Texas State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, is trying to lock up her religious-right base in her race for re-election this year. In an email today, the right-wing Houston Area Pastor Council is touting Cargill’s planned speech on March 1 at the Montgomery County Pastor Luncheon:
“The Texas State Board of Education has been in the national media repeatedly in the past several years over our stand for protecting history textbooks from political correctness, teaching both strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian Evolutionary Theory, and now over the assault by allies of Planned Parenthood to undermine Abstinence Based sex education.
Hon. Barbara Cargill is now the SBOE Chairman and one of the courageous conservatives who has withstood intense attacks by anti-religious groups such as Texas Freedom Network, ACLU and others. YOU NEED TO HEAR FROM HER as to why there is such a battle for control over Texas education and what we need to do this year!”
We do, however, oppose the religious right’s use of faith as a political weapon. That’s why we called out Cargill when she declared that there were only “six true conservative Christians” on a State Board of Education in which nearly all of the 15 members are Christians and certainly more than six are “conservative.”
It’s also why we have called out the head of the Houston Area Pastor Council, Dave Welch, when he has said such vile things as this during the State Board of Education’s 2010 debate over an anti-Muslim resolution:
“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.”
We hope the lunch is nice, Ms. Cargill. Please say “hi” to Pastor Welch for us.
Follow the candidates and issues in this year’s State Board of Education elections on TFN’s special SBOE Election Watch page here.