How Hateful Can They Be?

Here’s a “what-if.” What if orphans with serious medical problems–say asthma or epilepsy–were intentionally placed with foster or adoptive parents who were devout Christian Scientists or Jehovah’s Witnesses? Parents who would “pray away” attacks rather than provide medical care? What if a federal law required those doing the placements to ignore such parental beliefs on the basis of “religious freedom”? What if refusal to place a seriously ill child with a family that rejected medical science was considered “discrimination”?

I think–I certainly hope–most rational people would be appalled. 

Of course, Indiana Congressman Jim Banks is a culture warrior, not a rational person.

A Republican congressman has proposed a bill to prevent child welfare agencies from turning away prospective foster and adoptive parents who refuse to recognize transgender and nonbinary children’s identities.

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced the bill earlier this month in response to a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The rule would require child welfare agencies to place LGBTQ-identifying children in homes where they will not be mistreated or abused due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Caregivers for LGBTQ children would be required to receive training on how to provide for any unique needs those youth may have because of their identity.

Banks calls the rule discriminatory. He says it’s unfair to the “loving prospective parents who do not support the idea of transgender identity or who oppose homosexuality based on their religious beliefs.”

Yes, I can just imagine how “loving” those families would be to a child already struggling with both an absence of birth parents and thorny identity issues. Why not place Jewish children with “loving” Neo-Nazi families, or Black children with “loving” racists?

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Banks has instead proposed the Sensible Adoption for Every Home Act (SAFE), which would ensure that families that are headed by parents who hold anti-LGBTQ views are not rejected as foster parents. It would enforce that by prohibiting placement agencies that refuse to place LGBTQ children with otherwise qualified couples from receiving federal funds.

Even though social transition does not necessarily involve medical interventions, Banks — like many Republicans pushing anti-transgender legislation — equates affirmation with pursuing surgical and hormonal treatments.

His bill also seeks to protect parents who oppose psychological treatments or counseling for trans-identifying children, or refuse to use gender-affirming pronouns, from being discriminated against by placement agencies. 

Banks has company. Eighteen Attorneys General (all Republicans, of course) have signed a letter opposing the rule. And of course, the GOP’s rank hypocrisy is once again front and center.

As much as Republicans claim it’s unfair to discriminate against non-affirming parents, 13 states currently have laws that allow placement agencies to reject same-sex couples, single or unmarried parents, older opposite-sex couples, interfaith couples, and other prospective parents based on their purported religious beliefs.

I guess it’s okay to discriminate against people if the”sincerely held religious beliefs” of Republican lawmakers require legislating disapproval of those people. 

I have previously described Jim Banks as a Christian Nationalist’s wet dream. The remainder of the linked article supports that (admittedly unkind but arguably accurate) description.

In Congress, Banks has amassed a record that is hostile to LGBTQ rights.

He previously co-introduced a bill to allow adults who experience “regret” after undergoing transition-related treatments as youth to sue their former doctors.

He introduced another bill earlier this year, in conjunction with Sen. Marco Rubio, seeking to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military.

Last year, Banks submitted a discharge petition to force a vote on a bill to bar transgender women and girls from participating in female-designated sports. 

Banks was also previously banned from Twitter, prior to Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform, for deliberately misgendering Adm. Rachel Levine, the country’s first transgender four-star admiral with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the Assistant Secretary of Health at HHS.

This is the culture warrior who wants to be Indiana’s next U.S. Senator.

I recently became aware of a PAC established by several of Banks’ current constituents; it’s called the Hoosiers for Common Sense PAC and its “primary goal is to elect a common-sense Hoosier Democrat, Marc Carmichael, and prevent Jim Banks from advancing to the US Senate.” You can contribute here. 

Or you can contribute at Marc Carmichael’s website. Among his other eminently sensible positions, Carmichael wants to put an end to demonizing trans children for political advantage. It’s hard to disagree with his statement that harming innocent children in an effort to garner votes is simply beyond the pale.

Way beyond.


