My Conversation With Senator Greg McCortney

Sam RileyPro-Life Failures

Since last Wednesday, I, along with other Free the States staff and abolitionist volunteers, have been flyering various cities in Oklahoma with information about abolitionist candidates. We spent Saturday and Sunday in Ada passing out flyers raising awareness about abolitionist candidate Carisa Roberson and about Senator Greg McCortney’s actions to keep abortion from being abolished.

Saturday evening, we arrived to flyer McCortney’s neighborhood. I don’t know the political etiquette of talking to a Senator at his home, but the principle I was operating from as I walked up his driveway to his front door was simple: We both claim the name of Christ, and he needs to hear truth about his decision to kill the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act. With the desire to give a Biblical exhortation at the forefront of my mind, I knocked on his door, introduced myself, and asked if I could speak to him for a few minutes. To McCortney’s credit, he was courteous enough to hear me out. I half expected him to kick me off his porch and refuse to have a conversation. He didn’t do that, and I am grateful for the opportunity he gave me.

While he did listen, McCortney did not budge. He remained vehemently anti-abolition at the conclusion of our conversation. Further, he said numerous things throughout the conversation that were alarming and untruthful. The purpose of this article is to document them and to expose the flawed thinking of leading pro-life legislators, as well as prepare abolitionists for the litany of excuses they will encounter for why our legislators refuse to uphold justice for all human beings in the state of Oklahoma. He said six things in particular that should greatly concern Oklahomans and the people of Senate District 13. 

Abolition is unconstitutional

Senator McCortney, after hearing my case for SB13, said he wouldn’t support it because, “…the bill is unconstitutional.” This is a tired claim that needs to be put to rest. The Constitution nowhere protects a woman’s right to brutally murder her child. In fact, the Constitution protects the right of all people to not be murdered.

The 14th amendment to the United States Constitution reads, “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” It was written for the express purpose of making sure that no human being would ever be treated as property, which is exactly how preborn children are classified by the Roe decision.

Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional. The problem is, to legislators like Greg McCortney, the supreme court is the Constitution. Their word is law in his view. They do not issue opinions; they issue absolute decrees that must be unquestionably obeyed. As far as McCortney is concerned, the Constitution must be read through the interpretive lens of the infallible papacy – the supreme court. To the pro-life establishment, the plain words of the Constitution and intent of the authors mean whatever modern justices twist them to mean.

Murdering a preborn human is what is unconstitutional. Equal protection of the law for preborn humans is a constitutional mandate.

McCortney would beat up Joseph Silk

McCortney made a particularly bizarre and aggressive comment about abolitionist State Senator and Congressional hopeful Joseph Silk. While discussing the details of SB13, Senator McCortney said, “See ok, so here is, and this is where I’ll start to get pissed off, because Joe Silk is a freaking liar; and what he did to Larry Boggs and the letter that he wrote about Larry Boggs – if Joseph Silk walked up here now I’d beat the crap out of him. He’s a liar, he’s lying about a man of God in Larry Boggs. Okay? He’s a liar.”

He claimed that Senator Silk never filed anything other than the original Senate Bill 13, a claim that has been debunked by James Silberman here. This claim was being spread by Senator Larry Boggs and Senator David Bullard, both of whom had conversations with Silk about the edits. Silk rightfully corrected these erroneous claims in a letter, which abolitionist Senate hopeful Warren Hamilton sent to Oklahoma voters in Senate District 7. This is the letter Senator McCortney was referencing.

Now to the comment about “beat[ing] the crap out of Senator Silk…” These are not the words of a professional, and they should not come out of the mouth of a Christian. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. Not only were the “lies” Joseph Silk supposedly told not lies at all, but Senator McCortney was either lying to me about his colleague or was basing his violent anger on negligent ignorance.

His only appeal was to the state website which did not change because of his failure to grant SB13 a hearing. When I pushed back on this, his only defense was, “No that’s not how it works, you’re wrong.” Further, Boggs, McCortney, and Bullard could have submitted these changes themselves, but they instead seized every opportunity to kill the bill and blame the lack of amendments on Silk. Senator Silk’s only crime in this is ostensibly that, by filing and fighting for SB13, he helped expose Oklahoma’s pro-life State Senators for their unwillingness to establish justice for preborn children. For this, they hate his guts.

Tom Coburn would go to jail for murder

One of the claims Senator McCortney made about SB13 was that if it was in effect when the late U.S. Senator Tom Coburn was practicing medicine, Tom Coburn would have gone to jail for performing two abortions, and for that reason Senator McCortney couldn’t support the bill.

There are a few reasons this justification does not make sense. The first reason is that Senator McCortney is assuming the amendments to the bill that were filed by Senator Silk were not filed, and they were. These amendments have a triaging clause which protects doctors who take action to save the mother’s life which results in the death of the child if every effort to save both lives was made: “A physician or other health care professional shall be immune from criminal or civil liability for the death of a fetus resulting from an emergency, including but not limited to an ectopic or tubal pregnancy, if the physician or professional exhausts all possible treatments to preserve the life of the fetus.”

The oft cited case of treating ectopic pregnancies would not necessarily ban procedures like salpingectomies so long as every effort was taken to save both lives. SB13 is morally unimpeachable in this regard as it demands doctors do their job and treat both patients as patients instead of viewing one as expendable tissue.

