Thursday, December 4, 2008

Republicans and religion in Oklahoma

While voters across the nation rejected the Republican Party in this year's election, Republicans in Oklahoma swept to a majority in both houses of the state's legislature. Emboldened by their victories, Oklahoma's Republicans have set their sights on the governor's mansion - now occupied by Democrat Brad Henry, whose second term ends in 2010. Among those Republicans reportedly interested in campaigning for the governorship are Mick Cornett and Ernest Istook.

While Cornett has done some Bible-thumping in the past, he has shown definite tendencies toward pragmatism: first as a city council person and then as Mayor of Oklahoma City. The most telling incident in this regard would be his willingness to appear on television with openly-lesbian Ellen Degeneres to talk about his anti-obesity campaign. However, it is assumed by some that in 2010, in order to win the Republican primary and the election, Cornett will have to do some serious courting of Oklahoma's Religious Right.

Ernest Istook's religious credentials are not in question: Istook has a long history of pushing his fundamentalism in the form of various bills which took the effort of a great many people to keep from getting passed.

Republican theocrats are not waiting for a new governor: bills are already being filed for the next session of the legislature, and - as we have already seen - Sally Kern has wasted no time in reviving the stealth creationism bill that Henry vetoed earlier this year.

And now comes word of a new movement afoot to pack the board of the Oklahoma County Library System with fundamentalists who would do everything they could to rid Oklahoma City's libraries of everything they found offensive. I'm sure these people could make Sarah Palin look like a piker if they were allowed to have their way.

It is evident to me that perhaps the most important question that can be asked since the election is: how far will the Religious Right go to attain the power of government to force their views on Oklahoma?

And what will it take to stop them?

1 comment:

  1. Homo-Hater's Hubby Gets
    Outed in Phone Call--
    Gay Men Need "Education Programs"

    Mayor and Public Library Commission
    Going on the Homo-Hating Warpath?

    by James Nimmo

    (OKLAHOMA CITY) The anti-gay forces of the Oklahoma GOPer Party and their religious fundie faction are making plans to further suppress the civil rights of Oklahoma's gay and lesbian taxpayers.

    Having knocked out our marriage options with State Question 711 in 2004, that outlaws same gender marriage as well as straight common law marriages, next on their revenge agenda is taking over the Oklahoma County Metro Public Library System ( by packing the 28-member board ( with religious extremists who, caring nothing for the Constitution, believe that their private religious practices should be followed in selecting and maintaining the public library system's collection of books.

    This is not the first time Oklahoma County library services have been targeted as easy pickings for the politically challenged. Remember the Tin Drum video seizure ( and Rep Sally Kern's first foray into the public light of day (

    An Oklahoma City-based gay/lesbian news website ( has made public that Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City is planning to pack the public library Commission of Oklahoma County with more of his favorite fundie friends in order to prove to ultra conservative Oklahoma voters and out-of-state contributors that the Ten Commandments is his Constitution, and not the one on display in the National Archives, when he announces his run for governor of Oklahoma in the near future.

    The civil rights of gay and lesbian taxpayers as well as the tax money of all the County's citizens must be subverted to further the political shenanigans of a repressive, regressive snake-oil salesman.

    Let me suggest that the word "public" has a different meaning to religious fundies than it does to you and me. As we've seen in the eight years of the Bush Administration, words are given a facade of meaning which disguises the true purpose the words will effect. Words for them are wolves in sheep's clothing, a shell game of meaning.

    The article at ( on the Gossip Boy website has just been posted and reveals much that I've suspected was going on behind the cloak of righteousness that deeply deranged religious people like to wear.

    Among some of the blockbuster revelations in the article are Steve Kern's remarks, husband of infamous YouTube Queen and gun slinger Rep.Sally Kern (, that have been transcribed from a phone call wherein he uses derogatory language about gay men, thinking he's talking to one of his brothers-in-Christ. Steve Kern says gay men should be forced by law to go to "education programs".

    As you recover from that breath-taking idea don't even think of using the "Nazi" word; instead use a new comparison--Pol Pot of Cambodia.

    Just what would the syllabus of this "education program" contain? Anatomical drawings of humans in various states of arousal used for stimulus in shock therapy and aversion demonstrations?

    Would Ted Haggard be brought in for a power point presentation?

    What would be the final "exam" (final solution?) to this "education program"? Doses of Viagra administered to the "students" with naked, supine, voluptuous women brought in to make sure the men have learned their "lessons"?

    Who would do the "grading"? Steve Kern? Sally Kern? Would there be a grading curve? Would re-testing be allowed? Just what would be considered failure?

    The Gossip Boy ( article is excellent and reviews the background people will need to know who have either forgotten, are new to the situation, or are just now getting involved in the issues of religiously propelled suppression of civil rights. I've been a 16-year observer of the Oklahoma County Library Commission and this is exactly the article I wish I could have written. Though I had no hand in its writing I will vouch for the accuracy of the background material provided.

    This year the Oklahoma Legislature is dominated by a GOPer majority in both Houses for the first time in state history. There is now no parliamentary way for bills injurious to civil equality to be killed in committee by a friendly Democratic chair.

    I don't see any assistance on the horizon; it's going to be all our fight, sink or swim.

    We gays and lesbians are in for a tough ride in Oklahoma that will test the resolve of our commitment and the strength of our character to ensure our birth right as American citizens.