Michigan GOP Senators Plan to Invoke the Wrath of God on Election Day

If five Michigan GOP senators have their way, religious leaders will be legally permitted to threaten voters with excommunication, dismissal, or expulsion from their church if they do not vote as ordered in public elections. Yes, you read that correctly — these lawmakers are calling for a change in the Michigan Election Law to allow religious electoral extortion through intimidation.

angry god

Yesterday, Senators Patrick ColbeckMike Green, Tom Casperson, Jim Marleau, and Mike Shirkey introduced SB 832 amending Sec. 931 of PA 116 of 1954 to remove the criminal penalty for religious coercion of the electorate. Under current Michigan law, it is a misdemeanor to threaten voters into casting their ballots a particular way, or to compel them to refrain from voting altogether. The statute specifically prohibits religious leaders from using coercion to influence voting behavior.

Yet, these lawmakers plan to strike that section clean:

SB 0832

Excerpt: SB 832

Under this amendment church leaders could, in effect, set-up a protection racket — pay-up with your vote parishioners, or go to hell.

The senators are leaving intact the section of PA 116 which deals with the crime of offering a voter an inducement of “valuable consideration” — defined as including, but “not limited to, money, property, a gift, a prize or chance for a prize, a fee, a loan, an office, a position, an appointment, or employment.” That would remain illegal.

So, by their reckoning — given the select manner in which they intend to amend the 62 year-old law, one wonders: Do these five lawmakers find church affiliation to be an asset of less than “valuable consideration?”

The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Elections and Government Reform for consideration.

DSCN0444Amy Kerr Hardin

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17 Responses to Michigan GOP Senators Plan to Invoke the Wrath of God on Election Day

  1. Steve Smucker says:

    Amy this is appalling and ultimately absurd. Somethings these unsophisticated goobers introduce bills that have no hope of passing to announce to local talent that they are covering the ” important” issues. It would be fascinating to see these “legislators” legislative activity – I’m sure it’s well informed, well considered and thoughtful.

  2. Mark G says:

    At first, I thought it was a bit of a stretch to presume that this passage was to be removed, in order to allow members of the clergy to make this kind of threat or claim. But then I started to wonder…….why ELSE would that passage be stricken? There’s really only one possible reason: to allow members of the clergy to make such statements, without penalty, as they may see fit.

    • David Groh says:

      Why do you suppose those words were there to begin with. Do you suppose some preachers were threatening hell for bad votes?

  3. Pamela Bacon says:

    Thanks to Senator Shirkey and his pious cadre, Michigan has transformed into the Bible-thump’n mecca of the North. Instead of indulging his pious manipulation of the State government, he might better serve the good Lord by focusing on serving the lead-poisoned residents of Flint. After all, he is the Chair of the Health Policy Committee.

  4. Bastet says:

    The Supreme Court interprets the Constitution. In Everson vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court decided unanimously that the First Amendment calls for a “wall of separation” between government and religion. This is now the law of the land. Everyone should know this by now, especially “legislators” since this decision was 60 years ago.

  5. Lynn Ochberg says:

    Good grief! I didn’t think it possible to be more embarrassed by Michigan elected officials, but this proposed SB 832 takes the cake. If it passes it’ll be OK to threaten hell to politically independent thinkers, just like the ISIS leaders. Oh boy, can’t these Michigan legislators see how much they resemble their hated enemies?

  6. JK says:

    Meh. The current law is probably unconstitutional anyway on the basis of the First Amendment.

    The church still runs the risk of losing their federal tax exempt status, which ought to keep the “shepherds” from abusing the flock.

  7. Teri says:

    First of all, if this passed, it would mean that any church that did this would then be subject to taxation. Second, do they plan to have someone looking over the shoulders of everyone as they vote? Because, last time I checked, voting was by secret ballot and the only person(s) who could be with you in the voting booth were your minor children….

    • Jeff M says:

      There would be no need to watch or observe the voters because they are already being manipulated by fear to do what ever they are told to do by GOD. All a preacher need to is state that GOD will know how you voted and you will be rewarded or punished accordingly. Fear will take care of the rest. You have injected logic and reason into a situation where neither exist.

  8. Pamela Bacon says:

    More I think about it, there’s nothing new here. Of course Shirkey and the choir boys would play this card, especially now. It’s the last ditch effort to claw their way out of the black hole they and their “moral majority” predecessors dug 30 plus years ago. If you can’t manipulate the masses with lies, threaten them with fire and brimstone.

  9. Pat Jackson says:

    So churches are now like corporations and can use their resources to unfairly impact ( by coercion) the political process. Would this now make them subject to campaign finance laws and the loss of their tax exempt status. Shouldn’t it ? Just wondering?

  10. Ronald J. Ewalt says:

    The American Christian Theocratic Movement just keeps amazing me. Just when I think that the religious crazies couldn’t be more absurd, the so-called Republican legislators of my home state go ballistic. The theocrats know that this kind legislation will be proven unconstitutional, but they must be waiting for someone to be asleep at the switch.

  11. Jay Southgate says:

    Sen. Mike Green continues to nothing but an embarrassment to those he supoosedly represents. First all his crazy gun legislation and now tjid. Hopefully, he will pay the price at the polls.

  12. Bob Potrzuski says:

    Does that mean we can tax them, too?

  13. Chuck Larlham says:

    The Michigan legislature differs from the Republican Presidential Primary Insane Clown car, only in that there are more Insane Clowns in the car. I moved to Michigan in 1992 after working here from Ohio for five of the previous six years. This state made sense then. It was governed by Democrats and the taxes, which Republicans seem to regard as some sort of theft and evaluate independent of need for work and services, were enough to move forward on roads and bridges. There were no freeways that were patched upon existing patches until no car could survive a year-long commute over them. Now we can’t even get 10% of the money needed to receive the maximum federal road funds available. They threw their responsibility at us, and couldn’t even do that right. They tied some overly dense and complicated school funding revision program to it. We told ’em to stop that foolishness and go back and get our roads funded. They didn’t do even half of that. Idiots! But it’s our own fault. This is a labor dominant state. So what do they do? They make this a Republican state because the Republicans promised them a free government. Now we’re a Right to Work state. MORE idiots!

  14. Frances Quinn says:

    Thank heaven I belong to no flock.

  15. teri says:

    They’re that desperate. They know that their policies have created real harm, but rather than–ahem–repenting, they double down. If I’m not mistaken, they are Christian Reconstructionists or Dominionists whose real goal is to destroy Constitutional government an replace it with theocracy. To find out, go to a town hall meeting and ask if they agree with the teachings of RJ Rushdooney.

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