We moved, for one thing--from Norman, Oklahoma, where we lived for nearly 24 years--to Fort Collins, Colorado where I attended high school and several years of college, as well as where I met SOF. It is weird being back in Colorado after so many years. I love it here in many ways, though I so miss our friends from Oklahoma. Oklahoma is a tough place to be right now. The people with the absolute worst instincts and interests are in charge of the state, and that is really showing. The governor had to dip into the rainy day fund to keep schools from closing early, and we just saw this news item:
With budget cuts, thousands of Oklahomans with mental illnesses are expected to lose care | News OK: As a result of state budget cuts, more than 73,000 low-income Oklahomans with mental illnesses and substance use disorders are expected to lose some access, if not all access, to the state-funded services they depend on.Schools are still getting cuts, mind you. And this cut to people with mental illness comes on top of a system that was already leaving people behind--and this doesn't even count the people who have been excluded from healthcare due to the Governor's spiteful rejection of the ACA's Medicaid expansion. Further, the state just voted to cut an additional 100,000 off existing Medicaid rolls.
Colorado is no panacea, and it would be a mistake to think so. But my initial reading of politics here is that while the same people are a powerful force here, they are not in charge--yet.
These same people in Oklahoma and Colorado are often very vocal about their Christian faith. I know this is not news to anyone still reading this blog. Indeed, this is the problem I have been grappling with for years. It certainly has not gotten easier. One of my conservative friends used to push back at my anger and frustration with the argument that conservative Christians were not for these bad things (torture, etc), they were for other things and unfortunately were in the same camp as these bad things. I used to buy that with torture, even as polling showed Christians as one of the biggest supporters of torture--but I can no longer even give them that latitude. Conservative Christians run Oklahoma right now. They are spending an unbelievable amount of tax money that could be used to help people--instead using it to change the law and allow the Ten Commandments on state grounds. These people are gutting social services for the very needy of Oklahoma and at the same time defending tax cuts that benefit the very wealthy. They are causing incredible harm--and not passively. They are doing this to the poor.
Anyway. Maybe I will be back for more.