WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins today called on President Obama and Congressional leaders to repudiate comments made by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) to The Hill's Michael O'Brien that "religiously-affiliated groups...should be shut out of the process" in the health care debate because of their support for the Stupak/Pitts amendment. She told The Hill, "Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country," she said. "I've got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn't have input."
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:
"Rep. DeGette's comments are stunning. According to her, if a group of people who are in association with one another because of their Christian faith, they should not have a voice in the crafting of public policy. What she is asserting is that if your ideas and actions are a product of your faith, you're a second-class citizen and your voice should not be heard.
"Additionally, Rep. DeGette's hypocrisy on this matter is breathtaking. In a speech given at her alma mater, Colorado College, she speaks of her involvement with the liberal Faith and Politics Institute (http://gos.sbc.edu/d/degette.html). Apparently, in her view, it's OK to be involved in politics and have religious faith - but only as long as you agree with her.
"I am sure the Founders never envisioned elected Representatives which would not have a grasp of the most basic concepts of the Constitution. It may be time for an amendment requiring members of Congress to take a basic proficiency test on at least the Bill of Rights.
"Her religious bigotry is a far cry from what the Founders believed. Several months after the British surrender at Yorktown, George Washington, in a letter to the Reformed German Congregation of New York, wrote, 'The establishment of civil and religious liberty was the motive which induced me to the field (of combat).' Sadly, Diana DeGette seems eager to smother these precious freedoms, neither of which can exist without the other.
"Rep. DeGette's comments serve to only further confirm that this takeover is not about health care, it is about a radical social policy in which the expansion of abortion, at taxpayer expense, is at the very center of this effort.
"I call on President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Harry Reid to immediately repudiate this religious bigotry and reaffirm the Constitutional right of all Americans including people of faith to participate in this critical debate.
"Congresswoman DeGette's personal convictions, informed by her view of God, human dignity and personal liberty, inform her public actions. So do ours. People of faith and their representatives have every right, and even a moral duty, to petition their government for a redress of grievances."
SOURCE Family Research Council