“One of the greatest threats to American values and liberties today comes from abroad”                                                                                                                            – Eric Redman, R-Post Falls

Actually, Mr. Redman, it appears that the threat to American values comes from lawmakers like you. You’re wasting taxpayers’ time and dollars drumming up fear-based legislation that pits people against one another and distracts us from genuine issues facing Idaho. Fear monger much?

Eric Redman introduced, for a second time, his anti-Sharia law legislation (HB94). This was the first bill he introduced as a freshman State Rep. last year. Since it flopped last session he had to give it the ‘ol college try one more time. He told Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review, “Essentially, it really is the same bill.” It is the same bill–and it’s clearly intended to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment.

Image from Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review
Eric Redman, R-Post Falls
Image – Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

Redman’s bill insults the courts in Idaho. There is not one affirmative case in this country that points to a need for a bill like this, but Redman apparently does not trust Idaho judges to know how the law works.

As Kathy Griesmyer of the ACLU of Idaho put it, “This bill is motivated by an unfounded fear that so-called ‘Sharia law’ is overtaking Idaho courts, but there is no evidence of that.

The First Amendment already prohibits U.S. courts from imposing religious law as civil law, so this measure is completely unnecessary. Instead, lawmakers are using these so-called ‘anti-Sharia’ laws to treat one religious group – Muslims – as second-class citizens.”

Griesmyer thinks passing the bill could also have “significant unintended consequences in the everyday lives of Idahoans who marry abroad, file for divorce, adopt children from overseas, or conduct other family matters that involve foreign or international law.”

Unfortunately for the Gem State, Redmond doesn’t stand alone in his fear-based bigotry. He is part of the extreme right in Idaho, a subversive group of known racists intent on instilling fear and division. He is flanked Heather Scott Confederate flagby fellow Northern Idahoan, Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, known for waving the Confederate flag– and most recently for getting kicked off of her committee assignments for saying female members of the Idaho House only achieve leadership positions by “spreading their legs.

Later this month, Scott will be the darling guest speaker at the Treasure Valley ACT for America meeting. They encourage attendance saying, “This is your chance to get involved and help stop the spread of radical Islam in Idaho.”

Idaho’s national reputation is marred by white supremacy. Non-racist folks throughout the state are ashamed of this history. When people like Heather Scott and Eric Redman get elected and re-elected, we all lose. The state continues to have a connection with white nationalism and our time is wasted by poorly conceived legislation that does not benefit the state in any conceivable way.

At this hour in America we can not afford to support lawmakers who create legislation based in fear.