Enough with culture war laws

CR Gazette 3-29-23 – “Enough with culture war laws.”

            No money for diversity, equality, and inclusion programs at state universities, but millions of dollars for private Catholic schools. I believe the Catholic Church, and those abused as children, are still dealing with what may be the worst sexual abuse of children in history.

            Welcome to the new Christian Republic of Iowa, eerily similar to the Islamic Republic of Iran now that the reorganization of Iowa is almost complete, and where religion reigns supreme.

            Freedom of religion in the U.S. is also freedom from a religion being forced on us. As a combat Marine 54 years ago, I understood that I was fighting for freedom and democracy. I knew I was not fighting for a religion-based autocratic theocracy that Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Republicans seem to be trying to turn Iowa into. Top down autocratic theocracy is akin to top down communism, which I was fighting against.

            Democratic government does not mean that your religion can make us all have to live with your interpretation of what humans are, where humans came from, and what humans can and can’t do and be. Rather, the U.S. and state governments are partly in place to try to make sure that we have a fair and equitable society.

            Lying is supposedly free speech in the U.S. Lying seems to be fine in political campaigns. And now, lies seem to be making it into the laws that the Iowa Legislature is passing and Reynolds is signing. Lies concerning the nature of trans kids, about gender, about gays, about schools and libraries, about critical race theory, Black history, poor people and food, etc. It seems this religion’s beliefs are being expressed as fear of others, ignorance, hatefulness, an attempt to control, anti-science, and simple disregard for others who are not like themselves. But, the Iranian model of government has never held compassion for others very high either.

            Attorney General Brenna Bird seems to be playing a role similar to the head of the morality police. In the proposed reorganization, she will prosecute any infraction of any of those religion-based laws anywhere in the state she wants, whether the local county attorneys want her to or not. The public has been empowered to “tattletale” to the morality police about any people they think are not following these religion-based laws.

            My 20-year-old Marine self sitting in my foxhole would say that I will not follow any of your religion-based laws. My 74-year-old Iowa self will ask “where the hell are the real Republicans?”

            This is the U.S., not Iran. Enough with your bogus religion-based “culture war” laws.

Bob Watson   Decorah