An Arizona state senator has advocated passing a bill requiring mandatory Sunday church attendance.
In a speech on the state Senate floor during a debate over HB2320, which would allow the carrying of firearms in public buildings by those holding a concealed carry permit, Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, said: "Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday."
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However, she quickly added, "That would never be allowed."
"It is the soul that is corrupt," Allen commented, "and how we get back to a moral rebirth in this country, I don't know, since we are slowly eroding religion at every opportunity that we have."
Allen later told the AZ Capitol Times
that it was a "flippant comment," but refused to back off and stuck to her guns while recalling her childhood.
"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."
Sen. Steve Farley, a Democrat from Tucson, told KPHO-TV
: "Even if you believe that would stem the moral decay, I think the Constitution makes it very clear that our country is founded on the pillar of separation of church and state."
Allen explained to CNN
: "Last night in a very late appropriation meeting, and we were all extremely tired, I made a remark about America is in the need of a moral rebirth. To try to bring back this moral rebirth in our country, to turn our hearts back to good things — that that is some sort of amazing thing for me to have said and that would be offensive to people?
"I can remember it wasn't until high school that I understood there was anything like heroin and drugs. It just wasn't talked about in our society. It was a different time. People prayed. People went to church."
The concealed carry bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 5-3 vote and now goes before the full Senate.
During the hearing, Allen, who favors the bill, said: "People out there breaking the law are not taking the time to get a permit. They just go do it. The people who care about this want to do it right and do go through the trouble of getting a permit," the Arizona Daily Sun reported
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