That Wacky Texas Legislature

Lynette Dufton
2 min readMay 25, 2023


The Texas Legislature is a part-time job. It meets for no more than 140 days beginning in January on odd-numbered years. Since legislators get paid only when they work, professional politicians avoid Austin. Who needs a job where you only get paid for 5 months out of 24? It takes a dedicated public servant to volunteer for that.

Of course, there’s a lot of work crammed into that 140 days. The 2023 Session is about to end and Texas may very well pass three laws that will please Christian Nationalists:

Posting of the Ten Commandments in every Texas school room

Requiring schools to set aside time for staff and students to pray and read religious texts

Allowing “Chaplains” to counsel students in school

Texas State Senator Mayes Middleton co-sponsored these bills. Mayes said, “There is absolutely no separation of God and government, and that’s what these bills are about. When prayer was taken out of schools, things went downhill — discipline, mental health. It’s something I heard a lot on porches when I was campaigning. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time.”

That is wrong in so many ways, Mayes. God and government must be separated. The bloodiest wars have been fought between government-sponsored religions. If “all men are created equal”, are Americans who do not follow your concept of God ineligible for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”?

Scranton Public Schools required the Lord’s Prayer along with the Pledge of Allegiance in my school days. My 9th and 10th grade homeroom teacher added a Bible reading every morning. Guess what, Mayes? None of that made us more disciplined or led us to better mental health. A poster of the Ten Commandments alongside the portrait of George Washington above the blackboard on the front classroom wall won’t change a thing.

Those three bills have a chance of reaching the governor’s desk this week. Less likely is one that would have authorized the state to approve the building of a life-size sculpture on the Capitol grounds of a pregnant woman with a see-through belly and fetus inside. It passed the Senate, but not in time for it to get to a House committee. Imagine explaining that during a first grade class trip to the State Capitol.

By Ed Dufton



Lynette Dufton

These posts are written by my father, Ed Dufton, who has an incredible knack of condensing the day’s news into a witty and insightful commentary on society.