texas only wants christians in the state legislature? really?

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. (AP Photo)

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. (AP Photo)

The conservative Christian right is getting desperate, and in Texas, their white hoods are peeking out from beneath their Sunday best.

According to a Fox News article by Judson Berger, there is a call from conservative Christian leaders to replace Jewish Republican Speaker of the Texas House, Strauss, with a conservative Christian:

“…several of Straus’ critics have noted how important it is that a Christian be named to take his place. These discussions have been made public by a series of media reports, drawing condemnation from some corners and making others in the GOP more than a bit uncomfortable.

In one e-mail conversation between two members of the State Republican Executive Committee, official John Cook stressed the need for a Christian to lead other Christians in the legislature.

“We elected a house with Christian, conservative values. We now want a true Christian, conservative running it,” Cook said in the Nov. 30 e-mail.”

Really? There is a Christian litmus test in order to hold elected office in this country? It’s not enough to be a conservative Republican, you have to be a Christian as well to be Speaker?

The article continues:

“At least one conservative activist has directly referenced Straus’ religion. Peter Morrison, who publishes a newsletter, wrote in a recent dispatch that Straus’ rabbi sits on the board of San Antonio Planned Parenthood. Morrison wrote that Straus lacks the necessary “moral compass” to hold his office and called his competitors “Christians and true conservatives.”

Asked about the column, Morrison said in an e-mail that he was “simply making factual statements” about Chisum and Paxton.”

This is yet another black eye for conservative Christians in Texas, who apparently advocate against Jewish Texas House candidates for Speaker in favor of conservative Christians. I wonder if they’d let Jesus serve as Texas House Speaker? Or is he too Jewish?

new free biblical hebrew textbook available online

Ruth 1 from the Aleppo Codex

Ruth 1 from the Aleppo Codex

john a. cook and robert d. holmstedt have made available online their new biblical hebrew textbook entitled, ‘biblical hebrew: a student grammar‘ for free. available as a simple .pdf download, the book appears at first glance to be a well organized introduction to biblical hebrew. because it was developed with online dissemination in mind, the book integrates several pedagogical techniques (like digitally marking up texts and apparatuses for clearer explanation) that are not found in older, classical hebrew textbooks. releasing the book for free online will guarantee greater exposure and therefore better adoption than publishing a bound paper volume alone. likewise, the digital format will allow for quicker corrections to any typographical errors that can then be integrated into the text itself, which is superior to a separate, printed errata sheet tucked inside the front cover of a printed volume.

for those of you that always wanted to learn hebrew, this is a great opportunity. thank you to drs. cook and holmstedt for the effort and for making it available for free online.

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