Panderer in Chief Greg Abbott Would Rather Evangelize Than Govern

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Governor Greg Abbott deserves big ol’ lump of coal in his stocking this Christmas.

He has spent the entire holiday season (and significant tax dollars) turning away those escaping terror from the “Holy Land,” fighting the freedom to marry, and using his office to promote an ideal of Christian supremacy.

While he was busy trying to score political points protecting the exclusive image of baby Jesus on government property, our state’s foster care system has been ruled “broken,” and guilty of leaving kids in “worse shape than before” they entered state custody. The cost of our child support system — that Abbott devised as Attorney General — has ballooned to over $300 million with “little to show for it.” And, despite major gains, Texas still lags behind the rest of nation in the number of uninsured, particularly those low-income Texans. 

Instead of doing his job of devising solutions for the state’s growing problems, including falling oil prices that threaten our economy, Abbott has used his authority to crusade on behalf of his personal religious beliefs (or at least what he claims as such).

He sent a letter to the City of Orange after they removed to nativity scene to avoid having to also display a “Happy Holidays” banner. The City merely wanted to avoid a lawsuit, but Abbott weighed in saying they had to worry about no such thing — he seems to take great joy in throwing away tax dollars if it excites his evangelical base. But, when the same group that sought to have a holiday display had their Adopt-A-Highway sign vandalized with bullets, they received no such support for their governor.

Most recently the Governor used his power to remove a holiday display at the Capitol that he called “juvenile,” and found offensive. Despite multiple Christmas trees and a nativity scene already on display on Capitol grounds, and the fact that the group went through all of the proper channels to have the display approved, the Governor used his heavy hand to have it removed.

The request came from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and they brilliantly exposed the Governor for his hostility to any separation of church and state, his Christian supremacy, and his feigned support of religious liberty at large.

In his letter, the Governor compared the display to a photo of a crucifix in a jar of urine, and admits that displaying the nativity scene is very much about established religion beliefs saying, “the Biblical scene of the newly born Jesus Christ lying in a manger in Bethlehem lies at the very heart of the Christian faith.”

The request was processed through the office of Rep. Donna Howard who told KXAN,

 “Unfortunately the governor, who has the right to his personal opinion, like many others at the Capitol, are focused on religious freedom instead silencing someone who has a different opinion and I don’t think that’s what the First Amendment is about.”

The attorney for the Freedom of Religion Foundation said,

“The Governor’s opinion is not surprising to us but it’s pretty upsetting, we figured the governor would be open to having all viewpoints expressed at the Capitol, that is what the Capitol’s forum for display suggests…It appears that there’s no room at the end for anything but the Christian viewpoint.”

Make no mistake, this is political correctness gone awry, as only symbols of Christianity are deemed worthy of display on state grounds under this Governor’s regime. The bottomline? The Governor invites and incites these type of sideshows when he fails to focus on the real business of the people. If Greg Abbott prefers to evangelize than govern, then he should get a new day job.

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About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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