The second reason is that life of the mother cases are treatable. Many of the treatments for heart disease, cancer, or other existing conditions the mother has should be treated, even if risk to the child is involved. After all, a woman who is going to die would take the baby with her, and if a cancer treatment risks the life of the child it is justified because it is not murder and it offers the child a better chance at life than certain death via murder.

SB13 is a joke and the Abolitionist Movement is a cult

Senator McCortney viciously mocked SB13 and those who believe it is right. He briefly made a small concession to abolitionists, saying, “I give y’all all kinds of credit for the passion you bring to the subject.” After this, he continued to belittle and insult the intelligence of abolitionists who want to see an end to legalized child sacrifice in our state and our country. He called the idea of justice for babies in defiance of the supreme court as expressed in SB13 a “monumentally dumb idea to begin with.” The context of this was his issue with the idea that women are people too who should be held equally accountable to men for their role in murdering babies, and he framed the whole issue, like many pro-abortion supporters, under the guise of protecting women, something legalized abortion has never been about. You cannot protect women by saying it is okay to murder them before they are born.

The righteous abolition bill, SB13, he called a “joke.” To McCortney, it is a joke to defy tyrants and protect babies. Why? Because of his pervasive pragmatism which obstructs justice. If the supreme court says ‘no,’ saying otherwise is a joke. Senator McCortney, the only way you can see SB13 as a joke is if you mock real justice and spurn the pleas of the fatherless. Their blood cries out to the ground to you and to God, must you laugh at the bill they need to protect them?

Toward the end of the conversation and once in the middle, he asked me in the most condescending tone he could muster, “So how’d you join the cult?” At this point I laughed. I couldn’t believe he said it, but I was ready with an answer. I told him I had worked full-time in the pro-life movement for years. I told him I had spent those five years on college and high school campuses, and despite my best efforts and many thousands of changed minds along the way, I still saw the culture hopelessly slipping. I joined Free the States because they aren’t on an endless treadmill. They are demanding what I desire most, an end to legalized child sacrifice. The time for patience ended in 1973. One day was too long for murder to be legal, and I wasn’t going to spend who knows how many decades longer willingly under the tyranny of the court, and he shouldn’t either. If that response didn’t satisfy him, are we to believe that the Free Will Baptists of Oklahoma are part of a cult? How about the Oklahoma Southern Baptists? Are they a cult? They all passed resolutions demanding the total and immediate abolition of abortion without compromise. I suppose they have all been adopted into a cult if we are to believe Senator McCortney.

McCortney calls us things like “cult” because he and the pro-life establishment need to paint us as bad people. They’ve lied about us from the get-go, spreading false rumors that we were violent ahead of the first Abolition Day Rally in 2019. McCortney did the same this year on the morning of the day of the vote to place SB13 on General Order. Considering his desire to inflict physical harm on Joseph Silk, perhaps McCortney shouldn’t be slanderously accusing abolitionists of being the security threat.

Lies like these are pure political mudslinging. We are certainly harsh on pro-life politicians, but we criticize honestly where criticism is due. Our criticisms will always be substantive and directly related to their choices not to abolish abortion. We will never resort to dishonesty and baseless name-calling, but McCortney and many politicians and lobbyists in the pro-life establishment will.

I prayed to God for an answer and he said, “keep doing what you’re doing”

Perhaps the most concerning thing Senator McCortney said during our conversation was his explanation of his epistemology (his theory of knowledge) in deciding whether to support abolition. He told me that he wished God would change his mind, but that God told him to keep doing what he was doing – to keep passing abortion regulations and opposing abortion’s immediate abolition. This subjectivism was the end all be all for Senator McCortney. If God had told him to pass iniquitous decrees, what could possibly correct Senator McCortney? The word of God clearly would not.

I told Senator McCortney that God told him no such thing, and these were merely his feelings. God instructed us in his Word to do justice and to love mercy (Micah 6:8), to plead the case of the orphan and widow (Isaiah 1:17), and to not enact iniquitous decrees (Isaiah 10:1); and God does not change. McCortney’s flawed epistemology had nullified the word of God in McCortney’s mind in the same way the supreme court nullified the Constitution in Roe. When Satan tempted Christ, Jesus’ response was always the same, “It is written.” These are words that howl like thunder and destroy strongholds of the devil. These words were the light unto David’s feet that led him out of darkness. Thy word is truth! Senator McCortney was not standing on the rock, but on sinking sand. He was blown about by every wind of doctrine, and most of all was made slave to his own feelings. Feelings and intuitions must be mastered by the Spirit working through the word of God, they should not be the cornerstone one uses to check God and His word.

Pour blood all over me

At one point in the conversation, I stated that the bible says to legislators not to decree iniquitous decrees, and that pro-life bills were iniquitous because they treat some preborn babies as unequal. I said that there was blood on the hands of any legislator who passed an iniquitous law and refused to protect their preborn neighbor. To this Greg McCortney said, “Well pour it all over me, because I’m good.”

I don’t have to pour blood all over Senator McCortney because he has done that himself, contrary to his claim of being good. By denying SB13 a hearing, he personally sealed the fate of over 5,000 preborn babies in the state of Oklahoma this year. Instead of listening to the people of Oklahoma and the God he claims to serve, he chose to spinelessly tuck tail and run, fearing the federal beast and the whims of man over God’s righteous demands. I pray that Senator McCortney would be covered in the blood of Christ to remove the stain the babies left on his nice suit. I have enough reason to suspect he isn’t hidden in Christ, and I will continue to pray for him in a spirit of love.

In the mean time, vote him out.