Voter vs. God: Complaint dismissed over a campaign promise to ‘protect God-given constitutional rights’


People complain about the Legislature wasting time. Some of that time was wasted this month after an anonymous man in Rep. Sarah Vance’s district in the Kachemak Bay-Ninilchik-Kasilof area complained to the Legislative Ethics Committee that Vance said in campaign ads she will defend Alaskans’ “God-given constitutional rights.”

The campaign ad appeared on KBAY 93.3 FM. The complaint-filer said that Vance’s promise violates the U.S. “constitutional freedom from religion in the long-held separation of church and state in the 14th amendment.”

The committee dismissed the complaint on Friday with a terse comment:

“Significantly the complaint does not allege the use of any state resources by the Representative as part of or in the allegations,” Legislative Ethics Committee wrote. “The House Subcommittee finds that the specific allegations outlined in the complaint, if proven true, do not give rise to a violation of the Legislative Ethics Act AS 24.60. The Select Committee on Legislative Ethics has no jurisdiction regarding potential issues of constitutional violations. The Select Committee on Legislative Ethics has no jurisdiction regarding campaign activities except for the prohibition on the use of state resources in partisan or campaign activities under AS 24.60.030(a)(2) and (5). There was no allegation involving the use of state resources in the complaint.”

It’s a new form of campaigning via harassment without having to declare the effort to the Alaska Public Offices Committee: File an anonymous complaint in Legislative Ethics Committee for something the committee has no jurisdiction over, and tie up state resources and a candidate’s attention.

Vance, a Republican, is running for re-election to the Alaska House of Representatives to represent District 6, Kachemak Bay/Ninilchik/Kasilof. She is on the ballot in the general election on Nov. 8 after advancing from the Aug. 16 primary.  Also running are Louis Flora and Ginger Bryant, both liberals registered as nonpartisans.


  1. So it was the wrong place for the complaint to get moved on.

    Get ready for this campaign to move forward in the judicial branch. Shelly please we aren’t all Christians. In a country that takes all voices in to make reasonable law, I read Hughes concern as a another attempt to make the US Christian. Like Iran made itself Islamic, and Isreal made itself Jewish. These are not democracies of freedom for all, but rather the best for folks governing not but fact but religious opinion. I do not want that.

    I understand some ‘Christian folks’ are concerned about laws thatallow things not covered by the men whose own thoughts and experiences grew the entire old and new testaments as *od’s word.

    Our government is not led by *od but people. Most of them wgite guys. I understand Shelly is a white woman which is a step I support over white guys. That she wants to bring one particular religion into government process it is a REAL concern for me. Like the islamic parents in Detriot getting in on demonizing drag queen bingo. Don’t let your kids go to them. If you don’t believe in abortion quit inseminating women. Why do we NEVER TALK ABOUT A GUY’S RESPONIBILITY IN IMPREGNATING WOMEN WHO THEN HAVE TO CONSIDER ABORTION?

    • The Constitution protects our God given rights, many of which are elaborated upon in the Declaration of Independence as well as the Bill of rights. Recognizing this and indicating that one has an appreciation for the bedrock principles that this country was founded on, does NOT threaten your right to proceed through life as a heathen if that is your wish. Actually it protects your right to live free. Without it, you, and no one else will enjoy said protections. Smash it and not only will it not be fixed in your lifetime, it may never be as good as it was, or even close. It is even more fragile than your self centered and short sighted concerns.

    • It is a specious complaint, no matter the agency to which it is given. The statement seems to be a paraphrasing of what is in the declaration of Independence:

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

      She did not say that the God to which she refers was Christian, that is your assumption. It could be anyone’s God, whether that be Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, secularism or whatever. I don’t happen to believe in God, but I also don’t get in a tizzy of most everybody else does.

      You seem to read into her statement biases that you seem to see everywhere but that are not in the text of the ad.

    • Maureen, you have my heartfelt sympathy, honestly you do. You have been betrayed by your culture and especially by your education to arrive at such a point in your life. You see Maureen all people have an endowment, given to them by their Creator, these are unalienable, (that which cannot be taken away) rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. No man gave you these rights, these are not favors granted to you from someone who expects something in return. These are your freedoms, and yes Granted by God and written deep within your genetic code. You have been given a gift Maureen and part of that gift is to live in a country that recognizes ownership of these rights within each of it’s citizens. Pity that you were never taught this.
      You seem troubled and I think I understand how you have arrived at this place in your life. Rest assured Maureen that there are many of us that care for you.
      May God richly bless you.

      • I’m not mistaken. Men wrote that of the Creator.

        I have adifferent view given my education and experience just as you have a difference view given your education and experience.

        By the way, my creator(s) are my parents. Science tells me that with fact. I get some people follow myths for what they believe. I don’t want to be held to another’s myth based beliefs.

