This morning I had the distinct non-pleasure of discovering yet another home-grown example of American hatred at its finest. It comes from the great state of Oklahoma, the state that proclaims that everything is OK, but apparently means that it is OK only of you happen to be straight and Christian (and fundamentalist Christian at that).
In the past weeks, Oklahoma's legislature has been very busy making news. Unsuccessful in instituting a tough law prohibiting adoption by gay couples (which was overturned by the courts) and only two years removed from passing a law that urges libraries to remove gay-themed books, the OkieDokie House of Representatives decided last week to try to instill its high moral standards on the teenagers of the state in some way that, it figured, might pass Constitutional muster.
Of course, the legislators of Oklahoma have never actually read the Constitution, or so I am left to presume from their repeated end-arounds and efforts to outwit its language. This time, targeting not gays per se but the too-accepting culture that gives them the freedom to, well, exist, the good legislators came up with a law that, on its surface, is difficult to argue with. I've read the bill. It purports to be a "Student Religious Freedom" bill, but as the Edmund Sun reports, it is precisely "the opposite":
The bill requires public schools to guarantee students the right to express their religious viewpoints in a public forum, in class, in homework and in other ways without being penalized. If a student’s religious beliefs were in conflict with scientific theory, and the student chose to express those beliefs rather than explain the theory in response to an exam question, the student’s incorrect response would be deemed satisfactory, according to this bill.
The school would be required to reward the student with a good grade, or be considered in violation of the law. Even simple, factual information such as the age of the earth (4.65 billion years) would be subject to the student’s belief, and if the student answered 6,000 years based on his or her religious belief, the school would have to credit it as correct. Science education becomes absurd under such a situation.
Indeed it does. The bill's purpose is not to promote religious freedom; it is to espouse a fundamentalist point of view. It is designed to allow students the freedom to speak out in favor of their religious beliefs, which the legislators imagined would mean scores of students excoriating the evil members of Gay-Straight Alliances in schools across the state. Of course, though, in doing so it opens a nearly ridiculous can of worms, as the Sun points out. A similar bill in Texas has already caused a traffic jam of lawsuits resulting from students speaking in assemblies–with their right of expression–in favor not of accepting Christ into their souls but of seeing Nature as the highest Good (Wicca) or other unusual religions. And, of course, decrying the allegedly Biblical justification for the mistreatment of homosexuals.
Bad law. Bad legislators. But there is one among them who is not just bad but utterly loony. Sally Kern, an Oklahoma representative, has a hit video on youtube. You can watch it if you'd like, right here. In her clandestinely recorded diatribe, the clearly well-researched Ms. Kern claims that gays will "destroy this nation" and are a "bigger threat, even more so than terrorists or Islam," to our country. I am stunned by this news, as I have not seen the evidence before of gay sleeper cells setting themselves up to destroy us. I try to imagine what will happen when they strike, but all that comes to mind is a nationwide episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
It's a very real threat, Ms. Kern swears, apparently based on personal experience, considering the vociferousness of her speech and the forcefulness of her opinion. "As a matter of fact, studies show that no society that has embraced homosexuality has lasted more than a few decades," she said. "It's the death knell of this country."
Ms. Kern goes on to argue, among other things,
"You know why they're trying to get early childhood education? They want to get our young children into government schools so they can indoctrinate them. They're going after our young children, as young as two in age, to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is acceptable."
Of course! That's where the gay sleeper cells are! Pre-schools! Now I understand SpongeBob. And Tinky Winky.
Kern says we need to act now to stop this horrible threat to our nation's very existence. Too may people, she fears, are ignoring it. She lists a whole series of city councils–oh. my. god.–that have been overrun by homosexuals already. They are everywhere!
"If you've got cancer in your little toe, do you say, 'Well, you know, I'm going to forget about it because the rest of me is fine?' It spreads, and this stuff is deadly. It's spreading, and it will destroy our young people."
As long as they find a way to get the hell out of there.