Donald Trump is so outrageous and noisy that it’s easy to forget about Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. So we Googled him this morning and we were rewarded.
Here is what he said on Thursday about Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who went to jail for contempt of court after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples:
“Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America.”
He’s right. That’s not America – in the real country, as opposed to his fictional version, Ms. Davis was not arrested for living according to her faith. She was arrested for using her government power to impose her religious beliefs on others. A conservative should be furious at her for violating the First Amendment.
But no — Mr. Cruz said: “I stand with Kim Davis. Unequivocally. I stand with every American that the Obama Administration is trying to force to choose between honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court opinion.”
Leaving aside the interesting phrase “lawless court opinion,” when did the Obama administration try to compel anyone to make that choice? Certainly not in the case of Ms. Davis, who was directly flouting a ruling by the Supreme Court. Mr. Obama had nothing to do with it.
But Mr. Cruz was not stopping even there. “Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office,” he said. “That is the consequence of their position. Or, if Christians do serve in public office, they must disregard their religious faith – or be sent to jail.”
No, they don’t have to disregard their religious faith. They just are required by a little thing called the Constitution to leave their religious faith at church, at home or in their hearts, and not bring it to their public, taxpayer-funded jobs.
This is a country “that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials.”
Or at least that’s what John Kennedy, a Christian serving in public office, thought.