Minnesota State Senator Eric Lucero, a Republican, unveiled the newest Republican plan to Protect Our Children. And it's such a doozy that it really can't be explained by anyone but the man himself, so take it away ... senator?
Well now, that's a yikes and a half.
Lucero here is promoting his proposed amendment to HF-1999, Amendment A-1, which the chyron here helpfully identifies as "Prohibiting funds to be used for any activities related to the occult, divination, necromancy, soothsaying, Santanism, pedophilia." We'll assume that “Santanism” is a typo, but this is Minnesota, and you never know what sort of weird Minnesota grudges you're going to run into up there.
What the banana-coated Republican was proposing was simple enough. He doesn't want state funding to be used for any form of "art" that could be used to "channel" any of those things:
Sin is real. Sin. S-I-N. Is real. Sin is evil. Sin can exist in any institution. And we need to work hard, as the Minnesota Senate, to protect our young, vulnerable children's minds against these terrible, wicked, evil practices.
And unfortunately, because all humans are subjected to potentially being corrupted by sin, we need to examine ALL institutions to prohibit such funds.
There are practices out there that seek to groom and corrupt the minds of young children, to engage in sexual perversion. And those wicked people manifest themselves in many different areas of our society.
One of those areas that they have manifested themselves is in the areas of the arts, and I want to make sure that taxpayer dollars do not fall into the hands of these wicked, vile people that push sexual perversion, gender confusion, that might come to our capital and in displays of abomination, parade themselves around the rotunda.
And I do not want pictures, plays, theater, sculptures, or any other type of art, to be used to channel the occult, to promote the occult or any of its variations, Satanism, and the wicked, evil practice of grooming young children such as pedophilia.
It goes without saying that religious conservatives believe more strongly in the occult than anyone else in America. Not even Satanists believe in Satan as much as midwestern Christians do; to hear the Lucero sect of America, there's a witch in every attic, and a free demon possession doled out in two of five McDonald's Happy Meals.
It also goes without saying that Bananadude is also quite vigorous in his belief that "gender confusion" and "necromancy" are essentially the same problem, which is ... remarkable? Is that the word we're looking for?
Ah, batshit. The word for it is batshit. The man's intent is clearly to punish the "vile people" that believe "gender confusion" might be a thing, the people who come to his office to parade around the rotunda, but according to him, those people are indistinguishable from pedophiles, Satanists, Ouija board purchasers, and people who attend certain plays.
That is not, however, why we are here today. We are here because Minnesota State Senator Eric Lucero is yet another Republican who claims to support small government and hate government overreach, only to like government overreach just fine when it comes to retaliating against groups he doesn't like.
I'm referring here, of course, to necromancers.
Lucero is full of big talk, listing out occupations and beliefs he defines as evil while omitting a whole lot of evils that he's apparently just fine with, and it's probably notable that while his little speech was full of buzzwords like "gender confusion" and "grooming," his actual amendment went heavy on prohibitions against "the occult," "divination," and "necromancy." You're not allowed to "channel" any of those things in art, if Lemon Twist here has his way; no raising the dead, communicating with the dead, or asking the dead for lottery numbers.
If you are going to do any of those things, the state is strictly banned from providing funding for your "activities." You will raise the dead on your own dime, Minnesota necromancers, but the taxpayers won't be putting up funding for it. Sinful, slutty states like Pennsylvania may be willing to hold public ceremonies that use groundhogs to predict six-week weather patterns, but there will be no Punxsutawney Phil in Minnesota. That's divination, and it's devil worship. Bucktoothed, rat-furred devil worship.
There will be no public performances of “Hamlet” in Eric Lucero's Minnesota, and no “Midsummer Night's Dream.” “Hamlet” is unmistakably a story of the occult, complete with talking ghost; “Midsummer” is absolutely riddled with fairies. Neither of these plays is the sort of thing Banana Fits wants to expose Minnesota children to. It goes without saying that the 1990 Patrick Swayze film “Ghost” is out; those damn Narnia books that were omnipresent in school libraries will finally be put under lock and key. “The Wizard of Oz” was devil worship to begin with, and “Sesame Street” and its talking animal-monster-things were already on thin ice for decades of promoting math.
