Work on Texas GOP's platform stirs passions
09:02 AM CDT on Friday, June 13, 2008
By WAYNE SLATER / The Dallas Morning News
HOUSTON – Robert Hurt went to Washington and didn't like what he saw – nudity in the nation's capital.
"Nude women, sculptured women," he told the state Republican platform committee, which sat in rapt attention. Of all the evils in Washington that the Texas GOP took aim at this week, removing art with naked people from public view was high on the list for Mr. Hurt, a delegate from Kerrville.
"You don't have nude art on your front porch," he explained. "You possibly don't have nude art in your living rooms. So why is it important to have that in the common places of Washington, D.C.?"
Mr. Hurt offered statistics: He'd heard that 20 percent of the art in the National Gallery of Art is of nudes.
He offered detail: On Arlington Memorial Bridge overlooking the famed national cemetery, "there are two Lady Godivas, two women on horses with no shirt on and long hair."
Actually, they are classical sculptures about war – one called Valor, depicting a male equestrian and a female with a shield, and Sacrifice, a female accompanying the rider Mars.
The GOP platform will be presented today to the full convention. Like all platforms, it's a statement of principle and a political document to rally the troops.
In this, a presidential year, it advocates prayer in school, getting out of the United Nations, teaching intelligent design with evolution in science classes, repealing of the minimum wage, declaring illegal immigrants criminals and outlawing abortion with no exceptions.
"Hallelujah!" said a delegate who had urged strong anti-abortion language.
The platform calls homosexuality contrary to "the unchanging truths" ordained by God. It opposes gay marriage, civil unions and the custody of children by gays.
The party's own leaders aren't spared. There's a call to repeal the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, sponsored by the party's presidential nominee, and to oppose the Trans-Texas Corridor, the brainchild of Gov. Rick Perry.
Ridding Washington of naked art didn't make it. Neither did a complaint by a Kerr County delegate that her daughter was having trouble getting college scholarships.
"There are so many scholarships, if you are the right color," she said. "But for a white girl, who has good grades, you really have to look."