This week, Missouri Republicans found a new battleground to wage a culture war on — reading.
First, the state’s GOP delegation passed a bill that would defund all public libraries in the state. Social conservatives have been especially concerned lately about whether libraries, both public and on school campuses, give minors access to questionable content. Pulling state funds from public libraries, they argue, will give parents more direct control over what materials their kids see. That bill, however, didn’t go far enough for the most extremely conservative Missouri Republicans, and this morning they proposed an even harsher restriction.
That bill was quickly fast tracked through both legislative chambers, and was signed by Missouri’s governor faster than he would repeal the 13th Amendment if he could. House Bill 1469 permanently and expressly forbid literacy at any age in the Show Me State. Meaning, being literate is now a Class A felony in Missouri.
State Rep. Thom Thompaulsen, one of the bill’s architects, defended the law as a “necessary stop gap to prevent intelligent citizens from seeing through Republican bullshit.” However, in a new twist, it seems that just about 60% of the state’s population can’t actually read the news that literacy has been made illegal.
Thad Gladwell, a data research lead at the Northwestern Eastern Missouri University statistics lab told us about the situation in more detail.
“It’s rather fascinating when you look at the data. As one of the 40% of Missourians who are literate, I found it quite interesting to read that the same percentage of people voted for Joe Biden for president in Missouri back in 2020,” Gladwell explained. “Which might make one wonder if Republicans could read the ballot well enough to know who they were voting for, but then you stop caring as soon as you realize they call themselves Christians and don’t read the Bible, and they call themselves Constitutional scholars but have never read passed the Second Amendment.”
If you are a Republican resident of Missouri, please have a loved one read this important story to you.