American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"The Contender" (2000)

 

Senator Laine Hanson: Closing Address before the Senate Confirmation Committee

Audio mp3 delivered by Joan Allen

 

Hanson: Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the Committee:

Remarkably enough, it seems that I have some explaining to do. So, let me be absolutely clear.

I stand for a woman's right to choose.

I stand for the elimination of the death penalty.

I stand for a strong and growing Armed Forces because we must stomp out genocide on this planet, and I believe that that is a cause worth dying for.

I stand for seeing every gun taken out of every home -- period.

I stand for making the selling of cigarettes to our youth a federal offense.

I stand for term limits and campaign reform.

And, Mr. Chairman, I stand for the separation of Church and State, and the reason that I stand for that is the same reason that I believe our forefathers did. It is not there to protect religion from the grasp of government but to protect our government from the grasp of religious fanaticism.

Now, I may be an atheist, but that does not mean I do not go to church. I do go to church. The church I go to is the one that emancipated the slaves and gave women the right to vote. It gave us every freedom that we hold dear. My church is this very Chapel of Democracy that we sit in together, and I do not need God to tell me what are my moral absolutes. I need my heart, my brain, and this church.

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.