Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Holy Oklahoma!

by Pa Rock
Social Observer

Certain of our fifty states are way too easy to ridicule, primarily because of the dolts that they seem to "religiously" elect to public office. Recent postings on this blog have taken Arizona to task over various absurdities (like the state’s rampant desire to have no restrictions on gun ownership, and the pervasive feeling that government should run quite well without any revenue, thank you very much!), and a nutty legislator from Missouri who thought that children who were hungry would be more motivated. (Yeah, more motivated to get out and steal food!) I have managed to ignore most of the silliness in the other forty-eight, but a barrage of recent news out of Oklahoma is forcing me to widen the loony net.

Overview: Oklahoma was the only state in the union to have all of its counties carried by McCain in the 2008 general election. And while many, though certainly not all, Oklahomans will declare emphatically that they are not racist, that is one important social component at play in the Sooner State. Southwest and south central Missouri, as well as rural western Arkansas voted for McCain en masse, as did Oklahoma. As a former resident of that three-state area, I can say without hesitation that the populace is focused on thumping the Bible and keeping the “coloreds” in their place. Many were salivating over the rumors that Obama was a secret Muslim because that provided them with a more socially acceptable reason for voting against him than the race issue would have been.

So jump to the present.

Last week Oklahoma’s senior U.S. Senator, James Mountain Inhofe, described the man who was about to become his new colleague in the Senate, Al Franken of Minnesota, as a clown. Yes, Al Franken was a nationally known comedian several years ago – and he made a very good living at it. Mr. Franken has also been a successful author, a radio personality, and, did I mention, a cum laude graduate of Harvard University. Clown, indeed!

Senator Inhofe, on the other hand, is a graduate of the University of Tulsa, without honors, and used to be president of Quaker Life Insurance Company – an organization that went into receivership on his watch. He is also one of the loudest skeptics of global warming - a position that some wags might be tempted to feel is connected to the over one million dollars that he has received in political contributions from the oil and gas industry. He also has a propensity for citing the Bible to back up his position on various pieces of legislation. Who’s the clown?

Former President George W. Bush (the dumb and dangerous Bush) gave a Fourth of July speech this week in the small Oklahoma town of Woodward. Bush, ever the patriot, reportedly spoke for a fee, though apparently no one is yet publicizing the size of the check that the good people of Woodward cut for the for the unemployed politician. Tickets for the event ranged from $25 to $500, and supposedly a highlight of the event was Bush’s retelling of some of his favorite poop jokes. One can only hope that everybody profited from the experience!

But the nuttiest thing out of Oklahoma last week by far was a resolution introduced in the state legislature by Republican (of course!) Representative Sally Kern. The overly pious Ms. Kern has submitted a proposal entitled Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality, a document that places blame for the economic crisis in America on the moral collapse of our nation. The mean-spirited Ms. Kern is clearly not a believer in the concept of the separation of church and state, and her contempt for President Obama borders on being savage - never mind that the economy went into the crapper under his successor, Republican George Bush. Sally Kern's wingnut manifesto follows:

We the People of Oklahoma, Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessing of Liberty; to secure just and rightful Government; to promote our mutual Welfare and Happiness, do establish this proclamation and call upon the people of the great State of Oklahoma, and our fellow Patriots in these United States of America who look to the Lord for guidance, to acknowledge the need for a national awakening of righteousness in our land.

