Oklahoma Is Number One
In all manner of very bad ideas
The Republican-dominated Oklahoma legislature is defining the frontier of xenophobic immigration laws, anti-Muslim bigotry, gay bashing and encouragement of gun-toting students – with Democratic legislators often too timid to resist.
Rep. Randy Terrill, Republican chairman of the Revenue and Taxation Committee, has emerged as a hero of the “protect our borders” crowd by authoring a law – known as HB1804 – that makes it a felony even to give an illegal immigrant a ride....
After the law’s passage, its extreme – one might say unchristian – features prompted virtual declarations of civil disobedience from the Southern Baptist Convention and the Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches, which announced they would not curtail aid to anyone.
Terrill then attacked Roman Catholic Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa as “misguided,” accusing Catholics of opposing the law out fear that it would curtail a growth in population and thus revenues for the church.
As Terrill and his supporters mounted legal assaults against non-English-speaking immigrants, Republican colleague Rep. Sally Kern focused on what she viewed as an even graver danger – gays and lesbians. In April, she went before a local GOP meeting and labeled that threat worse than the one from al-Qaeda:
“Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades. So it’s the death knell of this country. I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more than terrorism or Islam. … which I think is a big threat. Okay?
“’Cause what’s happening now is they are going after, in schools, two year olds … and this stuff is deadly, and it’s spreading, and it will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation.”