Every time we turn around, another conservative member of a state legislature is proposing some insane and often unconstitutional law. Now a state senator from Arizona has stated that attending church should be mandatory because of the “moral erosion of the soul of America” – and in the meantime, everyone should be allowed to carry guns into public buildings. No, I’m not making this up; yes, this is Arizona, the same state that wants to defund any enforcement of executive orders even though they get a ton of money from the same federal government they’re defying.
KPHO out of Phoenix reports:
Each year a few bills get proposed at the state Capitol that have people shaking their heads.
This year: Mandatory church attendance.
An Arizona state senator thinks it is a good idea for the American people.
State Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, brought it up during a committee meeting Tuesday while lawmaker were debating a gun bill, not religion.
Allen explained that without a “moral rebirth” in the country, more people may feel the need to carry a weapon.
“I believe what’s happening to our country is that there’s a moral erosion of the soul of America,” she said. (Source)
There can’t be a more obvious example of a law that defies the 1st Amendment than what Sylvia Allen is suggesting. Granted, this isn’t a piece of legislation that she’s introducing, but it does show how religious extremism has taken a strong foothold in state legislatures across the country thanks to gerrymandering, off-year elections, voter suppression and rampant apathy from the left. If you think it’s bad now, wait until this time next year when even more of them have been sworn in after the 2015 state elections in Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia and New Jersey.
In a followup with Arizona Capitol Times, Allen stood by her comments:
On Wednesday, Allen said that was a “flippant comment” but decried the changes since she was a child in the 1950s.
“People prayed, people went to church,” she said in explaining her views.
“I remember on Sundays the stores were closed,” Allen said. “The biggest thing is religion was kicked out of our public places, out of our schools.”
I can’t vouch for the 1950s when she was growing up, but I think it’s a safe assumption that it wasn’t a great time for everyone who wasn’t a white Christian. Especially if you were black, or gay, a woman in the workplace, or any other minority in America for that matter.
My mother grew up in the 1950s and can still remember segregated parks and how my grandmother refused to sit next to black people in a park in Baton Rouge after desegregation, choosing instead to move their picnic basket to the edge of the golf course rather than share her space with them.
I wonder if that is the mythical time that Sylvia Allen wants to go back to? That era when white Christianity dominated our society, and people who didn’t believe in their god were seen as potential Communist infiltrators. Or how about the gay community, or the lynchings of black Americans across the South and the iron grip of the Ku Klux Klan? I’m pretty sure the majority of county sheriffs, store owners and other pillars of the community who donned white robes at night to circle around a burning cross also prayed and went to church on Sundays.
Our country isn’t facing the problems it is because of a lack of religion, no matter what Sylvia Allen or any other fundamentalist Christian politician or pundit has to say. Our problems come from poverty, the outsourcing of jobs, the War on Drugs and many other factors that are contributing to the decline of the most powerful nation the world has ever known – and you can’t simply pray those away.
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