The week before Easter should have been a very good one for God-fearing, freedom-loving, gun-toting, Republican Christian fundamentalists, but for some out there on the far right edge of the Republican Party, a group who firmly believe that they are Christ's true representatives on Earth, it has been a very rough week indeed.
Indiana's Republican governor, Mike Pence, a man who would like to be President, spent the early part of the week in trouble with much of his state and a good part of the nation over his signing of homophobic piece of legislation whose primary purpose was to allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians. The new law, referred to by the governor and his Republican legislature as a "religious freedom" bill, caused such an uproar that the surprised Pence eventually relented and sent it back to the legislature to be reworked into a less disgusting form.
Score one for the good guys.
Before the storm had abated in Indiana, Arkansas also got into the act and suffered a similarly embarrassing fate. The Arkansas legislature passed a "religious freedom" bill of its own and rushed it to the desk of the new conservative Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, for his signature. Governor Hutchinson, George Bush's former Drug Czar, had watched as his fellow governor in Indiana was nailed to the cross of public indignation, and he was less than enthusiastic about signing similar legislation. Then big business, the other arm of the Republican Party, got involved. Doug McMillion, the CEO of Walmart, the company that put Arkansas on the map of American commerce, publicly encouraged Hutchinson to veto the bill. Ultimately the governor punted and got the legislature to recall and rewrite the bill into a less odious format.
Score another one for the good guys.
But the noisy Christian fundamentalist wing of the Republican Party is pissed - mightily pissed! Tony Perkins, the head of the ultra-rightwing Family Research Council, has gotten himself so cranked up that he is threatening the very essence of American culture - Walmart! Perkins tweeted a threat to Walmart suggesting that if the company wanted to rollback religious freedom, his brand of good Christians would begin shopping at neighborhood groceries instead of the discount giant.
Good luck with that, Tony. Your people are the epitome of Walmart shoppers - it is literally their house of worship. But if you think you can change that, bring it on! I double-dog dare you to boycott Walmart!
And as for the Christian right's stranglehold on the Republican Party: well, that is changing. One element of the Republican party, the old codgers, are aging out - and they are being quickly replaced by young people who are far more open-minded than their parents and grandparents. The NBC - Wall Street Journal Poll showed that 27 percent of the Republican Party favored gay rights in 2013. Today, just a scant two years later, that same poll has the number at 40 percent.
Tony Perkins, with numbers like that, maybe you'd better consider a boycott of the Republican Party as well. I'm betting some of them would appreciate it!
The times are changing quickly. Either go with the flow or get out of the way.
Game to the good guys!