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Video Of Anti-Abortion Activists Speaking In Tongues On Arizona Senate Floor Sparks Outrage

Video posted by Tony Cani of AZ Republican State Senator Anthony Kern hosting anti-abortion activists on the senate floor to pray in tongues ahead of a state supreme court decision on an extreme abortion ban goes viral.

screenshots of clandestine gathering of Christian nationalists on Arizona state Senate floor
@ynotcani/TikTok

A clandestine gathering of pro-forced birth Christian nationalist activists on the Arizona state Senate floor—joined by Republican state Senator Anthony Kern—went mega viral online.

First shared on TikTok by user Tony Cani (@ynotcani), it quickly spread to Instagram, Reddit, Facebook and X. On X, Cani stated the video was sent to him by someone who wants to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisals.

You can see Cani's initial post here:

@ynotcani

The day before AZ Supreme Court decides if a near total abortion ban passed in 1864 goes back into effect, Anti-abortion extremists pray in tongues on the state Senate floor. Lead by Jan 6er & Fake Elector Sen Anthony Kern. The court is deciding between two conflicting abortion bans in Arizona. A 15 week ban wqs passed in 2022 by the Republican legislature and signed by former Gov Doug Ducey and includes language that preserves the civil war era total ban in case Roe was overturned. The civil war era ban was never repealed and prohibits all abortions with no exceptions for SA. Religious extemists, including the most powerful anti-abortion anti-lgbtq org in the state the center for arizona policy, suppoet the civil war era ban. They also are funding the no campaign the hopes to defeat a voter initiative that would enshrine widely popular abortion rights into the az Constitution.

Cani captioned his post:

"The day before [Arizona] Supreme Court decides if a near total abortion ban passed in 1864 goes back into effect, Anti-abortion extremists pray in tongues on the state Senate floor. Lead by Jan 6er & Fake Elector [state] Sen Anthony Kern."
"The court is deciding between two conflicting abortion bans in Arizona."
"A 15 week ban [was] passed in 2022 by the Republican legislature and signed by former Gov Doug Ducey and includes language that preserves the civil war era total ban in case Roe was overturned. The civil war era ban was never repealed and prohibits all abortions with no exceptions for SA."
"Religious extemists, including the most powerful anti-abortion anti-lgbtq org in the state The Center for Arizona Policy, [support] the civil war era ban. They also are funding the no campaign [that] hopes to defeat a voter initiative that would enshrine widely popular abortion rights into the [Arizona] Constitution."

At one point in the video, two people stop to look around seemingly to make certain they don't get caught.

In a follow-up video, Cani offered a further explanation.

@ynotcani

Replying to @Carrie They are guests of Senator Anthony Kern. He is with them. He also just proposed a bill to force the Ten Commandments into AZ schools. He also wants the gop legislture to award all az electoral votes to trump and ignore voters. Amazingly? Hes not even the worst gop senator we have. watch the @Copper Courier series about anthony kern to learn more.

Responding to @Carrie who asked 'how is [this] allowed to happen???', Cani included the caption:

"They are guests of Senator Anthony Kern. He is with them."
"He also just proposed a bill to force the Ten Commandments into AZ schools. He also wants the GOP legislature to award all AZ electoral votes to Trump and ignore voters."
"Amazingly? He's not even the worst GOP senator we have."

It was also not the first time Kern decided to use government property as his church.

Kern is under investigation for falsely claiming he was a 2020 Arizona elector for Donald Trump.

Claiming his part as a fake elector resulted in a purely "political prosecution"—a tactic employed by his idol—he's parlayed his MAGA persecution complex into a run for Congress.

In addition to checking for witnesses, the group is heard engaging in glossolalia.

Commonly called "speaking in tongues," practioners claim it is the byproduct of religious ecstasy after being filled with the Holy Spirit. They claim to be speaking in a divine "language"—making incomprehensible sounds devotees claim are spoken through them by God or angels.

Among Western Christians, speaking in tongues and being slain by the spirit...

...is most often associated with Pentecostal sects.

Some sects also "take up serpents"—speaking in tongues and being slain by the spirit while holding venomous snakes. All three practices are based on singular mentions found in some versions of Protestant Christian Bibles.

Online, people were less than thrilled by such activities taking place on the floor of a secular state legislature instead of an appropriate, parochial house of worship.

On Instagram, Saadia Mirza shared the video with the caption:

"This is absolutely insane. The day before AZ Supreme Court decides if a near total abortion ban passed in 1864 goes back into effect."
"Anti-abortion extremist[s] pray in tongues on the Senate floor. Led by Jan Sixer, and fake elector Sen Anthony Kern. The court is deciding between two conflicting abortion bans in Arizona. A 15 week [ban] was passed in 2022."

@saadia_m/Instagram

@saadia_m/Instagram

@saadia_m/Instagram

@saadia_m/Instagram

@saadia_m/Instagram

On Reddit, user Serious_Effective185 shared the video in the Centrist subReddit under the title "AZ Republicans pray in tongues for total abortion ban on senate floor (led by false elector senator Kern)."

They added:

"In my opinion this stuff has no place in politics. It doesn’t violate separation of church and state, but it shows the renewed push by the religious right for legalization of their values. It also just seems genuinely unhinged for any politician to speak in tongues."

@Serious_Effective185/Reddit

@Serious_Effective185/Reddit

@Serious_Effective185/Reddit

@Serious_Effective185/Reddit

@Serious_Effective185/Reddit

@Serious_Effective185/Reddit

In the Arizona subReddit, user majorflojo shared a screenshot from the video titled:

"AZ GOP reps on capitol floor praying (and speaking in tongues 😬) during prayer about Tuesday's abortion ruling."

@majorflojo/Reddit


@majorflojo/Reddit

@majorflojo/Reddit

@majorflojo/Reddit

@majorflojo/Reddit

On X, Kern's gathering also got a chilly reception except from his fellow Christian nationalists.

Again, most had no issue with what people choose to do in their church but took exception with this secular governmental venue.



Arizona Republican state Senator Kern has a long history of problematic behavior and lying.

Kern worked for the El Mirage Police Department from March 2005 to November 2014 as a code enforcement officer, but falsely claimed he was a certified law enforcement officer.

During his tenure with El Mirage PD, Kern had to be disciplined multiple times for a variety of offenses. In 2014, Kern was fired by the El Mirage Police Department for lying to his superiors and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office added Kern's name to its "Brady List" of officers with a record of misconduct or dishonesty.

In 2020, Kern joined US GOP Representative Louie Gohmert in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Electoral Count Act. Also in 2020, Kern was among 11 Arizona Republicans who falsely claimed to be Arizona electors.

In January 2021, Kern tweeted a video showing himself as present during the attack on the US Capitol.

In January 2024, Kern sponsored a bill that would let the Arizona legislature overturn the results of a presidential election.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled "that a 160-year-old near-total abortion ban still on the books in the state is enforceable." The Civil War-era law, which was enacted years before Arizona became a state yet has never been repealed, is at odds with a 2022 15-week ban passed by the state legislature.

This ruling is what the Christian nationalist activists were praying for, although the Court "said it would put its decision on hold for 14 days, writing that it would send the case back to a lower court so that court could consider 'additional constitutional challenges' that haven’t yet been cleared up."

Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs called on the GOP-controlled Arizona legislature to repeal the law.