Long before winning a seat in the Colorado State House, Gordon Klingenschmitt became a right-wing martyr over his claim that he lost his position as a Navy chaplain for saying “Jesus” in his prayers. Klingenschmitt sued, launching the “Save Chaps” and “Pray In Jesus Name” campaigns, and he held up his purported firing as an example of anti-religious, anti-Christian hostility in government.
Klingenschmitt, however, lost his lawsuit, as a judge found that there was never an effort to “limit Dr. Klingenschmitt’s right to engage in any religious practices (including presenting an opening prayer at the event or invoking the name of Jesus in his prayer),” noting that he was appropriately disciplined for breaking well-established military rules which prohibit people from appearing at political events in full military garb.
But like other right-wing activists, Klingenschmitt never let this key detail get in the way of his narrative that he and other conservatives Christians in America are the victims of persecution.
So it is comes as no surprise that Klingesnchmitt is now creating yet another narrative about religious persecution in wake of recent comments he made about the gruesome attack on a pregnant Colorado woman. Klingenschmitt said on his “Pray In Jesus Name” televangelist program that the attack was the “curse of God upon America” for legalizing abortion: “part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open.”
His remarks quickly incited an uproar, which Klingenschmitt hoped would die down after he made a donation to the woman’s recovery fund, regularly boasting about his contribution in media interviews. However, the woman’s family rejected his donation, and Democrats and Republicans alike condemned Klingenschmitt’s statements. He refused to apologize, insisting that he was only being criticized for “quoting the Bible in church” and standing up “against evil.”
He eventually offered an apology, but only after insisting that he was the victim of a media campaign to distort his remarks: “Klingenschmitt's apology in Monday's video comes after 23 minutes of recapping the tragedy and criticizing media reports about him. He accuses reporters of misquoting him and lying, and says the Gazette retracted its story, which is not true.”
Colorado House Republican Leader Brian DelGrosso yesterday decided to remove Klingenschmitt from the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee, although he will remain on another committee dealing with local government as a “kind of disciplinary action.”
The move inspired Klingenschmitt to fall back on his earlier claim that he is facing persecution for just quoting the Bible: “I am literally being punished for quoting unpopular Bible verses in my Sunday church, or interpreting the Old Testament differently than Leader DelGrosso interprets it, during my private ministry outside the Capitol. Is that suddenly a crime?”
House Republican leaders weren’t the only ones to incite the wrath of Klingenschmitt, as he also accused Right Wing Watch of persecuting him by quoting excerpts from his television program verbatim, as part of his long career of portraying himself as a perpetual victim of discriminatory practices that only exist in his own mind.
On his radio broadcast yesterday, Glenn Beck weighed in on the controversy surrounding Indiana's new law which grants business owners the right to discriminate in the name of "religious freedom," by defending the law ... so long as the business owner practicing the discrimination is actually religious.
Under Beck's scenario, businesses are not allowed to discriminate against anybody unless the owners can adequately prove to the government that they are really living their faith and not just engaging in rank bigotry.
"This is the key here," Beck said. "You actually have to be religious. You can't just be somebody like 'I hate them gays so I'm not going to do it.' No, tell me a little bit about your religion."
Beck said that members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), for instance, which recently voted to allow its pastors to preside over same-sex marriages, wouldn't be allowed to deny their services to a gay couple.
"Sorry dude, you're making a wedding cake because you say you belong to this church [and] they happen to agree with it," Beck said.
"Show me about how you're living your life in your church," he said. "If you're living your faith, well then I can't say anything about it since its your religious right. And gay people have to get over it. And anybody else who might be bigoted and you own a bakery — I don't want to sell anyone them cookies — well, dude, you have to and that's just the way it is. You need to get over it":
Suppose for a moment that Beck's standard was actually adopted and government officials were tasked with determining whether individual business owners are "living their faith" enough to qualify for this exemption and then just try to imagine the screams of outrage that would ring out from Beck and other Religious Right activists once the state started denying such exemptions because it had determined that the people in question just weren't religious enough.
As we noted yesterday, after several days of controversy, Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt finally apologized for having said last week that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in the state was due to the "curse of God upon America" for legal abortion.
But it seems that his apology is not making the controversy go away, as yesterday the Republican leader in the Colorado House of Representatives stripped Klingenschmitt of one of his two committee assignments as punishment for his statement:
The leader of the House Republicans on Monday stripped Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt from one of his two committee posts, saying the lawmaker's "curse of God" comments about a woman whose fetus was ripped from her womb were in "poor taste" and "insensitive."
Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso said he removed Klingenschmitt from the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee because he believed "there needed to be some kind of disciplinary action."
"This is one of the few tools I have in my toolbox, and this seemed like the appropriate course of action," said DelGrosso, a Loveland Republican.
Klingenschmitt, of course, is not happy with the move and is complaining that he is being unfairly persecuted for quoting the Bible and being a Christian:
Now The Denver Post reports that because I quoted unpopular Bible verses from the pulpit in my Sunday ministry, the legislative branch of the Colorado government will remove me from a committee.
While I respect his position, I disagree with Leader Brian DelGrosso's decision, because it clearly establishes an unprecedented religious litmus test for which representatives can sit on what committees.
I was not driving drunk, I was not arrested by the police, I am literally being punished for quoting unpopular Bible verses in my Sunday church, or interpreting the Old Testament differently than Leader DelGrosso interprets it, during my private ministry outside the Capitol. Is that suddenly a crime?
This is not the first time that a branch of the government has reached into my chapel and punished me for my sermons. It also happened when I was a chaplain in the Navy in 2005. That unlawful punishment helped launch 300,000 petitions and I was eventually vindicated by Congress, because their voters demanded religious freedom. Will we?
Here in Colorado, officials can't claim we have freedom to preach, then levy government punishments for doing that. That endangers everybody's religious freedom.
The government is now forcing me to choose between obeying God on Sunday, and representing the people Monday through Friday. That's a hard choice. I want to do both, but party leaders are essentially saying I cannot.
But realizing that the comments he made on his television show have "begun to overshadow" his role as a state legislator, Klingenschmitt announced that he is suspending his ministry and TV program until the end of the state legislative session:
I therefore announce that I will suspend my Christian preaching ministry for the next six weeks, and I will take a Sabbatical from my television show until the end of this legislative session. We will air a few more new programs created this week, but starting next week we plan to only air TV re-runs until the end of the legislative session on May 7th.
Drawing on the right-wing conspiracy theory that Democrats encourage non-citizens to illegally cast ballots in U.S. elections, Phyllis Schlalfy told American Family Radio today that President Obama’s executive actions on immigration are part of a larger plot to rig the vote.
The Eagle Forum founder told host Fred Jackson that the “purpose” of “Obama’s amnesty” is to help undocumented immigrants unlawfully vote: “They want to jimmy the next election by making these illegals grateful to the Democrats and able to vote, and that’s just really a change in our system that we don’t approve of. It isn’t fair, it isn’t honest, but once they have a driver’s license and a Social Security number, you can’t stop them from registering to vote.”
For years, Bryan Fischer has made his case that discrimination against gay people is entirely justified and necessary, so it is no surprise that he is a vocal supporter of the new Indiana law that grants business owners the right to discriminate against gays, among others, under the guise of protecting the free exercise of religion.
So passionate is Fischer's defense of the new law that he went so far as to declare on his radio program today that the law does actually not sanction discrimination against gays but merely protects Christians from discrimination.
"This law is not something that provides for discrimination against gays," he said. "It is something that prevents discrimination against Christians ... This thing is an anti-discrimination bill because it prohibits governmental discrimination against Christians in the state of Indiana."
Fischer went on to declare that gay rights activists are seeking to utterly destroy religious freedom in America, saying that outrage over the law is entirely about "homosexual supremacy."
"Homosexual activists want special rights for homosexuals to trump every other single right that any American possess anywhere, at any time, in any place," he said.
So a law passed in order to give religious business owners a special legal right to discriminate against gay customers is, in Fischer's warped worldview, really an anti-discrimination bill need to protect Christian business owners from having to give gay customers "special rights" by treating them equally:
For several days last week, Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt found himself under attack for comments that he made on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program when he said that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in the state was due to the "curse of God upon America" for legal abortion.
Initially, Klingenschmitt steadfastly refused to apologize for his comments, saying that anyone who disagrees with him really has a problem with him quoting from the Bible. But he appears to have had a change of heart over the weekend because today he released a half-hour video in which he sincerely apologized for his comments and asked for forgiveness.