        • Actually Maureen you are following myths. Pity that part of your education and experience didn’t dwell deeper into critical thinking. As for you Parents, were they the first of their kind?
          vaya con dios Maureen.

        • Even science has a tough time w/regard to a Creator. Such a topic is philosophical and/or religious, just as determining when life starts is. It’s difficult to legislate something that can’t be proven, but we could figure out where to draw the line. I don’t think most Alaskans are ignorant of the fact that not everyone follows the same beliefs, and if I run across those that are, I remind them.

          Abortion is something that we, as a state, can handle through normal channels. In all the years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen legislation loosen more and more on that issue.

      • You are quite an arrogant man Robert Schenker. YOU believe your Creator story, but others, like Maureen Stuttman and like me, do not. I really disllike the piety of pretending to care for Maureen. At least you didn’t offer to pray for her.

        • Terry, let’s just say that you have a lot more faith then I do if you believe that life just happened, and that a God of billions of years and random chance created life. You see Terry from the evidence it sure looks like life was designed. Crick, or was it Watson, upon first looking at DNA exclaimed, this didn’t just Happen! It was designed and brought here. A candid observation!
          As for arrogant, I am not Terry, perhaps in my misspent youth, but having lived so long and having been beat down by life and the mistakes I’ve made I am now a humble old man. Oh, those that know me would laugh at the notion of my being pious! That was a hoot!
          My statement to Maureen was sincere, I do have pity for her, especially since I see she is suffering from cancer. I wish you well too Terry.

    • IT”S NOT Shelley Hughes; it’s Sarah Vance, and Ms. Vance should not be harassed like this.
      Do you read the articles before you spout this “identity politics nonsense”?
      And like another said here, Ms. Vance said “*od” ….. NOT “Christian *od”
      Get a grip.

      • If memory serves, ADN closed their comment sections for good. Now all those lost souls are looking for another home to propagate their particular views. Sadly so far Maureen has not found many kindred small minded spirits here. She also does not know history very well to understand the basis and spirit of the First Amendment and the freedom of religion clause. It is interesting that people, who steadfastly maintain that there is no god, get so bent out of shape when others ignore them on that point and have faith.

        • I get bent out of shape when the Christian god is forced on me from public sources because to admit to believing in a virgin birth and that dead men can live again reveals that the believer has abandoned critical thinking. Fine if you want to try to start your lawnmower at home with prayer, but keep it to yourself. Critical thinking is fundamental and necessary for sound public policy.

          • It’s almost as daft as people believing ‘men’ can give birth or the way to reduce crime (evil) is to have no police.

          • Adults realize that when a person uses the word God, they are not forcing anything on you at all. Adults who are not religious are capable of translating God into creator, Gaia, nature, parents, whatever.
            Children will throw a tantrum and declare they are being forced to believe in something they do not believe in. Children will demand that the rest of the world conform to their standards. Children will propose ridiculous tests based on a misunderstanding of the intent, and outcome of prayer.
            Be an adult Lucinda. Let the religious people be religious, and when they say something you do not like, ignore it.

        • ADN closed all comments about 6 weeks ago. Maureen was a regular poster there.
          Libs outnumbered us about 10:1 on that site.

    • Why do you dislike white men? Your name “Maureen” would assume your a white woman. What’s your beef with white men?

    • Maureen, NOTHING in the Constitution or case law or even Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists says that you have a freedom FROM religion. Your complaint to not feel offended or guilty by others’ religious belief is not based on law or reality and does not give you the right to take away anyone else’s right to free exercise of their religion. We have in the First Amendment the guaranteed right: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” BTW, atheism – which you seem to cherish – is a religion – a system of beliefs about God.

      • Atheism is not a religion, silly. Its a rejection of all things god-ish because – and this is important – there is no evidence of proof of a god. Thus we atheists, when faced with the big questions like how was the universe created, yield the obvious response: we don’t know! Religionists, OTH, concoct wild, supernatural contradictory arguments cuz, for some reason, not knowing is super uncomfortable. Better to believe in the impossible than not knowing.

    • First of all, adults will hear a word they do not like, and get over it, instead of complaining. “Oh my heavens! She used the word God!!!!! ZOMG! The HORRORS!” Be an adult. Use your internal translator to turn the word god into creator, which could be your parents, GAIA, or random chance, as easily as it could be a deity.

        • No, I would not.
          My grief with islam is not the worship of Allah, it is the political side of the religion, not the worship.
          But, thanks for making a baseless assumption about me based on… what I do not know, but based on something.

          • CB. True it was an assumption. I just assume you believe your christian church is the one true church. I assume that you’re so wrapped up in the whole gawd thing that you just have to share it. I assume that you think you are doing society a favor by slipping christianity ever so slightly into public discourse.

