Baptists Say No Health Care For Gays, Unmarried Couples
The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s recent call urging businesses to deny health care benefits to same-sex and unmarried couples is morally repugnant.
It’s beyond belief a mainstream American religious organization would actually take a position that would deny health care to people. That’s just how far the Christian right has sunk in its theocratic campaign to make America a land of religious hatred and bitterness under the Bush imperial presidency.
In its latest gambit in its relentless anti-gay crusade, the organization, meeting in Oklahoma City, issued a so-called “position paper” that called on the nation’s businesses to make sure people go without adequate health care. Its position created a small debate in the local press. It hardly qualified as a real discussion of the issue.
The Daily Oklahoman editorialized—now get this—in favor of the convention’s right to issue the position paper but not in favor of what it argued.
In an unsigned editorial (“Canon fire: Baptists again in the crossfire,” November 18, 2006), The Oklahoman wrote those who protested the Baptists' position were essentially wrong to do so. Since the Baptists suppposedly don't actually make government policy, those who oppose their ludicrous ideas should not speak out, according to the most conservative newspaper in the country. It’s one of those classic warnings from the Oklahoma power structure to anyone who dares speak out against religious extremism unless it’s Islamic extremism. Yet the newspaper never said it actually agreed with the Baptist hatred.
Certainly, Southern Baptists have every right to define “sin” or “sinners” in their narrow, literalist views. That’s what most religions do, especially the Southern Baptists. But, come on, to actually call on businesses to deny health insurance to particular individuals really crosses the line into hatred. It reminds you how these same white, southern protestant churches supported slavery in the nineteenth-century and then racist laws later. The Southern Baptist Convention, of which the Oklahoma organization is a part, was actually founded on pro-slavery ideology. The Southern Baptists were wrong then, of course, and they are wrong now.
I believe everyone in this country should have access to adequate health care, and I'm ready to discuss and debate ideas to make this happen. Call me a heathen. Call me a sinner. Take away my health insurance, too. Burn me at the stake, you Southern Baptists. I truly believe it. I even believe you, yes YOU, should have access to health care despite your hateful, angry positions. You simply don’t understand how morally bankrupt your political positions and statements really are. Your evangelical leaders use these wedge positions for personal power and money. Wake up.
Give The Lips The Alley
One of the best ideas to surface in Oklahoma City recently is to name some small Bricktown alleys and streets after famous state musicians.
One proposal would name a small alley The Flaming Lips after the band that comes from Oklahoma City. The Lips have international acclaim, big album sales, and a solid following. They are a proven band with huge, vested interests in the Oklahoma City area. Undoubtedly, the redneck, “put-a boot-in-their-ass” Toby Keith crowd has no clue about the band but thousands of Oklahomans and millions of people throughout the world do.
Naming the alley after The Lips shows the world Oklahoma City is more than redneck Baptists trying to make sure gay people can’t get health insurance. As crazy at this might seem to some people, this idea of diversity actually helps economic development here.
At its recent meeting, the Oklahoma City Council put off the decision about naming the alley until December 5. Why? Well, gosh, maybe Toby Keith hasn’t been consulted. He was so right about the Iraq war, right? Certainly, his intellectual input on this alley issue is desperately needed as well. (Rumors are the OKC Council doesn't do a thing in Bricktown without Keith's "I love this bar and grill!" if-it-ain't-redneck-it-AIN'T approval.) But we need to go to the brightest Oklahomans like Keith when decisions need to be made, right? Come on, Toby, take your boot out of our asses and let The Lips have the alley.
Here's an excellent local blog. Check it out. It's so nice to read about science, especially on a local level, in today's world of religious extremism.