While most of the video consisted of Klingenschmitt taking issue with specific reporters and others who, he felt, had intentionally misrepresented his initial comments, he capped off the video by issuing a heartfelt apology, saying that he was angry about the attack when he first reported on it last week, which caused him to speak insensitively and offensively about it.
"I do want to apologize for my words last week," Klingenschmitt said, "because I was so angry that I forgot to be compassionate. My words were not compassionate and therefore I apologize. My tone was wrong. My choice of words was wrong. My choice of scripture was wrong. Everything I did about that report was wrong and honestly I apologize to you, Dan and Michelle Wilkins; I apologize to you, the viewers; I apologize to the voters and constituents of Colorado Springs and anybody out there who actually did hear accurate reporting and was offended by my insensitive words, I apologize to you":
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has been appearing all over the media in the last few days to insist, erroneously, that Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” is no different from other similarly-named laws in other states and will not effectively legalize discrimination.
According to reports, Pence and others may push for the legislature to clarify that the law does not sanction discriminatory practices.
However, Micah Clark of the American Family Association’s Indiana chapter, who stood right behind Pence, along with several other Religious Right leaders, when he signed the bill into law and has quite a record of anti-gay activism, said today that he opposes any such clarification.
He told AFA President Tim Wildmon today that conservatives should call Pence and other state officials and demand that they oppose any effort to clarify that the law does not legalize discrimination: “That could totally destroy this bill.”(In Georgia, supporters of a similar bill also opposed a push to ensure that the legislation will not permit discrimination in business.)
Wildmon agreed, adding that the Indiana law is necessary to protect anti-gay business owners from “persecution.” The law’s critics, Wildmon claimed, are waging “spiritual warfare” against state officials.
This weekend, Mission America’s Linda Harvey hosted Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute to discuss the Religious Right campaign to have parents keep their children home from school in protest of the Day of Silence, an annual nationwide demonstration against anti-LGBT bullying.
Higgins said that the Day of Silence was really focused on promoting a political agenda rather than protecting LGBT children, labeling anyone who disagrees as “haters.”
Harvey agreed, repeating her claim that LGBT people don’t actually exist: “It goes on and on with the strong-arming, emotional and mental strong-arming, by implying that there are such – again – lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. This is not an inborn lifestyle, there is no evidence of homosexuality — or being transgendered [sic], that you were ever born in the wrong sex body.”
Ted Cruz’s father and adviser Rafael Cruz, a prominent right-wing activist in his own right, appeared on “Eagle Forum Live” this weekend with Phyllis Schlalfy, where he called on state leaders to follow Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s lead in flouting federal court decisions which strike down bans on same-sex marriage.
“Something very exciting that has happened is what happened in Alabama with Justice Roy Moore,” Cruz said, hailing a state supreme court ruling which found that “the courts of Alabama do not have to obey the opinion of a federal judge and as a matter of fact, Justice Roy Moore, ordered the civil courts in Alabama not to issue marriage licenses for homosexual couples. And so what they are doing is asserting that the state has supremacy and basically all of these laws were for the state to make those decisions, not the federal court, the federal court is overreaching and it is actually legislating from the bench, contrary to the opinion of the majority of the American people.”
Cruz added that states with marriage equality will begin forcing pastors to marry same-sex couples under penalty of prison, something that has never taken place in any of the dozens of states where same-sex marriage is legal.
“We need to realize that the attack on marriage is more than just an attack on marriage, it actually goes to the heart of religious freedom,” Cruz said. “What is going to come next and this is part of the danger of what may happen out of the Supreme Court in June, is that if marriage of anybody-with-anybody becomes a civil rights issue, then they are going to come to churches and force pastors to violate their religious convictions. And so it is going to come to America to where a pastor is going to be faced with a decision: do you obey a law that is not only unjust but violates your core principles, or do you obey God and face prison?”
“This is the dilemma that America’s pastors are going to be facing if this issue is labeled a civil rights issue. It goes way beyond marriage to actually violate the religious freedom of people of faith,” he continued.
Later in the program, Cruz warned that “we are on the brink of the destruction of this country” and said that President Obama is acting “like an emperor more than a president,” adding: “If we have eight more years of this type of government, this country will be destroyed.”
When a caller, Dan, called in to say that the American people should begin “killing judges” over the fear that “judges will order pastors to marry homosexuals,” Schlafly said that she is “not ready to kill anybody.”
