Author Topic: Indiana GOP passes law making it a crime for clergy to perform gay weddings  (Read 3019 times)


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I have some direct experience with this, being a native Hoosier.  I was born in the far north of the state, near South Bend, and lived there until I was 41 years old (2007), when my dear wife (also a native Hoosier, from near Terre Haute) and I moved to Michigan and have not regretted it at all.  I served in the Indiana Air National Guard's 122nd Tactical Fighter Wing, based at the Fort Wayne International Airport.  Former Vice President/Senator Dan Quayle came from Huntington, about 30 miles southeast of where I grew up.

There are a lot of stereotypes about Hoosiers.  Some are exaggerated, and some are not.  In the case of this story, I can very, very easily see it happening.

Indiana is basically a one-party Republican state.  Many, many Hoosiers vote for anyone with an "R" after their name because "my daddy did it, and my granddaddy did it," and "we gotta keep them rotten liberals out."  The first "Rush Room" in the country was in Mishawaka.

The Klan history is documented fact, and, no, I'm not trying to imply "Klan = Republican."  However, the Klan still has a very strong presence in Indiana.  The former leader of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Jeff Berry, lived in Butler, Indiana, north of Fort Wayne.  Once one gets outside the major urban/industrial/university cities (Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend/Mishawaka, Bloomington, Elkhart/Goshen, etc) it is very much like the Deep South.  I remember seeing Confederate flags flying at residences, and on front licence plates, virtually all my life...I couldn't understand it since Indiana was with the Union in the Civil War.

In my lifetime, Indiana only went Democratic twice - once for Johnson in 1968 (when I was two years old) and in 2008 for Barack Obama (after I had left).

Yes, I know about Evan Bayh (met him briefly) and other "moderate" Democrats.  They really, really downplay their party affiliation to appear as "Republican-lite" as possible, because otherwise they wouldn't get elected.  The current Governor, Mike Pence, is about as far to the right as they come.

I was not surprised that Richard Lugar (whom I respected despite our philosophical differences, and who I carried on a semi-regular correspondence with) got ousted by Richard Mourdock.  Indiana is to the Tea Party what the rich black soil of the state is to its hardworking farmers.  Mr. Lugar was increasingly labelled a "Republican In Name Only" by such luminaries as Sarah Palin.  Even though I never voted for him, it is to the state and nation's loss that he is no longer in the Senate.  He was, and is, a gentleman of the old school, keenly intellectual, with probably the best grasp of foreign policy of any of his contemporaries.

The state is about as religiously conservative as any in the Deep South, and demographically similar.  Except for the Mennonites and Amish in the north, the religious landscape is dominated by Independent Fundamental Baptist/Pentecostal churches in the rural areas.  In the bigger cities, there is the typical mix of Methodist/Lutheran/Presbyterian/Episcopalian.  The only real Lutheran area is around Fort Wayne, and not just Missouri Synod (I am LCMS).  There are plenty of ELCA, and a smattering of WELS there.

It's been probably a year or two since I last posted here, but of course the title of the thread caught my eye.  I didn't read anything that indicated direct experience by a native Hoosier, so I put in my $.02.