A tribute to former US Senator Mark Hatfield, a true champion of religious freedom. I wish more Republican senators (and Democrats alike) would be men and women of integrity of his caliber.
May God rest him in peace.
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Here are a few of the things said about him by people who knew him well:
* “He was a giant and the kind of senator America needs now more than ever. He was known for his independence and his bipartisanship whether he was talking to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy or half a dozen conservative senators. He was the person who brought the Senate together on issue after issue.” — Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
* “Sen. Hatfield was a man of conviction and vision who left his mark on many of us here at Oregon Health & Science University. He led the charge to fund medical research and helped transform OHSU into a leading health and science university. We will miss his wisdom and courage.” — Joe Robertson, OHSU president.
* “We’ve lost a true statesman whose legacy lives on in his countless contributions to Oregon’s quality of life. Sen. Hatfield’s moral compass, independence and willingness to reach across the aisle are an inspiration to me and countless Oregonians.” — Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.
* “The entire state of Oregon is saddened to hear of the passing of Mark O. Hatfield, a quintessential Oregonian and a true national statesman. In five decades of service, Mark Hatfield rose to be the ‘greatest generation’s’ greatest Oregon leader.” — Allen Alley, Oregon Republican Party Chair.
* “Sen. Hatfield took courageous positions of conscience — from opposing the Vietnam War to advocating abolition of the death penalty — in the face of substantial political opposition. He inspired many to public service, encouraging them to do what is right rather than what is popular.” — Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.
* “He joined me at Baloney Joe’s, the old homeless shelter on Burnside, at Christmastime where he spoke out in favor of federal assistance for affordable housing and mental health care in the late 1980s. In the early 1990s he visited me and other advocates at Outside In for a forum on health care needs for those experiencing homelessness. In Washington, D.C., he fought President Reagan until the president yielded to enact the McKinney Act, the nation’s first major federal response to homelessness.” — Rev. Chuck Curry.