Instead, Schlafly said that people should instead “use all the ways that are available to us in this free system.” Cruz agreed with Schlafly, arguing that elected officials are selected by “a small minority of Americans” and that people who believe in “biblical values” must turn out en masse to the polls.
As we have noted before, Glenn Beck seems to have a rather strange understanding of what it means to be "anti-gay" since he brags that "I don't know anybody who is anti-gay" while, at the same time, regularly associating with some of the Religious Right's most virulently anti-gay activists.
This apparent disconnect was perfectly illustrated today when we came across a viciously anti-gay column in WorldNetDaily this weekend written by Joshua Charles, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute at William Jessup University, who co-authored Beck's 2011 book, "The Original Argument: The Federalists' Case for the Constitution, Adapted for the 21st Century."
Not only did they write a book together, but Beck also featured him on his radio program and his TV show. Perhaps they just never discussed Charles' view that gay couples having children is a "profound, disgusting, vile evil" from "the pit of Hell":
I’ve been seeing more and more stories about children being created (by sperm donors and surrogate mothers) specifically for gay couples.
I find this to be a horrific and monstrous evil, because by default it creates children who will oftentimes never know at least one of their parents, who in most cases can’t know who one of their parents are and who in most cases, even if the parent is known, are separated from them nonetheless. At the very least, it puts a child in a situation in which he or she shall be deprived of a mother or a father, the two halves of humanity all children need.
This is EVIL. To create children and intentionally (as opposed to true adoption where a tragedy has intervened to create a need) deprive them of their mother and father is EVIL. Every single person in this world has a mother and has a father. While of course it doesn’t always work out this way because of the trials of life, the ideal is a mother and a father. And isn’t that the point? When a child is separated from his mother or father, prior to this brave new world we live in, that was a tragedy! Even if the dad was a schmuck or the mom was on drugs, or whatever the case may be, it was a tragedy that that child was deprived of a mother or a father. Now we accept it as a matter of course, because homosexual people want their “own” children at the price of them being oftentimes permanently separated from one of their parents.
But now, homosexuals want their own children (ironically, the very thing they claim is not important to marriage they now claim as a new right), and to assert this right, they deprive these new children of at least one of their parents. Profound, disgusting, vile evil. That’s what that is.
Children need the masculine and the feminine. This represents the full diversity of life. They need, if life tragedy has not prevented them from having as much, a mother and a father. To create them in this manner, to deprive them of one of the halves that made them in this manner, as a matter of course, is from the pit of Hell.
Lord Christopher Monckton writes in WorldNetDaily today that liberals, in order to be consistent with their support for public health efforts, should run campaigns that highlight “the misery, disease and death that homosexuality – no less than smoking – brings to its unfortunate practitioners” and to people who are “drawn into the homosexual deathstyle.”
He claims that liberals are hypocrites for speaking out about the dangers of smoking and climate change while, at the same time, trying to “promote ‘gay’ ‘marriage.’”
In fact, Monckton goes so far to call for the “immediate, compulsory, permanent isolation of carriers” of HIV.
Life expectancy for gay and bisexual men is eight to 20 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, it is estimated that nearly half of gay and bisexual men now aged 20 will not reach their 65th birthday.
Now, we can always hope that the development of anti-retroviral drugs has helped since 18 years ago. However, the life expectancy of a smoker is 10 years shorter than that of a non-smoker, which – even assuming a dramatic improvement in homosexual lifespans since the 1990s – makes promiscuous homosexuality no less dangerous to the health of those who practice it than smoking.
Yet leftists, instead of insisting – as they do with smoking – that public-health campaigns should warn people of the medical dangers of homosexuality, they “celebrate” it and promote “gay” “marriage.”
The facts are clear enough. But the left does not support the facts because the facts do not support the left.
What conclusion should be drawn? It is surely this: Public policy on questions from homosexuality to climate change – where the left is similarly cavalier with the facts (just read any statement from Mr. Obama about the climate) – should be determined on the basis of fact as well as fashion and sentiment.
The Church’s continuous teaching on homosexuality is not some outmoded, fuddy-duddy, far-right, redneck hate-crime. It is born of love for those who might otherwise be drawn into the homosexual deathstyle. It is intended to prevent the misery, disease and death that homosexuality – no less than smoking – brings to its unfortunate practitioners.
