In openers at yesterday’s final 2019 Aberdeen crackerbarrel, rookie Representative Kaleb Weis (R-3/Aberdeen) showed himself not to be a complete blithering idiot. He opened with a reasonable justification of his vote to kill House Bill 1230, the unwise and unnecessary bill that would have required clergy to report vague suspicions of child abuse and neglect to law enforcement:
Rep. Weis did err twice. He misnumbered the bill—it’s HB 1230, not HB 1130. But these things happen—it’s easy to mix up bill numbers.
Rep. Weis committed a greater error in trying to cast HB 1130 as a “very discriminatory” part of the vast liberal conspiracy to persecute Christians. HB 1130 contained no attack on Kaleb’s religion. It did not focus exclusively on functionaries of Christian churches. The only reference to “church” was in “church staff,” which prime sponsor rookie Representative Erin Healy (D-14/Sioux Falls) amended out of the bill before Weis’s vote. As amended to focus on clergy, the plain text of HB 1230 referred specifically to existing statutory language, SDCL 19-19-505, which defines “clergyman” as “a minister, priest, rabbi, accredited Christian Science practitioner, or other similar functionary of a religious organization, or an individual reasonably believed so to be by the person consulting him.” (HB 1230 would have fought discrimination by striking “man” from that definition, thus officially and grammatically recognizing my wife as a full-bird pastor in the State of South Dakota, but oh well—she can keep faking it in the eyes of our sexually discriminatory state.) HB 1230 thus would have applied to every formal worship leader in the state, pastor, priest, rabbi, imam, what have you. There was no discrimination against Christians.
Like too many majoritarian Christians, Kaleb was just looking for an anti-Jesus bogey (man, woman, or otherwise) under the bed when the monsters are only in his head.
But hey, for Representative Weis, going from complete idiot to partial idiot is progress. Keep reading the blog, Kaleb—you’ll learn something every day!