Give us that old-time religion, when nobody saw a need to pack a gun to church services, and when, in fact, anyone caught carrying in the sanctuary would have been deemed in violation of Lord's House rules.
But maybe that is just us. The Arkansas legislature seems hell-bent on mingling weaponry and worship. A bill authorizing people to carry concealed handguns in church is halfway to passage as we write. HB 1237 is sponsored by Rep. Beverly Pyle (R-Cedarville), who says that she wants guns in church so there will be less danger of anyone being shot in church. Modern theology is tricky.
We could more easily find a lick of sense in what Rep. Pyle says if her bill also allowed people to carry guns into legislative committee rooms, where inflammatory legislation like HB 1237 is discussed, or supposed to be. Under Pyle's theory, legislators and lobbyists alike would be safer if everybody in the room had a pistol under his or her jacket. But HB 1237 does not extend this protection to lawmakers. On the contrary, it specifically provides that concealed weapons will continue to be disallowed at “Any meeting of the General Assembly or a committee of the General Assembly.” Much as we admire the courage of our lawmakers, we believe that worshippers in Arkansas churches can match it, and have up to now. Reject HB 1237, legislators. Give faith a chance.
Well before the United Health Foundation made it official, we figured that Louisiana was the unhealthiest state. A place that produces both Bobby Jindal and Billy Tauzin is clearly diseased. Or cursed. Elected to govern a state that needs better health care, better education, more and better of just about everything, Jindal has announced that he'll deny needy Louisianans assistance available from the national government. He's rejecting $100 million designated for Louisiana's unemployed, his right-wing ideology and personal political ambition more precious to him than the welfare of his fellow citizens. Hurricane Katrina was kinder.
Tauzin is the former congressman who enriched himself by betraying senior citizens, of Louisiana and every other state. As chairman of a congressional committee supposed to oversee the pharmaceutical industry, he won passage of legislation protecting the drug manufacturers' profits at the expense of Medicare recipients. Then he left Congress to accept a $2 million-a-year job as the pharmaceutical industry's official spokesman.
Failure to help the poor is what keeps a state at the bottom of the health rankings. Politicians like Jindal and Tauzin are what keep a state from helping the poor.