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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

OK House Republicans Hate the Teachings of Jesus

"A poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly." Proverbs 18:23

In his "Sermon on the Mount", Jesus of Nazareth taught us, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." Recently, the certain Oklahoma House of Representative members showed that they think very little of the Nazarene's words. At issue was HB 1699, which would have brought victims of rape and domestic violence under the protection of the Family and Medical Leave Act. As many of you know, this law,passed during the administration of Pres. Bill Clinton, grants employees up to three weeks of unpaid leave from their jobs when they have to deal with situations such as the birth of a child or the care of a seriously ill family member. Victims of rape and domestic violence often have to deal with a host of problems ranging from hospital and medical care, meetings with law enforcement officials, and relocation to safer living quarters.

Several women, victims of violence, had stepped forward to testify about their experiences with employers who were less than sympathetic to their plight.These courageous women were not so much as granted the courtesy of a hearing due the actions of the House members of the committee considering the bill. Their objection centered on the fact that such protection would place an "undue burden" on employers, ignoring the burden such victims would face from the loss of a job. Some members suggested that these victims could very well use their "vacation time" in such a case. Rep. Guy Liebman complained that the reference to "rape" in the bill's title was distasteful to him. He asked if another more suitable name could be found.

I can think of some suitable names for Rep. Liebman, but Christian charity forbids that I use them in public. I would only pray that he learn the true moral value of such charity, and remember that Jesus told us that relief of human suffering was a true mark of any citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.I would urge all of you to contact your representative and ask them to consider the words of the Nazarene who told us, ""Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! . . .you have neglectedthe more important matters of the law-justice, MERCY, and faithfulness." Matthew 23:23 (emphasis added)

1 comment:

TonyaOKC said...

Wow, thank you for choosing to highlight this travesty. My husband, a YWCA employee, accompanied those women and that's how he describes the House dissing survivors in favor of corporate greed. Never heard much about this on the local news, though!

Tonya