Democratic nominee for a seat on the 6th Court of Appeals E. Ben Franks has been accused of being an atheist by the Austin-based Republican Party, Law.com reports. In an online newsletter, the GOP says Franks, “is reported to be a professed atheist” and apparently believes the Bible is a “collection of myths.'”
The religion card surfaces once again. Franks says he has never professed to be an atheist, and, indeed, no one from the Republical Party has ever asked him whether he was an atheist. The Republicans are pushing the issue of religion, saying:
“Should Franks be elected in November, one would have to conclude that he will hold true to his out of touch ‘atheist’ belief system and ignore the laws and Constitution of Texas.”
The entire allegation seems to stem from an article published in the June 22, 2002 El Paso Times. The article reports that Democrats were debating whether to drop the word “God” from a sentence on the first page of the committee’s platform. The sentence read: “We want a Texas where all people can fulfill their dreams and achieve their God-given potential.” The article quotes Franks, a member of the platform committee, as saying, “I’m an atheist, [and] this does not bother me. I’m a pragmatist.”
Actually, Franks says he was offering a hypothetical, and that he was misquoted by the article. He was actually arguing to leave the word “God” in the platform. What he actually said was, “Let’s say I’m an atheist. I still have no problem with this platform, because I’m a pragmatist.”
But the GOP is playing the religion card anyhow.