Thirty years ago, I pointed out in the American Spectator that in the absence of the usual public-health measure to contain a new and fatal infection – immediate, compulsory, permanent isolation of carriers – millions would die of HIV. I also pointed out that Western sensibilities would not permit the identification and isolation of carriers.
The arbiters of Christianity over at BarbWire today published a column by Timothy Buchanan about the move by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to allow churches in the denomination to perform same-sex weddings.
Buchanan asserted that by having “thrown in the towel and surrendered to the loud and obnoxious voices of militant lesbians and ‘gays,’” the church has embraced “utter lunacy” and inserted “the last nail in its coffin.”
“The moral high ground in this conflict has been surrendered to Satan,” he said, warning that other denominations will now be “pressured into defiling themselves, as well, or suffer persecution for their ‘stubbornness.’”
The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (PCUSA) is now dead. After a long, tedious struggle to remain faithful to the scriptures and great Christian reformers like John Knox, the leadership of the PCUSA denomination (the liberal branch of Presbyterian churches) has thrown in the towel and surrendered to the loud and obnoxious voices of militant lesbians and “gays”. A PCUSA church near you will soon be conducting same-sex “marriages.” The moral high ground in this conflict has been surrendered to Satan.
How did this happen? It occurred as church deaths always do, with a membership that is ignorant of the scriptures. Bring in some spiritually dead anti-Christian heretics. Add a few New Age ideologies that sound “Christianese,” like ending discrimination and embracing the future, sprinkle with the words: love, community, and equality, and shake until blended. There you have it. A deadly cocktail of pharisaic poison. Each ingredient by itself is harmless, but together, they create a deadly toxin that is fatal to dignity, honor, faithfulness and righteousness.
In real numbers, the defection of the PCUSA doesn’t make much of an impact on Christendom. Its membership is at an all-time low with only about 1.8 million members. But the real impact will be felt when other denominations like the United Methodist Church, the Catholic Church, and the Southern Baptist Church are pressured into defiling themselves, as well, or suffer persecution for their “stubbornness.”
PCUSA members have ignorantly rejected Paul’s admonishing question, “What fellowship has light with darkness?” Homosexuality is “very grave sin.” That’s what God calls it, and that’s what it is. For Presbyterians to think that God will applaud them or anyone else who shakes his fist at Him by embracing same-sex marriage, is utter lunacy. This latest action by PCUSA leaders is simply the last nail in its coffin. The death has been a long time coming, and it began when leaders misappropriated for themselves, the authority to supplant the truth of God’s word with the policies of sinful and unredeemed men.
Contrary to the hopes and promises of proponents of same-sex marriage, PCUSA will not expand as a result of this movement, nor should it. (As if church expansion could ever be a compelling reason for faithlessness.) On the contrary, its demise is now locked in.
On his radio program yesterday, Glenn Beck announced that not only will he attempt to expose Grover Norquist as a front man for radical Islamic organizations, he will now also be investigating Karl Rove. On his radio program today, Beck declared that his campaign has again expanded to include the entire GOP establishment and this is now the beginning of a suicidal showdown to the death.
"I really believe this is the opening of a can of whoop-ass that is not resealed," Beck said, "and this is the entryway to a world of really bad darkness in the GOP that, if we continue to go down, which we are, you're going to find all sorts of really bad stuff here."
"This is a zero-sum game," he said. "Only one of us is going to be standing at the end, I think ... I don't think we're the ones that survive this game because there are so many really powerful people on the other side."
As Brian noted yesterday, Republican Colorado state representative Gordon Klingenschmitt finds himself at the center of a controversy stemming from a clip that we posted earlier this week from one of his recent "Pray In Jesus Name" programs in which he proclaimed that a brutal attack upon a pregnant woman in his state was part of "the curse of God upon America" for legal abortion.
He added that he was speaking as a preacher when he made those comments and not an elected representative and so "if other people are offended by the Bible, that's okay, they don't have to agree with me or come to my church or watch my TV show. It's a free country."
Klingenschmitt was interviewed on KOA News Radio 850 in Denver this morning about his comments, where he absurdly stated that "if you were offended because I quoted the bible in church, I ask you to forgive me but I will not apologize for quoting the Bible in church."
Repeatedly insisting that the things that he says on his television program should not reflect of his role as a legislator, Klingenschmitt went on a claim that his religious freedom is somehow being violated by all of the criticism that he is receiving.
