A few weeks ago I went to the Oklahoma State Capitol to speak against some legislation and was refused permission to speak at the House education committee meeting. It became obvious to me that day that the only people permitted to speak at committee meetings, other than the state representatives on the committee, were those who spoke in favor of legislation favored by the Republican majority.
Apparently this tactic has become standard operating procedure in most House Committees now that Republicans have control of the House of Representatives. Today the Democrats at the Capitol have had enough. They just walked out of the Capitol to protest the Republican leadership's censuring citizens who wish to express opinions in opposition to their agenda.
As news of their walkout reached me, I could not help but note the similarities between the tactics of Republicans at the Oklahoma statehouse and the tactics of the fundamentalist leadership at the SBC's International Mission Board that Wade Burleson is blogging about in my previous post.
It should come as no surprise. In many instances, the leaders of the SBC takeover and the leaders of the Republican party in Oklahoma are intimately related. A prime example is State Representative Sally Kern who introduced the legislation that I went to the Capitol to oppose. Her husband, Steve Kern, pastor of Olivet Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, is a prominent member of the fundamentalist takeover movement in Oklahoma.