By Jack L. Werner | June 9, 2012
I became a Republican in the ninth grade at Jarman Junior High in Midwest City. Henry Bellmon was running against W.P. “Bill” Atkinson, the founder of Midwest City. Our class had to pick whom we supported. My mom took me to Bellmon’s campaign office (both my parents were Democrats), and he happened to be there. Bellmon treated me as if I were an important person to him.
I’ve never regretted supporting Bellmon or Ronald Reagan. After two tours in Vietnam, I came back to Oklahoma to complete a degree in political science and work for U.S. Rep. Mickey Edwards, another Republican whom I still like and admire.
I stopped my financial support of the Republican Party when the “moral majority” co-opted the Republicans. I was raised Southern Baptist, but I believe one of the great evils of the world and threats to freedom is allowing religion to be involved in politics. To the point: Jim Roth’s confirmation to the State Election Board being sidetracked by the Senate Rules Committee.
Roth is one of the finest, brightest, most caring, ethical people I know. Few people know more about the political process than Roth, who is gay.
I’m tired of the cowardly bigotry of many Republicans and many professed Christians who hide behind “God’s Word” in order to say someone else isn’t as good or not as deserving as the good white Republican Christian heterosexual. I’ve been labeled all these things.
I must distance myself from any group that blatantly or surreptitiously (most of the folks hide behind some “reason” to justify their bigotry) attacks people because of their sexual preference, their skin color, their religion or their lack of one. I volunteered for two tours in Vietnam with K Co. 75th Airborne Rangers and the IV Infantry Division, believing that America stands for equal rights and equal opportunity for everyone and that one’s race, gender, sexual orientation, skin color, devout religious belief or lack of religion was not anyone else’s business. The Bible that I read says Jesus’ real enemy was the self-righteous, chest-beating, public-praying Pharisee. He came to tell us to treat all people as God’s children.
I am a Republican. I’m not changing parties. I am saying that it’s time for rational, caring Republicans to step up and confront the hypocrisy.
Werner, of Oklahoma City, owns A to Z Inspections, a home and commercial inspection company.