Who is Sam Mims and who appointed him God? Is there even a God in Mississippi?
In 1972, Frank Herbert, author of “Dune” and recognized by critics as one of the finest sci-fi writers of all time, published a novel titled “The God Makers”. It was a compilation of four stories previously published in “Amazing Stories” and other magazines, describing the creation of a “God”.
Our society creates “Gods” every day. We idolize our sports heroes, e.g. Michael Jordan. We canonize “talk show and radio show hosts”, e.g. Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh. We listen to famous movie stars tell us for whom to vote. So it should not be shocking when some of our politicians appoint themselves as “Gods” and decide to make far-reaching decisions that affect us all, without waiting for our approval.
On October 21, 2003, Jeb Bush, governor of Florida, issued a gubernatorial edict to countermand a court order to allow the removal of the feeding tubes keeping Terry Schiavo alive by artificial means. Bush was acting in accordance with a statute passed that day by the state legislature, giving him the authority to overrule a court decision. Of course, he had used his influence to expedite the passing of that statute, a direct insult to all constitutional principles. Bush played “God” and got away with it.
Let’s get back to 2012. In the entire state of Mississippi, there is only one abortion clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Republican State Senator Sam Mims, pursuing his anti-abortion agenda of many years, has been unable to get it closed because of Roe v. Wade. So he decided that he was above that decision and convinced the Mississippi State Legislature to support his cause. On July 1, 2012, legislation, signed into law by Gov. Bill Bryant, was supposed to have gone into effect stating that physicians working at this clinic had to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Since three out of the four physicians working there do not even live in Mississippi, Sims knew that this will effectively close the clinic by default. www.wapt.com.
Before we move forward, let’s evaluate Mississippi, historically one of our most “regressive”and “oppressive” states. In 1962, James Howard Meredith was the first African American student admitted to the SEGREGATED University of Mississippi, an event that was a flashpoint in the American civil rights movement. Forty years ago last month, on June 12, 1963, Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers was gunned down outside his home in Jackson.
In June of 1964, the testimonies of Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses, Gene Young, and others, regarding police brutality in Mississippi were placed in the Congressional Record of the United States House of Representatives. Authors Stuart Wexler and Larry Hancock detail the evidence in their new book,” The Awful Grace of God: Religious Terrorism, White Supremacy and the Unsolved Murder of Martin Luther King Jr.” More evidence is emerging that confirms the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi offered a $100,000 bounty for the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Now we are in 2012 and Mississippi is again showing their total lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court!
Nine U.S. states have laws with admitting requirements for abortion clinics, but according to the Guttmacher Institute, none of them have rules that effectively have ended abortions. Mississippi is using the flimsy excuse that this law is protect women’s health, but Mims and his supporters have made it obvious that the true goal is to be the first U.S. state to abolish the right to abortion since Roe v. Wade.
Mississippi is the poorest state in the country and has the highest birth rate among teenagers. It has the second highest infant mortality rate, according to statistics from the Kaiser Family Foundation. More that 50% of births are out of wedlock. 2,297 women had abortions in 2010 and according the State Dept. of Health, the majority was unmarried, most already had at least one child and three quarters of them were black women. www.nytimes.com 6/23/12
Two federal court decisions in July have put a stay on this new legislation, questioning the law’s constitutionality. The most recent decision on July 12, 2012 by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan III extended his original injunction of July 1, 2012, but did not say how long it would remain in effect. In essence, it is just a matter of time until this law goes into effect. www.bostonherald.com
Upon interview by CNN, the clinic’s owner, Diane Derzis, commented : "I’m jubilant. It means the constitutional rights of women to make their decision, for the time being, is in place." Earlier this week, Derzis told reporters that Republican legislators were trying to outlaw abortion. "I love that it’s white old men making those statements," she said of legislators. "This is not about safety. This is about politics, and politics do not need to be in our uterus."
It is important to understand that this blog is not about abortion, or freedom of choice. It is about intolerance. It is about one man seeking to impose his belief on others. It is about abuse of power. It is about a legislator ignoring the law because it inconveniently does not coincide with his personal beliefs. That should be unacceptable on every level. He wants to take Mississippi back to the days of segregation, but this time segregating against women and pro-choice advocates instead of blacks. Why, because they disagree with his point of view and he is not going to tolerate that!
The U.S. Congress enacts legislation, in most cases, with the best interests of the American public at heart. The Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of these laws and hopefully leaves politics out of it the majority of the time. The last thing that Mississippi or any other state needs is a rogue politician, with a personal agenda, dictating policy by circumventing federal law and the Constitution. From past history, Mississippi needs God more than ever, but it doesn’t need Sam Mims.