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State of the Religious Right Reports

The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund compiles annual State of the Religious Right reports on the agenda, activities, funding and leadership of far-right groups and their leaders in Texas. These reports are the only comprehensive review of the religious right in what has become a major battleground of the nation's raging culture wars. In fact, Texas has become a training ground and funding source for the religious right's leaders and tactics.

2009: The 81st Legislature: Change at the Capitol?
2008: The State Board of Education: Dragging Texas Schools into the Culture Wars
2007: God's Lawgivers? Carrying the Water for the Religious Right in Texas Government
2006: The Anatomy of Power: Texas and the Religious Right in 2006

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SORR 2009The State of the Religious Right: 2009

The 81st Legislature:
Change at the Capitol?

With the end of Tom Craddick’s reign as speaker and a near-even partisan split in the Texas House of Representatives, one might assume the religious right’s influence will be much weaker in the 81st Legislature. But that would be wrong. The religious right’s influence over public policy was strong well before Rep. Craddick became House speaker in 2003. Moreover, early signs indicate that hyper-partisan battles over social issues that have split the House in recent years are already shifting to the Senate on the other side of the Capitol. So while the House has now booted out a speaker anointed by the far right, the religious right will not easily give up its long-standing influence over public policy. This year's State of the Religious Right report looks at some of the legislative battles on the horizon.

This report also includes:

  • a history of legislation on sex education, textbook censorship, stem cell research and private school vouchers since the early 1990s;
  • our regular look at what people on the religious right had to say last year; and
  • our annual update on financial and other data for far-right pressure groups in Texas.

Read the 2009 report (pdf)
State of the Religious Right report archive

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SORR 2008 CoverThe State of the Religious Right: 2008

The State Board of Education:
Dragging Texas Schools into the Culture Wars

In the early 1990s, the religious right began a long process of turning a sleepy corner of Texas government the State Board of Education into a major battleground in the nation's culture wars. Each year, the board's far-right faction sparks battles on issues such as the teaching of evolution, medically accurate sex education and religion in public schools. Elections in 2006 brought the religious right to the brink of complete control of the state board for the first time. This year's report examines how social conservatives have become so influential on the state board and what that means for more than 4.5 million children educated in Texas public schools.

The report includes:

  • a history of the State Board of Education and the growth of the board's far-right faction since the early 1990s;
  • the debate over teaching evolution in public school science classes; and
  • our annual update on financial and other data for far-right pressure groups in Texas.

Read the 2008 report (pdf)
State of the Religious Right report archive 

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SORR07coverThe State of the Religious Right: 2007

God’s Lawgivers?
Carrying the Water for the Religious Right in Texas Government

This 2007 Texas Freedom Network Education Fund report takes a close look at state officials who carry the water for the religious right in Texas. The report describes how Terri Leo, R-Spring, and other far-right bomb throwers on the State Board of Education are dragging our public schools into the culture wars. It also profiles key legislators - including newly elected state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and state Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford - who are leading the assault on religious freedom and individual liberties at the Capitol.

God’s Lawgivers? Carrying the Water for the Religious Right in Texas Government is the TFN Education Fund’s second annual report on the religious right’s powerful influence in Texas. Inside the report you will find:

  • a comprehensive history of proposed state legislation relating to key parts of the religious right's agenda; including promoting private school vouchers, opposing responsible sex education, attacking stem cell research and censoring public school textbooks;
  • a listing of Texas groups associated with the religious right, including data on each group’s finances, leadership and activities;
  • an analysis of the 2006 Texas Republican Party platform; and
  • a compilation of some choice quotes attributed to far-right leaders and elected officials in 2006.

Read the 2007 report (pdf)
State of the Religious Right report archive 

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SORR06coverThe State of the Religious Right: 2006

The Anatomy of Power:
Texas and the Religious Right in 2006

For more than a decade the Texas Freedom Network has promoted religious freedom and individual liberties by countering the agenda of the religious right in Texas. Educating the public about the tactics and goals of religious extremists is vital to countering the far right's divisive agenda. The publication of The Anatomy of Power by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund is an important part of that public education process. It is the first in a planned series of annual reports about far-right religious extremists in the state.

The Anatomy of Power: Texas and the Religious Right in 2006 explores the growing power of far-right religious extremists in the state’s electoral politics. It should spark a serious discussion among Texans concerned about extremists who use religion to divide us and partisan politics to belittle the faith of anyone who dares to disagree with them.

Executive Summary
Read the 2006 report (pdf)
State of the Religious Right report archive