When Senate Bill 93 – legislation designed to single out and ostracize hospitals with religious objections to procedures like abortion – was passing the Colorado State Senate, I tweeted “religious bigotry on display in the Colorado Senate. You will take action because of your faith: SB93″
Let me be clear, I don’t believe that every Democrat who voted for this bill is a religious bigot. It is part of a national election strategy to demonize Republican candidates over women’s health issues in hopes to turn women voters against the GOP and further divide our country.
Look no further than moderator George Stephanopolous’ question on contraception during a presidential debate about a month before the Obama Administration issued its edict on free distribution of contraceptives by those associated with the Catholic Church. And that divisive and deceptive strategy is trickling down into state legislatures, where it is playing out in the form of bills like Senate Bill 93.
The legislation was sponsored by Senator Morgan Carroll. And what makes that so interesting is that most of the time Senator Carroll is a true champion for individual liberty. In fact we have worked together to defeat legislation calling for mandatory seatbelt laws, and she is the only Democrat from the Denver Metro Area who will occasionally join Republicans in supporting Second Amendment rights.
Senator Carroll claimed that the bill was about transparency, merely requiring that hospitals provide a “public notice” of what services they do not provide based on their moral convictions. However, when an amendment was offered to take out the reference to faith and moral conviction and make all hospitals provide notice of what services they do not provide, she and every other Democrat voted to defeat the measure. This maneuver ensured that SB 93 would only be about making religious institutions provide public notice of their moral convictions — exposing the clearly anti-religious motive behind the proposal.
By targeting the faith community, Senator Carroll is clearly playing to the Democratic base — which isn’t terribly surprising. She has ambitions to rise to a position of leadership within the Senate Democratic Caucus, and seems to believe that hopping on the White House election strategy bandwagon of class warfare, identity politics and gender baiting is the best way to succeed.
It is understandable – albeit unfortunate – that Mr. Obama has decided to run as a fearmonger. After all, what other options does he have? He can’t very well run on his record of failed economic policies, Chicago-style political cronyism, and unprecedented deficits and debt as far as the eye can see – at least not if he plans to win.
What is less understandable, however, is why someone like Ms. Carroll, with such credibility when it comes to protecting civil liberties, would jeopardize that credibility for partisan political purposes.
I have served a total of 10 years in the state legislature. I have seen legislators bolt from the chamber just before the morning prayer begins. I have witnessed legislators stop at the point “one nation” and resume at “indivisible” – refusing to say “under God” – when they recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day.
And that’s OK – because in America, you can be an atheist if you want to be. You have that freedom. But those of us who are not atheists also have freedoms – like the freedom to worship and practice our beliefs without the heavy hand of government being inserted into our lives.
We should all take notice when a legislator runs a bill trampling on religious liberties due to their own personal biases or for political gain. Religious liberties are too important to wind up as collateral damage in a desperate attempt to re-elect a failed President.
Senator Carroll and her Democrat allies crossed the line with Senate Bill 93, and that something all Coloradans – religious or not – should remember.
State Senator Greg Brophy represents Senate District 1, which includes Cheyenne, Crowley, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Morgan, Washington, and Yuma Counties.