God and the Garden State: Rick Scott plays religious freedom card
Sen. Rick Scott. Image via AP.

Rick Scott
The Senator's resolution is dead, but the news cycle trucks on.

A U.S. Senator from Florida has picked a fight with leading Democrats from New Jersey over religious freedom — and just in time for Christmas.

The genesis of this effort: a call led by Scott and echoed by other Senate Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio, for a resolution supporting “religious freedom,” which Republicans framed as allowing unfettered congregation in church despite the pandemic.

The resolution calls out Democratic governors, familiar names totemized as villains of the coronavirus crisis, including New York’s Andrew Cuomo, North Carolina’s Roy Cooper, and most crucially for the purposes of this post, New Jersey’s Phil Murphy.

Friday saw Scott attempt to get unanimous consent from the Senate for this, but he was thwarted by New Jersey’s Sen. Bob Menendez, leading to a fiery media release from his Senate press shop.

“Religious liberty is our first freedom under the Constitution of the United States. Every elected official takes an oath to support and defend our Constitution and the rights enshrined within it. We’ve seen liberal governors and mayors across the nation go after religious institutions throughout the pandemic, so my resolution simply reaffirms the right to freely practice religion,” Scott thundered.

“It is absolutely shameful that Senator Menendez would not only lie about what is happening in his state, but also refuse to stand with houses of worship, who are entitled to the Constitutional right to freely exercise their religion, by blocking my resolution today,” Scott added. “We know many Democrats don’t respect the religious freedoms of Americans, but this is a new low. We won’t let them chip away at our rights, and we will never stop fighting for the liberties of all Americans.”

Menendez, notes a “fact check” from Team Scott, objected to the resolution’s canard that New Jersey “prohibited or severely restricted indoor services by houses of worship because they were not deemed ‘essential,’ but commercial establishments like marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores were permitted to remain open.”

Though the Senate deliberation is over, Scott is still pushing the narrative, as suggested by a Saturday Twitter exchange with Gov. Murphy that saw each in high dudgeon.

Murphy urged Scott to stop “lying about New Jersey.”

“Pass a stimulus bill. Do your job,” Murphy advised.

Scott responded in kind: “It appears liberal Governors like [Murphy] don’t like being called out for their flagrant attacks on places of worship and the First Amendment. I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. You should try it sometime.”

This story will be updated if events warrant.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


7 comments

  • Ocean Joe

    December 19, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    To distort adherence to public safety efforts to save lives during a worldwide pandemic into an attack on religion is something only a monster could come up with. And our monster Ricky did just that.

  • Palmer Tom

    December 19, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Scott has no moral standing.

  • Tom

    December 19, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Dick Scott is just being the dick he is.

  • Tom

    December 19, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    I know he calls himself Rick, but those of us who followed his career in health insurance know he is Dick. Dick the dick.

  • Sonja Fitch

    December 20, 2020 at 5:26 am

    Omg. Stfu. Resign nazi rick! This killer is soooo enjoying this bunch of perverted bs he is causing! If you ever doubt nazi rick is just another old rich white man shooting out bs! Watch him! Get out nazi rick!

  • Tom mims

    December 20, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Satan will call Sick Rot home soon. Not soon enough but soon.

  • John Levario

    December 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Scott and his type are either totally stupid or stupid. It doesn’t matter what they say it is always ignorant!!

Comments are closed.


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