Lucero's amendment doesn't just strip funding for actual divinations and necromancy, but from any "art" attempting to "promote" those things. Handing out Halloween candy on state property would appear to be a violation; it's not clear whether state vehicles are allowed to stop for street-crossing trick-or-treaters or whether the extra twenty seconds spent not running them over would count as "promoting" whatever it is the children are dressed up as.
And yet none of that is as enraging as Lucero's demand that actual divination and necromancy be stripped of state funding. Do you know how hard it is to make ends meet as a necromancer? Do you have any idea?
When my grandfather died, in 1972, 1987, and 2004, the funeral and disinterment costs alone would have bankrupted my grandmother if it weren't for her NEA grants.
Lemon Pledge here is also making no attempt to distinguish between actual necromancy or spirit-raising and the merely attempted kind. This is the sort of thing that is enraging to professional necromancers: The notion that three drunken college students lighting a few candles before dusting off an old Ouija board is equivalent, in the state legal code, to the successful summoning of a hellhound, or Elvis, or Elvis riding a hellhound is like saying your dog dragging his ass on your front lawn is equivalent in spirit to you building a two-lane paved highway from Wadena to Pine River.
What about CPR? Does Lucaro intend to withhold public funds from CPR training? If not, where does he intend to draw that line instead?
In much the same way that pandemic pseudo-experts are popping out of the woodwork to tweetsplain "gain of function" research to the world's top biologists, Minnesota Republicans are now attempting to pass laws premised on an understanding of the occult that would lump performances of Hamlet in with "gender confusion" and ninth-order magic circle construction. It's the same anti-science, anti-book-learning nonsense we've always gotten from state Republicans. I'm not saying you need to have successfully reanimated a corpse before you're allowed to even weigh in on these things, but it's notable that Lucero was apparently unable to find even one professional necromancer or spiritologist to solicit testimony from.
It is of course an uncomfortable subject for most, but necromancers are, perhaps more than any other professional researchers, working for the good of mankind. Famous necromancers like the very wealthy Peter Thiel are, quite literally, researching the methods of immortality. They want to go beyond current medical science to explore post-medical possibilities.
Necromancers are, in any other context, precisely the sort of Americans that Republicans are constantly telling us to emulate. They are accomplished bootstrappers, building their businesses from the ground up. They are not just “pro-life,” but willing to actually do something about it—which is something that few Republicans can themselves claim. They are looking beyond hot-button issues such as school lunch funding or food stamp programs to ask the larger questions: Do humans really need food at all?
Necromancers are first and foremost, however, among the most aggressive of job creators; no matter what your educational level or what professional experience you may have had in your prior life, they will find a job for you.
But no. According to the Minnesota senator, none of this matters. It is the equivalent of pedophilia in his mind. He imagines necromancers and their employees "parading around the rotunda" in "displays of abomination."
Listen, bananacoat. Have you ever tried digging a six-foot hole in the ground? Necromancers work harder in a single night than you've done in your whole off-the-rack life.
The good Republican senator really has no good explanation at hand for his belief that state taxpayer money can go to, say, promoting the state's dairy or tourism industries but not to mom-and-pop Minnesota necromancy shops. He finds some things to be "abominations" and other things not to be, and Minnesota citizens ought to think long and hard about whether they want to trust the cultural instincts of a man who owns a lemon-yellow suit.
Perhaps Lucaro could at least talk to a Minnesota-crafted zombie, before deciding who is or isn’t an “abomination.” Perhaps Lucaro has a few things to learn about how not to be rude.
Fortunately for those Minnesota citizens, they have some time to think about that. Lucero's amendment failed, though not by much. Thirty senators voted to adopt the amendment prohibiting state funding for necromancers; 34 voted against it. The necromancers won the day.
But State Senator Eric Lucaro does not sound like a man who will take no for an answer, when it comes to deciding who in Minnesota is an "abomination" and who isn't. We can expect to hear from him again.