OK Rep: I’d Set Myself on Fire if I Wasn’t a Christian

I‘ve long said that you find the wackiest elected officials in state legislatures, but Oklahoma seems to have more of them than usual. The latest to present himself is Sen. Kevin Calvey, who went on a rather unhinged rant on the floor about how he would set himself on fire to protest abortion.

The News and Tribune released a short video Tuesday showing Calvey threatening suicide by fire at Oklahoma statehouse.

“Members, this kind of injustice simply can’t stand,” Calvey tells colleagues, “If I were not a Christian and didn’t have a prohibition against suicide, I’d walk across the street, douse myself in gasoline, and set myself on fire to protest the evil that is going on over there, killing, giving the death penalty to the will of the people and the will of this body in protecting the least among us.”

“But I (pause) don’t believe in suicide,” Calvey continues, “so what I’m left with…”

A voice off camera interrupts Calvey and calls on Brian Reneger, to take the floor. “Would you please ask the representative to stay on subject of the matter?” Reneger inquires.

What makes this all the weirder is that it was during debate on a bill to give pay raises to court employees. They weren’t even talking about abortion, for crying out loud.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • themadtapper

    Oh Ed, you clearly just don’t understand the sophistication of his argument. If they give a pay raise, those court employees might use that money to get an abortion, so clearly they have to include language that insures those tax dollars don’t go toward abortions. Maybe they should require that all employees have ultrasounds on their wallets so they can see those precious little tax dollars before they give them to the evil abortion doctors.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    It takes a brave man to stand up during discussion about one subject to talk about an unrelated subject, stating that he would martyr himself over it but he’s not allowed to.

  • dugglebogey

    With the cheap gas prices these days, he can’t afford NOT to set himself on fire!

  • dhough6

    Calvey was upset because the bill would provide money for raises for the Oklahoma Supreme Court Justices. He was upset with some of their rulings on abortion. Among other things, the court did not allow a vote on a constitutional personhood amendment, saying the proposed amendment would be unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution.

  • themadtapper

    Also, now that I think about it, he’s pretty much wrong on it being against his religion anyway. The Bible is pretty clear that suicide is acceptable and even commendable depending on the context. “Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friend.” Even their own supposed savior committed suicide for them (if you have the power to save your own life, and actively chose not to, that’s suicide no matter how you slice it). If Calvey truly believes he could, by self-immolating, make a difference and actually save some precious little fetuses, there’s nothing about his religion stopping him from doing so. We should start a GoFundMe to get him some gasoline, matches, and a press conference so he can “let his light shine before men”. Come on Senator, don’t “hide that light under a bushel”!

  • Doubting Thomas

    Hey, I’m not a christian, can I light him on fire? (Metaphorically of course.)

  • arakasi

    I’m sure that with modern medical advances, setting yourself on fire would not automatically lead to death. He could continue to live out a long and painful existence. It’s not a choice I would make, but it is apparently very important to him.

  • cptdoom

    If I were not a Christian…

    Good news! The Pope says you’re not.

  • eric

    This just begs for a Churchillian response. “If you didn’t have a proscription against suicide, sir, I would let you.”

  • Chiroptera

    …and didn’t have a prohibition against suicide, I’d walk across the street, douse myself in gasoline, and set myself on fire to protest the evil….

    Maybe we can all settle for you setting just your little finger on fire or something?

  • Larry

    Please proceed, Mr. Calvey. Flame on!

  • tmscott

    “If you light a fire for a man, you warm him for a time; if you light a man on fire, you warm him for the rest of his life.”

    – Something I read today.

  • Saad

    Why does he think sacrificing yourself for the good of the people is off limits in Christianity?

  • John Pieret

    They weren’t even talking about abortion, for crying out loud.

    When you are a wingnut, everything is about abortion … when it isn’t about same-sex marriage. Iran, birth certificates, Muslims, immigration, Sharia …

  • busterggi

    “If I were not a Christian and didn’t have a prohibition against suicide,”

    I never saw any such prohibition in the bible, citation please.

  • sugarfrosted

    @15. This is in fact atextual. Augustine interpreted this as part of the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” and his interpretation stuck, even among Protestants.

  • themadtapper

    I never saw any such prohibition in the bible, citation please.

    There’s not any specific one that I ever saw during my Jesus days. It’s just something that’s inferred. The logic goes something like this:

    1) Killing is a grave sin

    2) Therefore killing yourself is also a grave sin

    3) Since you’re already dead, you can no longer ask for forgiveness for your grave sin.

    4) Therefore you died in sin and are going to hell.

    Exceptions get made for self-sacrifice (as I alluded to earlier), but never for suicides that benefit the person that’s killing themselves (euthanasia is right out), cuz then you’re killing for personal gain and therefore sinning.

