Update 2/12/2020 Evening

There was good news and bad news out of the Capitol today. First, the bad news.

Our effort to repeal the death penalty was defeated by a failed introduction vote which needed a 2/3 majority. The vote was 37 for repeal, 23 against so we missed it by 3 votes. Next session we will only need a simple majority to pass both chambers. So, we will keep working.

To see how your Representative voted go here: https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2020/HB0166 and click on the “Digest” tab.

The good news is SF97 Born alive infant-means of care passed the Senate 2/3 introductory vote by 22 in favor, 7 against and 1 absent. The bill still has a long way to go just to pass the first chamber but it was assigned to Senate Labor/Health where there will be an opportunity for public testimony. At this time, the vote count does not seem to be tallied, but I believe by tonight, you should be able to see it here: https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2020/SF0097

Please consider contacting legislators who voted for these two bills and thanking them.

And, for those of you who did contact your legislators, thank you!!!

Updated 2/12/2020

The Wyoming Legislature kicked off Monday with Governor Gordon’s State of the State address. You can watch the address here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYv9qDw1qpY

Wednesday is the cutoff for new bills to be filed and every bill must pass an introduction vote by Friday or they will time out.

There are many bills to watch. Two direct life related bills are:

  1. HB0166 – Death penalty repeal– Numbered in honor of the 166 individuals who were sentenced to death and later exonerated. The bill has 40 sponsors! But we still need a minimum of 40 Representatives in the House to get the bill introduced.
  2. HB0197 – Abortion 48 hour waiting period was filed Tuesday and will likely face an introduction vote in the House Thursday or Friday.

Call or email your Representative and ask them to vote to introduce these two important bills.

Rep contact information

  1. SF0097 – Born alive infant-means of care

In another era, the need for such legislation would be unthinkable. But when abortion providers in Wyoming publicity admitted several years ago that they refuse to follow existing reporting laws (because there was no penalty for not doing so at the time) it became evident that our statutes need to be very clear and remove any potential loop holes. Contact your Senator and ask them to vote yes to introduce SF 97.

Senator contact information  

Please remember to be kind and respectful when communicating with legislators.

Finally, for a list of all bills, go here:  Legislation – 2020

Sacred Things

Our Catholic faith teaches that every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. It begs the question: How do we treat sacred things? What happens to our demeanor, for example, when we approach the sacred space of a church, or a cathedral?

We lower our voices. Men remove their hats. We become reverent. As Moses was told to remove his shoes because he was standing on holy ground, in a similar way, when we approach the sacred, we are called to quiet our hearts and tread lightly. We are called to listen.

If people from within or without the Church claimed that individuals or the state had a right to destroy certain churches, we would rightly protest.

If this is how we protect divinely inspired, yet man-made worship spaces that decay over time, or are destroyed by fire, how committed should we be to protecting human persons? Think of the reaction the world had to the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. Donations poured out all over the world to restore it, which was a beautiful response. How should we respond, then, to the intentional destruction of the “Temples of the Holy Spirit” happening from conception to natural death?

Even those who have committed heinous crimes have an eternal soul. Like us, they were made in the image and likeness of God and were redeemed by the blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Governments have an obligation to protect their citizens from those who would do them harm. But even those who are incarcerated are invited to turn away from sin and accept what Christ has won for them. St. Dismas showed us that salvation is possible even in our last moments.

Capital punishment is not a “natural death.” Vengeance does not restore what was taken from us.  It cuts short opportunities for repentance, time to be transformed by grace, and the possibility of asking for pardon. This should be a serious consideration for those Catholics who support the use of the death penalty.

While the great founders of our country did not always adhere to the idea that every life is sacred, they intuited it when they declared that life is an inalienable right. A just government does not grant this right. It merely recognizes what is already there. This is true from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death. St. Dismas, pray for us.