"If the government is now going to step into my church on Sunday and say 'oh, you're not allowed to do that because you are an elected official," he said, "I would ask people to take a step back and think about how the government should be protecting your freedom of worship on Sunday and maybe cut me a little slack":
At one point during the interview, Klingenschmitt said that it "was a demonic spirit" that was behind this brutal attack on Michelle Wilkins and bragged that his charity had donated a thousand dollars to a GoFundMe effort set up to help her.
As it turns out, the Wilkins family has rejected Klingenschmitt's donation:
Just wanted everyone to know:
A refund of $1,000.00 has been issued for a payment made by Gordon Klingenschmitt for "Michelle Wilkins Fund (Longmont CO)". The money has been removed from your account: "Michelle Wilkins Trust Fund (Longmont CO)".
During an interview with the conservative outlet LifeSiteNews, Roman Catholic Cardinal Raymond Burke said that the church must not budge on its teachings on homosexuality and remarriage, suggesting that gay and remarried Catholics who are dedicated members of the church are not all that different from “the person who murders someone and yet is kind to other people.”
Religion News Service, which first reported the story, notes that Pope Francis “effectively demoted” Burke, who emerged as “one of the pontiff’s most outspoken critics on the right.”
Burke told LifeSiteNews that the church must continue its practice of denying communion to such Catholics and see homosexuality as an “intrinsic evil.”
LifeSiteNews: Since the extraordinary synod on the family, we have entered a period of uncertainty and confusion over several “hot-button” issues: communion for divorced and “remarried” couples, a change of attitude towards homosexual unions and an apparent relaxing of attitudes towards non-married couples. Does your Eminence think that this confusion is already producing adverse effects among Catholics?
Cardinal Burke: Most certainly, it is. I hear it myself: I hear it from Catholics, I hear it from bishops. People are claiming now, for instance, that the Church has changed her teaching with regard to sexual relations outside of marriage, with regard to the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts. Or people who are within irregular matrimonial unions are demanding to receive Holy Communion, claiming that this is the will of the Holy Father. And we have astounding situations, like the declarations of the bishop of Antwerp with regard to homosexual acts, which go undisciplined, and so we can see that this confusion is spreading, really, in an alarming way.
LSN: Among the viewpoints of Cardinal Kasper and, more recently, Bishop Bonny of Antwerp, and others, was the consideration that “faithful” homosexuals, “remarried” divorcees and non-married couples show qualities of self-sacrifice, generosity and dedication that cannot be ignored. But through their choice of lifestyle, they are in what must be seen by outsiders as an objective state of mortal sin: a chosen and prolonged state of mortal sin. Could you remind us of the Church’s teaching on the value and merit of prayer and good actions in this state?
CB: If you are living publicly in a state of mortal sin there isn't any good act that you can perform that justifies that situation: the person remains in grave sin. We believe that God created everyone good, and that God wants the salvation of all men, but that can only come about by conversion of life. And so we have to call people who are living in these gravely sinful situations to conversion. And to give the impression that somehow there's something good about living in a state of grave sin is simply contrary to what the Church has always and everywhere taught.
LSN: So when the man in the street says, yes, it's true these people are kind, they are dedicated, they are generous, that is not enough?
CB: Of course it's not. It's like the person who murders someone and yet is kind to other people…
The Arizona state senator receiving widespread attention as a result of her call for mandatory church attendance is, surprise surprise, an ardent Religious Right lawmaker.
While debating a bill on allowing people to bring concealed weapons into public buildings, State Sen. Sylvia Allen criticized the legislation’s opponents by maintaining that individual souls — not guns — are the real source of gun violence. “Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday,” she said.
She later insisted that her remarks didn’t amount to a serious proposal, asserting that she wishes America would just return to the 1950s, which she said was a much more moral time in the country.
She also proposed that the state enable the creation of a volunteer border militia and pushed for a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, warning that gay marriage would harm children and destroy Social Security:
Since the beginning of recorded history the foundation and continuation of all societies has been the family; father, mother, and children. When the Pilgrims stepped off the Mayflower they were in family unites. Even the Native Americans formed their society around a father, mother and children.
Over 1,049 federal laws in many categories, including Social Security, welfare, veterans, taxation, etc are based on the man-woman marriage relationship. Society has set up our laws to protect the children and to provide in the case of a spouse dying. All of that would change if same sex marriage gets its foot hold and demands are then placed upon government and businesses for benefits. Our already overburdened Social Security system could not survive.
