Remember when we were told by Republicans that Sharia law was just a corner away from being enforced in America, just because we had a black, liberal president? Turns out, they were almost right.
In actuality, it is the extremist right-wing Christians under a Republican administration that we needed to worry about. Republicans reversed a needle exchange program that helped prevent the rapid spread of HIV and Hepatitis throughout Lawrence County in Indiana.
The needle exchange program was brought back in 2015 by then Governor Mike Pence (of all people) after he was convinced it would help prevent HIV and Hepatitis that was spreading rampantly throughout Indiana.
Even though support for the needle exchange program from the local government was met with a lackluster response, the program actually helped decrease the spread of Hepatitis according to Christopher Abert of the Indiana Recovery Alliance, a group that lobbied aggressively for the needle exchange program.
There has already been a 50 percent decrease in hepatitis C in the county.
Much of this progress is seemingly coming to a halt after county commissioners in Lawrence County decided that the program conflicted with their religious beliefs. One of the council members, Rodney Fish, even had the audacity to quote the scripture, 2 Chronicles 7, on why he decided against the program that helped thousands throughout the state.
If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Strong empirical evidence showed signs that the needle exchange program was halting the spread of HIV and Hepatitis throughout the state of Indiana only to be reversed because of a vague Bible verse about locust and prayer.
Fish said about his decision,
I did not approach this decision lightly. I gave it a great deal of thought and prayer. My conclusion was that I could not support this program and be true to my principles and my beliefs.
There we have it: any initiative or policy, no matter how helpful it is to the poor or needy, can be shot down by Republicans screaming “but my religion” – as long as that religion is Christianity.