Try the Truth, Luker 

Who knows, it may get to be a habit

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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