In Special Interests We Trust

The premise of the recently filed Kentucky bill that would require public schools to prominently display the phrase “In God We Trust” is ridiculous for several reasons.

What makes it even worse is that the legislation proposed by Republican state Rep. Brandon Reed came from a national, conservative, Christian organization that produces (and evangelizes) Judeo-Christian bills for lawmakers across the country to introduce in their state legislatures.

This bill wasn’t even Reed’s idea.

It wasn’t his solution to solving an issue in his hometown of Hodgenville.

It wasn’t even a calling from God… Nope, it was just a call from the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, an influential, Washington, D.C.-based, conservative, Christian think tank.

And this bill is not the only one being pushed on us by outsiders.

This is how today’s Republican Party legislates. Their job is to get elected. Once they win, they leave the legislating to outside groups — those peddling a national agenda one state at a time.

This year, it’s “In God We Trust,” but last year it was bathroom bills and religious classes as electives… and anytime is a good time for prayer in school. None of it is new or original. And none of it is local, which is a strong indication that none of it is actually an issue in our state — it’s just someone else’s agenda.

A cursory glance into the Prayer Caucus’ mission statement and legislative proposals in its 2017 legislative guidebook, “Project Blitz,” shows there isn’t anything specific to Kentucky or our issues. It’s merely on an anti-government, anti-LGBTQ crusade, and their legislative proposals are targeted at undermining both.

They use Christianity and “freedom of religion” as a means of attacking government regulation and authority and subverting LGBTQ rights and protections. These are laws that allow people and businesses to say, “I don’t have to serve that gay couple, because I don’t believe they should be allowed to marry.” Or, “I shouldn’t have to fill that woman’s prescription because I don’t believe she should be having sex.”

Basically, these people want to erode the rules now protected by the courts, because, you know… gay sex and abortion.

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They find their pawns in state legislatures around the country, and they found one in Kentucky. If this bill gets a hearing and vote, it will pass, and it will end up in court… costing all of us more money.

It’s not just religious laws. Club for Growth pushes out boilerplate tax-cutting legislation to Republican state lawmakers all over the country. It doesn’t matter what your state’s economy or financial outlook is, because… here’s a tax-cutting bill that works for you.

Gov. Matt “Bell Curve” Bevin brought in conservative economist and tax “guru” Art Laffer, fresh off of driving Kansas’ economy into the ground, to work on Kentucky tax reform.

Right-to-work laws and charter school bills have been drafted and waiting for Republican legislatures and governors across the country.

The hypocrisy of Republicans favoring small, local government is at an all-time high in this state, as increasingly Louisville needs to ask Frankfort for a hall pass to go to the bathroom. But none of this addresses Kentucky problems, much less finds solutions for Kentucky.

Sure, Democrats do the same thing — the Sierra Club, for example, pushes environmental protection proposals. But, here are two ways the Democrat’s practice differs from the Republican’s.

First, Democrats’ don’t depend exclusively on outside groups like Republicans do. That’s why Republicans were totally incapable of producing a replacement plan for Obamacare — they figured their think tanks would do their thinking for them. Democrats also don’t have to clear legislation with special interest groups. Before voting on legislation, Republicans have to clear bills with the NRA, tax-pledge, drown-government-in-a-tub-guy Grover Norquist, Club for Growth and the Koch brothers.

Second, Democrats work with groups to solve problems. Republicans work with groups to undermine government, consolidate power and reconstruct the social fabric to reflect the 1950s American model.

“In God We Trust” is a ridiculous proposal. It attacks numerous American values. It wastes lawmakers’ and taxpayers’ time and resources. It’s also possible that maybe, just maybe, lawmaker Reed is using religion to win reelection.

It also sounds like there’s a little bit of Republican-Trump derangement mixed in: “We don’t like Trump, but we don’t like liberals more.” We know this bill is ridiculous, but look at how worked up liberals get…

Good one. But, seriously, you’re the suckers.

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