This past weekend, a major political conference for religious conservative state lawmakers took place in Dallas, Texas called the WallBuilders Pro-Family Legislators Conference. Leading LGBT blog Towleroad reported last Friday that the keynote speaker was none other than "Tea Party" darling Texas Sen. Ted Cruz:
Does Sen. Ted Cruz believe AIDS is God's punishment for being gay?
Does Cruz believe that government should regulate homosexuality and that public schools are using anti-bullying laws to indoctriinate children into homosexuality?
Does Cruz believe that we need more hate and less tolerance in the world?
If not, perhaps Cruz should explain why he's headlining a legislative conference in Dallas this weekend hosted by a group whose founder has said each and every one of those things.
Also reportedly at the WallBuilders conference this weekend was Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and a large number of Republican state legislators from across the nation. We haven't heard yet how many Colorado lawmakers went to Texas this weekend, but as you can see in the promo video for this year's WallBuilders conference, it's quite popular with Colorado General Assembly Republicans:
Here's a photo (right) from last year's WallBuilders conference, where you can see Colorado GOP Senators Scott Renfroe, Mark Scheffel, and Kevin Grantham, as well as Rep. Libby Szabo of Arvada.
WallBuilders is led by a well-known religious right activist named David Barton. Barton has his own page in the Southern Poverty Law Center's Extremist Files:
A fervent homophobe, Barton has claimed that gay people die “decades earlier” than others and have more than 500 partners apiece in their lifetimes. On his WallBuilders radio broadcast, he’s flagrantly misled listeners by saying that the “leading pediatric association in America” has cautioned educators against providing education about homosexuality. But the American College of Pediatricians that Barton referred to has only a couple of hundred members and is, in fact, a right-wing breakaway group from the 60,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics, which is the real “leading pediatric association in America.” The group he cited split with the American Academy of Pediatrics explicitly because it had taken an official stand that there is no harm associated with same-sex parenting.
Some of Barton’s claims are mind-boggling to any reasonably well-educated person. For example, in his version of history, the founding fathers “already had the entire debate on creation and evolution,” and chose creationism. Reality check: Charles Darwin didn’t publish his theory of evolution in The Origin of Species until 1859, more than half a century after the founding fathers were active. Barton also has asserted that the American Revolution was fought to free slaves. “That’s why we said we want to separate from Britain, so we can end slavery,” Barton said. Actually, that’s ridiculous. Many of the founding fathers were slaveholders, slavery is acknowledged (although it is not named) in the constitution that they wrote, and the British Empire outlawed slavery three decades before the United States did…
Barton still retains some influence, but only in the most extreme and uneducated segments of the Christian Right. Virtually all serious conservatives have repudiated him, and his chances of making a comeback seem remote, to be kind, although he sounds just as glib and sure as himself as ever.
The "extreme and uneducated segments of the Christian Right?" Sounds like the perfect choice for our new GOP Senate leadership to take direction from! Did new Senate Majority Leader Mark Scheffel attend Barton's conference again this year? What about Kevin Grantham, now the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee? Given that LGBT equality is an issue Republicans in Colorado generally ran from this election season, it would be very interesting to know how many of our own legislators went to Dallas this weekend to get fired up for the next round of the "culture wars."
Our assumption until we hear more: too many.
Goddamnit! I try really hard to avoid ever hearing Libby Szabo, and she was first up on that godawful video. You should put up a disclaimer or something.
And yes, our Colorado Republicans are a bunch of hater bedroom obsessives. Not surprised.
Wasn't Chaps crowed Miss (Non-)Congeniality at this year's event?
I think that was probably Doug Bruce, perennial powerhouse that he is. Chaps was, however, without a doubt the odds-on favorite candidate for most likely to be a closeted cross dresser . . .
None of your business? It wasn't paid with tax dollars and they can attend whatever they want.
So if they get together in the woods dressed in white sheets and burn a cross, this is not any of our business either?
As long as they don't ask tax payers to pay for their sheets we're supposed to be OK with that, according to modster's logic.
Hey look, it's the committee to elect Jim Crow Esquire Jr. leader of the Tea Party.
As prickly as Moddy is here you'd think he was some idiot guy who got accidentally caught in a picture posted online somewhere that he's way too ashamed to admit to . . .
. . . Hey . . .
Did any use campaign contributions? And if so, did they report the expense clearly, or obscure the funds through "reimbursement"?
Why isn't it our business to know what they believe and the sort of people they choose to make alliances with and give their support to? Don't be ridiculous, modster. They are public figures and elected officials whose ideology affects our lives because of their participation in our government, regardless of who picks up the tab.
The "extreme and uneducated segments of the Christian Right?" Sounds more like the perfect choice for our most unnecessarily internally redundant sentence of the year.
But this is doubly damn funny, "Virtually all serious conservatives have repudiated him."?!? (I can't say for certain whether it's the "all," or the "serious conservatives" that's got me giggling more . . . )
I need to take a shower after watching that
After your shower please consider how many of them you'd vote over a Dem if you were in any of the districts in which they might be running.
Over a dem? All of them. There is only one dem I'd vote for in Colorado, and that is Polis.
decision makers…every one….
What I find amusing about the whole Christian right gig; while not forgetting how dangerous to American freedom and liberty these groups are; is their focus on the family (pun not intended). They all claim to be "for the family." Look at their names. But…….
Recent reports I've read show that they're losing. For the first time ever, over 50% of Americans over age 16 are single. Less than 20% of households have children under 18. As a pragmatic & common sense conservative, who is also a non-thesist, the attempts of these groups to cram their fundamentalist beliefs down every citizen's throat are ludicrous and must be resisted at every turn. C.H.B.
So you refrain from writing theses?