One of the shrillest voices of religious bigotry in Texas, Dave Welch of a far-right group called Texas Pastors Council, is trumpeting yesterday’s approval of a State Board of Education resolution attacking Islam (a resolution suggesting that wealthy Muslims are investing in publishing companies so they can take over the minds of American schoolchildren). In a post on the conspiracy-peddling website WorldNetDaily, Welch repeats his insulting claim during the state board debate yesterday that he speaks for “real pastors.” And he specifically attacks clergy who are standing up to bigotry in Texas:
“Once again, my guns are aimed at the pathetic preachers, pitiful pastors and compromised clergy that TFN, AU, ACLU and their ilk trot out as props for their leftist agendas. They disgust me. Their list of ‘nearly 100 religious leaders from Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths’ who signed a letter opposing the resolution represents a tiny cadre of liberals who have all rejected the fundamentals of their own faiths. . . . It was my joy to testify at the hearing and represent the hundreds of ‘real’ pastors around this state we speak for as well as all those who share our values but have not yet suited up for the game.”
In some ways it’s refreshing to see religious-right leaders like Welch openly embrace their bigotry rather than insult the intelligence of everyone else by denying the prejudice evident in so much of their vicious rhetoric. Welch’s inflammatory words simply make clear the religious right’s contempt for people of faith who don’t share the movement’s radical, intolerant and divisive political agenda for America.