  1. Banks is appalling. That so many Hoosiers support him is beyond disheartening.

    I was encouraged to read in this morning’s paper that the Ohio’s Republican governor just vetoed a state ban on transgender care for children. In doing so, he echoed what Sheila has been telling us: The question is really WHO should decide. Governor DeWine said that these decisions should NOT be made by the state. Decisions about gender-confirming care should be made by the minor, parents and medical professionals.

  2. Banks and other extremist Christian Nationalist legislators make these kinds of proposals not because they believe that they will become law, but rather to cement their support from the ignorant masses who actually believe that such laws would be good for our country.
    Instead of leading, Banks is pandering. In fact, pandering is the number one approach to the country’s problems that Republicans have used since Reagan. If you seek the votes of ignorant, superstitious, racist fools… propose stupid, superstitious racist laws. It has worked here in Indiana for decades.

  3. Banks protests too much. His actions make me think he’s closeted.

    Did you all know that starting Monday, California is going to allow illegals to purchase health insurance from Med-cal? I think it’s a brilliant way to cover those in the state with their healthcare needs. Way to go California! How Christian of them.

  4. Yes. The key question – rhetorical in its substance – remains: “What the hell is wrong with these people?”

    We on this blog have thrashed this topic for months and months. It is clear that backward politics, aka, Republicans, coupled with mindless, hypocritical religion creates these monstrosities who run for political office. Find out who funds these damned fools and you’ll learn much about how you’re going to change your shopping choices in the coming new year.

    Oh, and in this morning’s news I read where the governor of Nebraska – a Republican, of course – has refused federal aid money to feed poor children. The cruelty is the point with Republicans and they know no bottom.

  5. Do you suppose that Banks, and whoever does the thinking for him, sits around just inventing solutions to imagined issues in order to inflame the base and distract from the real issues facing Hoosiers in order to avoid doing the actual work of legislating? (As I was writing this sentence I kept hearing “Thanks, Mr. Obvious! In my head…)
    Like Laurie Gray above states, the Ohio governor surprised me with his common sense decision.
    And Theresa Bowers, well said. “Pandering Jim Banks” would be a good nickname for him, if I were to stoop so low as to echo the tactics of the Orange Clown.

  6. What I find appalling is that these people keep getting re-elected or elected to higher office, even though the policies they propose are supported by a significant minority of the electorate.

  7. Well, firstly, I would have to point out that Jehovah’s witnesses do not believe in faith healing. As a matter of fact, many of the medical practices concerning bloodless surgery have been developed because of Jehovah’s witnesses. These practices are not religious in nature, but we’re developed by secular organizations and is taught in medical schools now. The main reason was not because of Jehovah’s witnesses not taking blood transfusions, but the amount of individuals who wished to have that sort of treatment in a non-religious setting. Very early on, bloodless surgery was reserved for the very wealthy. Considering the other medical issues, there is no faith healing for epilepsy or palsy or anything else that’s a physical or mental malady. Medications are not refused, treatments are allowed, as long as it doesn’t contain products made from blood.

    This has prevented bloodless believing patience from acquiring HIV, hepatitis, and other bloodborne illnesses that sometimes are impossible to detect in a diseases infancy.

    If someone is in an extremely weakened state from a surgery or some form of accident with blood loss, the first instinct is to pump units of blood to replace that which was lost. But the blood being pumped into a person, not only might contain undetected disease, but it also without a doubt contains the donors DNA. And, as we know from our basic scientific education in school, the body rejects foreign DNA. So, a person might end up having the appropriate blood pressure, but the body is further weakened because it is trying to eradicate foreign DNA invading its domicile. Especially when that energy could be used to heal the body rather than fighting something that was administered by the ill-informed.

    I’ve personally had four major surgeries, surgeries that many people give permission for transfusions. I never had a problem with surviving even though I was told that I might not. One 3-hour surgery, took me two days of recuperation in the hospital, and, was back at work in 3 weeks, without restrictions. So, I was working 10 to 12 hours a day 6 days a week. I’ve got about 4 lb of titanium and nickel in me, and, have had no ill effects.

