GOP presidential candidates seeking to burnish their homophobic resumes in advance of the evangelical-dominated Iowa Republican caucuses, are rallying to the cause of jailed Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. The Rowan County clerk was put in jail for contempt of court, after she refused to comply with an order to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Republicans, eager to appeal to conservative Christian voters, are falling all over one another trying to be the strongest defender of “religious liberty”, or at least to be the staunchest advocate for Kim Davis’ right to impose her brand of Christianity on the residents of her county.
Leading the brigade of Kim Davis’ righteous GOP disciples, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee calls Davis’ arrest the “criminalization of Christianity in our country”. Mr. Huckabee seems to be confused, since Davis was arrested for contempt of court, not for her religious practices. Or perhaps he simply believes that Christians should be exempt from having to comply with secular laws. In any case, Huckabee plans to visit Davis in jail on Tuesday. He is also hosting a demonstration outside the jailhouse, where Davis’ supporters can gather to demand her release.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul also rallied to the defense of Kim Davis’ on Friday, but none of them were able to match Mike Huckabee’s zeal. However, Texas Senator Ted Cruz was able to match Huckabee’s fanaticism in defending the homophobic clerk.
Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office. That is the consequence of their position. Or, if Christians do serve in pubic office, they must disregard their religious faith — or be sent to jail. Kim Davis should not be in jail. We are a country founded on Judeo-Christian values, founded by those fleeing religious oppression and seeking a land where we could worship God and live according to our faith, without being imprisoned for doing so.
Like Huckabee, Senator Cruz falsely argued that Davis was being persecuted for being a Christian. This disingenuous argument appears to be the talking point that Republican presidential hopefuls are pinning their political future on. Like Bill O’Reilly’s phony “war on Christmas”, this is also a war that exists only in the minds of right-wing fundamentalists. GOP candidates are counting on painting Christians as victims of religious persecution, in order to harvest votes. The argument is ridiculous, but in the Republican primaries ridiculousness sells. So don’t expect the GOP candidates to start acting sane anytime soon.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.