Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen says every American should be required “to attend a church of their choice” every Sunday.
Allen, a Tea Party Republican, made her decidedly unconstitutional and un-American suggestion during a during a Senate subcommittee meeting on Tuesday.
At the time, Allen was upset that some sensible lawmakers were expressing some sensible doubts about the merits of proposed legislation that would allow individuals to bring concealed weapons into public buildings.
Suggesting that guns in public buildings might be necessary until there is a “moral rebirth,” Allen said:
Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth.
As one might expect, Allen’s remarks were met with scorn and ridicule.
On Wednesday, Allen tried to explain her bizarre remarks, but refused to apologize. Allen dismissed her claim that Americans should be forced to attend church every Sunday as a “flippant comment.”The Republican lawmaker went on to try and justify her remarks by recalling her childhood in the 1950’s:
People prayed, people went to church. I remember on Sundays the stores were closed. The biggest thing is religion was kicked out of our public places, out of our schools.
Of course Allen is forgetting that in the 1950’s Jim Crow and segregation were a part of everyday life, that gay rights were unheard of, and that open misogyny and sexism were taken for granted.
The 1950’s may have been good for Christian white men, but for everybody else the 1950’s were not so good. To claim otherwise is to be ignorant of history.
Allen is ignorant of history, and ignorant of the constitution. It is embarrassing for Arizona, and sad for the nation, that ignorant individuals like Allen are entrusted with making laws for the rest of us.