    One of my very good friends has had a quadruple bypass with no blood transfusion, Advocate Aurora did the surgery in Milwaukee Wisconsin. They have about 400 cardiologists associated with their hospital. People come from all over the country for bloodless surgery. And, I might add, most are not Jehovah’s witnesses. There also is no pray the gay away conduct by Jehovah’s witnesses. The thought is if you love your children, you treat them with respect, give them a loving home, the decisions they make when they are of age are their own. At that point everyone is a free moral agent, free to make their own choices in life. And it happens all the time. There are many faiths that believe in not eating pork and have to abide by particular religious protocol such as Halal or kosher. This is to alleviate a person’s conscience to eat food by being assured the processing is done in accordance with particular beliefs.

    What rights will a child have, not wanting to eat kosher or halal products in a home where that’s demanded? When that child is of age, and out from underneath their parents purview so to speak, they can do as they please. And that’s where education in the home, which is the parents authority and right, have to be done with loving kindness. Where understanding is imperative and knowledge is power.

    And, let’s just say, if the state is going to rear your children for you, if your teachers become a surrogate parent, because the actual parents have ceeded their parental authority to someone else, who picks up the pieces?

    So, if one where to make biased baseless claims about one practice, belief, or another, and if one believes in sanctity of life, whose responsibility is it? If government is supposed to stay out of the bedroom, should they be involved in every aspect of the household? What do we call abuse? And who gets to decide?

  8. Let me add… What I find most upsetting about Bank’s pandering is the extremes of his cynicism. How dare he think that his voters are so low, so base, so cold! A real leader would strive to move his followers to a better and moral place, to bring out the best in people not push them into the debasement of the mob.

  9. Sheila writes, “What the hell is wrong with these people?”

    Volumes could be written about these Hoosiers, but remember, they are our neighbors. While some are loud, most others are silent.

    Looking wider, these “people” exist across the USA…

  10. Aging girl – people are NEVER illegals. They may be involved in actions some consider to be illegal but they themselves are not “illegals.”

    Perhaps we can we all agree that in states where extremist Republicans hold the power in the legislature the principle of government is theocracy – Christian (in name only) and the basic tenet is While Nationalism. The rest (following rules-of-order, etc.) is just window-dressing.
    And apparently the people who elect them are fine with that.

    Now if you agree with that premise, will you be willing to do the life-threatening actions that will be required when the 2024 presidential election triggers a civil war? These folks are serious about taking over the country and they have the guns! The Reverend Al Sharpton was on MSNBC the other night and he made the point that some people have always been willing to give their lives for the right to vote. Medgar Evers, The Mississippi Three, John Lewis and others were. And that is where we are once again.

    Instead of wringing our hands and wondering about just how awful these folks can be, we need to be strategizing about what we will do to defend our democratic principles. Evil in the extreme (Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc.) demands we be ready to sacrifice our bodies in defense of our principles. Get ready people. Plan now for what you will do. I live in South Carolina, the first to secede the last time around, and I think everyday about what I will do when the rule of law totally breaks down. I laugh when I hear my friends say “Well, I’ll just move!” Right!! I hope I will be as brave as Miep Gies and John Lewis and others when my time comes.

  11. John Sorg – Thank you for elucidating the facts about the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They clearly are not among those who forgo medical intervention for prayer. Having worked with a Witness, I learned about her adherence to the no transfusions rule. She was a very sweet person, who gently tried to convert me, giving me greater insight into their beliefs. I suppose that I found her interpretation of the bible as odd as she thought mine. I love multiculturalism. I learn so much about so many different people.

    As for Bank’s vs. Carmichael, it looks like another one-sided contest between a cultural warrior (true believer or panderer) and a man who wants to be a public servant and has thought about what can be done to help the people.

    I just hope Hoosiers can overcome their tendency to vote for a turnip with an (R).

  12. “What is wrong with these people?” Tres simple – no education in critical thinking, a culture focused on self-indulgence, celebrity, amusement. Toss in abject failure of national journalism to cover real issues plus the death of local journalism…what do y’all expect? Why are you surprised?

