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Voters Stampede to Record Turnout in Texas

Tony Perkins · Mar. 8, 2018

If Tuesday was the starting gun on the midterm elections, then Texas was a fitting place to start. After weeks of insisting they could be competitive in one of the reddest states in America, even Democrats knew that the real proof would be in the primary pudding. By night’s end, they’d proved one thing: Their base’s enthusiasm is real. Just not enough to deliver the upset Democrats were hoping for.

If political strategists were hoping for a clearer picture after Texas’s primaries, they didn’t get one. Even so, voters managed to send a few clear messages to the leaders of both parties. Number one: Privacy policy matters. After outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus (R) stabbed Texans in the back on the state’s bathroom bill, some of his biggest allies paid the price for it. Jason Villalba, who not only jumped ship on the state’s privacy measure but also voted to punish business owners for their religious beliefs, was ousted by Lisa Luby Ryan. All in all, voters propelled 12 anti-Straus candidates to primary wins in the House and Senate — taking out major cogs in the Straus wheel in the process. More could be added to that number after the run-off elections in May. On top of that, every House incumbent who did support the Privacy Act won re-election (except one, who was opposed by conservative groups because of other positions).

And voters weren’t done yet. If Republicans wondered just how fiercely their base opposes this gender free-for-all, the results of precinct proposition #6 certainly let them know. A near-unanimous number — 90 percent — approved of the resolution: “Texas should protect the privacy and safety of women and children in spaces such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers in all Texas schools and government buildings.” In case you’re unfamiliar with how Texas’s precinct resolutions work, they aren’t binding — but they are incredibly important in setting policy priorities in things like the state party platform.

So much for the narrative that Texans don’t care about privacy! After the far Left tried to sneak its extreme agenda into classrooms in Fort Worth, board rooms in San Antonio, and churches in Houston, most voters started taking it personally. Now that they’ve replaced some of the Straus faithful with real conservatives, maybe Texans will finally get a second crack at the Privacy Act.

Thanks to a lot of hard work, it was also a successful night for the FRC Action PAC. Of the seven candidates we endorsed, four won and two made it to run-offs. After speaking to all of them personally, our team firmly believes that they’ll be strong advocates for faith, family, and freedom. Fortunately, they’ll have some familiar faces leading the way. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz both sailed to renomination. Cruz, who’s used to the hype that Democrats might one day turn the state blue, doesn’t think that’s in the offing anytime soon. “We had a strong turnout for conservatives. It was really encouraging.” This, he explained, despite the early vote numbers, which, as he pointed out, “were quite good for Democrats.”

More Democrats voted in the senatorial and gubernatorial primaries than the last decade and a half, but Republicans still turned out more. “More than 1.5 million people voted Tuesday in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate won by Senator Ted Cruz,” the New York Post points out. “That beats the previous record of 1.48 million in 2010, during former President Barack Obama’s first term.” If conservatives want to hang on to the progress President Trump is making, they’ll have to keep this up. Otherwise, the next two years of GOP promises — defunding Planned Parenthood, confirming judges, protecting religious liberty, defending privacy — are all down the drain.

Originally published here.

Bible-Free Zone Takes Up Residence in FL Condo

“ANY AND ALL CHRISTIAN MUSIC IS BANNED.” If it sounds like something out of communist China, you may be right. But this was a sign posted in a small condo community of Port Charlotte, Florida, a place no one would’ve mistaken for a totalitarian regime — until now.

Donna Dunbar, like most her friends, didn’t think there was anything controversial about meeting in the common room of Cambridge House for her weekly Bible study. After all, she’d taken out a separate insurance policy for the meetings (even though other groups weren’t required to), just as the condo association treasurer’s demanded. Even that wasn’t enough to satisfy the forces of political correctness.

