Arkansas is a funny place. Never before have I seen people who were so vociferous about their Christian faith, yet understood and practiced that faith so poorly. Exhibit A is the Republicans in the state Legislature.
The life and teachings of Jesus are all about looking after the last, the least, and the lost. When you read the Gospel story and really take it in, you can come to no other conclusion. The Republicans in the Legislature have gotten all of this backwards. They think it's their mission to discriminate against and put down people who are differently made, who have less power and a weaker voice. Somehow they feel threatened by people they consider to be of lesser standing. The lesson of the sheep and goats and "the least of these" is lost on them.
A prime example is the Republicans' legislation concerning transgender youth. When they considered this issue, they had available plenty of sound guidance. They could have listened to House Minority Leader Tippi McCullough, to Rep. Spencer Hawks or Rep. Lee Johnson (two of the three Republican dissenters; Johnson is a physician), to the Walton Family Foundation, to Gov. Asa Hutchinson, or to a chorus of voices from the medical and legal communities. Or they could simply have listened to Jesus.
This legislation will be overturned in the courts, but it has done much damage. It has sent a powerful message to "the least of these" and is an indelible blot on Arkansas. Above all, it's a supreme example of ignorance and mean-spiritedness.
Just adjourn already
Wake up, Arkansas. What happened to the Republican mantra of smaller government and freedom? To be a civilized society requires some laws to maintain order and safety. But enforced patriotism is tyranny. Have you seen how patriotic the people of China or North Korea are?
Our legislators have become drunk on power and need to be pulled back from the brink. There are too many petty, hateful laws this session. Some are so awful they are making national news. Or maybe national laughingstock.
I hope this session of our Legislature will wake up those who want to serve the citizens' needs. We do not need the Taliban here.
Unions are good thing
Speaking of unions, I was a dues-paying member for 35 years and enjoyed having better working conditions, more job security, regular pay raises, a voice in decisions and five weeks vacation every year.
No, unions aren't perfect, but neither are the companies.
After 21-plus years of retirement, I'm still receiving a good monthly pension because of that union membership! Grateful for sure.