  13. Vern > Republicans have allowed and even encouraged the Maga faction of their “party” to insert cruelty into their working order, so starving poor children by denying federal funding and playing mind games with children’s sexual and other identities in additional issues like medicine, voting rights, education, one’s color, and other public assets are fair game for attack. Thus national heroes like Fauci are subject to death threats, Trump’s numbers go up when newly indicted, political criminals like Banks may well get a six-year job in the Senate, and their master monster of hatred, one Trump, who openly admires Hitler, may be elected on his promise to seek “retribution” against those who are in his way and end the Constitution as well as our democracy quilled therein by Madison and Jefferson via fear of lost social identity (which we have defined as White Christian Nationalism, but has other elements as well – see the 1/6 mob). The choice in ’24 could not be starker; it is fascism versus democracy, and the next time I vote for a fascist will be the first time. I would far rather live in a multicultural society than one dominated by fascists, but apparently when given a choice Magas disagree. . .

    I see no Republican platform outlining their tax and budget plans, foreign policy proposals, environmental solutions etc., and that’s because they don’t have one. Their “platform,” as it were, is tax cuts for their rich PAC-funding donors and the acquisition of power. So you ask what is wrong with these people? Nothing. This is how crooks and/or the deluded who don’t think they are wrong and/or who don’t distinguish right from wrong in favor of overriding advantage operate, and throw in religion and race as covers and everything is up for grabs, hence the forgiving and support of a criminal and irreligious libertine for president, a prayerful James Banks to the Senate, greedhog candidates for governor etc., all under the guise of a propriety that has no basis in truth or fact.

    To do > Take your friends and neighbors to the polls, and VOTE!

  14. Making a wedge issue out of vulnerable children’s identity or mental health issues is egregiously opportunistic. For Banks to think that those issues are in the realm of government control is evidence that he isn’t fit for office. His ads show his symbiotic relationship to trump an indicted felon most likely treasonous to the US. Indiana needs representatives who respect the rights of citizens and work to make life fairer for them.

  15. I am not a Jehovah’s Witness, but I want to make clear that Witnesses do not eschew medical care and they adamantly do not believe or practice faith healing. They do not believe in blood transfusions, and because of this, some very valuable techniques have been developed to be used in lieu of transfusions. This has proved invaluable in light of AIDS and blood born viruses that affect transfusion capacity. I’d also like to note, as a former journalist, that the witnesses are largely responsible for freedoms we now enjoy under the First Amendment. Putin has outlawed them in Russia. They usually get a bad rap, quite unfairly.

  16. To quote Obama/Biden, “Here’s the deal.”

    Humans hate humans. Humans love humans. Often, those we love are an excuse to hate those we hate.

    That is the source of eternal confusion among us big-brained home sapiens.

    Here’s another morality. Live and let live. I will be me, and you can be you, and we will find ways to tolerate friction among all of us.

    So simple. Apparently impossible for some.

  17. This post to me seems a little bit about civility in people so I would just like to mention that there’s an author Alexandra Hudson that wrote a book called “The Soul of Civility”. Thought it might be an interesting read.

    Somehow we have broken down in terms of civility. As much as I would like to be civil with everyone I do find it difficult with the MAGA supporters like Jim Banks. Even the ones in my own family.

    There’s also a young man on Youtube called Luke Beasley that has been interviewing MAGA supporters and its interesting to see their responses to him.

    Lets hope its not too late to be civil to each other. Cause if these people show up to hurt anyone I’m going to have a real problem with them.

  18. Suzann — just watched the video by Luke Beasley. Very illuminating.
    A clear case of “I know what I know. Don’t confuse me with the facts.”
    Civility really has little to do with it.

  19. Kathy, yes, I too, don’t like the word illegals either but that’s what the right wing call them. I figured they wouldn’t know what “undocumented” meant so used the term they understand.

    I don’t believe in borders either, we’re all human! They deserve healthcare!

  20. It is interesting to me that there is much chatter about Jehovah Witnesses in the comments and whether they do or do not accept various healthcare scenarios. What I think is more important is foster or adoptive families that will validate the child as a human being. Will validate their importance and their right to exist, as they are, period. I’m not sure what sort of Christians think you can Pray Away the Gay, but I’m more concerned about them adopting a kid. Cause if they hate LGBTQ, then they probably hate everyone else too.

Comments are closed.