On Feb. 6, members voted to formally ignore the First Amendment, declaring that “Prayers and other religious services, observations, or meetings of any nature shall not occur at meetings of the Association (Owner meetings, member meetings, committee meetings, or, otherwise) and shall not occur in or upon any of the common elements.” In other words, no Bible studies, no religious displays, and no hymns allowed. As if that weren’t enough, the board also went after the condo’s grounds, tearing down an angel fountain and St. Francis Assisi statue that had been donated in a resident’s memory.

In shock, Dunbar contacted our friends at First Liberty, who were just as baffled as the rest of us. This is about the most clear-cut case of religious discrimination there is. Even Florida law is specific about the freedom of residents like Donna to assemble and study the Bible. Fox News’s Todd Starnes, who broke the story, was even more surprised by the “religious cleansing” since residents were more than welcome to host secular events in the room, like weekly poker games and movie nights.

For now, Donna is forced to hold the Bible study in her tiny apartment, which is less than 1,000 square feet. Hopefully, she won’t be crammed in there for long. First Liberty is taking the case up the federal ladder, filing a complaint with Dr. Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development.

The Cambridge House Resolution, both in text and in application, is discriminatory and violates the Fair Housing Act because it prohibits Mrs. Dunbar and other Christian residents from accessing common condominium areas for any religious activity, while allowing other residents to use those same facilities for similar non-secular purposes.

Simply put, this disparate treatment on the basis of religion is unlawful and is not supported by any legitimate, non-discriminatory justification. We therefore request that the Department of Housing and Urban Development investigate this matter and take all appropriate action.

If the Trump administration’s track record on the issue is any indication, that’s the last sign we’ll see on the piano at Cambridge House!

Originally published here.

SPLC Skips Class on College Hate

The Southern Poverty Law Center says it cares about hate — just not the kind directed at Jews. That’s the only logical conclusion FRC can draw from the lack of attention SPLC is drawing to the incredible spike in anti-Semitic incidents on U.S. campuses.

The Anti-Defamation League was just as surprised as we were to see the spike of hostility toward Jewish students — “from swastikas on school walls to bullying, harassment, assaults, and bomb threats.” ADL President Jonathan Greenblatt, who said the group had been tracking these patterns since the 1970s, told reporters, “We’ve simply never seen anything like this.” According to his numbers, there’s been a 90 percent increase in these acts on university or college campuses.

Those numbers certainly jive with what FRC has been tracking in its new report, “Left-Wing Anti-Semitism: The Greatest Campus Threat Is Ignored by the SPLC.” Most Americans, we point out, would be mortified to learn that the “colleges and universities to which they pay a king’s ransom have become safe havens for an increasingly noticeable anti-Semitism that has produced an environment of bullying, intimidation, and fear for Jewish students and academics. This newly minted anti-Semitism has entwined itself into the fabric of many educational institutions via a predominant multicultural ideology that pronounces Israel to be its enemy.” To add insult to injury for American liberals, many watchdog groups of the Civil Rights era — most noticeably SPLC — have turned a blind eye to this emerging Jew-hatred.

As I told Fox News, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with SPLC. But its deafening silence on incidents outside its preferred targets on the religious right cannot be ignored. While SPLC wants to be viewed as a referee on the field of political debate, its demonization of mainstream conservatives and predictable silence on anti-Semitic incidents can only lead to one conclusion: SPLC wants to be both referee and player.

College campuses are so hostile that in the fall of 2016, the Algemeiner, America’s largest online Jewish news outlet, created a campus guide for prospective Jewish students entitled the “Annual List of the U.S. and Canada’s Worst Campuses for Jewish Students.” FRC surveyed the SPLC website to see what it had to say about anti-Semitism on the Algemeiner’s U.S. campuses (not Canadian campuses). The answer? Nothing. There are no SPLC references to instances of left-wing or pro-Palestinian anti-Semitism on any campus in that context.

Of course, as Fox News’s Caleb Parke points out, “This comes as SPLC recently announced student chapters on more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide.” But if Richard Cohen’s group isn’t willing to confront the real intolerance at U.S. campuses, no one is quite sure why.

For more, check out the report in its entirety here.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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