            I could be wrong.

        • Sorry, you assume I am religious, and I attend church? Do you really think I believe there is one true religion? What did I ever write to give you that impression?
          No, Lucinda. Not terribly religious here. Just tolerant of those that are, and I will defend their choice against baseless, childish attacks.

      • And the words ‘under God’ were NOT in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954 to differentiate between the US and an atheist Russia. The Pledge did not come into existence until 1892.

    • The democrat leaders, church leaders, and Israel would call out you as furthering the anti-semitic agenda propagating Israel as a religious tyrannical government while it is a place freer than its neighbors, with muslims, christians, jews living peacefully side by side, something that isn’t seen in its neighboring countries. Because of Israel’s freedom of worship, it too has security problems made by its own liberals or leftists being too compromising.

    • Yes, seek help. Also, the mandate of both the US and Alaska Constitutions is NOT freedom from religion, it’s freedom of religion. Freedom from religion by government would necessitate overt legal suppression. Bad bad idea, to say the least.

      Like it or not, you’re living in not only a nation but in a world that abides most of the sense of right and wrong by the time-tested teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Even the most sociopathic atheists I know abide by those teachings.

      Don’t like it? Go find a hole to crawl into.

    • Maureen you need psychological help. Seriously. Try to stay between the lines sweetie. Since when is God strictly a Christian concept and/or a threat to your constitutional rights? You obviously worship the government as your “god” don’t you? Omnipotent and omnipresent supplying all your needs including the “right” to kill your unborn baby. Correct?

  2. This case works a particular pet peeve of mine. Again, the poor quality of education since the 80s comes into play.

    I’m not sure how much of it is willful ignorance or outright ignorance, but, once again…

    The separation of church and state was not ever meant to deny God a place in public life. It was, specifically, intended to keep the US from establishing a state religion/church.

    The intent was twofold:

    to allow people to worship without needed or fearing state sanction.

    to remove a potential litmus test, eliminating the need to be part of a sanctioned faith to have full access to rights as a citizen.

    Since the days of Henry 8, England had a long and bloody history of dealing with religious minorities. Puritans, Catholics, and (I believe) Quakers suffered under the state religion. Jews certainly did.

    More: the Founders were deists for the most part. An mix of various brands of Christianity. They believed in God. They just didn’t want an official version. Part of the whole freedom thing.

    The ignorance of most US citizens to the intent and reality of the US Constitution is staggering. No wonder we’re in the free fall we’re in.

    • “…….the poor quality of education since the 80s comes into play.
      I’m not sure how much of it is willful ignorance or outright ignorance……..”
      It is both willful ignorance and (intentionally) poor education, but it is primarily intentional spiritual warfare. They hate God.

    • Masked Avenger,
      It is interesting to note that Voltaire his badself after obtaining a primitive microscope and examining what he could with it wrote a friend of his observations. ” I used to be a Deist, now however as I learn more of the creation I am now a Theist!” This he went on to explain was because of the complexity of life itself and the obvious need for constant maintaining of the motion and direction of same. I think the ancients held similar opinions on this subject. One can read Cicero to see this or even the book of Acts in the Bible, the Apostle Paul noted that the Superstitious Greeks had a temple devoted to “the unknown God” . The creator god.

    • Sarah Vance has done very well, especially considering other Alaska State Legislators (or “lawbreakers,” as I like to term them). Her constituents should be proud of her, regardless of whether she uses the word “God” or not.

  3. I’m sorry to tell you this but this nation the United States of America was born in Christianity. It is what it is you can have a different religion but the United States of America was built on Christianity

    • I am sorry to tell you this but that’s not true. Does creator appear in the documents? Sure. Christianity? No.

      Did you know there were Jews and Muslims in the US when it started? Isn’t that facinating?

      • Since you are so willfully stupid on this matter. One last time, and I’m done feeding this troll.

        I’m only doing this because it might reach some confused person not yet warped by leftist dogma and ruined by the crap that passes for public education.

        It is true there were Jews in the colonies. Some Muslims, too, but mostly as traders and slaves.

        this is where just a little bit of knowledge is often more dangerous than none at all…

        The vast, overwhelming amount of Crown subjects in America were Christians. Christianity is like Baskin Robbins. There is more than one flavor.

        Catholics. Moravians. Quakers. Puritans. Methodists. Baptists. Even Church of England. It goes on and on.

        The vast, overwhelming majority of citizens were Christian. The rest were basically a mathematical rounding error. But even then, as the Declaration says, all were created equal.

        The reasons for not listing Christianity specifically were simple. It would be like saying Alaska is cold in winter. Some things are self evident. Except for the willfully ignorant or intentionally obtuse. Like most of our trolls.

