Utah lawmakers are harming helpless souls. Do they think they somehow deserve it?
“Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
— Luke 23:34
As with most religious writings, there can be many interpretations of this biblical keyword. The idea that the Son of God thought it was a good thing for people – powerful people – to act out of ignorance would probably not be a good way to read it.
Unless you’re a member of the Utah Legislature.
The list of issues on which the Republican supermajority in the legislature proudly wears its fat on its sleeve and waves it for all to see is long.
Much of this has to do with nature and the environment. deny climate change. Adhering to coal mining as a viable source of income and power. A blind abandonment of the facts about the relationship between predators and prey, resulting in our legislature investing money in efforts to stop the reintroduction of wolves into the landscape, on the entirely false argument that the absence of wolves would improve the population of elk and elk deer. If anyone who is not biologically illiterate knows that the opposite is true.
There are other scientific fallacies that our elected worthy adhere to. The myth that a human fetus has a “heartbeat” at six weeks of pregnancy. Hot denial of the fact that vaccines are the greatest single creation in human history, stacked on top of the idea that people should have the religious, personal, parental, or just plain uncomfortable right to refuse them. Although this makes all opponents of vaccination clear and poses dangers to their entire families, schools, workplaces and communities.
These aren’t just honest disagreements where politics can, at best, be a vehicle to discuss and resolve disputes, often by settling disagreements or otherwise finding compromise.
It’s about life and death.
We’ll likely never know how many Utahns died because lawmakers usurped the rightful authority of duly appointed public health officials and removed vaccination and mask mandates. The state did not act because these mandates were unwarranted intrusions on personal liberties, which they were not, but because we are obviously a state that is heavily populated and governed mostly by 8-year-olds whose logic is not about “I know not” goes beyond. I do not want.”
However, we can get an idea of how many people will die because of the current blatant display of gloom by the Utah Legislature, its crusade to deny young transgender people the medical and emotional care they need.
It will almost certainly not be as many as have died and will die from preventable cases of COVID-19. But if the victims’ families are willing to relay the information, we will be aware of the suicides that result not only from the fact that young people who need such care are not getting it, but from the fact that The State of Utah is about to take an official position that harming these helpless souls is a good thing. That they somehow deserve it.
This is a contemptible package of legislation hastily trudging through the legislative process in hopes that no one will be able to stop and think about it, perhaps more ignorance. Or it could be something worse.
Legislators who claim to know more about healthcare than just about any medical professional association, more about wolves and money and education than all the experts combined, might not think their knowledge superior. They just don’t care.
You might say, with the phrase early on attached to Trumpism in all its forms and ideas, that cruelty matters.
They may be practicing a form of politics based on first instilling irrational fear in a significant percentage of the population and then riding to the rescue. Like a bored firefighter who commits arson just to justify his job.
This political faction has pretty much used up Americans’ fear of emancipated women. Fear of black people, of immigrants, even of same-sex marriage, isn’t as useful as it used to be. Although many people have not given up trying.
Target groups are getting smaller, which is unfortunate for the victims, because those in the crosshairs have fewer people in the same boat, fewer allies, and easier teases with every jolt.
It is their way of gaining votes and contributions by “owning the libraries”. “We’re staying with the elite.” Despite what George Wallace called the “pointy college professors.” By being mean to the right people.
What’s truly despicable about the barrage of anti-trans laws in the Utah legislature isn’t so much that lawmakers are ignorant. It’s that they think the rest of us are.
George Pyle, Opinion Editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, is grateful to his father for letting him read a little Plato when he was young: the part where explains Socrates that knowing that you don’t know everything is the greatest wisdom.