Legislature censures Arizona Democrat who hid Bibles

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News June 14, 2023

An Arizona Democrat state representative who was caught on video hiding Bibles in the House members’ lounge has been censured.

Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton / Wikimedia Commons

State Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton was recorded moving two Bibles under the couch cushions in the lounge in April, then hiding another in the refrigerator, according to the Arizona Mirror.

Republicans filed a complaint, accusing Hamilton of theft and disorderly conduct.

After a House Ethics investigation recommended disciplining her, House members voted 30-28 to censure Hamilton. A prior vote to expel her, pushed by Republicans, failed to pass in a 27-31 vote.

Christian Arizona state House members slammed Hamilton’s conduct: “What do we as a body value more: the reputations of Arizona politicians or the reputation of God in the world?” Republican state Rep. Justin Heap asked.

Heap contrasted the reaction to Hamilton’s conduct with a hypothetical scenario in which a House member put a Quran in a freezer, saying it would be charged as a hate crime.

“The only hate crime that we’re fine with is with the only religious text believed in by the majority of members and the majority of Arizonans,” Heap added.

Republican state Rep. Rachel Jones said, “It is just very disturbing and offensive to think that I may have been sitting on the Bible.”

Hamilton said she was protesting against the perceived lack of separation between church and state and described her actions as a “simple little prank.”

GOP state Rep. David Marshall said Hamilton’s conduct was part of a wider pattern of hatred for Christianity and the Bible, pointing to tweets she made in 2020 saying she was running for office after being tired of seeing Bibles on legislators’ desks.

“This is not just a protest, this is something that went on for several years, and it was done because of the disdain she has for [the] holy word,” Marshall said.

Democrat state Rep. Mae Peshlakai called for forgiveness: “One thing I learned from the Bible is to forgive and to be kind to people. I still believe in forgiveness.”

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