"Texas is better after signing this legislation today. ...The amount of prayers. Last Sunday, we went around in Sunday school...tell us about your summer...you have to believe in the power of prayer.... Thank you for your faith." What was said by a male GOP member of the Texas legislature at the signing of the anti-choice bill today in Austin.
"The blood of Texas women is on your hands!" the pro-choice women at the capitol in Austin today shouted. "Shame!"From a pro-Wendy Davis, pro-choice Republican Texas woman:
As I have aged, though, I have come to realize that I never ever ever ever want to make this excruciatingly painful and ultimately personal decision for another women and I certainly do not want a bunch of 60-year-old white dudes in Austin doing so. And that they did so under the guise of protecting women and families is even more repugnant because of how intellectually dishonest it is.
Does the GOP in Texas not understand that we do not live in a theocracy? Did someone forget to tell them when they were growing up that personal matters of faith are to remain precisely that, personal, not to be brought into the political arena in such a way as to affect the lives of all citizens? When a nightmare such as this becomes reality we see what happens, and it ends in ugliness, death, racism, intolerance and a division between citizens that cannot be breached. How does one reach out and teach tolerance when one group's personal religious beliefs dominate politics and can allow bills to be signed into law? Call it what it is! It is wrong! It is NOT democracy in action, it is the solidifying of the walls of a prison that any sane person would want to escape from if they can.
I am deeply disturbed as a Texan, a woman, someone with a strong faith, and as an American who believes deeply in democracy at what we are witnessing today in Austin. The number of times personal religious beliefs were mentioned, prayer, even Sunday school leading up to the signing of a piece of government legislation was intolerable. Texans, and Americans, are NOT all Christians. Church and State are separate! You do NOT speak for your citizens as we represent a diverse mixture of religious, not religious, conservative, not conservative people. You have no right to pretend this is about halting abortions after 20 weeks, what you really want to do is overturn Roe v. Wade! It is obvious it is about your personal beliefs and wanting to try to control an entire state full of people, many who do not agree with you.
As someone who was brought up a Christian, who prays almost daily, who respects the faiths of other Americans who are Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Atheist, I am ashamed of how one group of people could actually dare to bring such disgrace into what is meant to be a process free from precisely what they are doing. It is a dangerously slippery slope they are on, and that they have put the State of Texas and all Texans on by doing this today. Whatever they believe is their personal story and is not to be brought into a place where political freedom FROM religion is an extremely important part of who we stand for as Americans.
They disrespected so many men and women today that they began a process of people starting to simply not believe in their government anymore, at least not one led by the GOP in Texas. They laughed in the face of moderate Republicans. They laughed in the face of the God of many faiths, the beliefs of many American citizens and they undermined democracy.
But most abhorrent of all is that they have put the lives of many, many women, often the poorest women, at risk. They KNOW the clinics will close. They KNOW desperate women who fear for their own lives and those of their already present and living children will suffer from if forced to carry another pregnancy to term. They KNOW women will go across the extremely dangerous border into Mexico for illegal and unsafe abortions. They KNOW that wealthy women will still be able to travel and leave the state and obtain abortions while others cannot. They KNOW that this is a way to control women, to try to shame them, to force them to do things, which could now land them in jail.
All of this while speaking of saving babies! Well, go adopt those 10,000 children in the care system with no real homes. Go adopt the older and HIV+ and disabled children. Go adopt the children born by teen mothers who have been forced to leave their restrictive conservative homes where hypocrisy, incest and abuse reign to get away from people exactly like the frighteningly ignorant GOP Bible-thumpers! Go raise taxes on your wealthy buddies to PAY to raise these children right and educate them in great public schools since Texas is the 14th largest economy in the world! Go regulate the ports and chemical factories which handle deadly materials and kill citizens in West, Texas. Go protect the most vulnerable amongst us, the poverty-stricken, those who you have put into your private prisons where you make money off of them and their misery.
This was never about abortions after 20 weeks, it was always about the worst thing one could imagine, and what many people outside of Texas believed about Texas and now they have proven it to be so, that the right-wing, elected, so-called leaders of the Texas GOP, are not leadership material. They are dangerous and must be stopped.
I want to thank them for showing the rest of the United States and the world who they truly are -- backwards misogynists. And as they are dead set on bringing their personal religious beliefs into OUR government, well, from now on, their churches and religious foundations will have to start paying taxes, because it is glaringly obvious that they do not seem to know where to draw the line between Sunday school and their jobs. Oh, and by the way, when someone calling himself or herself a "Christian" does what they have done today, it also undermines the faith that others have in their faith itself.
I see no good Samaritans here, no 'there but for the grace of God go I,' no empathy for the poor. The Texas GOP today is the party that will leave Ruth and her daughter starving as they glean in the fields for the something to eat, while they rake in the money from the oil companies, the corrupt medical deals that will fatten their pockets from the law they passed today.
God was nowhere near the signing of that bill into law today in Texas -- nor was the Constitution of the United States of America. This will be overturned and ruled unconstitutional.
God is busy being someone for whom we would actually want to vote and doing things which actually help people! I don't know which God the Texas GOP thinks they believe in, but maybe they need to go back to Sunday school and actually pay attention because Jesus fed the masses, walked lightly upon this earth, forgave and was inclusive. At the national level, the Republican party must be quaking in their shoes seeing where this kind of behavior is leading, to more people questioning not their faith in something greater than themselves, but in those who would pretend to be righteous, while knowing all along that it is about profits and control.
As one woman who testified against the bill at the capitol earlier this month said to the members of the Texas GOP, "We do not believe you." And neither does the rest of the world.