board of Education is controlled by Christian Republican Party members who have yet to leave the Sixteenth Century.
To help us understand the mentality that drives Texas politics, which is, at the moment, overwhelmingly Christian Republican, we've excerpted material from the 2012 State Republican Party Platform.
1) From the preamble: "The embodiment of the conservative dream in America is Texas," and "We recognize that the traditional family is the strength of our nation. It is our solemn duty to protect life and develop responsible citizens."
Later in the document these words are clarified but as you might guess, they're opposed to gays, gay marriage, abortion, to discussion of climate change or the teaching of evolution in our schools.
2) In the 2nd section, titled, "Principles," these snarky Christian Republicans spell out some basics upon which they stand:
* Strict adherence to the original intent of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. and Texas Constitutions.
* The sanctity of human life, created in the image of God ... should be protected from fertilization to natural death.
* Preserving American and Texas Sovereignty and Freedom.
* Limiting government power ..
* Personal Accountability and Responsibility
* Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage ...
* Having an educated population ...
* Americans having the right to be safe in their homes, etc. and the unalienable right to defend themselves
* A free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies
* Honoring all those that serve and protect our freedoms
* The laws of nature and nature's God as our Founding Fathers believed
Let's see how all this plays out in the detail of the document. I'm going to highlight things that caught my attention. Please understand there is much, much more involved.
Christian Republicans in Texas are opposed to the Census collecting any information other than the number of folks living in a building.
They don't want Sharia Law in Texas.
They don't want the District of Columbia to become a state or to add any more members to Congress.
They are opposed to a constitutional convention to rewrite the US Constitution.
They are against "the efforts of the extreme environmental groups that stymie legitimate business interests. We strongly oppose those efforts that attempt to use the environmental causes to purposefully disrupt and stop those interests within the oil and gas industry."
They don't like the Endangered Species Act and want it repealed immediately! They "believe the Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished."
No affirmative action. That's divisive.
No red light cameras. (I agree with that!)
For these Christian Republicans, property rights and the free market trump just about everything. So, they are strongly opposed to the government setting aside land for conservation purposes. "Conservation easements, involving watersheds, green areas and nationalization of lands should be resisted in the strongest manner possible."
Preachers ought to be able to preach political stuff from the pulpit without being afraid they'll lose their tax-exempt status.
They don't want any policy similar to the "'fairness doctrine' as terminated in 1967."
The Real ID Act should be repealed. (I agree with that!)
They are against ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination). Business owners ought to have the right to discriminate based on their religious views.
Re Judicial Restraint, they want judges to follow the original intent of the law, to interpret and not make the law. Really? Where were they when the Supreme Court stopped a legitimate recount to ordain their incompetent governor as president?
The rest of this document is pretty predictable:
Unions should not be able to make members pay dues which are used for political purposes.
Reduce voter fraud by requiring photo ID, etc., to be able to vote.
They support the Electoral College.
The Voter Rights Act of 1965 and 1973 should be repealed.
States ought to be able to disenfranchise convicted felons.
The McCain-Feingold Act re campaign finance reform should be repealed.
With regard to governmental use of religious symbols - no restrictions, prohibitions or removal of things like the Decalogue.
"In God We Trust" should be left in the Pledge of Allegiance.
American English should be adopted as the official language of Texas and the U.S.
No-fault divorce laws should be rescinded. No gay marriage. Homosexualty is evil and "tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit..."
Women seeking an abortion must sit through an informational lecture on why abortion is bad.
They're against RU-486 and the "Morning After Pill." (Of course, Texas has the greatest incidence of unwed motherhood in the country!)
No public funding for Planned Parenthood.
Hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc., should not have to participate in abortions or the dispensing of contraceptives if such actions are against their religious beliefs.
No fetal tissue harvesting and no stem cell research using stem cells; no human cloning.
Welfare recipients should work.
Social Security should be phased out immediately and replaced with a system of private pensions.
The Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
Parents should not be required to vaccinate their children.
A multicultural curriculum in public schools is a bad thing because it is divisive.
Corporal punishment in Texas schools, which is legal and effective is affirmed.
Creationism should be taught in public schools.
Repeal all government-sponsored programs that have to do with childhood development.
No teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills because such teaching focuses on "behavior modification and [has] the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
No non-citizens in our public schools.
Only abstinence sex education in public schools.
Students can pray and "engage in religious speech" in Texas public schools
Schools should emphasize our Judeo-Christian heritage.
Reproductive health care services should not be allowed in public schools.
The U.S. Department of Education should be abolished.'
Everyone has the right to keep and bear arms.
Abandon the TSA.
The U.S. is a Judeo-Christian nation. It is a nation under God.
Separation of church and state is a myth.
Repeal the Hate Crimes Law.
Capital punishment is affirmed.
Repeal the Sixteenth Amendment "with the goal of abolishing the I.R.S. and replacing it with a national sales tax collected by the States."
The so-called "death tax" is immoral.
Abolish the capital gains tax.
Abolish property taxes and shift "the tax burden to a consumption-based tax."
Oppose state income tax.
Oppose the Law of the Sea Treaty.
No government restrictions on drilling and production operations on public and private lands and waters; refineries; electric power generation and distribution; federal gas mileage standards [...] and fuel blends.
Eliminate the Department of Energy.
Support incandescent light bulbs.
Support the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Support "immediate resumption of deep water drilling and production in the Gulf of Mexico."
Support a national right-to-work law in opposition to unions.
The minimum wage should be repealed.
Well, there is more, but this is all so depressing. I would guess that ALEC and the Koch Brothers were instrumental in helping the Christian Republican Party put this platform together. I'd also guess that Christian Republican Party platforms in other states are almost identical, if not word-for-word the same.
Good luck, Texas. You're going to need it!