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Killian Challenges Legislators in 2014 Welcome Back Rally

By Rev. John Killian

The ancient Roman poet Horace wrote of a grieving leader in the Ancient Near Eastern world– a leader named Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh was mourning over losses in battle and the female seer named Siduri challenged Gilgamesh to quiet his mourning and embrace life. In her exhortation, Siduri pled be wise, be truthful, strain the wine, and scale back your long hopes to a short period. While we speak, envious time will have {already} fled: seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next.

The phrase seize the day, or Carpe Diem has become a motivation for innumerable football teams, military units, with the determining thought to move past the reasons to delay action, and move while there is time, to strike in the optimum moment, to seize the day.

The Apostle Paul made the same point as he challenged the Ephesians Redeeming the time, for the days are evil. Ronald Reagan expressed the same thought when he exhorted Americans if not you, who? If not now, when?

Alabamians caught this same spirit in 2010 with the election of legislative bodies who were elected on a platform to cut the size of government, to resist federal control, to stimulate investment and business by cutting red tape and slashing needless regulations.

But Alabamians also voted Republican in a swarm due to concerns about a liberal worldview that is recklessly driving our culture off a cliff. Alabamians have a heritage of standing up for our rights as citizens and as a state. Our people want someone who will assert Alabama’s right to govern ourselves without interference from, as an Alabama Governor used to say pointy-headed bureaucrats who can’t even park their bicycles straight.

In Matthew, Jesus was dealing with the Pharisees who held up their righteousness. Our Lord commended them saying these things you ought to have done, but not to leave the other undone.

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Today, we come to express appreciation for so many of the reforms that have resulted in the last three years. While the Chambers of Commerce and the Business Council are celebrating these reforms, we are here as grassroots voters who knocked on doors, licked stamps, stuffed envelopes, called friends, put out signs and put our names on the line to see change. To paraphrase our Lord, much good you have done, but don’t leave the other undone.

I plead with you to seize the day! Don’t let this year pass without make necessary decisions that will impact our children, born and unborn; will determine freedom for our people, and will send federal bureaucrats back to Washington, DC will a do not return stamp on their backsides.

You have shown courage on Second Amendment issues, on immigration, and on the absolutely necessary cutting of the size of government. We thank you for that courage.

This morning, we plead with you not to leave undone the needed legislation to protect the right to life of the unborn. We have a Governor who has boldly included a call to restrict abortion in his State of the State Address and a Lt. Governor who has called for the protection of the right to life.

In the first year of this quadrennium, the State Senate passed six pro-life bills who never made it to the floor in the House. Since that time, we have seen some action, but after three years of a legislature, overwhelmingly elected on a pro-life platform, Alabama still ranks #20 in restricting abortion, according to a survey of state legislation by Americans United for Life. Other Southern states have dealt more thoroughly with the issue of life.

When you look at priorities for this session, what issue ranks higher than protecting innocent life? This year, I would challenge our legislators to pass the Conscience Bill, demand enforcement for the Women’s Right to Know bill by closing loopholes, and restrict the number of abortions performed by doctors.

When you consider that which is an emergency, then pass legislation that would keep the state out of the business of our churches who operate Christian schools. The state can never usurp the role of parents to choose for their children. Whether private schools or home schools, please act now to remedy any potential problems for personal and family rights in education.

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And a legislature elected on a platform of values and limited government can do no less than to disregard and dissemble the Federal program of Common Core Standards in Education. I would plead with you– put the information out there for the public and I will guarantee you that parents and teachers do not want Common Core!

Some legislators are whispering that this issue is too hot to handle in an election year. It wasn’t too hot for the Alabama Republican Executive Committee who virtually unanimously passed a resolution opposing Common Core. This was not too controversial for our largest denomination, the Alabama Baptists, who passed a resolution in annual session expressing concern for the federal control and the approaches and materials used in Common Core.

Pass by important issues and the voter base, who elected Republican leadership, may be disappointed, unmotivated and may not pour out in big numbers. Walk slowly on the right to life and you may lose traditional Democrats who have come over to vote Republican, primarily on moral issues.

If you don’t seize the day, you may face a disappointed electorate. If you don’t seize the day, you will face disappointment within yourselves. But most importantly, you will face God not having done what you could to turn back the tide of the destruction of our culture.

Mel Gibson, as William Wallace is seen in Braveheart with this challenge to those who would shy away from conflict Fight and you may die. Run and you will live at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for
one chance, just one chance, to come back here as young men and tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they will never take our freedom!”

Ladies and Gentlemen of our Legislature, you stand in the hallowed halls where brave individuals have spoken for liberty. You are Alabamians, and as Gov. Lurleen Wallace said in her inaugural address, Be proud to be called an Alabamian, for your courage has nurtured the flame of freedom.

As in the days of the American Revolution, These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

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Senators and Representatives, Stand now, for life, liberty, and freedom depend on your courage.

Written By

Rev. John Killian is the former president of the Alabama Baptist Convention and now director of missions for the Fayette County Baptist Association.

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