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Sometimes, it baffles me that hypocrisy can be so obvious and yet, people remain so oblivious.

Here in the Midwest, starting in 2010, with the sharp conservative turn in all of our states, there has been a real movement to address the most dangerous of all community problems.  There is no problem facing any community in Kansas, Missouri or Nebraska as serious, dangerous and devastating to the people as the urgent need to force strip clubs out of business, burn down adult book stores, and by all means we have to put an absolute stop to any sales of sexual devices... oh!  And Gay People.. by God, we've got to stop the Gay People.  

There is nothing, absolutely nothing more pressing.   It's obvious in that for the FOURTH time since 2010, our state senate is eagerly addressing more ways to handle the blight that is a strip clubs, adult book stores.. and we're going to save our souls doing it.

There is nothing more scary to a conservative then Sharia.. the idea that strict Islamic law would in some way influence the US, strip us of our base rights and so on.  It's so scary, and yet, this year, the State of Kansas has decided that maybe, if we were all ruled by a faith of our governor's choosing, we'd be better off for it.

Kansas started it's Seven Part Plan to reform our state.   It all began with

Part 1: Let's Defend Marriage! (OR:  "We Believe in World Peace.. just OUR kind of World Peace only)

Marriage Savers creator Mike McManus said clergy members typically did a lousy job preparing couples for marriage and secular therapists were more likely to increase divorce among spouses in crisis.

This threesome was among 20 people who met behind closed doors in Topeka to share marriage program ideas with Brownback and executives at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. During the April encounter, the governor urged invitees to think in terms of "Hail Mary" approaches to boosting marriage rates and slashing divorce rates in Kansas.

Before I continue, I have to say, while it's been a long time since I was ever involved in a threesome, the thought of doing so in front of 20 other people kind of creeps me out.   I'm just too self conscious about it.
Clergy members in each Kansas county should sign and enforce a "community marriage policy" to prohibit church weddings unless the couple completed a 200-item, premarital inventory and met several times with a mentor couple trained by the church, McManus said.

In his follow-up letter to Brownback obtained by The Topeka Capital-Journal, McManus said Kansas should prohibit no-fault divorce unless there was proof of physical abuse or adultery. A Kansas law ought to be passed, he said, allowing judges to select a "responsible spouse," which would always be the person opposed to divorce. The statute would allow the responsible adult to receive up to 66 percent of child visitation and 100 percent of family assets in the divorce.

So, we set the ground rules.   The state will issue you a marriage license but expect all churches to marry you ONLY if you know, you can go meet with a minister for a "200 point" session, and make a go of it.  Because the State now wants to push churches around.  And it's OK, because the Churches want the business, so they'll do it.  

Turns out your partner is a bastard?   Abusive?  Maybe things change and it just doesn't work?   First one to want a divorce gets hosed!  They get 0% of the assets and 33% of the visitation rights.   So, I hope you plan on sticking with your abusive alcoholic partner, sucker.

But how do we really control this, you know, to make sure marriages stick together, to really hold a community together?   After all, it's not jobs or money or opportunity that hold a marriage together, it's ... the lack of strippers and dildos.    

Part 2:  Defend the Communities through Rezoning

So, a good first step is that we are now fully under the new "Community Defense Act".   Flat out, I have to admit, I lived under my blanket in fear.   I didn't leave in fear of the cuts made to mental health care in Kansas., I didn't live in fear of the Mortgage failures, etc.  

I lived in fear of where an adult book store or strip club might pop up.

We had thought we were in the clear, frankly, when the Community Defense Act went up in flames in March, as the Kansas Senate chose not to act on it.. but before you could say "PHEW!"   Back comes the Community Defense Act II - The Sequel!!

Part 3:   Show your Adoring Crowd How well you're Loved!!

I always feel like it's good to know you're in a state that knows how to do things right when you get this kind of heaping praise:

The conservative majority in what I call the beautiful flatlands of Kansas continually do what is right in the face of liberal opposition. Day in and day out there are examples of regular people stepping forward and not just fighting for the values of God, family and country, but also winning the day; yes, winning the day and returning to the regular work of daily life with little fanfare or celebration.

