Opinion: One of the founders of an anti-light rail effort claims God killed a former congressman and will punish others who support light rail. Yes, really.

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Turns out God had nothing better to do than to punish a beloved former congressman with a fatal heart attack over his support for public transportation.

But the “Lord Jesus Christ” won’t stop there, claimed Celia Contreras, who helped found Phoenix's anti-light rail effort, 4 Lanes or No Train. The “punishment” will continue if the light rail extension to south Phoenix isn’t stopped, she told the Phoenix City Council during a recent meeting.

There you have it. The “Lord Jesus Christ” himself is now involved in killing the light rail extension through one of the poorest areas of the city.

This is pure madness. What Contreras did wasn’t only beyond inappropriate but a disgusting and miscalculated political ploy to gain support for the anti-light rail movement.

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Contreras, who operates a window tinting shop on Central Avenue where the light rail line is to be built, should be ashamed of herself. She handed council members a flier with the photo of Pastor, who died last November, and said God told her that Pastor had a heart attack because he was the "architect of the light rail."

She warned that God would continue to "judge" those who support it, reported The Republic’s Jessica Boehm.

Supporters must condemn Contreras

The congressman’s daughter, Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor, told Boehm: “I felt at that moment that the devil was speaking to me.”

No kidding.

The anti-light rail movement has resorted to all sorts of legal and political tricks in hopes of stopping not only the Phoenix extension but all future light rail.

They’ve successfully put the ballot initiative up for a public vote in an Aug. 27 special election. Why make such a mockery of those efforts? 

“Deplorable and may God help her soul,” Yvonne Pastor wrote in a Facebook post about Contreras. “So disgusting that she would say and do this. My dad believed in public transportation for people to have a better quality of life. Obviously Ms. Contreras has major issues.”

This isn’t just about Contreras. It’s about every single person in the anti-light rail movement who remains silent about her affront. They must call Contreras out or else they aren't any better.  

Elvia Díaz is an editorial columnist for The Republic and azcentral. Reach her at 602-444-8606 or elvia.diaz@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter, @elviadiaz1.

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