This is not about mere tolerance, allowing people their sexual preference and living with who they want, they can already do that, but same sex marriage is about forcing all within our society regardless of religious or traditional beliefs to accept radical changes which will have far reaching consequences. Consequences that change the very core of our society and how it functions. The loser will be the children who must endure the selfish desires of adults.
Activist judges and a small percentage of Americans have forced the people to use the Constitution to protect marriage and all that it means to the continuation of our society. If ever the family is to be restored and protected it must start with the very definition of what marriage is.
Allen even offered a bill to protect her son-in-law who was under investigation for harassing female inmates while working in a country prison:
Last year, then-Navajo County Supervisor Allen tried to interfere with an internal investigation into her son-in-law's conduct with female inmates in the Navajo County jail.
This year, Allen has moved on to the state Senate where she sponsored a bill aimed at ensuring that others don't have to endure what she sees as a witch hunt against her son-in-law.
"She was interfering in the investigation," Navajo County Sheriff K.C. Clark told me this week. "At one point, I had to go to the county attorney and say if she gets in my way, I'm going to book her for interfering in the criminal investigation."
Allen's son-in-law, Timothy Hunt, was working as a detention officer in Navajo County jail in April 2014, when a former inmate alerted authorities to possible questionable conduct with female inmates while working nights, according to county records.
Hunt was reassigned to a desk job while an investigation was launched – a point that didn't please Supervisor Allen, who immediately texted Sheriff Clark.
"I need to talk to you about what is going on in the jail," she texted on April 29. "The commander put up a note in the control room telling EVERYONE that Tim Hunt was not allowed into the jail this was before he got to work then they made him sit out front all day not telling him why he was being investigated. He was humiliated and no one said WHY."
Hunt would soon find out why, if he didn't already know.
As part of an independent investigation into his activities, six women claimed that he made sexually suggestive remarks and gestures to female inmates and passed along cigarettes and matches to one female inmate in exchange for oral sex.
Several weeks later, the independent investigator sustained four of the five allegations against Hunt, finding that "the preponderance of evidence" suggests among other things that he provided cigarettes to an inmate after she performed a sex act on him in a shower.
"Despite Hunt's denial of wrongdoing, there was significant consistency between the accounts of the witness female inmates, and there is no credible evidence of any conspiracy," the investigator wrote, in a June 25, 2014, report to the Navajo County Sheriff's Office.
In July, Hunt took a polygraph test and was deemed "not truthful" when he denied engaging in oral sex with a female inmate, according to the polygraph report.
He later resigned and the file was sent to the Yavapai County Attorney's Office, to determine whether criminal charges are warranted.
Allen, meanwhile, ran for the state Senate, to replace the late Sen. Chester Crandell, and in January became a member of the Arizona Legislature and the Senate pro tempore no less.
Enter Senate Bill 1467. Allen's bill would strengthen the rights of law enforcement officials who face disciplinary proceedings. It was a surprise to many in the law enforcement community, given that the Peace Officers Bill of Rights was just passed last year and didn't take effect until Jan. 1.
Among Allen's proposals: to allow full-blown appeals trials rather than summary reviews if an officer is disciplined and to get rid of polygraph examinations.
Like the one her son-in-law failed.
Last week, the Family Research Council's Jerry Boykin spoke at one of the organization's regional "Watchmen on the Wall" events in Springfield, Missouri, where he warned that Christians in America are being persecuted and called upon conservative activists to rise up like "God's army."
"If you're a Bible-believing Christian, if you're a person who has a biblical worldview, if you serve the one and only God, you are going to be persecuted, plain and simple" he said, pointing to Springfield's non-discrimination ordinance which bans discrimination on the basis sexual orientation and gender identity [SOGI].
"This SOGI nonsense is an example of exactly what they're trying to do us," Boykin said. "They're trying to put us in a situation where we're going to lose our businesses, where we're going to be forced to accept what Adolf Hitler forced the church to accept in Germany in 1937."
"We're at war," Boykin said, as he declared that the push for gay rights is "evil" and cannot be compared to the fight for civil rights: "This is not about civil rights, this is about the evil that has come into our society and is trying to destroy our ability and our freedom to be able to worship our god as we choose."
"We're not rising up against evil," he warned. "When we rise up against evil, we've got to rise up like an army. We've got to act like we're in the military because, in fact, we are God's army":