February 2016 Church & State - February 2015

Creationist Will Head Ariz. Education Panel

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Arizona State Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-Snowflake), a creationist, has been named chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee. Senate President Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert) appointed her late last December.

According to the Arizona Republic, Allen is a controversial figure in the legislature. The senator, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said in 2009 that she believes God created the world 6,000 years prior.

In 2013, she used her public Facebook page to posit that the government had released poisonous chemtrails over her constituency.

“[W]e just don’t want to believe that our government would do anything terrible to us. Well, just a few examples, the IRS attack on the Tea Party, Benghazi, wire taping (sic), Fast and Furious just to name a few and we think that they would not manipulate our weather?” Allen wrote. She achieved further infamy last year for suggesting the legislature pass a law requiring church attendance in the state.

As chair of the education committee, Allen will have significant influence over which bills pass to a full floor vote. In a public statement, she said she intends to “highlight the incredible teachers who are the reason for our children’s success.”


Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.

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