Many years ago Mr. Bob Dylan wrote the words, “the times they are a-changin’ ” and that is certainly true. Whether they are changing for better or worse is a debate for the ages. One thing for certain is they ain’t changing for the better in the state of Arkansas.
In what must have been a very busy day for their state’s lawmakers, the Arkansas legislative body passed two measures which could dramatically change life in the Natural State. The first bill which carried an 85-8 vote in the State House of Representatives, gives houses of worship the option of allowing concealed weapons inside their doors. The State Senate passed the measure in an equally overwhelming vote last week. The bill states it is “immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety” because “personal security is increasingly important.” And won’t this country be a better place if you can pray with your pistol in your pocket…the one with the real bullets, that is. Wayne LaPierre must be dancing a jig.
The governor is expected to sign the bill as is, into law but wants to continue the discussion of its merits, as many in the faith based community have concerns… about the possible rise in insurance rates for the churches. The possible rise in insurance rates. Apparently there isn’t much concern about half the congregation packing heat to the Sunday service, only that they may need to throw a few more bucks onto the collection plate to cover the added costs.
The second bit of legislation passed is even more ominous. The Arkansas House has now passed a bill which bans abortions after the twentieth week of pregnancy with the only exemption “potential mothers who are at serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment or death from childbirth.” No exemption for rape, no exemption for incest, no exemption for permanently disabled fetuses. The reasoning behind this bill is unclear, as in 2012, only two 20-week+ abortions were performed in the entire state. What is does appear is that it is another side step in the process of repealing Roe v. Wade.
Alongside this House bill, the State Senate has passed a bill which bans abortions from the time a fetal heartbeat can be heard. This can be as early as five weeks. With a vaginal probe the only way to hear a fetal heartbeat at that early stage, would passage of this bill require every woman wanting an abortion to undergo this invasive procedure? The American Civil Liberties Union has already given notice of its intent to sue should this bill be signed into law.
The passage of these bills will have Arkansas taking a step back to the Wild West as well as a giant leap back to the Dark Ages. There is something inherently wrong with having guns in the house of God, just as there is something deeply wrong with letting a twelve year old child carry to term the baby which was conceived from rape, because she was too afraid to tell anyone until it was too late. Several other states are considering similar abortion regulations, and we are all aware of the fight over gun laws now taking place. If either of these issues matters to you, it’s time to research where the legislature in your state stands. These rights were not gained easily, don’t allow indifference to let them be taken away without a fight.