WHEREAS, "It is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon
which Freedom can securely stand" (John Adams); and

WHEREAS, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with
human passions unbridled by Religion and Morality" (John Adams); and

WHEREAS, "Our Constitution was made only for a Moral and Religious people" (John
Adams); and

WHEREAS, "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the
power of government...but upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God" (James Madison); and

WHEREAS, "Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that
belongs to us by the laws of God (Benjamin Franklin); and

WHEREAS, "God who gave us life gave us liberty and can the liberties of a nation be
thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God" (Thomas Jefferson); and

WHEREAS, "Whether any free government can be permanent, where the public
worship of God, and the support of Religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state" (Joseph Story); and

WHEREAS, "We hold sacred the rights of conscience, and promise to the people...the
free and undisturbed exercise of their religion" (Roger Sherman); and

WHEREAS, "This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians"
(Patrick Henry); and

WHEREAS, "When you...exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be
impressed upon your mind that God commands you to choose just men who will rule in the fear of God" (Noah Webster); and

WHEREAS, "The principles of genuine Liberty and of wise laws and administrations
are to be drawn from the Bible" (Noah Webster); and

WHEREAS, the people of Oklahoma have a strong tradition of reliance upon the
Creator of the Universe; and thought secure when we have removed

WHEREAS, we believe our economic woes are consequences of our greater national
moral crisis; and

WHEREAS, this nation has become a world leader in promoting abortion,
pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery; and
WHEREAS, alarmed that the Government of the United States of America is forsaking
the rich Christian heritage upon which this nation was built; and

WHEREAS, grieved that the Office of the president of these United States has refused
to uphold the long held tradition of past presidents in giving recognition to our National Day of Prayer; and

WHEREAS, deeply disturbed that the Office of the president of these United States
disregards the biblical admonitions to live clean and pure lives by proclaiming an entire month to an immoral behavior;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we the undersigned elected officials of the people of Oklahoma, religious leaders and citizens of the State of Oklahoma, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, solemnly declare that the HOPE of the great State of Oklahoma and of these United States, rests upon the Principles of Religion and Morality as put forth in the HOLY BIBLE; and

BE IT RESOLVED that we, the undersigned, believers in the One True God and His
only Son, call upon all to join with us in recognizing that "Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord," and humbly implore all who love Truth and Virtue to live above reproach in the sight of God and man with a firm reliance on the leadership and protection of Almighty God; and

BE IT RESOLVED that we, the undersigned, humbly call upon Holy God, our
Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, to have mercy on this nation, to stay His hand of judgment, and grant a national awakening of righteousness and Christian renewal as we repent of our great sin.

Signed on the second day of July in the year of our Lord Christ Two Thousand and Nine.

Where to begin? Ms. Kern’s disgust for President Obama is evident, first-off, by the way she consistently refuses to capitalize his title. She seems to be incensed by the fact that he did not stop the government to observe the National Day of Prayer, a highly political event that was thought up by a group of rabid anti-communists just after World War II. The original intent was to quietly slip God back into the operations of American government. President Truman told the group of fascist fundamentalists who were promoting the idea that they could basically to go to hell, but they were eventually able to foist the concept onto Eisenhower. Since the 1950’s every President has been coerced into doing the bidding of this right-wing religious cabal – at least on that one special day. If President Obama can resist the pressure to give in to these intolerant bastards, more power to him!

I noticed also that Ms. Kern likes to quote the crusty old Puritan, John Adams, a man who openly yearned for a hard-ass God to be feared by one and all. Perhaps she would benefit from spending time reading some of the thoughts on religion of his successor, Mr. Jefferson. Jefferson was so distressed over what he considered to be false teachings placed into the mouth of Christ, that he wrote his own version of the Bible.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Christianity has become the most perverted system that ever shone on man. Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus.” Did you catch that, Sally? The real Jesus may have been a lot more fun-loving and tolerant than the manufactured one that you worship. Maybe he was even a sexual being. Heaven forbid!

Sally, if you want to live in abject terror of a mean and wrathful God, do it in the privacy of your home, or in church – but keep your God and your religious intolerance out of government! This is America, Sally, and we have the right to believe or not to believe as we see fit. Our government is a compact designed to serve all of its citizens – white, black, brown, oriental, Christian, Muslim, Jew, straight, gay, healthy, sick, disabled, rich, poor, all of the citizens of Oklahoma, and even me!

Times are tough, Sally. Get over yourself and quit wasting Oklahoma’s money!

No comments: