Senator Adelstein should try to keep his views straight if he doesn't want to be called out by the SDWC.

From the Rapid City Journal:
Rep. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City, said he thinks it's wrong for a doctor to be able to refuse services a patient requests. "I recognize the problem of how you exercise conscience, but if you don't want to do those things, you shouldn't be in the practice, or you need to be willing to go to jail to stand up for what you believe," Adelstein said.
I'm not buying this argument from Senator Adelstein (which you can read in it's entirety here) one bit. In fact, I'm going to go so far as to call him out on the absolute hypocrisy of this statement. Because it's readily apparent that what he believes is that it's ok to exercise your beliefs as long as you agree with him.

But if you disagree, "it's wrong." I'm seeing a classic case of "do what I say, not what I do."

Why is my bullsh*t meter registering quite high here? Because he's the first one to refute a practice on the basis of his beliefs.

Think I might be stretching the truth on this? Oh, where do we start... As I shake off the vestiges of drowsiness I had before I got all fired up by this line of crap I was reading, let's go back a little ways and start in 2001.

House Bill 1190 in 2001 was co-sponsored by non other than Stan Adelstein (then Representative). And funny enough, this bill appeared to have been intended to provide protection against the kind of draconian government action he was arguing for in the crackerbarrel. Let's just take a little snippet from the legislation that Stan was promoting:
Section 4. Government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is both:

(1) Essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and
(2) The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

Section 5. A person whose religious exercise is substantially burdened in violation of this Act may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government. A party who prevails in any action to enforce this chapter against a government shall recover attorney's fees and costs.
As I'm reading it here, Stan had been one of the sponsors of this measure to promote that government needed to butt out of people exercising their religion, and that a person's religious beliefs were an affirmative defense against an intrusive government. Imagine that.

But it doesn't stop there. As I scrape off my B.S. tester for another run at this, I distinctly remember that Senator Stan had more to say on this topic very recently:
"That's a religious belief," Adelstein said. "I said on the record that as a Jew, I not only doubt but I do not believe it to be true. This is a religious belief and nothing more."
What was he complaining about in this instance? (AP wire as cited by the Aberdeen American news) The findings of the Report of the Task Force to Study Abortion. His gripe as cited above was that he didn't believe some of the findings of the task force on the basis of his religious views. In fact, he was saying that abortion is ok in his view because his religion does not recognize a fetus as a person. Clearly, he is saying that government does not have the right to interfere with his beliefs.

And before you start grinding on me, he is welcome to his view on abortion, despite my disagreement with it.

The thing that has raised my ire, is that through one side of his mouth, he's telling people that based on the argument of the public good, doctors cannot refuse services because of their beliefs. But then from the other side of his mouth, he was a sponsor of legislation to provide that the exercise of religion is a defense agaisnt government prosecution. AND, he's saying that he did not believe the findings of a committee he sat on were valid mainly because of his beliefs.

An exercise of policy because of belief. The same exercise of belief he wants to deny to physicians.

Interestingly enough, I was walking in the Capitol building parking lot on Friday and went by a vehicle, a little subaru, parked in legislative parking. It stood out like a sore thumb from all the other vehicles because it had a personalized license plate that said "Senat32," unlike any other vehicle in the lot.

District 32 State Senator Stan Adelstein might be trying to make his mark by standing out from the crowd, just like his little car. Unfortunately, it looks like he's standing out because he's demanding that the rest of us follow a value set he doesn't care to adhere to himself.

"Do as I say, not as I do." A value set that seems to stick in the craw of most South Dakotans, regardless of party.


Anonymous said…
That was an absolutely wonderful article! I haven't heard that type of double-talk of our democratic (mainstream) friend, Mr. Adelstein, since Tom Daschle was removed from the Senate. It is time the voters of District 32 remove another double talking democratic senator, but this time it will have to be accomplished in the GOP Primary, as this democrat calls himself a republican.
Douglas said…
"call him out on the absolute hipocracy of this statement." This might come close to being a problem for doctors only. Missing a "P"

I guess I read Adelstein's commments a bit differently. I got the impression his saying that comments in the so-called task force report were religious meant that they carried no more weight than his own religious perspective did and his was different.

More an indication of the problems with injecting religion into government than an indication that one such religious perspective was better than another.

But, I am not unbiased on this and I note with some chagrin, I am also not immune to spelling and typing errors.
PP said…
I read them as saying he should not have to adhere to a view that Abortion is immoral because in his religion, he does not view a fetus as a person yet.

Hence, he's basing that opinion because of a moral or religious view. And that's fine for him.

And he also co-sponsored a bill in 2001 to that effect saying that one's religious views are an affirmative defense to government requirements.

But in the Crackerbarrel, he turns around and speaks out of the other side of his mouth and says physicians can't deny treatment they find morally wrong.

He's saying they can't reject based on morality at the same time he claims it for himself. AND he sponsored a bill just a few short years back trying to codify that right.

He's certainly entitled to his views, but when he starts flip-flopping at a point when it's convenient for him, he should expect to get some razzing from the peanut gallery.

And I'm just the lil' peanut to do it.

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