Pro-life Oklahoma Democrat turns her attention to religious freedom

Oklahoma State Rep. Rebecca Hamilton sees no conflict between her pro-life views as a Catholic and being a stalwart Democrat who has served 18 years in the state Legislature.

Oklahoma State Rep. Rebecca Hamilton (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Oklahoma State Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, a pro-life Democrat, has turned her attention to religious freedom issues.  (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Hamilton, who represents South Oklahoma City, told Catholic News Service during a break this morning in the 2013 National Religious Freedom Conference in Washington that her pro-life stance evolved over time after a “powerful religious experience” in the 1980s.

It helped, she said, that she became Catholic in 2002.

Hamilton has cemented her pro-life credentials in the Legislature in recent years despite vocal objections from fellow Democrats and other supporters of Democratic politics. She said one labor official told her to keep her beliefs in church and out of the state Legislature when she shepherded one pro-life measure to passage.

All this after Hamilton worked for a stint for the National Abortion Rights Action League in Oklahoma. Back then, she said, she was hardly religious.

These days, in addition to looking out for her district, Hamilton’s focus is on threats to religious freedom that she sees emerging nationwide. She said it will take the Catholic community — a small minority in Oklahoma — working side by side with people of all faiths to be vigilant about legislative attempts to marginalize religious practice and educate the wider community that any threat to religion poses a threat to all.

One of her priorities: helping form a religious freedom caucus with other like-minded legislators to stop incursions on religious practice.

Hamilton was one of four panelists who discussed challenges to religious freedom during a conference session. She told the 150 people in attendance that her fear is that opponents of religion are becoming bolder in their attacks — verbal, through the courts and in state legislatures.

“You dehumanize a group enough, you marginalize a group enough, it becomes easy to do anything to them,” she said.

CNS will have a report on the conference tomorrow. (UPDATE: You can read the CNS report here.)

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20 Responses to Pro-life Oklahoma Democrat turns her attention to religious freedom

  1. Stilbelieve says:

    Why does she endorse the Democrat Party with her name and party support? Why not leave the pro-abortion party and run as an Independent?

  2. Duane Lamers says:

    Ms Hamilton’s, I fear, is a minority opinion even within the Catholc Church today. How else explain the election twice of Obama by a majority of Catholics who went to the polls?

    The late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, perhaps quoting someone else, referred to the Catholic Church as “here comes everybody.”

    Indeed. Some of them actually believe the Catholic tenets of faith. Some.

  3. Ben in SoCal says:

    God bless her! I am in the same boat. It would be terrific to be independent, but modern American politics are nearly…un-democratic. Pro-life Democrats still exist, and we do speak up.

  4. Sharon says:

    Jesus said: A house divided will NOT stand The government of the people, for the people, is small -r- republican: to represent the public or the people period

  5. Al says:

    Mrs Hamilton must be up for re-election against a true PRO-LIFE candidate……..Matt 7:22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.

  6. Paul H. says:

    Amen! The Catholic Church is *NOT* a Republican institution!!!!

  7. Praise her and others like her, Evangelise from within, abortion and same gender unions will go the way of breeding slaves for property and black women not permitted to sit in whitey’s pee pot.

  8. Dave says:

    She can’t have it both ways. She cannot be pro-life and vote/promote the Dems pro-perversion agenda. She joins the “pretty Catholics” Biden, Pelosi and Sebelius, who really don’t get it.

  9. Paul E. says:

    In rigged carney games, “fairbanking” is allowing an occasional winner in order to encourage all the losers to continue playing. There is no such thing as a “pro-life” Democrat – but it sure makes the Catholics who cling to the Democratic Party feel better about an affiliation with the party of death. Step back and look at what the party actually stands for and has wrought. Does she support the birth control provisions of Obamacare? The end of conscience protections? Public funding of Planned Parenthood? Does she support the chief executive, her party’s leader, who advocates for abortion and opposed the infant born alive act in Illinois? (ETC.?) Nonsense. She cannot have it both ways .

  10. IS there a real true DEMOCRACY in existence today ? Here in UK the SS marriage issue is been railroaded and rushed through- without mandate or referendum, DEMOCRACY ???
    In New Zealand, the electorate were informed there would be a referendum [which never appeared] and a GOVERNMENT vote held. Passing SSM to statute books. DEMOCRACY ???.
    I believe that this is proof of the death throes of democracy and the result of, dare I say it, democratically elected governments playing God,
    while listening to the voiciferous MINORITIES using Human Rights & Civil liberties as the basis for their protestations, while calling all and any opposition BIGOTS.!

    I, as a Senior Citizen, think I and my generation, have a lot to answer for ,since we stood by and watched the clouds of immorality get thicker and thicker
    ”for evil to flourish, it is only needed for all good men to stand, watch, say and do NOTHING”

    Anarchy next ? Every minority seeking ‘rights’ – as you please, when you please and where you please. Ignoring all and any responsibilities, duties, under the ‘ EQUALITY’ banner.

    How many times we have all heard [ in many instances even said our selves,] ” YES of course I am Catholic …… BUT…… ”

    God help us and forgive us for allowing this — immoral, anti Christ, secular, greedy, violent , uncaring, selfish, glamour and celebrity worshiping society to reach this far.!

