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The Inexhaustible Cowardice of Oklahoma Senate President Greg Treat

by James Silberman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Keeping abortion legal in a state where the people have awakened to Republican leadership’s cynical lip-service to the cause of ending abortion is no easy task. Oklahoma Senate President Greg Treat (R-Oklahoma City) is going into overdrive to keep abortion legal while maintaining pro-life voters.

When the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act (OK SB13) was introduced, Senate Health and Human Services chairman Jason Smalley (R-Stroud) held a private meeting with his Republican committee members except for SB13 author Joseph Silk (R-Broken Bow) to determine whether there were enough votes to kill it, according to a source close to the situation. When it became apparent there weren’t, Smalley, after deliberating with Treat, denied SB13 a hearing.

The outrage at this refusal to hear the bill was severe, with Smalley drawing most of the ire. Billboards were rented sharing with Oklahomans the message that Smalley is the one keeping abortion legal in Oklahoma. Thousands of doorhangers were placed on front doors in his district. Large amounts of emails and phone calls were sent to the offices of both Treat and Smalley voicing displeasure.

Needing to save face with pro-life voters, Treat quickly authored and introduced OK SB195, a bill which would trigger a return to pre-Roe state abortion law upon Roe being overturned or abortion being abolished in the US Constitution. Killing an abolition bill and putting forward a bill like this is what someone does when they pretend to care about babies being murdered but are dead set on licking the boots of the feds. Contrary to popular belief, states are under no obligation to obey arbitrary, illegal court opinions, especially opinions as depraved as Roe’s legalization of murder. In fact, states are constitutionally and morally obligated to ignore such rulings. Yet Treat is working around the clock to keep Oklahoma servile to a tyrant and Oklahoma’s babies vulnerable to the abortionist’s knife.

Abolitionists in Oklahoma saw SB195 for the cowardice it was and called it out as such. Again, Treat was forced back to the drawing board to scheme a way to maintain his anti-abortion voters but also keep abortion legal. This time, he amended SB195 so it gives Oklahoma voters a chance to vote on amending the State Constitution to clarify that it doesn’t allow for abortion. The bill specifies that the Supreme Court’s opinion that states must allow abortion will still be enforced. This is even weaker than the previous version of the bill, but for Treat, it represents washing his hands of the matter and pretending that he’s putting abortion’s abolition in the hands of voters when he’s doing no such thing.

There is nothing he can do to save his reputation other than supporting the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act. Should he do so, he will be welcomed by abolitionists and prior errors will be forgiven. Rather than going down in history as the man who kept abortion legal in Oklahoma for a few more years before its eventual abolition, he could be one of the men who helped end the killing. But he has to turn from his opposition to abolition right now and work toward its immediate passage.

Treat once quoted from the Gospel of Matthew while calling his colleagues in the legislature who opposed a tax increase cowards. There are two other passages from Matthew which Treat needs to read.

First, Matthew 15:1-9:

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” Jesus answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? . . . For the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

The concept of obsequious submission to the Supreme Court up to and including obeying its opinion that murder should be legal is an evil, unconstitutional “commandment of men” which Treat holds as doctrine. By killing SB13, Treat is making the tradition of judicial supremacy his doctrine while voiding God’s word and the US Constitution.

Upon being asked what the greatest commandment is in Matthew 22:36, Jesus replies, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

One does not love God if they treat His law as worthless while treating the Supreme Court’s whims as unimpeachable and supreme. They do not love their neighbor if they help uphold evil rulings that their neighbors are subhuman and can be legally murdered.

Senator Treat must stop hating his neighbor and stop nullifying the Constitution and God’s word by obeying Roe. He must bring SB13, the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act, directly to the Senate floor for a vote and do everything in his power to make sure it passes.

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