Now that the Kim Davis story has turned into a national news item that won’t go away until the county clerk is either impeached, fined, or thrown into jail, Republican candidates hoping to become president are releasing statements to let the public know that they won’t stand for the “war on faith” in this country. Fortunately for us, Think Progress has put together a list of the people you probably shouldn’t vote for if you think civil rights are an important issue.
While no one asked Donald Trump his opinions on Davis’ actions, other candidates were happy to state their very unsurprising stances. Chris Christie, for one, thinks that despite the fact that Davis is a civil servant, she shouldn’t have to follow the laws. (Just like he won’t when he’s president.)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: In a Wednesday radio interview with Laura Ingraham, Christie acknowledged that “someone who works in the government has a bit of a different obligation than someone who’s in the private sector or obviously working for educational institutions that’s religiously based or others,” but opined that “we have to protect religious liberty and people’s ability to be able to practice their religion freely and openly, and of course we have to enforce the law too.”
Good point, Christie, except no one’s stopping Kim Davis from practicing her religion freely. If she wanted to go out into the street and talk about God’s authority, no one would stop her. The only reason we care is because she’s getting paid 80K a year to discriminate based on religious views she only adopted four years ago and is now using as a defense for hatred.
Here’s Ted Cruz:
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Cruz denounced a “war on faith” and wrote: “We should make it possible for believers, such as Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky, to hold government jobs without having to violate their religious beliefs. We can work together to come up with alternative ways to ensure that government functions are accomplished without infringing on religious liberty.”
Absolutely. And we can do that by shuffling Davis off to a job that doesn’t involve her having to sign off on marriage licenses. Preferably after she’s been awarded a reduction in salary and had fines levied against her for refusing to do the job she’s chosen to do. There’s also the question, posed several times in the comments, of how Ted Cruz and his contemporaries would feel if a liberal progressive used religious freedom to deny gun licenses. How many candidates would be standing up for that?
The most heinous statement, unsurprisingly, comes from Mike Huckabee, the candidate who’s most likely to make a fun speech about how transgender individuals are using the “wrong bathrooms” because they’re just sneaking a peek, the same way he would have in high school if trans people existed back then.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: In a statement on Tuesday, Huckabee said, “I spoke with Kim Davis this morning to offer my prayers and support. I let her know how proud I am of her for not abandoning her religious convictions and standing strong for religious liberty. She is showing more courage and humility than just about any federal office holder in Washington.” Huckabee further argued that since the Supreme Court does not have the authority to make law, it would be unconstitutional for Davis to issue same-sex marriage licenses. “I stand with Kim Davis and every American of faith under attack by Washington elites who have nothing but disdain for us, our faith and the Constitution,” he concluded.
Just as a reminder, here’s a handy chart that explains whether your religious freedoms are being infringed upon. Kim Davis not being allowed to preach in church? Violation of religious freedom. Kim Davis being invited to do the job that she’s sworn to do in the service of the people of her county? That’s not religious persecution.
You can discover what Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, and Marco Rubio have to say about Kim Davis here. Spoiler alert: No one renounces her completely. But that would be like defying God, right?
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