God’s Will Is The Law In Arizona

Republican legislators turn the Old Testament into new laws.

Miss Catherine La Grange, spinster
The Haven


The Ten Commandments outside the state capitol. Photo by Danny Valdez on Flickr.

Arizona Republicans are wondering if a 160-year-old law which denies health care to women¹ is still appropriate. Their conclusion: “Of course it is! As a matter of fact, we should impose laws on Arizonans which are even more archaic. Not just ones which pre-date the state’s admittance to the Union in 1912.² Or pre-date the United States becoming a nation in 1784.³ Let’s make Arizonans abide by laws that are based on what was considered acceptable conduct, aberrant behavior, and reasonable punishment two thousand years ago. Let’s create laws that are based on the Bible!”

“After all,” said Ben Toma, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, “a law isn’t outmoded just ’cause it’s old. Consider the one that’s currently got people riled up.”

  • Arizona Revised Statute § 13–3603: “A person who provides, supplies or administers to a pregnant woman, or procures such woman to take any medicine, drugs or substance, or uses or employs any instrument or other means whatever, with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage of such woman, unless it is necessary to save her life, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two years nor more than five years.”⁴

“Granted, it’s a Civil War relic,” said Speaker Toma. “But it represented the will of the voters in 1864. That said, the voters were just dudes; women couldn’t vote until 1920.⁵ And they were white dudes; African Americans couldn’t vote until 1870.⁶ But that proves something us MAGA folks have said all along: democracy works best when ‘We The People’ are just the white guys.

“A.R.S. § 13–3603 is just a youngster,” continued Speaker Toma. “Our laws should be based on the Ten Commandments and the Book of Genesis, which are [from] thousands of years ago.⁷ In fact, we’ve already enacted laws with a Biblical worldview.”

The Speaker is correct. Last year, the Republicans applied Biblical reforms to Arizona libel laws. They were based on the story of Herod Antipas, the governor of Galilee. Herod dumped his first wife to marry Herodias, who likewise ditched Herod’s brother to marry him. A blogger named John the Baptist called Herod a sleaze and Herodias a slut. Herod was inclined to let it go. But Herodias wanted J-Bap to be punished. To change her hubby’s mind, she got her daughter from her first marriage, Salome, to give Herod a lap dance. Salome ground down Herod’s resistance: he had John beheaded, after which Salome pranced through Herod’s palace with John’s head on a silver salver.⁸

Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for Senator, was the first to use the revised libel laws. She sued a YouTuber after he called her an “Arizona asshat” for falsely accusing Democrats of engaging in “human smuggling [across the Mexican border] to fill the voter rolls with new Democrat voters.”⁹ She would have lost under the old law. But under the new one, Kari served up the guy’s head on a platter.

Kari Lake (left) with a podcaster who called her a “Tucson Twit.” Salome With The Head of John the Baptist (1527) by Sebastiano del Piombo. Photo by Bernardino Luini on Flickr.

The Republicans also used scripture to achieve a standing goal: voter suppression. They needed a new approach. Federal courts have struck down previous attempts to impede voting by people the Republicans perceive to lean Democratic. A recent example was a law which allowed county officials to de-register voters if the officials had the slightest “reason to believe [they were] not United States citizens.”¹⁰

Luckily for the Republicans, the Bible offered them a new way to keep people from voting. According to the book of Deuteronomy, “He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.”¹¹ The Republicans adapted that to create the Softball Law: “A man shall not enter into a voting booth if he hath scuffed his balls or hath no bat.”

Trouble is, the law hasn’t worked out like it was supposed to. The Republicans assumed liberal lads were least likely to have a longhorn. But during an election last week, the law disqualified half of the MAGA guys who tried to vote.

A Tombstone poll worker trying to find a voter’s privy member. Samson Pulling Down The Temple Of Dagon, mid-19th century, artist unknown. Screenshot by Catherine La Grange.

The Republicans gave their supporters in the business community an Old Testament way to avoid having to comply with regulations. It was modeled on the story of an Israelite who received a couple of stone tablets from a Heavenly bureaucrat. They decreed what thou shalt and shalt not do in business. And they were ridiculous. One declared that “the seventh day is the Sabbath. Thou shalt not do any work, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant.”¹² In other words, a business owner had to give his employees a day off each week. There was but one thing to do: the Israelite “cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them” on the ground.¹³

The Republicans used that story as the basis for a new law. Henceforth:

  1. Business regulations must be inscribed on brittle sandstone tablets;
  2. But if business owners don’t want to follow them, all they have to do is shatter the tablets.

