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article imageSenator makes 'flippant comment' over mandatory church attendance

By Karen Graham     Mar 27, 2015 in Politics
Phoenix - Arizona's Republican Senator Sylvia Allen thinks mandatory church attendance is a good idea for the American people, even though she says it was a "flippant comment" on her part. But she is not apologizing.
And no, she hasn't submitted legislation to bring her suggestion to a vote. But the comment came up during an Arizona state legislature committee meeting on Tuesday while lawmakers were debating allowing licensed concealed-carry weapons owners to bring their firearms into public buildings.
The Tea Party member said she really didn't understand the measure, explaining that without a "moral rebirth" in this country, more people might feel the need to carry a weapon. Senator Steve Farley, a Democrat thought it would be appropriate to post her comment on social media, adding that he thought the comment goes against the U.S. Constitution.
This all leads to the obvious question, what in the world did Allen say? In expanding on her opinion on the public's moral erosion, all she said was: “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,” adding “that would never be allowed.”
Allen later defended her comment to the Capitol Times on Wednesday, describing it as "flippant." She said she remembers growing up as a child in the 1950s, when everyone prayed went to church, adding, "I remember on Sundays the stores were closed. The biggest thing is religion was kicked out of our public places, out of our schools.”
The Arizona Republic ran a "mock letter to God" on Thursday, written by columnist EJ Montini. “I’m not sure that even a Supreme Being such as yourself could get through to the lesser beings in the Arizona Legislature, but perhaps You could take a moment and explain to them the Constitutional reason for a separation between church and state,” Montini wrote.
But this is not the first time the Arizona Republic has raised questions about Senator Allen. Earlier this month it reported on Allen's efforts to help law enforcement officers under internal investigations after her son-in-law, a corrections officer was accused of sexually assaulting female prisoners while at work. The officer, Tim Hunt, was fired after overwhelming evidence came to bear that backed up the prisoner's accusations.
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