By: Joe Henderson, The Tampa Tribune
Special to Historic City News
Republican leaders in Florida have demanded that state Rep. (for now) Mike Hill apologize for making their party look like knuckle-dragging Neanderthals. He has refused, and that’s just as well.
First, I wouldn’t believe an apology from this lout any more than I would believe that God told him to file an Alabama-style bill next year to outlaw abortion in Florida. And second, even if he were sincere, an apology wouldn’t go nearly far enough.
This guy is stained now with something unrecoverable. That makes him unfit for public service.
If he won’t do the honorable thing and slither back home for good, then every legal and persuasive tool in the box should be used to force him out. The idea that he has any say in what becomes Florida law is repulsive.
It won’t be easy, though. Hill already tweeted in response to a demand that he resign, “Ain’t gonna happen!”
By now, you know what he did. At a recent meeting in Pensacola, a fellow occupant of the Bigots Unanimous Society suggested Hill file a bill to execute gays, Old Testament style.
Hill laughed along with others in the room because that beats acting as a leader and saying, “Hey now, wait a minute…”
That’s what John McCain did while running for President against Barack Obama. When a radio host on stage at a rally got carried away and started emphasizing Obama’s middle name – which is Hussein – McCain quickly condemned the remark.
That’s how a statesman handles these things. There’s the right way and the Mike Hill way. I mean, sheesh. Republican state Rep. James Grant had a “drop the mic” tweet, calling the remarks “nothing short of theocratically fascist, unconscionable, and indefensible.”
An audio recording of Hill’s dubious pandering to the lowest sensibilities has been widely distributed.
Condemnation came rapidly from Republican leaders, and that’s a start.
House Speaker José Oliva and Rules Chair Chris Sprowls blasted Hill and said, “He owes his colleagues an apology, and he owes the Republican caucus a better example of political courage.”
That doesn’t go far enough because Hill doesn’t belong in the Legislature, period. As long as he works in Tallahassee, Republicans will own him and his depraved notions.
Let’s examine those beliefs.
Hill declares on his Twitter home page that he is “Pro Life! Pro Guns! Pro Jesus!!
Is that the same Jesus who told Peter to put his sword away in the Garden of Gethsemane? Oh, and I believe he’s the same one who declared that the two most important commandments were to love God and love your neighbor. How some evangelicals can link Jesus and guns while hating their neighbor is a stretch that would reach across the Grand Canyon.
Then, there is this 2015 tweet exchange where Hill said, “…homosexual movement is God’s judgment.”
By the way, I corrected his spelling of judgment.
Then there is his vow to introduce a strict anti-abortion law next year because God told him to.
Let’s stop right there because no issue divides us like abortion, and many caring, decent people believe it is wrong. But I wouldn’t put Hill in the latter group.
He sounds like a bully who prefers control over compassion. Every day for people like Hill is Judgment Day, and you’re either 100 percent on board, or you’re the enemy. His brand of religion stops at the “Thou Shalt Not” section of Holy Scripture.
That’s just what Mike Hill should hear the next time he shows up in Tallahassee and tries to enter the House chambers.
Thou. Shalt. Not.