BY ALL MEANS, MESS WITH TEXAS….It’s going back a few years, but in 2000, the reality-based community got a good look at what grassroots conservative activists wanted in the way of government action when the Texas Republican Party published a party platform. Among other things, it called for a return to the gold standard; the abolishment of the Federal Reserve, Social Security, the minimum wage, and the federal income tax; a wholesale rejection of the separation of church and state, an enthusiastic embrace for creationism in science classes, and the criminalization of all abortions and gay sex.

That was then. How’s the Texas GOP holding up now? As wacky as ever.

Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell offered a greeting to delegates to the Republican convention. “It’s great to be back in the holy land,” the Fort Worth native said to the cheers of the party faithful. For the 4,500 delegates at last week’s biennial gathering, it was both an expression of conservative philosophy and religious faith, a melding of church and state.

At Saturday morning’s prayer meeting, party leader Tina Benkiser assured them that God was watching over the two-day confab.

“He is the chairman of this party,” she said against a backdrop of flags and a GOP seal with its red, white and blue logo.

It kind of gives “holier than thou” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

The activists also adopted a revised party platform that declares, among other things, that “America is a Christian nation”; the official language is “American English”; the Bush should “build a physical barrier” along the entire Mexican border; and voters should have to re-register every four years as well as show a government-issued photo ID in order to participate in an election.

What do Republican activists want? This is what they want.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.