Column: Forced to defend Arizona Sen. Sylvia Allen

Arizona Sen. Sylvia Allen

Arizona Sen. Sylvia Allen

Google "Crazy Arizona Lawmakers" and you get 495,000 results.

I know. That's insane, right?

At the top of the list is a story from Reuters explaining how the Arizona Legislature passed a new abortion bill and sent it to Gov. Doug Ducey last week.

The bill blocks women from buying insurance that includes abortion coverage through the federal health care exchange.

Fine. Let's pass another unconstitutional law and continue tilting at windmills at great expense.

Unfortunately, the bill also requires doctors - as in, makes it mandatory - to tell women they could take a drug that would possibly reverse the effects of a drug-induced abortion.

Experts have claimed there is no such thing and those who say there is are engaging in junk science and quackery.

While two Democrats voted for Senate Bill 1318, the issue was largely split down partisan lines.

It seems odd the party that is strenuously opposed to federal health insurance - because health care and insurance is no place for the government - would be so eager to get between patients and their doctors.

Of course, we wouldn't need to worry about abortion and the behavior that leads to it if more of us went to church.

In fact, we should force people to go to church.

That's what state Sen. Sylvia Allen suggested last week. And while the comment in all its naked vulnerability looked like easy prey, the media regurgitation factory made a mess of Allen. She was being facetious, but she admitted to longing for the good old days when everybody went to church and prayed. The good old days, in her mind, ended about 55 years ago when the 1950s gave way to the '60s.

Unfortunately and unfairly, few who held up Allen to public ridicule had the courage to look at the context. They didn't investigate what was said before and after Allen suggested compulsory involvement in religious activities.

You don't have to be Sandra Day O'Connor to know forcing people to go to church, even if it's a church of their choice as Allen suggested, would be about as unconstitutional as an American law could get.

Allen has been roasted by a gaggle of mostly liberal bloggers who conveniently declined to put her comment into perspective. If you don't believe me, Google "Sylvia Allen wants everybody to go to church" and take a look at the 526,000 hits.

Perspective would show Allen did not really suggest mandatory worship for all of society. Context would show she made the comment after a vote on a new gun law that would allow people to conceal firearms everywhere in the state except where metal detectors are used.

Allen couldn't understand how anyone would object to such legislation. I don't understand how anyone would think nobody would object, but that's just my perspective.

My point is, we all say dumb things and we should probably be held to account when we do, especially when we're in a position of power and influence.

But it's patently unfair when we deliberately take a sliver of tortilla and tell people it's the whole enchilada. It isn't necessary to lie. People in officialdom are sometimes dumb and crazy. We don't need to make them look dumber or crazier than they are.

Unfortunately for Allen, she embodies a lot of what liberals despise about the new hard right of the Republican Party.

The Snowflake conservative is identified as a tea party patriot. That designation alone is enough to attract enemies, much as the most liberal of liberals - the progressive - incurs the wrath of conservative bloggers.

All of this sometimes witty, but more often mean-spirited, flinging of fiery arrows would be much less annoying if there weren't so much at stake.

Where's the depth? Who's picking up the corner of the rug to see what's been swept underneath? Are the batteries dead in all of the flashlights?

Seems like it.

And that's why people like state Sen. Sylvia Allen are easy marks for people who look to inflame with propaganda rather than educate and inform, without an agenda.

This isn't to suggest I agree with Allen, although I understand why she's stuck in the past - the far passed past that never really existed except in TV Land.

It just means I don't I have to be a coward when I criticize her.