Oklahoma State Representative Kevin Calvey, a Republican from Oklahoma City, struggled recently to find the perfect way to express just how much he hates abortion. He managed it, spectacularly: by saying on the House floor that, theoretically, he’d love to set himself on fire and die over it, if his Christian beliefs didn’t prevent him.
According to NewsOK, Calvey was furious over a proposed bill that would give Supreme Court employees a six percent raise, saying he doesn’t think the court is doing enough to prevent Oklahoma women from having abortions. (Oklahoma recently banned a common second trimester abortion procedure.)
“If I were not a Christian and didn’t have a prohibition against suicide, I’d walk across the street, douse myself in gasoline and SET MYSELF ON FIRE!” he remarked, at a reasonable, primal scream-level volume:
Calvey added that he’d self-immolate “to protest the evil that is going on over there, killing, giving the death penalty, to the will of the people and the will of this body and protecting the least among us.”
Calvey is the former Vice President of Oklahomans for Life and previously backed “personhood” measures that would say life in Oklahoma begins at conception. Outside the uterus, he has lots of other fun ideas: in 2010, when Muslim leaders were trying to build a mosque in lower Manhattan, he called them “clearly terrorist sympathizers.” This session, he voted in favor of a bill that would ban same-sex marriage, and sponsored a controversial and much-mocked proposal that would make it illegal for county district attorneys to criminally charge state lawmakers.
He told KFOR earlier this week he doesn’t regret his wording during the abortion debate, arguing that threatening to set himself on fire was a perfectly reasonable thing to do: “No, not one bit, I think that I’m hopeful [sic] to draw attention to this serious issue.”
Calvey, at the podium, speaks at an anti-abortion rally in 2012. Photo via AP