Who Are the GOP Theocrats?

Most of you know about the Kentucky clerk who is currently in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Wikipedia already has an article on it — see Kim Davis. They say:

Kimberly Jean Bailey Davis … is a Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk who defied a U.S. Federal Court order requiring that she issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following [a] U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. Davis filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court seeking to put the lower court’s order on hold while she seeks an appeal. After the Supreme Court denied the application, Davis continued to deny the licenses, saying she was acting “under God’s authority”. On September 3, 2015, she was jailed for contempt of court. After deputy clerks began issuing marriage licenses in her absence, she, through her attorneys, stated that any marriage licenses not bearing her signature were invalid

We’ve never discussed such marriages here, and the issue still doesn’t concern us. But we are concerned about a public official who puts “God’s authority” above her duty to follow the law. The website of Fox news just posted about the reactions of several of the Republican candidates for the Presidency, which indicates their theocratic leanings. Their headline is Kentucky clerk’s same-sex marriage refusal divides 2016 GOP field. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The case of Kim Davis, the defiant Kentucky clerk thrown in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has divided the 2016 Republican presidential field — pitting social conservatives championing her cause against others who suggest she’s gone too far.

This is a great opportunity to identify the lunatics. Let’s read on:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is planning a rally Tuesday in support of Davis, and says he’s offered her “prayers and support.” The Southern Baptist minister, who won the 2008 Iowa caucuses with the help of a social conservative coalition but is struggling in the polls this time around, argues Davis is on sound legal footing and commended her Friday for “not abandoning her religious convictions and standing strong for her religious liberty.” On his campaign website, Huckabee posted a “Free Kim Davis” petition and demanded “we must end the criminalization of Christianity!”

No surprise there. We continue:

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum also has come out strong in support of Davis, as has Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

It’s long been known that Santorum is crazy. Here’s what Cruz says:

[Ted] Cruz called Davis’ jailing an act of “judicial tyranny” and encouraged “every believer, every constitutionalist, every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis.” And he criticized any 2016 candidate not doing so.

Once again, no surprise. Moving along:

Indeed, several other candidates have walked a fine line, and at least hinted they think Davis has overstepped now that gay marriage has been ruled legal nationwide. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said “she is sworn to uphold the law.”

Good for Jeb. Another excerpt:

Former HP executive Carly Fiorina told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday, “I think that we must protect religious liberties with great passion and be willing to expend a lot of political capital to do so now because it’s clear religious liberty is under assault in many, many ways.”


Fiorina told the host it was now up to Davis to make a personal decision about what is required of her at her job. “Is she prepared to continue to work for the government, be paid for by the government, in which case she needs to execute the government’s will … or sever her employment with the government and go seek employment elsewhere where her religious liberties would be paramount.”

Fair enough. On with the article:

In Louisiana, presidential candidate and Gov. Bobby Jindal says the Davis case is exactly like ones where business owners – like florists and bakers — have refused their services for same-sex ceremonies.

That’s fuzzy, but we already know Jindal is a creationist. Here’s another:

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told CNN, “I think it’s absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty.”

So far, only Bush and Fiorina have survived this little test. But we’re not done yet:

“While the clerk’s office has a governmental duty to carry out the law, there should be a way to protect the religious freedom and conscience rights of individuals working in the office,” [Marco] Rubio told The New York Times.

Whatever that means. There’s still more:

[New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie told radio host Laura Ingraham the situation is different when it comes to public employees. “What I’ve said before is for 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 education institutions that’s religiously based or others,” he said, adding, “but my point is 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.”

Also fuzzy, but not entirely crazy. This is the last one:

During another radio interview with Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said despite Davis’ conviction, “the rule of law is the rule of law.”

So there you are. It’s not all of them, but it’s a good check-list. The ones who seem reasonably sane are Bush, Fiorina, and Graham, with Rubio and Christi as maybe sane. No word on this issue yet from Trump, Walker, Kasich, or Carson (a known creationist).

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Who Are the GOP Theocrats?

  1. Don’t worry, Carson is a true young earth religious freak and he will side with the four times married Jean Bailey Davis. After all, he’s the man that gave us this pithy gem: A lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay.”
    Yep, he’s that deep a thinker and truly a black man the Fox News crowd can finally get behind!

  2. Some of those who wish to be our President appear confused. The basis for the US government is the Constitution, not the holey bubble. And Ms Davis’s “religious freedom” isn’t an issue. She can believe whatever she wants, but if she thinks she can’t do her job because of some personal belief, she should find another line of work. Does anyone imagine Huckabee, Cruz, Santorum and the rest would be moaning about religious freedom if the Kentucky county clerk were a Muslim who refused to sign licenses that weren’t requested by an Imam for a sharia based marriage?