Yes!  Kansans are winning the day!  Preach on!  What are we winning!?!?!

Part 4:  You have to Stop those Gay people because, they scare you.

During this period, liberals attempted the very same demonization that is now heaped upon the Tea Parties of this state, by saying that Kansans who believed in traditional values were "hate mongers, intolerant, prejudiced," and the list goes on.
Those dirty Bastards!  How could they think we Kansans were intolerant?!?
A salient example, and one mentioned far less than it should be, was the massive conservative victory against the country's most liberal homosexual bill created and passed in Manhattan, Kansas. On February 8, 2011, a liberal majority within Manhattan's city government with support from a homosexual advocacy group, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) pushed through an anti-discrimination ordinance alteration that created arbitrary punishments for traditional Kansans, and ran counter to the values of Christians. In the face of heavy liberal opposition, Kansans came together and voted in a conservative majority in Manhattan, Kansas, and repealed the homosexual bill. What one town can do, so can another.
Oooh.. wait.. now I guess I understand.. was this the thing you were saying they should be cheering on and patting themselves on the back?

Yes!   My hetrosexuality is all in tact!   I feel Great!   But I still worry about them there, you know, dirty magazines, books and strippers...

Part 5:  Rezoned them?  YEP!  Now, Let's run those immoral people out of business!

The "community defense act” would prohibit full nudity at adult entertainment clubs, force them to close between midnight and 6 a.m., require performers to stay at least 6 feet from the customers and forbid contact between performers and customers. It also would require new clubs, adult bookstores, video stores, theaters, modeling studios and sexual device shops to be more than 1,000 feet from any church, library, park, school or day care center.

Proponents say the bill, which originated in the House and was passed along to the Senate, is not an attempt to legislate morality or regulate sexually oriented businesses out of existence. It is exactly that, and no more time should be spent on it.

So, Strip clubs now in Kansas all now require you to apply for memberships, to make sure that if they are forced to comply they can "name names" of those who broke the rules, since it'll be a crime.   But don't worry, that won't cut their business AT ALL.   Girls can't get within 6 feet of guys?  No nudity?  Sure, the clubs will still be packed to the gills.  Nobody is worried about being on a client list that can be accessed by the State of Kansas.. no chilling effect there!

Let me say most Gentlemens clubs are pretty scuzzy places, and I'm not a huge fan.  Still, I can't think of anytime in my life were I lived in fear of a stripper destroying my marriage.  Or destroying the marriage of my neighbor.  New rules regarding Adult book stores, which will require IDs, have must black windows to prevent anyone from seeing and be zoned away 1,000 feet from any "recreational area" school, day care, church or religious zoned area and residential communities will certainly save some marriages.   I had an absolute nightmare that my loving wife actually bought that Hitachi Wand for something other then neck pain... I knew then, it was all the fault of those damn websites, places who lived and died on their interest in destroying my marriage.  How can I, how can anyone live and survive with these kind of pressing problems?   Dear Sam Brownback, please, oh, god, please,  you need to make sure my wife knows that she needs to be happy with what she has and not have any of them devil thoughts.   And I promise, I'll make sure to never look at porn or see another woman.. unless I'm going to marry them, you know, also... which brings me to

Part 6:  Men should just take extra wives instead.   That works.

Blankenhorn, of the Institute for American Values, raised eyebrows in a California federal court while offering testimony on same-sex marriage. He said polygamy didn't violate the "rule of two people."

"Even in instances of a man engaging in polygamous marriage, each marriage is separate," Blankenhorn said.

Because you know, four people is still two people but 2 gay people is like.. I don't know but it can't be two people.   MY HEAD IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE.

And flat out, there is nothing worse then getting even your spouse accidentally pregnant.  By god, how did she not know!  Ok, we're going to fix that!

Part 7:  Abortions for No One!

Make sure that no abortion can be covered under insurance.

