Oh sure, inviting Netanyahu to speak at a joint session of congress is a pretty big raised middle finger, but that amateur hour compared to how Texas treats the fifth-largest faith in the Lone Star State*.
January 29, a week ago Thursday, was Texas Muslim Capitol Day in Austin. As you might imagine, some Texans did not react with the sort of Southern hospitality you see in films:
“Today is Texas Muslim Capital Day in Austin. The House is in recess until Monday. Most Members including myself are back in District. I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws. We will see how long they stay in my office.”
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Texas capital is besieged by Christian protestors mocking, intimidating, and frightening the Texas Muslim community. You might even say “terrorizing.” I know I would.
As much fun as it would go after the protestors, I’d rather go after Representative White’s statement. I’m sure that it is totally legal for a government official to require oaths of allegiance from people based on their religion in order to visit that official’s office. Maybe she should do that with any group. Individuals should be required to denounce any wrongdoing of other individuals of the same group before they enter Rep. White’s office.
If that were the whole story, I’d have probably just let the whole thing pass. This is Texas, though, so of course there’s more. Newly-elected governor Greg Abbot decided to honor “American Sniper” Chris Kyle with his own day just two business days later on 2 February. If you only saw the film, you might think that Kyle was a morally conflicted individual who was not only an outstanding soldier, but also a man who was deeply troubled by the nature of his work.
Yeah, no. That’s not Chris Kyle. Let’s let Chris Kyle tell us a little about Chris Kyle in his autobiography:
“I don’t shoot people with Korans. I’d like to, but I don’t.”
“I hated the damn savages I’d been fighting. I never once fought for the Iraqis. I could give a flying fuck about them.”
So, let’s review: Texas had a day for Muslims at the state capitol and then went out of its way to make them feel unwelcome. On it’s own, that’s a pretty impressive act of pettiness. Then, two days later, the state announced that it would honor a man who wanted to kill every Muslim with his own day. Congress only wishes it could be that childish.
* In the interest of accuracy, I should mention that the largest group is not the Catholics but the “unclaimed”, whatever that means.