  • raven

    Why does he think sacrificing yourself for the good of the people is off limits in Christianity?

    1. Xianity started with a suicide!!!

    According to the xians, jesus is the most powerful being in the universe, which he made himself. He didn’t have to be crucified. Jesus as god could poof anything into or out of existence. He could have turned the Jewish Sanhedrin and Roman soldiers into frogs and that would have been it.

    2. What Would Jesus Do, WWJD?

    Wander around a year with a gang and then let the Romans pound nails into his limbs.

    Hmmm, I’m seeing how we can help Kelvin Calvey out here. While suicide by burning isn’t very biblical, hammers and nails are very inexpensive these days at Home Depot.

  • marcus

    @^ With hammers, nails and lumber that cheap, we can’t afford not to crucify him!

    I’m thinking “4x6s” and “20p” (got my own hammer).

  • whheydt

    If he did immolate himself, he’d be doing at least a little bit of good. He’d be improving the average intelligence of the species.

  • DataWrangler

    Yeah, but what about the carbon emissions?

  • moarscienceplz

    No fair teasing us, Senator!

  • Abby Normal

    I see this as an encouraging development. Protest by self immolation was a Vietnam thing. This means Oklahoma is finally catching up to the 60’s! Far out man.

  • Al Dente

    Calvey, if you set yourself on fire I would piss on you to put it out. I might even cross the street to piss on you.

  • marcus

    DataWrangler @ 21 Party-pooper.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … I’d walk across the street… and set myself on fire to protest the evil that is going on over there…

    Very few clinic operators are dumb enough to set up shop directly across the street from the Oklahoma legislature. Not so sure about state supreme court operators, though…

  • kdemello1980

    Martyring yourself works best when you actually, you know, martyr yourself.

    Imagine how the arab spring would have gone if the fruit vendor who lit the powder keg had instead thrown a teabag tantrum.

  • lorn

    A lot of the people on the right are looking at the possible universal acceptance of gay marriage as the worse possible outcome. Abortion is bad, loss of white and Christian privilege is intolerable. The right has been ginning up fear and alarm over all those things for a very long time. They are supposed to be signs of ‘the end times’ … and yet the up side of the end times, return of Jesus and restoration of holy order, hasn’t shown up. It is The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) without them being able to play hero, without the degenerate urban dwellers dying off, without the armed white people and Christian reconstructionists having the opportunity to rebuild in their ideal manner.

    Sen. Kevin Calvey, like so many on the right, is losing it. His world is crumbling and nothing remains that makes sense to him.

  • longship

    Please proceed, Senator, if it means that much to you. We’ll have the fire brigade standing by, just in case things get out of hand. Protecting property and children, ya know.

  • dingojack

    Abby – Charles R Moore & Mohammed Bouazizi as more recent examples.

    Dingo

  • dingojack

    This just in!

    Madame Nhu‘s response to Senator Calvey’s offer.

    @@ Dingo

  • anubisprime

    Is he guilty of a Freudian slip here…he is no doubt guilty of something…probably abuse of the supposed biological matter between the ears…but is he alluding to the fact that if you are not a Christian then you automatically set yourself on fire?

    I mean apart from the flames of some spurious hell for apostasy or whatever, is he really claiming that being a Christian is the only thing that stops someone from setting themselves alight?

    Fuckin’ beezlebubs jammy cords, we atheists been doing it wrong for years.

    Seems weird that the only folks that burn do so at the hands of those that has a god in their miserable lives!

    What is it about a ‘faith’ in a bullshite kiddy story that makes them want other folk to burn…one might be convinced that ‘true believers’ are in fact all homicidal, sociopathic, numbnuts with very little self control, no ethics and a lamentable understanding of respect!

  • StevoR

    OK Rep: I’d Set Myself on Fire if I Wasn’t a Christian

    Better rep – I don’t need to be Christian to know not to set myself on fire!

    Also abortion, that issue was decided back in the 1970’s women control their own bodies and get to choose. End of.

  • Anri

    Modusoperandi:

    It takes a brave man to stand up during discussion about one subject to talk about an unrelated subject, stating that he would martyr himself over it but he’s not allowed to.

    True.

    I’m way too cowardly to publicly demonstrate that deep a level of general stupidity – I’m not sure I could handle the mockery and self-loathing.

  • http://helives.blogspot.com heddle

    themadtapper #5,

    (if you have the power to save your own life, and actively chose not to, that’s suicide no matter how you slice it).

    Nope. 100% wrong. It has generally been considered (in all walks of life) that there is a difference between suicide and voluntary sacrifice. Perhaps it in can be gray in some cases, but certainly there is a discerning question of whether the person wants to die. The proverbial soldier jumping on a grenade is not suicide. In the case of Jesus, he did not want to die and was afraid of death (e.g., Mark 13:34. Luther said of Jesus, from memory, “No man has ever feared death as much as this man.” )

    You are simply wrong.