        More, it was also vague because many of the first Crown subjects who came here were fleeing religion persecution. If Jefferson had insisted on listing a specific brand of Christianity, the whole experiment dies there. Catholic Maryland, Puritan New England, Methodist Georgia probably would not have gone along.

        Leftists make two fatal mistakes over and over again. They think they know more than they do about faith, and they insist on seeing the past through the “purity” of their modern convictions.

  4. Christianity was this nation’s declared theology. Just a fact. One can lie and say it didn’t happen but this nation is inextricably entertwined with Christian beliefs.

      • Why not?
        It is clear that anti-god messaging is alive and in your face. Abortion, gender-bending, vilifying law & order, undermining family unity all in the name of “diversity” “equity” and the “government’ knowing better what is good for you”. I suppose having traditional opinions and displays undermines the aforementioned radical goals, which can not be achieve through democratic actions like voting. Censoring the opposition is an age-old tactic to push public sentiment and force compliance without having to face actual scrutiny and factual discourse.

      • But, they are in the public sphere because the public wants them there.
        You can be demanding and stompy foot all you want, that does not change the fact that a measurable number of people are religious. And, there are likely just as many people who just do not care.
        It is the minority that are all bent out of shape about God appearing anywhere outside of a house of worship.

          • Why should anyone keep their religion to their selves? If you do not want to hear it, don’t listen and move on. Where is there any requirement that the world conform to your wants? Why should it? Don’t like religion, ignore it. You will live a much happier life.
            There are literally dozens of articles on MRAK that you can comment on, but you are insisting on making multiple comments on the one about God. Why? Isn’t it easier for you to ignore the entire article? Surely your life will improve if you used your time more constructively.

  5. In my humble opinion, the complainant used a very important word — “from”. Our constitution guarantees that everyone has the “freedom of religion”. You can be any religion that fits your desire. You have that privilege. No where does it say “freedom from religion”. No power can state what your religion must be; it’s your choice.

  6. “……..It’s a new form of campaigning via harassment without having to declare the effort to the Alaska Public Offices Committee……..”
    It might be a new arena, but harassment is certainly not new. Andree MacLeod brought harassment to the current level with her campaign of ethics complaints against Governor Sarah Palin. And instead of dealing with the insane abuse, the state and media rode it like a bucking bronco.

  7. It’s ironic how broken some people are. No matter the topic, it has to loop back to Orange Man or abortion.

    Something else I find ironic. The feminist/leftist crowd who someone think women have no voice in sex and reproduction.

    As if only men are allowed to buy and use birth control. That women can’t say no, either to men or their own desires. That despite carrying the much bigger risk engaging in sexual activity, it’s somehow not on them to be responsible for their own sexual health.

    In today’s world, there is very little excuse for a woman to get “accidentally” pregnant.

    And God help men who get baby trapped. By a “strong, brave, empowered” woman.

    • “And God help men who get baby trapped”
      So, if a woman can abort a child without the consent of the man, so that she can live her best life, I assume the feminists all support the man ignoring that child if it is born so the man can live their best life.
      Oh… it does not go both ways…

  8. Please–do not refer to Sarah’s opponents as ‘liberals.’ They are not relatively harmless ‘liberal’ partisans. They are not even the other false word: Progressives. The are leftists and indeed, hard left. Fully indoctrinated and push every far-left issue there is–especially environmental whacko-ism, which runs parallel right out of the Marxist playbook and like every Marxist plan for utopia–will ultimately fail–and fail with misery for all.

  9. The language in the constitution

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Intent is to protect us from
    Government establishing a required religion and protecting our rights to worship as we choose, or choose not to. Sara Vance making reference to God given constitutional rights does nothing to ‘establish a religion’.

    Everyone should be thankful she holds our rights in such high esteem.

  10. This complainer did not expect to accomplish anything more than harassment… and to earn loads of internet virtue points from “their” pointy-headed leftist “friends”.

  11. See! This is the pressure on chairmwomen or men of republican district committee to insure seats as sen shower and rep vance stay Red. There are kenai penisula democrats working just as hard to get a footstool ino the red

  12. “Atheists, or Antitheists, maintain that God does not exist. And in a whirl of contradictions, they are angry with God for not existing, and equally angry at Him for creating a world, for how can the burden of existence be forced upon man and creature without their consent. But how far is this pessimism, this desire not “to be” sincere? For when a pessimist’s life is threatened, he yet behaves like other men; his impulse to preserve life is stronger than his judgement that life is not worth preserving. Having once tasted life, we are subject to the impulse of self-preservation.”
    C.S. Lewis

      • Post it again. Most likely an error on Suzanne’s part. Generally she allows most comments, barring excessive links, profanity, or overly threatening/insulting language.

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