You probably have noticed how some legislators and advocates like to invoke the name of God when they are seeking approval of something controversial. It’s as if they are proclaiming, “If you oppose this, you are opposing God’s will.”
I do not presume to know what God may or may not like when it comes to legislative issues, but I do believe that legislators who invoke God’s name should at least be consistent in their views of His will.
For example, state Sen. Brian Birdwell of Granbury, the main Senate sponsor of the bill to allow permit holders to take handguns inside state university classrooms, was asked why he wouldn’t let university regents decide that issue instead. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Birdwell said that was because the U.S. and Texas constitutions guaranteed gun ownership rights.
“Rights that are granted by God are ours to protect. They are not to be delegated…to boards of regents,” he said.
Now, I am not conceding that it is God’s will that people carry pistols into college classrooms, or even that God influenced the drafting of constitutional gun rights. But if Birdwell believes that God was behind the constitutional provisions on gun rights, I wonder whether the senator also believes that God’s will is reflected in all other constitutional provisions, including Article 7, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution, which requires the Legislature to make “suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of free public schools.”
Birdwell voted to slash $5.4 billion from school budgets in 2011, prompting a state judge to declare the school funding system unconstitutional because it is, among other reasons, inadequate and unfair.
Does Birdwell also feel the need to address the rights that God granted to all of Texas’ school children? Or, is he selective about which parts of the constitution reflect God’s handiwork?