Kansas legislators passed sweeping anti-trans legislation this week that has a religious-right coalitionâs fingerprints all over it.
On Tuesday, the Republican-led Kansas legislature passed Senate Bill 180âwhich would make it illegal for trans people to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity and illegal to change their name or gender identity on driversâ licensesâsending it to Democratic Gov. Laura Kellyâs desk with a veto-proof majority.
SB 180, which opponents say attempts to erase trans people from society, was introduced by Kansas state Sen. Renee Erickson. Erickson is a graduate of the Family Policy Allianceâs Statesmen Academy, which promises to âequip (participants) with foundational Christian worldview training.â The Family Policy Alliance is also a leading partner in the anti-trans coalition that has dubbed itself âPromise to Americaâs Children.â
Formed in 2021, âPromise to Americaâs Childrenâ vows to âprotectâ children who it says âare under attackâ from âpoliticized ideas about sexual orientation and gender identity ideology.â The 23 groups that make up the coalition portray feminism and LGBTQ equality as threats to the Christian rightâs narrow vision of âthe natural family.â With behemoth partner organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom and the Heritage Foundation, the coalition drafts model legislation and works with aligned state lawmakers to introduce them in their state legislatures. (...)
According to reporter Courtney Tanner of the Salt Lake Tribune, a parent submitted a formal request last December to get the Bible banned from Davis High School in Kaysville. The newspaper received a copy of it via a public records request. While the submitterâs name is redacted, the content of the request is glorious.
âIncest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide,â the parent wrote in their request, listing topics they found concerning in the religious text. âYouâll no doubt find that the Bible, under Utah Code Ann. Â§ 76-10-1227, has âno serious values for minorsâ because itâs pornographic by our new definition.â
âGet this PORN out of our schools,â the parent wrote. âIf the books that have been banned so far are any indication for way lesser offenses, this should be a slam dunk.â
The parent in question didnât just say all this. Included in the demand was an 8-page list of specific verses that justified the request. (...)
The Rev. Gerald L.K. Smith loved Jesus so much he built a seven-story statue on the top of an Ozark mountain to honor his savior.
Smith loved America, too, but despised many of his fellow Americans. Especially those who were Black, Jewish or immigrants.
An ordained Disciples of Christ pastor, master showman, skilled fundraiser, prolific writer and âminister of hate,â Smith spent decades warning white Christians that they were in danger of losing their country to devious forces conspiring against them.
To combat those forces, Smith founded a political party, ran for U.S. Senate and churned out tens of thousands of copies of The Cross and the Flag, a monthly magazine dedicated to the cause of Christian nationalism.
For Smith, that work was defined not by Jesus or the Constitution. His main concern was preserving Christian power and what he called âtraditional Americanism.â (...)
For hard-core Christian nationalists, new and old, the enemies list has often included Jews, Black Americans, immigrants and progressives, often labeled as Marxists.
âOne of the key parallels is an us-versus-them mentality where we have to circle the wagons because we are being attacked,â said Whitehead. âAnd the only way to survive is to fight back to take control and gain power.â (...)