Is Texas Backwards! (Or Just Conservative)

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The state of Texas has an impressive history along with a colorful collection of cultures. Multiple cultures in one location can often create controversy regarding daily values and beliefs. While Texas is not free from contention, does Texas have traditional values?

Texas carries a biblical, Judeo-Christian value system that makes them conservative. They are very religious, and their traditional beliefs cause them to put great emphasis on family values and self-sufficiency from the government. Abortion and child sex-change operations are illegal.

A small white rural church in Texas. - Texas View

How Do You Describe The Political Culture In Texas?

The State of Texas has a political climate consisting of traditionalistic and individualistic cultures. Political culture is a collection of beliefs, values, and attitudes that decide the relationship between a government and its people.

While Texas shares American values like equality and liberty, cultural differences are often the key contributors that shape the political climate. Texas has an influential reputation because it has cultural identities from Cajuns, Irish, African American, and Anglo-American cultures.

In his famous book, American Federalism: A View from the States, political scientist Daniel Elazar concludes that Texas has both traditionalistic and individualistic political cultures.

An individualistic culture promotes the achievements of the individual, such as a single cowboy working hard to make his cattle ranch prosperous. In this case, the government’s role is to provide growth opportunities for the cowboy rancher.  

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CONSERVATIVE Identity of Texas: History, Culture, and Politics

Traditional Culture

The traditionalistic culture came as a result of Southerners migrating from East Texas. They introduced a hierarchical society with traditional moral values. These values disagree with government intervention, apart from keeping power in the hands of those major groups.

Together, these ideologies describe modern Texas as a conservative state with minimal governmental input to influence the economy. There’s not a lot of spending, and taxes remain low.

Such political cultures can sometimes clash. The individualistic culture promotes personal freedom, while the traditionalistic half stresses a social structure.

San Antonio Mission. On of the several historic missions of the San Antonio National Heritage Park in Texas - Texas View

What Are The Most Important Values For Texans?

Texas values religion, the importance of family, and self-sufficiency, so much so that they hardly concern themselves with politics.  

Texas Is A Very Religious State

Apart from Texans’ strong desire for self-sufficiency from the government, Texas is very conservative and religious because most immigrants between 1820 – 1850 came from the Midwestern and Southeastern parts of the United States.

The Pew Research Center did a religious landscape study showing the religious practices of Texan adults. The data showed that most Texans consider themselves conservative, believe in God, attend religious services, pray daily, and participate in religious education.

Texas Places A High Value On Faith, Family, & Freedom

If you spend some time with local Texans, you’ll quickly realize that they treat family like gold. Their deep-seated desire to uphold family values has led to the rise of organizations like Texas Values.

They mimic Texas’ beliefs of biblical, Judeo-Christian values and promote and defend them by educating voters, reviewing, analyzing, and testifying at the State Board of Education and Texas legislature.

  • 2013 – Texas Values contributed to the draft that passed the Merry Christmas law. It protects the free-speech rights of parents, teachers, and children to acknowledge Christmas in school without censorship.
  • 2015  Texas Values drafted and played a hand in protecting pastors. The protective law prevents the state from overriding pastors’ religious beliefs to force them to marry homosexual couples. It also classifies church property sacred. While pastors do not have to marry same-sex couples, same-sex marriage was deemed legal by the Supreme Court in 2015.
  • 2017 – The organization started the freedom to serve Children’s Act. It relates to religious freedom and protects the rights of religious foster care and adoption agencies for their beliefs. It also protects the belief that life begins at conception and marriage is between a man and a woman.
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Texas Cares Little For Politics

Texans’ drive for self-sufficiency means they don’t favor getting involved with politics. They have some of the lowest voter turnouts in the United States, and the average local concerns themselves with getting things done for the day.

It wasn’t until 2020, when Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke were on the ballot, that sixty-six percent of registered Texans voted. The statistics proved to be the highest voter turnout since the 1992 running between H. Ross Perot and George H. Bush.

DALLAS SEP 04 A conservative Tea Party Express protest of big government and Obamacare in Dallas. Taken September 04 2009 in Dallas TX. - Texas View

Abortion became illegal in the State of Texas on September 1, 2021, but introduced a trigger law on August 25, 2022. Since the state of Texas believes all life is sacred and life begins at conception, abortion is illegal according to Texas law.

It became unlawful on September 1, 2021, particularly in cases with embryonic cardiac activity. The circumstances surrounding abortion are not always pleasant (as with cases of rape), so a trigger law came into effect on August 25, 2022.

The trigger law, which may reverse the ruling that makes abortion illegal, can take effect if a mother’s life is threatened due to a severe medical condition. Anti-abortion efforts at a local level had 30 Texas cities ban the abortion procedure.  

How Does Texas View Transgenderism?

The State of Texas strictly prohibits any sex-change operations for young children. Providing children with hormone injections and puberty blockers is equivalent to child abuse in Texas. Senate Bill 29 states children must participate in sports that match their birth gender.

Texas believes your choices and activities should relate only to your gender assigned at birth. For instance, on May 25, 2021, Texas introduced Senate Bill 29, stating that young transgender athletes must compete in gender sports that match their birth gender.

On February 22, 2022, Texas Governor Greg Abbott wrote a letter to the DFPS (Department of Family and Protective Services) directing them to investigate young children undergoing sex-change operations. It is strictly against the law for children to undergo such procedures in Texas.

According to Texan law, sex-change operations involving young children are a serious crime of child abuse. Facilities, nurses, doctors, or teachers who administer or don’t report treatments involving hormone injections and puberty blockers, are liable for legal punishment.

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FAQs About The Values Of Texas

Why Do Texans Dislike Relying On The Government?

Texas believes having the poor rely on the government does more harm than good. People become stagnant and lazy, and as a result, the entire community pays the price. They expect everyone to learn how to earn their keep and take the initiative to contribute to growth.

Are Texans Friendly People?

When you cross the state border into Texas, you’ll notice a welcome sign stating, “Drive Friendly – The Texas Way. Texans are big on friendliness and strive to keep it as their top five best characteristics as a state. In 2019, Texas ranked fourth as the friendliest state in the US.


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Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
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Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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