The unveiling of the 2015 bill priorities [1, 2] by the House Minority Caucus represents another missed opportunity by House Republicans to reflect the concerns of people of faith. While attempting to please everyone with centrist platitudes of “job creation” and “solar energy”, they once again appear deaf to the issues that are important to people of faith. This is disappointing to the faith-based community, as any hopes of “regime change” with the ascent of Fukumoto-Chang to House Minority Leader seem more like “business as usual”.
The Legislature is rife with politicians that say they support people of faith. These very same politicians also support puppies. They support solar energy. Veterans. The homeless. They also support atheists, marijuana-users and the rights of those in prison for their crimes. Politicians will support anything that gets them a vote.
People of faith cannot rely on the support of these politicians – one minute they say they are for you, the next minute they vote to restrict our religious liberties. To them, people of faith are just a means to an end – reelection. People of faith need “Christocrats” (as Pastor Alan Cardines affectionately calls them), people who put their faith ahead of their status as a politician. To this effect, it has long been the position of this blog that faith is a bipartisan issue at the Legislature. Neither side has a monopoly on representing people of faith. That job falls to individuals who place their faith and values ahead of any political labels.
Contrary to this ideal, individuals close to Fukumoto-Chang and Minority Leader Emeritus Johanson indicated that both had privately groused that moderate Democrats had intruded on “Republican turf” by reaching out to people of faith. However, it was precisely because Fukumoto-Chang and Johanson appeared to behave like politicians rather than “Christocrats” that the faith-based community began looking to both Democrats and Republicans for support.
In their attempt to please everyone, House Republicans will continue to please no one. While the House Minority Caucus appears poised to take credit for populist ideas that Democratic supermajority would pass with or without their support, they could not be bothered to submit legislation to defend people of faith or their churches.
It appears we are not a priority.
It seems as if the status quo is okay. A status quo where people of faith are persecuted for their values and their faith.
It seems that the minority caucus would rather be politicians than live up to the expectations they set for themselves as champions of the faith-based community.
People of faith are tired of the lip-service and are ready to move on. After the last two years, there is little patience left for charlatans.
 – Honolulu Star-Advertiser, February 3, 2015, “State House’s GOP caucus floats bills to promote business”. http://www.staradvertiser.com/newspremium/20150203__State_Houses_GOP_caucus_floats_bills_to_stoke_business.html
 – Credit where it is due, the Minority Caucus package actually contained bills to achieve their aspirations. The package of their majority counterparts contained no bills.