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Mississippi Senator tries to use God to justify cutting voting access for Black Americans

Mississippi Senator tries to use God to justify cutting voting access for Black Americans

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Republicans are so desperate to suppress the votes of people who don’t agree with their policies based on fear and selfishness that they’ve taken to invoking their religion as an excuse to ban advance voting on Sundays.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) ignored the tenets of the separation of church and state enshrined in our nation’s Constitution today as she debated the For The People Act — the voting rights bill passed by the House of Representatives — in a committee hearing in the Senate and argued that it was respect for the Christian sabbath rather than any desire to disenfranchise the largely African American, Democratic-leaning, and church-going voting block that historically took advantage of Sunday voting availability.

“Georgia is a Southern state just like Mississippi, and I cannot speak for Georgia, but I can speak for Mississippi on why we would never do that on Sunday,” Hyde-Smith said about Sunday voting, according to The Washington Post.

Senator Hyde-Smith then held up a dollar bill and said:

“This is our currency, this is a dollar bill. This says, ‘The United States of America In God We Trust.’ Etched in stone in the U.S. Senate chamber is ‘In God We Trust.’ When you swore in all of these witnesses, the last thing you said to them in your instructions was, ‘so help you God.’ ”

The Bible, she continued, says to “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.”

A video clip of her comments can be seen in the tweet below.

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The For The People Act would largely negate the provisions of the many bills currently being passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures to restrict voting by mail, limit the availability of polling places and times, and place other obstacles in the path of minority voters to make casting a ballot so arduous as to restrict turnout and ensure that a repeat of the red-to-blue flip in Georgia can never occur again.

Senator Hyde-Smith seems to not only conveniently forget that other religions besides Christianity celebrate their sabbath on days other than Sunday but to also ignore the fact that the government favoring one religion above others is a clear violation of the 1st Amendment.

Luckily, Twitter was there to remind her of her lapse.

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No amount of public outrage over Republican hypocrisy is likely to stop Senator Hyde-Smith and her GOP colleagues from trying to prevent people who disagree with their harmful policies from exercising their constitutional right to vote.

Given that they already represent only a minority of voters in this country, Republicans already realize that they simply can’t win a majority by legitimate means so their only path to victory must be achieved through voter suppression and dirty tricks.

All the more reason that the For The People Act must be passed and signed into law so that America can achieve the promise of democracy enshrined in our Consitution.

If Republicans can’t accept the will of the majority in determining our political future, they should revert to the “America: love it or leave it” advice from 1960s conservatives at the height of the debate over the Vietnam War and depart these shores expeditiously.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.  

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