  3. If memory serve Huckabee and Santorum are both out-of-the-closet creationists. Add in Bobby Jindal, who at best is on the fence on this issue, and Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio (an old-earth creationist), Carly “evolution is just a theory” Fiorina (who claims there’s just as much evidence for creation as for evolution), and Rick Perry (another “just a theory” evolution denialist). If any of them wins, we’d better start praying.

    Or they’ll make us.

  4. Florina said: …because it’s clear religious liberty is under assault in many, many ways.

    Same tired old excuse about how the poor, poor neglected christian community is being harassed by the left. What does she mean by many, many? Are christians being arrested, tortured, deprived of their myth books? Oh, wait, they’re not allowed to unilaterally display their religious artifacts on public/government property, they’re not allowed to pray in town meetings despite the presence of non-christians, or ask their deity for help in winning the big game or acing a test. Too bad, Florina

  5. DavidK says: “What does she mean by many, many? Are christians being arrested, tortured, deprived of their myth books?”

    She may be thinking of some Obamacare cases, requiring employers to provide birth control coverage, or something like that. I’m not up to speed on those issues.

  6. Reggie Rolltide

    Lindsey Graham wins this one, as far as I’m concerned

  7. Thought I heard on the news that Trump stated Davis needs to follow the law.

    USA Today quoted Huckabee: “Having Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubt of the criminalization of Christianity in our country. … We must defend religious liberty and never surrender to Judicial tyranny.”

    If Kim Davis’s religious beliefs prevent her from doing her job, she needs to step down. As an elected official, she is the government. As such, she has no right to use her position to impose her religious beliefs on anyone else. The government must remain neutral in all matters of religion.

    It wasn’t that long ago that many states had laws prohibiting biracial marriages. I’ll bet there were many county clerks who held a “strong religious belief” that blacks should not be allowed to marry whites when those laws were ruled unconstitutional. Same principle.

  8. She wasn’t exercising her religious liberty, she was requiring others to follow the dictates of her religion. That is why she is in jail, not because of what god told her what he wanted her to do, but that she did it in spite of her job requirements. Otherwise god was just telling her to get fired for insubordination.

  9. … Trump said Friday that he wished a Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, was not jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but he added that the Supreme Court has ruled and it is “the law of the land.”

    “You have to go with it. The decision’s been made, and that is the law of the land,” the real estate mogul said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”


  10. I don’t like the indefinite jailing of someone for contempt of court. What would happen if she decided to go on a hunger strike?
    What would happen in this county in some other circumstance if she would get sick and couldn’t perform her duties? Isn’t there anyone who would automatically fill in for her? Isn’t the court able to designate someone to do her duties? Couldn’t they enjoin her against showing up in her office or doing any of her work or communicating with any of her staff (preventing her from threatening anyone)?
    I understand that the judge decided that fining her would be pointless because she is getting outside money.

  11. Charles Deetz ;)

    Jindal, in fact, had previously rebuked a justice of the peace in his state for refusing to give a license to an interracial couple: Governor calls for firing of justice in interracial marriage case – CNN.com.

    “This is a clear violation of constitutional rights and federal and state law. … Disciplinary action should be taken immediately — including the revoking of his license,” the Republican governor said.

    Flash forward to this year

    I found some articles
    that people tried to ask him why that was different, he said ‘because that was still about man-woman marriage’. Without any effort to consider what the law says, which he had previously leaned on.

    I don’t know if Jindal or Cruz creeps me out more for pure sleeziness.

  12. Steve Ruis:
    “She wasn’t exercising her religious liberty, she was requiring others to follow the dictates of her religion.”

    I believe you have it exactly right. And not only was she requiring others to follow the dictates of her religion, as county clerk she was using the power of the government to do so!

    I’d like to ask her how she would feel if, when she came before a county clerk seeking her second, third, or fourth marriage license, she found a devout Catholic who firmly believed that divorce was a sin and was denied a license. Would she still think it was up to the county clerk to decide who was worthy of marriage?

  13. I don’t think the GOP “theocrats” are really theocrats. I think they have identified a segment of a voting population they can rouse to get them the nomination and possibly the presidency. So, I think they all are liars.

    However, the pseudo-theocrats will have an impossible time translating their religious message to the rest of the general population and will, thus, fail.

    As such, none of the pseudo-theocratic candidates (Huckabee, Santorum, Cruz, Jindal, Perry, Bush) and the fake-pseudo-theocratic candidates (all of the rest of the GOP) are leaders with the country’s welfare in mind (they just WANT TO BE PRESIDENT!), have a leadership policy or are capable of building the national and international coalitions needed to run the country.

    Truly, it is a Clown Car.

  14. docbill1351 describes the crop of GOP presidential contenders:

    Truly, it is a Clown Car.

    Except that, clowns are generally funny.

    Unless you meant that this gaggle of Republicans is more like a Panzer tank filled with multiple Pennywise the Clowns…

  15. SC is curious: ” No word on this issue yet from Trump, Walker, Kasich, or Carson.”