The Puritans, who came over on the Mayflower to what is now America, were a religious bunch. That’s why they left England.
However, they knew their religion must be separate from their governing. That thought guided the drafting of all our founding documents.
Rio Arriba County Commissioner James Martinez intends to press the limits of separation of church and state. He’s been working to introduce a County proclamation, which states Rio Arriba County is a pro-life county.
Martinez is a die-hard Christian. Good for him. We envy his belief, conviction and focus on his lifestyle. He truly walks the talk.
He’s also a County commissioner, sworn to be a fiscal manager and uphold the laws of the County and district he serves. It is not his job to impose his beliefs on his constituency.
The two hottest of hot buttons in the country today are guns and abortion. We seem to have both front and center. Our sheriff doesn’t want to enforce a legitimate state law for the temporary removal of guns from a person who could possibly harm himself or others and now we have a County commissioner who wants to impose his beliefs on the people who elected him.
We won’t waste the time and space to argue whether the “Red Flag Law” is legal, constitutional or wanted by most Rio Arriba County residents. It would be a much bigger waste to argue the right and wrong of abortion.
The fact is Commissioner Martinez is against it and wants the rest of us to join him.
Another fact is that about 99 percent of his constituency will never ask themselves if they should have an abortion because half are men and most of the remaining half are either past child birth or know they want children.
If he’s after that 1 percent, he’s going to anger a bunch of the 99 percent getting there.
Abortion is not an issue for the County Commission to weigh in on. It’s legal. It’s personal and it’s right or wrong depending on your religious leanings and the way you were raised. We don’t need three politicians to give us an official view on it.
Move on, Commissioner Martinez, and work at something that will help your constituents. This proclamation is clearly for you, not those who elected you.
(Editor's note: This editorial was published in print stating Martinez sought a resolution to make Rio Arriba County a pro-life county. He is in fact seeking a proclamation. Neither a proclamation, nor a resolution carry any legal weight and both serve similar purposes of recognizing an event or cause.
Where a County commissioner may get a proclamation passed establishing a Rio Grande SUN day, a resolution may simply state the Rio Grande SUN is a great newspaper and County officials agree on the intent to recognize it as such.
We maintain Martinez should pursue neither a resolution nor a proclamation against abortion and do what he was elected to do: serve the people.)