There is a storm brewing, Oklahoma.
A group of extremists claiming to be “true Christians” are actively working to infiltrate our government. Last week we published an article bringing to light the actions of Ekklesia of Oklahoma, an effort related to the national Ecclesia movement, based out of a single-family home in Guthrie. This group of zealots exemplifies extremism and have even threatened violence to accomplish their goals.
One of the members of the group offered this statement in regards to our story: “We’ve watched hearings before and nothing is ever done. It’s time for sword bearers to stand at arms – first spirituality, then figuratively.” You read that right – time for sword bearers to stand at arms. At what point do extremist’s efforts, if not successful, turn to insurrection?
Clearly this group has motives and funding to affect our local governments. They have promised a new wave of politicians willing to enforce their strict theocracy and push their specific agenda. They are creating a rift in the Oklahoma Republican party, with GOP Chairman David McClain struggling to keep party unity among mainstream members and those falling in line with Ekklesia.
Ekklesia’s sole focus is the opposition of all abortions, with no exceptions. This past legislative session, state Senator Joseph Silk, R-Dist. 5, the Ekklesia-supported representative who authored SB13, an extreme anti-abortion bill prohibiting the use of abortion in any circumstance by providing an unborn child the equal protection of the laws of the state.
The bill sought to eliminate all exemptions and protections currently granted related to abortion and hold accountable those performing the act to homicide and/ or manslaughter.
Many of us, perhaps most of us, are pro-life but we struggle to hold those who miscarry or have an ectopic pregnancy accountable. At its surface, there are many people in this state, many politicians in this state, even many of you avid readers who would agree with this bill. But the level of extremity to which these views achieve will serve not to unite us behind a common cause but divide us even further.
They claim they are being singled out, persecuted for their beliefs. Bringing their actions to light is not persecution, it’s our civic duty.
They do not seek compromise. They do not seek understanding. They only seek to change our laws to mandate that all of us live under their beliefs and ideology. They are willing to spread lies and vile hatred. They are willing to threaten others in support of their cause. They are willing to bring down a wrath on those that stand in their way. This is nothing short of absolute extremism and is approaching insurrection.
Following the article, members of our staff have been cussed, called names, referred to as Satan, and learned that Ekklesia had actively prayed for the death of our associate publisher and journalists. We will not back down. We will not be intimidated. We will continue to uncover the truth and bring their actions to light. No threat of lawsuits, prayers for our death or threats of violence will deter us. There is no place in Oklahoma for this hateful extremism, nor for Oklahomans to allow it’s tolerance.
Extremism is not how to affect change in a democratic republic. Our nation was built on compromise. What happened to the days of lively debate? What about the days when our politicians truly stood up and argued for their cause in a passionate yet thoughtful manner? The rivalry of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former President Bill Clinton, who, despite vehemently opposing everything the other stood for, found a way to compromise.
Our country has a history of stamping out extremists for the greater good – from ending slavery to women’s suffrage to civil rights, from the creation of the Social Security Administration to welfare reform - it wasn’t the extremists that won in the end, it was those willing to work together and compromise who achieved real change.
The negotiating table is open right here in the court of public opinion. While many people may agree with these views, this issue is too nuanced to be 100% for or against – there is not a place for extremism in this debate. But compromise, in which morals and ethics are truly considered – not just for the beliefs of one group – is achievable for this and many other issues facing our state and our nation. Shed your extremism and prepare yourself for open and honest conversations. Otherwise the masses will turn a deaf ear and your voice will not be heard, no matter how loud you yell.
Let’s agree that Oklahoma is a pro-life state. So pro-life that if a woman has the horrific and unfortunate experience of an ectopic pregnancy that she can choose life over that of an unsustainable life.