Embracing Extremism in the Texas GOP

UPDATE: Now we find out that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is coming to the Texas GOP convention in June. See more at the end of this post.

Don McLeroy lost his chairmanship of the State Board of Education last year because he was more interested in promoting his own narrow ideological views than facts and sound scholarship in Texas classrooms. The College Station dentist insisted that “somebody’s gotta stand up to experts” when he promoted creationist arguments in new science standards last year. He argued that science should be redefined to include the supernatural and endorsed a book that calls parents “monsters” if they teach their children about evolution. Then during the debate over social studies curriculum standards, McLeroy suggested women and minorities owe thanks to men and the “majority” for granting them their rights, argued that Joseph McCarthy has been “vindicated” and defended the appointment of absurdly unqualified political activists as social studies “experts” to help guide the revision of curriculum standards.

One might think that Republicans would be wary of embracing someone with such extreme views. But apparently not Texas Republicans.

McLeroy will be the recipient of the Texas Eagle Forum’s Patriot Award at that group’s June 10 banquet during the Texas Republican Party convention in Dallas. Cathie Adams left her post as head of Texas Eagle Forum last fall to become chair the Texas GOP. From the Texas Eagle Forum’s announcement:

Don’t miss this opportunity to honor Dr. Don McLeroy, former chair of the State Board of Education and one of our nation’s most courageous champions for truth!

YOU HAVE SEEN HIM FEATURED IN THE NATIONAL MEDIA – COME GREET HIM IN PERSON!

We’re really not all that surprised. McLeroy is actually a very nice man in person, but since the religious right’s takeover of the Texas Republican Party in the early-1990s, his extremist political views have become “mainstream” in the state GOP. But maybe not much longer. McLeroy lost his Republican primary contest this year and won’t be returning to the State Board of Education in January. Perhaps truly mainstream Republicans in Texas have had enough of the extremists who hijacked their party nearly two decades ago.

UPDATE: As we noted above, the Texas GOP will also hear from Michele Bachmann, the unhinged congresswoman from Minnesota. Bachmann will be one of the keynote speakers for the Bar-B-Que & Boots Salute at the party’s Dallas convention next month. “Dallas may never be the same,” the party’s announcement proclaims:

Rep. Michele Bachmann has quickly earned her spurs as a stalwart conservative, a Tea Party favorite, a fierce advocate for freedom, and Nancy Pelosi’s Public Enemy #1. Rep. Bachmann is never one to back down from a fight, and she has taken on President Obama and the liberal Democrats every step of the way.

Seriously? Michele Bachmann? Bachmann is such an extremist that she has linked the census to internment camps. She warned that the Obama administration wants to send young people to “re-education camps” for political indoctrination. She insisted that health care reform includes “death panels.” She has compared financial reform efforts to fascism. And she has on more than one occasion used incendiary language suggesting that Americans should take up arms or otherwise revolt against the government. But the Texas Republican Party wants her to give the keynote address at a prominent convention event.

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6 Comments

  1. trog69
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link, Charles. Dr. Prescott also has a new video up, showing a Dr. Stephen Hotze describing, in 1990, how Dominionists should be more involved in civil government functions and elected seats. Dr. Hotze(totze?) doesn’t beat around the bush; He describes the program as a takeover for the religious right in no uncertain terms.

  2. Charles
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Scarborough

    Speaking of extremism in the Texas GOP, the correct Reverend Dr. Bruce Prescott has an interesting new post on his Mainstream Baptists of Oklahoma blog. As Bruce points out, Southern Baptist church services have historically ended in an altar call for folks to come forward and publicly accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. In fact, and rightly so, that was always THE MAIN POINT of the altar call. Goodness!!! How times have changed at the hands of the Religious Right!!!

    As wrong Reverend Rick Scarborough demonstrates in the video that Bruce makes the main subject of his post, the importance of the call to “follow me,” as Jesus said, has taken an emphatic back seat to another kind of altar call—a call to be an active Christian nationalist under the Dominionist philosophy created by now dead and quite obscure radical Calvinist Rousas Rushdoony. Notice how Scarborough conveniently avoids telling his ignorant congregation members anything at all about this heretical philosophy of Dominionism, the evil man who thought it up, and how it underpins the whole concept of a “Christian nation” that is being pushed today by the Religious Right. Notice how Jesus, the center of our Christian faith for 2000 years, is being squeezed into a closet so the Dominionist philosophy and its demands become paramount. Why has the cross that normally graces a Christian sanctuary been replaced by an even larger American flag? Why has the hymn “Just as I Am” been replaced with “America the Beautiful”?

    Why would ordinary Southern Baptists be selling out hook, line, and sinker to some “Far-Out UFO Freak” version of Presbyterianism? As a follower of Jesus Christ, I would like to know the answer to that question. I think Southern Baptists and Christians all over Texas and all over the nation need an answer to that question. They need to be asking questions—hard questions—and be ready to discern and parry the lies, half-truths, and distortions from the pastors who will be answering them.

    Here is the URL to Bruce’s post and the video:

    http://vimeo.com/12082232

  3. Posted May 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Dunbar too!

  4. Charles
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    I would not worry too much about Phyllis and the Eagle Forum. Check out time for Phyllis is growing nigh and is probably way overdue.

    In states like mine, the state-wide Eagle Forum leader is usualy some other old female poot who grew up with Betty Crocker as their role model. Within 20 years, all of the old “Susie Homemaker” types will be dead and gone, and the Eagle Forum will be a western ghost town. Their will no longer even be a memory of Susie Homemaker. The day of the Stepford Wife is gone. You’ll never convince me Jesus made the 140 female IQ so she would be able to improve her recipe for macaroni and cheese so her husband and children call her blessed.

  5. David
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Trog, I needed a laugh.

  6. trog69
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Let’s party like it’s 1899!

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