Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen (R-Snowflake) believes that America is in need of a moral rebirth and said a bill making it mandatory for Americans to attend a church of their choice every Sunday may not be such a bad idea.
"Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth," Allen said in a speech while debating HB 2320, a bill which allows carrying firearms in public by those holding a concealed carry permit.
While she acknowledged that passing such a bill would never be allowed, she remained firm that one of the problems being faced by society at present is the erosion of religion.
"It is the soul that is corrupt and how we get back to a moral rebirth in this country, I don't know, since we are slowly eroding religion at every opportunity that we have," she said.
In an interview with the AZ Capitol Times, Allen recalled how in her childhood people prayed and regularly went to church. She said that traders willingly closed down their establishments so they could go also go to church.
She lamented that society's problems started when religion was "kicked out" of public places and schools.
"I can remember it wasn't until high school that I understood there was anything like heroin and drugs. It just wasn't talked about in our society. It was a different time. People prayed. People went to church."
In a separate interview, Allen said that while her statement was made flippantly, she sees nothing wrong with it since her intention is to turn the hearts of Americans to good things. She added that people should not find anything offensive with her sentiment.
Meanwhile, Tucson Sen. Steve Farley said that the separation of church and state would never allow for the mandatory church attendance.
"Even if you believe that would stem the moral decay, I think the Constitution makes it very clear that our country is founded on the pillar of separation of church and state," he said.