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the new Kansas abortion insurance regulations. They argue that the Kansas abortion law, which forbids private insurers from covering the procedure if it's elective, is unconstitutional.

The newly-passed law makes it illegal for private insurers to cover elective procedures. Abortion procedures that are necessary to save the mother's life can still be covered by insurance, reports The Kansas City Star.

And then announce it's just what everyone was rooting for.
Gov. Sam Brownback defended his signing of anti-abortion laws that are now tied up in the courts, saying last week that “it was the will of the Legislature and the people of the state of Kansas.”

It’s questionable whether the public wanted the state to defund Planned Parenthood (65 percent of Americans favor continued funding for Planned Parenthood, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll) or to impose unrealistic licensing requirements on abortion clinics. But voters did elect the state lawmakers who passed these bills — so Brownback has a point.

Read more:

Questionable to who?  Certainly not our governor!

I have to say, I live every day so proud of my state.  Defunding education, chopping funding for the mentally ill.   Discontinuing parental outreach for families of physically and mentally disabled children.   Banning abortion.   Promoting marriage by attaching licensing and divorce to religious guidelines.   Beating back the scourge that is adult book stores and strip clubs.    Chopping down art that might offend us, and telling gay people they aren't welcome.

I have to say, every day, I'm so grateful that I will never ever live under Sharia.   I'm sure every woman or gay person in Kansas is too.

Because this is SOOO much better.. and nothing at all the same.

Thu Aug 25, 2011 at  5:10 AM PT: Update:  Thanks to all for the Rec :)    I have to also add that today, my newspapers brought me more great news about how awesome my state is.

The Mid-America Arts Alliance concluded Wednesday that Gov. Sam Brownback's elimination of direct state investment in the Kansas Arts Commission rendered the state ineligible at this time for grants from the alliance.

The alliance, which serves a six-state region, determined Kansas could no longer be viewed as a certified member of the group after the governor vetoed state funding to KAC, dismissed the agency's employees and handed fundraising to a new private foundation.

"We are deeply concerned for the artists, arts organizations, arts educators, and arts participants and audiences who will undoubtedly be affected by the loss of the Kansas Arts Commission’s support and leadership,” said Mary Kennedy McCabe, executive director of the alliance.

It's OK, I never liked that "ART" stuff anyway.  

Sat Aug 27, 2011 at  3:26 PM PT: I want to update this because I think it's important.   Some have voiced that this was an attempt to use Sharia as an attack, to show it as utterly evil.   I have tried in comments to dispel that.  My diary wasn't about Islam, or Islamic beliefs.   It was about a concept being used as a boogeyman to institute policies aimed at harming people.  

I found myself today with an email from a few people who said they honestly felt hurt.  And I immediately felt sick to my stomach.   My core point, and I think  many understood, was that politicians had used rhetoric to demonize a faith and a philosophy.  They had done so, effectively, and got elected doing it.   They had railed against practices and then managed to put into place the most oppressive and harmful practices - the things that people truly fear or have come to imagine Sharia is - because it's what they are told by these same politicians.

My diary wasn't meant to be a strike at Islam.  It wasn't meant to express fear or hatred to a religion or a faith.   It was meant to show that it had become the strawman, defined by it's enemies.  

In my attempt to use it as a way to show how fear had been used to twist the course of democracy in our state, I have apparently hurt several people.   I'm honestly sick about that.   I had honestly intended pretty much the reverse of that, and in the comments, I had tried to blunt that argument.  

I have my own feelings about all faith.   But I would attack none of them for people who honestly believe in their spirituality and mean no harm to others.   Instead, I worry for those concepts being used to twist and hurt people - to define them and to define a state - and to force us to live under what is everything that we have been lectured is horrible about "Sharia", not the literal meaning for practicing islamics, but the word of fear and hatred conjured by elected officials.   I'm updating this after most have read it, but just so I can say it in the clear.

To those I have offended, I hope this clears the air some, and we can find peace between us ;)

Originally posted to tmservo433 on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 04:43 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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