The first person to use the new law was the owner of a Flagstaff Chick-fil-A. He’d received tablets from the Arizona Labor Department which mandated funeral leave for employees. “I’m not giving my slackers time off for that,” he vowed as he smashed the slabs to smithereens. “Not unless the funeral they’re attending is their own!”

A businessman demolishes a new sick leave rule: “If my employees get hurt on the job, they can recover on the job!” Moses Breaking The Tablets Of The Law (1866) by Gustave Doré. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Interestingly, there were bipartisan efforts to pass Biblical laws. For instance, Democratic and Republican men cooperated to allow flash mobs¹⁴ to dance on the Capitol grounds. They justified it by how the Israelites behaved when they brought the Ark of the Covenant to the Tabernacle in Jerusalem. Like the Capitol, the Tabernacle was a solemn, strait-laced place. Even so, “King David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet, [and] King David [was] leaping and dancing with all his might.”¹⁵

Ever since this law was passed, guys from both sides of the aisle have gathered once a week to moonwalk, flick kick, knee slide, stag leap, hip roll, and Lindy hop through the capitol courtyard, rotunda, and House and Senate chambers.

Arizona legislators dancing to “Macho Man”, sung by Village People. YouTube video “Did King David Really Dance Naked Before The Lord?” by DustOffTheBible. Screenshot by Catherine La Grange.

Republican and Democratic women, too, crafted a bipartisan law. They based it on the story of Jael the Kenite, who saved the Israelites from being attacked by the king of Hazor’s army. Jael did it by inviting its commander, Sisera, over to her tent. She sweet-talked him over cocktails. She made rumpy-pumpy with him seven times. Then, as he lay drunk, drained and defenseless on the floor, she hammered a tent peg into his head.¹⁶

The lady legislators thought there was something to be said for Jael’s approach. So they added it to the “enforcement” section of A.R.S. § 25–320,¹⁷ Arizona’s child support law. Now, single moms have an Old Testament alternative to suing their kid’s father for overdue child support. Indeed, the law gives them two options. Mommy can whack a tack into the baby daddy’s head. Or she can pound a peg into his privy member.

A divorcée encourages her kid’s father to cough up the Benjamins. Jael Slaying Sisera (1621) by Guiseppe Vermiglio. Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres on Flickr.

[1]: “Abortion in Arizona set to be illegal in nearly all circumstances, state high court rules”, AZCentral,

[2]: “Arizona’s Chronology”, Arizona State Library,

[3]: “Treaty of Paris Ratified”, Library of Congress,

[4]: Arizona Revised Statute, Title 13 — Criminal Code, Chapter 36 — Family Offenses, Section 13–3603, Arizona State Legislature,

[5]: “19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women’s Right to Vote (1920)”, National Archives,

[6]: “15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Voting Rights (1870)”, National Archives,

[7]: “Bucking Trump, Anti-Abortion Movement Shows Deep Roots in Arizona”, The New York Times,

[8]: Matthew 14: 3–4 and 6–11, King James Bible Online,

[9]: “Kari Lake goes all in on racist Great Replacement Theory”, Arizona Central,

[10]: “Federal Court Strikes Down Provisions of Arizona Voter Suppression Laws”, Democracy Docket,

[11]: Deuteronomy 23:1, King James Bible Online,

[12]: Exodus 20:10, King James Bible Online,

[13]: Exodus 32:19, King James Bible Online,

[14]: “The Best 15 Flash Mobs Ever”, Dance Vision Blog,

[15]: 2nd Samuel 6:14–16, King James Bible Online,

[16]: Judges 4:17–21, King James Bible Online,

[17]: A.R.S. § 25–320, “Child support; factors; methods of payment; additional enforcement provision”, Arizona Legislature,



Miss Catherine La Grange, spinster
The Haven

Retired high school social studies teacher in Michigan’s Up North. I’m a Presbyterian spinster, but I’m no Angel.