  • eric

    StevoR @33:

    Also abortion, that issue was decided back in the 1970’s women control their own bodies and get to choose. End of.

    As a pragmatic matter, no we haven’t reached the end of the debate. In fact the arrow is currently pointing backwards in the US, with states making the procedure more onerous/more difficult to get than it was a decade or two ago (at least, IMO; I don’t have any hard data). Moreover I don’t think Kennedy is in any hurry to defend it the way he defends gay rights, so I doubt SCOTUS will be reining in any conservative state legislatures any time soon.

    Heddle @35:

    Perhaps it in can be gray in some cases, but certainly there is a discerning question of whether the person wants to die

    I doubt anyone opting for assisted suicide wants to die in the sense of that being their first choice. They’re choosing a peaceful death now over a painful death soon, but if it was possible for them to get better – say, by praying and having that prayer answered – they would all probably do that in a heartbeat rather than die. But of course, most people understand and are mature enough to accept that prayer-based miracle cures are not an option they can choose, so assisted suicide becomes the ‘least worst’ available one instead. If you think about it Heddle, assisted suicide is society’s way of dealing with God’s impotence in the face of unimaginable pain.

  • Stephen Cohen

    OK Heddle, how about homicide bombers in the Middle East? Their rational is that by going themselves, they can take dozens with them and, as a bonus, get 72 virgins in paradise.

  • http://helives.blogspot.com heddle

    Stephen Cohen,

    OK Heddle, how about homicide bombers in the Middle East? Their rational is that by going themselves, they can take dozens with them and, as a bonus, get 72 virgins in paradise.

    Don’t know, don’t care. My narrow point was that the statement “(if you have the power to save your own life, and actively chose not to, that’s suicide no matter how you slice it).” is incorrect.

    Eric,

    If you think about it Heddle, assisted suicide is society’s way of dealing with God’s impotence in the face of unimaginable pain.

    Maybe, although a theist would change impotence to reluctance. I see no text whatsoever in the bible that says one must preserve one’s life at all costs. And of course Protestants in the tradition of the reformers, regardless of whether they found suicide to be a sin, would say that it, like any other sin, would not cause one to lose his salvation.

  • StevoR

    @32. eric : “s a pragmatic matter, no we haven’t reached the end of the debate. In fact the arrow is currently pointing backwards in the US, with states making the procedure more onerous/more difficult to get than it was a decade or two ago “

    Good point and very sad but true.

  • lldayo

    A voice off camera interrupts Calvey and calls on Brian Reneger, to take the floor. “Would you please ask the representative to stay on subject of the matter?” Reneger inquires.

    Dude, chill! He was just about to play BENGHAZI!?!!1 and light this place up. Where’s the love, man?

  • eric

    Heddle;

    Maybe, although a theist would change impotence to reluctance.

    Fair enough. I agree with you that your god is reluctant to do anything about disease and other forms of physical, bodily human suffering. That correction would not seem to indicate a benevolent being. Quite the opposite, in fact; impotent could allow for benevolence but mere reluctance greatly undermines it.

  • http://helives.blogspot.com heddle

    Eric,

    That correction would not seem to indicate a benevolent being.

    Well sure. This is a god that sends people to hell, which can hardly be “for their good.” The most inaccurate adjective routinely used to describe the Christian god is omnibenevolent. The bible makes no such claim. Just ask all the “ites” in Joshua’s path.

  • dingojack

    Much as it pains me, Heddle could be right. 😉

    eric — Consider a mother watching her child play in a playground. The child falls. She might want to run over and ‘make it all better’, but be reluctant to do so because she:

    a) doesn’t want to over-emphasise a small set-back

    b) wants the child to become more resilient and self-reliant

    c) realises the short-term harm of not acting is out-weighed by the long term harm of acting

    d) any number of other motivations

    e) is PURE EVUUULLLL!!!!

    but what is the probability of e) being true as opposed to a) to d)?

    It also a Fallacy of the Excluded Middle. Could it be that god is reluctant to act to save every single human from every kind of harm for reasons that are not PURE EVUUUULLL!?!

    Dingo

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Awwww, I wanted to hear what he was left with. Hitting himself in the head with a hammer so that he’s only badly injured but not dead? He might have already done that.

  • eric

    @43: um yeah, that same mother would obviously prevent her kid’s death by cancer if she could. Not all the world’s suffering is analogous to a minor pain that brings some learning/wisdom. Much of it is unnecessary, randomly on insensibly targeted, and either brings no lesson or kills/damages the sufferer far in excess of the value of any lesson that could be learned.

  • Nemo

    But if he wasn’t a Christian, would he even be anti-abortion?