UPDATE: Pennsylvania State Senator John Eichelberger, during a radio debate on June 19, revealed his thoughts about his attitude toward homosexuals.
“They’re not being punished. We’re allowing them to exist, and do what every American can do,” he said.
Of course, they can do everything but be married and have the same rights straight couples enjoy…and to try to seem accepting while offhandedly remarking that its his warm, generous heart that keeps him from killing homosexuals, is ridiculously disturbing. This, in effect, makes them second-class citizens. When lawmakers view a subset of the population as inferior, and allow their continued existence not because they’re good people, or rightfully American, what else can you view this line of thought as?
There was a time when economics was used to solve economic problems, in the same way that if your toilet overflowed, you would use the skills of a plumber, or if a badger was stuck in your fridge, you would call someone from animal control (or Maytag, if it was shipped with the badger in tow). But Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern, whose comments have landed her in hot water before (according to her careful analysis, homosexuals are more dangerous than terrorists), sees the current economic crisis and has come to the realization that it wasn’t the rampant use of overly-complex and untrustworthy investment practices based on speculation instead of actual worth, nor the growing lack of competitiveness on the part of American industry when faced with improving international competition that led us to the rut we’re in today.
According to the Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality, courtesy of Rep. Kern, “we believe our economic woes are consequences of our greater national moral crisis.” Why did the banks fail? Because your parents got a divorce. Why did General Motors go under? Some girl had an abortion a few weeks ago. The giant mess that is our health care system, regardless of nationalization or not is due to some porn on the Internet, obviously. Why does China continue to enjoy economic growth, though it may have been slowed from its double-digit figures of the past several years? Because they worship Go…wait a second.
In an interview with News 9 in Oklahoma (see it here, I’d post the video but .flv files are horrible to deal with on here…), Kern said “Blessed is the nation whose God is the lord.” So obviously, because China is a largely atheist country, with only a tiny minority practicing the Christian faith, they should be doing pretty terribly, right? The big dude in the sky is right on the verge of tossing some lightning bolts on Beijing, or at least throwing some frogs at Yao Ming. So why is he letting their GDP grow a projected 6.5 percent this year? He must have gotten his paperwork messed up, I heard the Blackberry up there is pretty spotty.
The proclamation quotes Roger Sherman as saying “We hold sacred the rights of conscience, and promise to the people…the free and undisturbed exercise of their religion.” This is all well and good, but what is the purpose of a free and undisturbed exercise of religion if, “This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians,” as Patrick Henry is quoted, on the next line? Countries with a sole and declared religion, despite any half-baked attempts at open-mindedness, don’t exactly do a good job protecting the rights of smaller religions. Why should they? The danger with following such partisan, religious lines of though, as Kern loves to do, is that there can be no rational debate. Everyone who disagrees with someone like Kerns will be dismissed as a non-believer, and in her frame of mind, their opinions are a moot point. They’re condemned to hell for their sins anyways. Why should they be bothered to be listened to?
This document, this half-baked list of quotations and demands of moral conduct, is merely a giant finger to be pointed at those Kern and her ilk don’t agree with on a social level. It’s not enough to hold moral indignation for those in favor of abortion or gay marriage. To really destroy a group of people, to ruin them in the eyes of a nation, all you have to do is blame them for a universal problem, to isolate them as scapegoats that they had nothing to do with. It’s actually terrifying to see a member of a state government blame people performing “debauchery” for economic problems, it’s the same sort of tactic that despots and fascists have used throughout the ages to horrifying ends.
Universal problems bring about tough times, but to try to alleviate those tough times by promoting a theocratic, ridiculous agenda? That’s just lunacy, lunacy that will prove to be frighteningly effective as these sort of folks on both sides of the political spectrum try to blame groups they’ve been waiting to massacre for years. Fools choose easy solutions, and what easier solution is there other than to blame your house’s falling value on the gay guy who lives a few blocks down?