To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, April 24, 2024


Get Me Out Of The Oklahoma Way-Back Machine



Did you ever feel like you went to sleep last night, in 2015, and woke up this morning in 1915 or somewhere else in the first half of the 20th Century, or the first half of the 19th Century, or even the first half of the 17th Century?

My forefathers, my actual family members, started coming to this country two centuries before the revolution. My daughter could qualify for the Daughters of the American Revolution [DAR] 20 ways to Sunday, if she were the type. Her ancestors, on both sides, were called Huguenots which means they fought, and some died, trying get the freedom to worship as they pleased or maybe not to worship at all. By the way, the Puritans did not have weddings in churches and considered marriage a secular right and not a religious ceremony.

I don’t know about the ancestors of Rep. Dan Fisher, Oklahoma rightwing lunatic, or Rep. Sally Kern, Oklahoma right wing lunatic-ette, but I don’t believe my ancestors came here to create a theocracy because that was what they were dying to get away from in Europe.

Apparently Oklahoma has a new gang, The Black Robe Regiment. I can’t be the only person whose mind went back to the Monk Chant in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where they wear dark robes and hit themselves in the head each time they repeat the chant. Of course, the grim reaper also comes to mind, as do vampires and all kinds of creatures of the night.

No, I am not referring to unarmed black people in black hoodies. One state senator tried – unsuccessfully – to get rid of all hoodies, except if it isn’t cold enough, Halloween or part of your own special ceremonies, like costumes for parades or maybe burning crosses.

However, last night, while watching The Italian Americans on OETA, some other groups using the word “black” in their name came to mind and it did not refer to African Americans, African anything or alternative music groups.

In 1912 it was “the black hand” that killed Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and started World War I. Then there was the version that terrorized Italian immigrants in this country. The Black Hands were Italian immigrants, but they wouldn’t have been the first or the last splinter group to attempt to extort, intimidate or destroy their own.

By the way, you learn something new everyday – Italian Catholics were forced to worship in the basement because they were the wrong kind of Catholics.

Then there were the Blackshirts in World War II who were fascists and followers of Mussolini. Those fascists – and the ones in Germany who wore black shirts for storm troopers or brown shirts for the SA or “assault troops” – put nationalism above all else. If you weren’t with them then you were a traitor. Sound familiar?

I like to think these guys, The Black Robe Regiment, picked black because the filth on their filthy rags doesn’t show. Sanctimonious Sally likes to say that all sin is the same, but so far no one wants to add “thou shalt not be a self-righteous pain in the buttocks” to the monument at the Capitol.

Fisher is not to be confused with “fishers of men” – in the biblical – or he wouldn’t be trying the salvation-by-intimidation or legislation-witnessing method, which is driving people away and not reeling them in.

The BRR managed to get two bills out of committee which are called GOTV or Get Out the Vote legislation which is likely to be thrown out as unconstitutional. In fact they are working really hard to make the entire Oklahoma Constitution unconstitutional. Nothing gets them to the polls faster than denying them the right to deny the right of someone else to do things they think is a sin.

Backing this kind of stuff will get you votes in Oklahoma. One of these bills is trying to do away with Advanced Placement History in schools and Sancto-Sally wants to get rid of all Advanced Placement Studies unless she gets to write them. She is anti-any kind of educational standards because she doesn’t give a rat’s patootie if any Oklahoma graduate has what they need to get into any secular college. Obviously she can’t get the job done in her own Sunday School so she wants to force her own Sunday School on every student.

To begin with, while you must qualify for Advanced Placement classes, no one is required to take them. They seem to think that Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Adams and all those other guys wanted a state-run religion or a state run by religion. Sancto-Sally and I are the same age and we were both raised Baptist, but back then Baptists were big time supporters of Separation of Church and State and now they believe that their own religion should run the state.

They want religion taught in public school science classes, but they are picky about the denomination of the Christianity to be taught in schools. Sancto-Sally would strangle you with your rosary if you decided to lead a public school in a round of Hail Mary, Mother of God chants. And there had better not be a hint of Mormonism. She loves Israel and Jewish people, but ask her where they will be going on judgment day if they do not convert.

She is a really a big supporter of Israel because she believes it will bring on Armageddon. There are faster ways for Sally and her followers to meet their maker than dragging everyone else to war.

You should keep in mind that they believe in majority rules if, and only if, they are in the majority. Local parents are to be in control of local schools unless most of them are Catholic or Mormon and then that would not do. You need to be prepared because if they put it to a popular vote, Baptist would win in Oklahoma, although they are not all rightwing idiots.

The other GOTV bill they got out of committee, if passed by the full Legislature and signed into law by the governor, would mean if you are a court clerk and you issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple you cannot receive pay from the state or a pension. I think that means if you choose to obey federal law then no matter how long you have worked for the state you will be fired or made to work for free and not get a pension.

Sancto-Sally says she loves homosexuals, but only if they refuse to fall in love with each other and want any of the rights of married couples. She thinks that the “homosexual agenda” is worse than terrorism. Because homosexuals want the same rights, not special or unusual rights, that Sancto-Sally gets, they are more dangerous than the 9/11 hijackers.

They also do not want anyone to help any kid who is forced into force-the-gay-out programs by their parents. She would prefer the kids think they are alone, that nothing will get better, so they might as well kill themselves.

I am up for a re-enactment of the monk scene from The Holy Grail in the Capitol rotunda. “Equal rights for all of us, cause we pay our taxes” and then we get to hit any member of the The Black Robe Regiment in the head with an engraved marble tablet of the Bill of Rights.

We must be careful because they could be armed, especially Sancto-Sally, because she has been caught more than once with a gun in the Capitol. She thinks there are homosexual hit men out to get her. I am not homosexual, a man or armed, but I do dream of being a heterosexual slap-woman for gay rights.

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Editor’s Note: Fisher told the Oklahoman he is reworking HB 1380 because “it was very poorly worded and was incredibly ambiguous, and we didn’t realize that, so it’s been misinterpreted. We’re going to clear it up so folks will know exactly what we’re trying to accomplish and it’s not to hurt AP. We’re very supportive of the AP program.” Meanwhile, state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister told the Tulsa World she is “partnering” with Fisher to rewrite the legislation. Stay tuned.

Photo: Rep. Dan Fisher, from The Black Robe Regiment web site

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  1. It is tempting to describe these folks as a confederacy of dunces, but that gives them too much credit. Formation of a confederation requires a group of people capable of organizing themselves into a union for concerted action, however moronic the action. This is more like a disparate array of dunces who, defying the laws of physics, have coalesced randomly into a miasmic cluster. These politicians seem to be taking their cues from a leading politician of the 20th century. No, not him. They have yet to accuse the College Board of disloyalty, subversion, and treason (probably only a matter of time, though). I’m referring to Nikita Khrushchev, who said in defense of Soviet “historical revisionism”: “Historians are dangerous and capable of turning everything upside down. They have to be watched.” To these people, as to the Khrushchev-era Soviets, history and the party line (this whole “movement” emanates from the RNC) are one and the same.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.