April 24, 2016

This isn't faith. This is madness

I don't want to jump on my former state of Oklahoma.  I think it was Anglican who noted that when you aren't living in the state, it is kind of piling on to post stories about Oklahoma's dysfunction.  I agree, but can't help but read these stories and weep for my friends who still live there.  And there have been many stories, of late, unfortunately.  Conservative and often fundamentalist Republicans run Oklahoma with very little oversight.  They passed a bill the other day that will allow open carry without any training--a bill that was opposed by most of the state's economic leaders as well as the state's cops--but that doesn't matter to fundamentalists.  Facts do not matter to fundamentalists.  For a fundamentalist, cutting taxes will make the economy boom, and a crumbling economy and infrastructure will not dissuade them.  Just the other day, I found a story I had posted two years ago--Oklahoma House approves tax cut-- with this assurance from the bill's author:  
State Rep. Leslie Osborn, house author of the bill, predicted it would help bring economic growth to Oklahoma.“Our state has seen economic growth and record revenues due to our competitive income tax policies and pro-business environment,” said Osborn, R-Mustang. “This measure allows Oklahomans greater control over their hard-earned money. They will either spend or invest those dollars and further strengthen our economy.”
Now two years later, and the only thing that has happened is that tax cut.  Those same Republicans will blame all of this on the declining price of oil and gas, but the economy and state revenue were in decline well before that.  None of that matters to fundamentalists.  The crashing state economy will not dissuade them that tax cuts are always good for the economy.  Always.  Facts will not matter.  As we are seeing in Kansas and Louisiana, where Republicans have also sold the idea that lower taxes make the economy soar, and if you think those states are soaring, then you might need some new glasses.  

Then yesterday, I read this story about Oklahoma and abortion policy.  The push for "morality" and their hatred of abortion resulted in a bill that will revoke licenses of abortion doctors.  Because life and liberty.  Note, that this law authorizes the state to revoke doctor's licences for performing a legal procedure.  Set aside the insanity of suggesting that this is pro-life or will actually help women or children in any way (meanwhile, due to Republicans hatred of Obama, some four out of five Oklahoma hospitals will not provide birthing services), let us note that this law will absolutely draw legal challenge, meaning that the state that has been struggling to pay for core services, will have to pay for expensive litigation to defend this indefensible law.   All while poor people will die in rural Oklahoma for a lack of care.  

But never fear, because the fundamentalist knows how this all works.  
"Supporters of the bill said it will help protect the sanctity of life.
"If we take care of morality,” bill supporter David Brumbaugh, a Republican, said during deliberations, "God will take care of the economy."
As one of my friends noted that isn't how any of this works, but never tell that to a fundamentalist, because facts simply do not matter.  By this logic, of course, Donald Trump would be living in a pit of despair with no food or water--if taking care of morality led to economic prosperity.   But for the fundy, being pro-life means killing Oklahomans you don't care about while saying you are protecting life.

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