  11. Jim says:

    Evangelize from within? Are you talking about the Democratic Party in the US? There are a number of similes that I could use but most of them would be incorrect to use on this blog site. A friend of mine has a term, “PUSHING ROPE”. I attempted to “evangelize” in the 70’s at the local county convention. A motion to support the right to life went unsupported even by the son or the local parish secretary- a union boss and faithful party member. Later I talked with a former SSND who chaired the county committee for the election of Paul Wellstone (D) senator of MN. I pointed out the MN Democratic Party platform plank “Require pharmacists to distribute medication prescribed by a physi¬cian without moral judgment or discrimination.” and how that was designed to violate the consciences of pharmacists by requiring them to dispense abortion causing drugs. Her reply was, “A relative of mine had an abortion. We must respect decisions like that.” Who are we going to evangelize? Joe Biden? Kathleen Sebelius? Nancy Pelosi? All those party leaders know very well what the teachings of the Church are and most Democrats, including Catholics, know what the party position is. So who are we to evangelize?

  12. phantom says:

    Politics stink ! The political platform have flipped floped and will say
    anything at any time.Catholic drop outs are now making up the second biggest religion.Part-time smorgasboard ( pick n choose )
    Catholics seem to be in the majority.The age of reason is six yrs old.
    Right from wrong isnt brain surjury.Get yourself right before you try
    to evangelize to others.Go to church and pray for all of us.

  13. Ben in SoCa says:

    @ Dave,

    The Magisterium does not state that the Republican Party is the Catholic party. Remember in recent months that our Holy Father has launched a series of salvos against corporate greed. And the Catholic Church believes in the preservation of the natural ecosystems, both matters which are not favorable within the GOP.

  14. Ben in SoCal says:

    Faithful Catholics, regardless of their political affiliation, should withdraw from the Big Two secular parties and join forces as independents. We compromise our faith when we put the interests of these myopic political movements ahead of the will of God and His Church.

  15. JJ says:

    ” What is to Ceasar- “To Ceasar!”
    What is to GOD- To GOD! ”

    [ o i l & w a t er ]

  16. Jim says:

    Archbishop Chaput has a book called Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life I highly recommend it. His blog posting on May 24th addresses “Religious freedom and the need to wake up” In it he mentions: “But health care has now morphed into a religious liberty issue provoked entirely – and needlessly — by the current White House.” and, “Coupled with the White House’s refusal to uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and its astonishing disregard for the unique nature of religious freedom displayed by its arguments in a 9-0 defeat in the 2012 Hosanna-Tabor Supreme Court decision, the HHS mandate can only be understood as a form of coercion.” I also highly recommend people also read entirely what he had to say in terms of our need to wake up.

  17. Jim says:

    Anyone who does not believe we live in an increasingly hostile world which does not allow us to follow the teachings of our faith should talk with Archbishop Schnurr. It seems we cannot apply those teachings in the running of our Catholic Schools. Headlines say, “Jury sides with teacher fired by Catholic school after artificial insemination”. According to the story the Archdiocese of Cincinnati must now pay her nearly $200,000. Apparently the 2012 Hosanna-Tabor Supreme Court decision doesn’t mean all that much.

  18. JJ says:

    Mr. Phantom I agree with you 100% totally.
    And Ben SoCAL, you hit a homerun Sir! I Agree with you.
    And Mr. Jim, I think, I agree with what you have to say.

    As far as Mr. Lamers, I will pray for you. (Division is the opposite of
    what our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church teaches.) I will pray for you my brother+

    + With all due respect gentlemen,


  19. Stilbelieve says:

    Sorry, JJ, you made an error saying Ben SoCal “hit a homerun.”

    There is only ONE party that is attacking God – the pro-abortion, pro same-sex “marriage, anti-freedom of religion Democrat Party. All of those positions they promote are intrinsic evils. Shockingly, abortion-on-demand remains the law-of-the-land solely because of that party and those Catholic remaining in and supporting it. Catholics are the largest single group in the Democrat Party and THEY give it the ELECTIVE POWER to keep abortion legal, and attack God’s other gifts

    Ben SoCal sins by insinuation that the other major party also promotes intrinsic evil. It does not. They may have different positions on other issues but those are prudential judgment issues, not intrinsic evil; or even sin at all. Bishop Paprocki of the Diocese Springfield ILL wrote a paper on this last year before the election after studying the two parties.

    Catholics should leave the Democrat party for fear of risking their own eternal salvation by disregarding their own word saying (1) they believe God is the creator of life, (2) praying for His “will be done on earth” in the very first party of the only prayer Jesus ever taught us, and (3) Jesus commanding us to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” saying this is the Greatest Commandment. And the Second is “to love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus did not say “you SHOULD love the Lord, thy God,” He said, You SHALL love the Lord, they God. There is no room for fudging the law when the command is SHALL – in God’s laws, or man’s. Remaining in and supporting the Democrat Party is not acting on what you profess to believe and pray for. Nor is it heeding God’s warnings to “choose life-so that you may have it more abundantly;” if you are lukewarm, He “will spit you out.”

  20. I would vote for her. I don’t support political parties. I support the movement. The movement to have the right to life and religious freedoms. This is too important of an issue not have a movement that we have. It’s the movement that will change the people and the platform positions of any political parties. Jesus is my platform.

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