More Messes in Texas: Republicans Object to Jewish House Speaker for Not Being a ‘Christian Conservative’
Texistan continues its lurch towards a Christian theocracy. Texas Observer reports:
In case you thought the bout of anti-Semitism in the Speaker’s race was over, think again. An email exchange between State Republican Executive Committee members, obtained by the Observer, shows some Republicans at high levels are concerned at the idea of a non-Christian Speaker of the House—sentiments earlier expressed by some activists.
“We elected a house with Christian, conservative values,” SREC member John Cook wrote Tuesday morning to other SREC members. “We now want a true Christian, conservative running it. This is not about Straus, this is about getting what the people want.”
Cook may claim it’s not about Straus—but as the state’s first Jewish Speaker, Straus does not meet Cook’s minimum qualifications.
That’s the backstory. Today:
As the most visible and powerful of anti-Straus folks using the “Christian conservative” line, Cook’s stance on the race—and his perspective on the need for a Christian speaker—might give the best insight into a vocal sub-set of the anti-Straus forces. And Cook, who stands by his email, doesn’t mince words: he maintains that his demands are in no way bigoted. Here’s a summary of our conversation, and I’ll leave it to readers to judge.
“When I got involved in politics, I told people I wanted to put Christian conservatives in leadership positions,” he told me, explaining that he only supports Christian conservative candidates in Republican primary races.
“I want to make sure that a person I’m supporting is going to have my values. It’s not anything about Jews and whether I think their religion is right or Muslims and whether I think their religion is right. … I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They’re the people that do the best jobs over all.”
Then he asked me if I was a Christian. “I just need to know who I’m talking to so I can understand,” he explained.
Read the whole thing. Naturally, it ends with a little revisionist history:
Then our conversation somehow turned to history. If someone couldn’t see the connection between Christianity and government then “you don’t like our founding fathers,” Cook said. “They were Christians…. Why would I not what to be like our founding fathers?”
Christians, Cook says, “are the only people in the history of the world that take in all forms, that believe everybody is made by God.”
When it comes to non-Christians, Cook said “We have to witness to those people, that’s our calling by the Bible… [but] I’m a christian, I embrace all people and love all people.”
And for those of us who think he’s an antisemite, he has some reassuring words:
“My favorite person that’s ever been on this earth is a Jew,” he said. “How can they possibly think that if Jesus Christ is a Jew, and he’s my favorite person that’s ever been on this earth?”
The message couldn’t be clearer. If you’re not a Christian, Texas Republicans don’t want you in their leadership— no matter how republican and conservative you are.