[Vision2020] fun political read- Boise Weekly

rhayes at frontier.com rhayes at frontier.com
Wed Mar 12 08:12:38 PDT 2014

Opinion » Bill Cope 
Try the Truth, Luker 
Who knows, it may get to be a habitby Bill Cope 

In a recent column, I managed to call Lynn Luker  "despicable," "paltry," "unfit" (to be an elected official) and "a  dumbshit," all in one sentence. I now feel bad about that. Looking back, with what I know now, I can see I may have left out the most pertinent  thing about Mr. Luker. If I'd known then what I know now, that sentence  would have read something like, "Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, is a  despicable, paltry, unfit, dumbshit coward.
But let me back up and explain how I left out that pertinent detail.
You probably think of Luker, if you think of him at all, as the  sponsor of the "Free Exercise of Religion Act," or what I call the "Hall Pass to Be a Bigoted Bastard Bill." I remind you that the intention of  the bill was to allow anyone practicing a profession that called for a  state license the legal right to deny their services, as long as their  assholery was founded in "sincerely held religious beliefs."
On it's shallow surface, the law, had it been enacted, was for the  benefit of those pious souls who object to, or are offended by,  homosexuality. But myself and many others tried to point out  that--beyond the in-your-face evil of singling out one set of humans for inhumane treatment--there are more "sincerely held religious beliefs"  than the ones Luker had in mind. A lot more. And that once you institute permission to discriminate into state law, you never know what  direction it might take.
After much to-do over the proposed law, Luker decided to put his ugly baby back to bed. Evidently, even he could see that the stink it was  kicking up would likely kill it eventually. I don't for a minute believe he took the serious arguments against it into account. That's not the  way this GOP hog wallow we call the Idaho Legislature does things.  Whether the issue is education reform, guns on campus or the expansion  of Medicaid, these boys are masters at ignoring the testimony of the  opposition and doing whatever the hell they intended to do in the first  place.
So I'm not clear on why Luker pulled his Free Exercise of Religion  Act. I don't believe he gives much of a damn that every respectable  newspaper in the state editorialized against it, that even many  Christians think it is a stupid idea, or that, indeed, it is a stupid idea.
However, turns out it is a widely held stupid idea, and that's what I know now that I didn't know then.
Had I been paying closer attention when Luker's bill was all the buzz here in Idaho, I might have caught wind of attempts being made to enact the same legislation, in spirit if not textually, in at least 11 other  states--Arizona being the state under the greatest scrutiny. Nor would  it come as a shock to find out that even more state legislatures were  waiting to see what sort of luck the legislation would have in places  like Idaho and Arizona before getting their own gay-bashing balls  rolling.
Need I say that the legislation was, in every case, the work of  Republicans? And isn't that the way Republican lawmakers work these  days? As much as they pontificate on how decisions should be handled at  the state level, they are always eager to take an idea born in some  cracker craphole--Mississippi comes to mind--and spread it out as  rapidly as possible, from sea to shining sea, before an opposition has  time to organize.
"Stand Your Ground" laws, "personhood" legislation to restrict birth  control, privatizing education... these and much more, including the  "Free Exercise of Religion Act," are all dumplings being served from the same pot, then carried dutifully into legislative action by willing  footmen who proceed to act like the whole thing was their idea.
Seriously, you didn't think little Lynny Luker thought of this by himself, did you?
So then, who is it that's cooking this stuff up? And why is it that  pissants like Luker are so loath to tell us who slipped him the idea?
I feel like I have answered the second question, to my own  satisfaction if no one else's. If we start with the proposition that  Luker did not originate this concept of using the sacred cow of  religious freedom to bludgeon gays, that means there are only two  possible explanations as to why he hasn't told us the idea didn't start  with him: 1) he's a slimy opportunist who would take credit where credit is not due, or 2) he is a coward, a man without the backbone to  acknowledge he is simply a boot-licking lackey who does what he is told  to do.
Or, of course, he could always be both.
And about the true source? The pot from which this rancid slop was  ladled? The brain behind the dimwits. The puppet master with the name  which must not be spoken? C'mon Luker, was it ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), that Koch brothers' front which, as we know, passes  out marching orders to Republican dronebots? Was it--as suggested by  Zach Hagadone in last week's Boise Weekly (BW, Feature, "Feeding the Beast," March 5, 2014)--Focus on the Family, that foul nexus of faith and fascism with such a hatred  of gays they would hire even a drifting oil slick like Bryan Fischer to  speak for it?
Luker, this is your chance to be a man. Tell us the true source of  this bill. Tell us when you were contacted, and by whom, and how they  suggested you should deliver this evil into our state. Do that, and I  will happily apologize to you here in this space, publicly, for calling  you a despicable, paltry, unfit, dumbshit coward.
I'll be holding my breath until you do. Yeah, sure.
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