WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Wednesday he shared Pope Francis’s commitment to religious freedom, but Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told TheBlaze his actions haven’t demonstrated that.
“I’d love to see a little bit of it practiced,” Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, told TheBlaze shortly after speaking at the conservative Values Voter Summit.
“I’d love to see religious liberty practiced with the Little Sisters of the Poor. I’d love to see it practiced with the Green family of Hobby Lobby,” Huckabee continued. “I’d love to see religious liberty exercise for Kim Davis and Aaron and Melissa Klein.
On Wednesday, during the welcoming ceremony for Pope Francis at the White House, Obama said, “So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and free from intimidation.”
Huckabee was referring to the Obama administration’s lawsuit to force the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic charity, to pay for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees, even though it violates their religious views. The Supreme Court ruled last year that Hobby Lobby cannot be required to cover the cost of the drugs.
He also referred to Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who was hauled off to jail at one point for refusing a court order to issue gay marriage licenses, and also the Klein family, which owns a bakery in Oregon and was fined $135,000 by the state for refusing to cater a gay wedding.
“If he really believes in it, then he needs to turn the Justice Department loose in defending the religious liberty of people whose faith has been completely trampled upon by over reaching government actions,” Huckabee said.