Sally Sullies State Image
State Rep. Sally Kern’s political stunts and outspoken religious extremism continue to sully the state’s image.
Kern has become a national spectacle in a sad story of bigotry and narrow-minded religious views. How can it possibly help Oklahoma that so many people outside the state immediately think of Kern and what she has said and done when they even bother to think about the state at all?
It should anger people here that Kern, an Oklahoma City Republican, is viewed as the face of Oklahoma to a lot of people outside the state. She makes Oklahoma seem like a backwards, intolerant place to live. Her public political and cultural stances, which are given a large venue by the local corporate media, are often hateful and divisive, and more state leaders should step up and say so.
The representative, who once claimed homosexuality was a worse threat to the nation than terrorism, made national news again last week when she issued an “Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality,” which essentially blamed the country’s economic problems on things like same sex marriage and “other forms of debauchery.”
Here’s the full text of proclamation, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma:
OKLAHOMA CITIZEN’S PROCLAMATION FOR MORALITY
We the People of Oklahoma, Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessing of Liberty; to secure just and rightful Government; to promote our mutual Welfare and Happiness, do establish this proclamation and call upon the people of the great State of Oklahoma, and our fellow Patriots in these United States of America who look to the Lord for guidance, to acknowledge the need for a national awakening of righteousness in our land.
WHEREAS, “It is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand” (John Adams); and
WHEREAS, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by Religion and Morality” (John Adams); and
WHEREAS, “Our Constitution was made only for a Moral and Religious people” (John Adams); and
WHEREAS, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government…but upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God” (James Madison); and
WHEREAS, “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God (Benjamin Franklin); and
WHEREAS, “God who gave us life gave us liberty and can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God” (Thomas Jefferson); and
WHEREAS, “Whether any free government can be permanent, where the public worship of God, and the support of Religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state” (Joseph Story); and
WHEREAS, “We hold sacred the rights of conscience, and promise to the people…the free and undisturbed exercise of their religion” (Roger Sherman); and
WHEREAS, “This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians” (Patrick Henry); and
WHEREAS, “When you…exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed upon your mind that God commands you to choose just men who will rule in the fear of God” (Noah Webster); and
WHEREAS, “The principles of genuine Liberty and of wise laws and administrations are to be drawn from the Bible” (Noah Webster); and
WHEREAS, the people of Oklahoma have a strong tradition of reliance upon the Creator of the Universe; and
WHEREAS, we believe our economic woes are consequences of our greater national moral crisis; and
WHEREAS, this nation has become a world leader in promoting abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery; and
WHEREAS, alarmed that the Government of the United States of America is forsaking the rich Christian heritage upon which this nation was built; and
WHEREAS, grieved that the Office of the president of these United States has refused to uphold the long held tradition of past presidents in giving recognition to our National Day of Prayer; and
WHEREAS, deeply disturbed that the Office of the president of these United States disregards the biblical admonitions to live clean and pure lives by proclaiming an entire month to an immoral behavior;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we the undersigned elected officials of the people of Oklahoma, religious leaders and citizens of the State of Oklahoma, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, solemnly declare that the HOPE of the great State of Oklahoma and of these United States, rests upon the Principles of Religion and Morality as put forth in the HOLY BIBLE; and
BE IT RESOLVED that we, the undersigned, believers in the One True God and His only Son, call upon all to join with us in recognizing that “Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord,” and humbly implore all who love Truth and Virtue to live above reproach in the sight of God and man with a firm reliance on the leadership and protection of Almighty God; and
BE IT RESOLVED that we, the undersigned, humbly call upon Holy God, our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, to have mercy on this nation, to stay His hand of judgment, and grant a national awakening of righteousness and Christian renewal as we repent of our great sin.
Signed on the second day of July in the year of our Lord Christ Two Thousand and Nine.
Obviously, there are several illogical statements and distortions in the document. It begins by cherry picking quotes from some of the founding fathers and then makes an illogical argument that ties same sex marriage to economic problems. It proceeds to criticize the president and then calls for a “Christian renewal.” It’s a mush of religious extremism and snarky political drivel.
Many of the founding fathers considered themselves deists and actively worked against religious intrusion in government. Using Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin to promote a theocratic, Christian worldview is simply inaccurate.
The debate over the religious views of the founding fathers makes for an interesting discussion, but the point is the document uses quotes from some people with far more complicated and nuanced religious views than fundamentalist Christianity.
The section that ties debauchery to the country’s economic problems doesn’t even mention Wall Street greed or crooked investment bankers, such as Bernie Madoff. Why not? The sections dealing with President Barack Obama represent cheap, partisan politics. Why hasn’t Kern also publicly criticized former Vice President Dick Cheney for supporting same sex marriage? What about the “morality” of some prominent members in the Republican Party, including South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who recently admitted he was cheating on his wife. The point is Kern’s document is politically calculated.
The best responses to Kern’s statement came from State Reps. Ryan Kiesel and Al McAffrey, both Democrats, and a noisy crowd showed up to protest Kern’s “signing” of the proclamation at the State Capitol. But the state continues to suffer image problems because of Kern’s antics.