Usual Suspects Lurk Behind Kansas Bill 401

LOS ANGELES—The extent to which religious dogmatists are influencing those with direct power over our lives was never more evident than in Kansas, where a bill that is hopefully going nowhere—SB 401—has their grubby fingerprints all over it. The bill is an odious piece of work in and of itself, trying as it does to, as the Wichita Eagle put it, "make it easier to prosecute teachers, librarians or school principals for exposing students to offensive materials."

That's right, folks, a bill to expedite the prosecution of teachers and librarians for the crime of teaching sex education. Now what sort of upstanding organization could possibly be behind such a worthwhile endeavor? Hmm....

How about the American Family Association, whose founder Donald Wildmon is unique in the annals of professional hate-mongers for his lifelong campaign to eradicate homosexuality, and whose son Tim now runs the outfit with him. Similar to other like-minded hate groups that ply their campaigns of destruction under the guise of religious fidelity and liberty, AFA manifests its message through a variety of means, including a half dozen websites and a network of 200 radio stations scattered around the country, as well as through videos it produces and distributes to a membership base of roughly a half million people.

But the group has also invested a lot of time and resources lobbying for its anti-gay, anti-sex, anti-evolution message, and no more intensively than in Kansas, where the association's state director, Phillip Cosby, has for years been successfully cozying up to a legislature that is increasingly comprised of lawmakers who see eye-to-eye with people like the AFA's Director of Issues Analysis, Bryan Fischer. That's the erudite fellow who just today on his radio show weighed in on the nation's political structure, arguing, "The responsibility of those in civil authority is to only approve that which God approves, and stand against that which He rejects." This, he added, is especially true for "a law or an ordinance that gives special recognition to homosexual behavior," but you can bet your six-shooter that it holds equally true for everything else AFA is against, including the "sins" addressed by SB 401.

Actually, you don't need to bet anything. It's all right there in the supplemental notes attached to the bill, which state, in part, "The bill was introduced by the Senate Committee on Judiciary at the request of Senator Pilcher-Cook. In the Senate Committee, Senator Pilcher-Cook, representatives of American Family Action of Kansas and Missouri and Sunflower House, a private citizen, and a university student interning for Senator Pilcher-Cook testified in support of  the bill. There was no neutral or opponent testimony."

American Family Action is a political offshoot of AFA, designed specifically to generate public support for issues or pieces of legislation either near and dear to the AFA's heart—like SB 401—or targeted by it for destruction. 

Actually, considering its constitutional deficiencies, SB 401 may be destined for the legislative circular file despite its support in the chambers. That may be one reason it was removed from the calendar and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means following a February 28 session. But for AFA, the battle against sex-obssessed teachers, principals and librarians is just one more fight on the road to getting the country back on track toward a theocracy. After all, as detailed by the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News last month, the "puppet masters" and their "anti-gay Jim Crow-style bills are suddenly springing up across America like ugly weeds on a beautiful green lawn."

Time to pull the weed wacker out of the garage.