Thursday, July 02, 2015

County Clerks Refusing to Issue Marriage Licenses Need to Find New Jobs

Click to enlarge - the Founders; real view of religion
Even before the Supreme Court handed down its same sex marriage ruling in Obergefell, the Christofascists were hard at work distorting the intend behind and the protections afforded by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The Founding Fathers' concept of "religious freedom" was actually very narrow: (i) no citizen could be force through taxes or otherwise to support an established church or religion, (ii) every citizen could worship in the church or denomination of their choosing, and (iii) no citizen could be prohibited from seeking public office based on their religious beliefs or church affiliation.  Never, ever, did the Founders contemplate that "religious freedom" would be used to exempt elected officials and/or state employees from refusing to perform the duties of their office or job position.  Nevertheless, now we see the Christofascists claiming that  their right to religious freedom allows them to ignore laws they do not like and to refuse to perform their job duties.  It's a total distortion and lie - like most of what comes from the mouths of Christofascists.  A piece in Salon looks at their lies and hypocrisy.  Here are excerpts:
As attorney Joe Dunman, co-counsel for the Kentucky plaintiffs in the state’s marriage equality cases, noted on Twitter on Tuesday, “It must be made clear: public servants, acting in their official capacity, simply do not have religious beliefs. They are secular servants…. If you, acting as an agent of the state, may invoke your religious whims, those whims become the whims of the state. We are not a theocracy. If your religious beliefs make it impossible for you to enforce and uphold the constitutional rights you swore to defend, you must resign.” (Kentucky is dealing with its own rogue county clerks, too.)

And in a statement, Denton County Clerk Juli Luke said this week, “Personally, same-sex marriage is in contradiction to my faith and belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, first and foremost, I took an oath on my family Bible to uphold the law, and as an elected public official, my personal belief cannot prevent me from issuing the licenses as required.” Parker County Clerk Jeane Brunson echoed the remarks, noting that the county is working on creating gender neutral marriage applications and saying, “As an elected official, I have taken an oath to execute the duties of the office, and that I will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States and of the State of Texas without subjecting those actions to my own personal values. I believe you want nothing more from your elected County Clerk.”

Nothing more — and certainly nothing less. If your job is to serve your community — every member of it — then that’s what you do. You can’t as a firefighter decide you’re not going to put out a blaze in an atheist’s home. You can’t as a postal worker decide you’re not going to deliver mail to a transgender person’s apartment. And you should not be permitted, as a county clerk, to decide your private feelings overrule your official duties. Your obligations are spelled out in your job description. They include issuing marriage licenses. If that’s a problem, then I guess it’s time to look for another job, huh?
These rogue clerks need to be fired from their jobs and, in instances where they are defying legitimate court orders, charged with contempt of court and put in jail.  But it is important to understand that all of this moaning and carrying on is really about something else much larger that blogger friend Bob Felton hit squarely on the head:
And it is no coincidence that racial antagonisms are flaring-up just as gay rights are progressing, for the latter reprises the former defeat, and both bespeak the same thing: Widespread public rejection of slavish submission to the scribblings of Bronze Age anonymities. The present discontents are not merely about gay rights; that is only the focal point. It is the wholesale rejection of the innately degrading premises of the Abrahamic faiths writ large which provokes, to the mind of believers, the existential crisis alluded to by the mantra “religious liberty.”

Mac Brunson, Albert the Pious, and all the rest, know perfectly well that their religious liberty is not threatened. Their churches will remain open for business, they will continue unimpeded to humiliate themselves with preposterous claims that the Bible is inerrant, nobody will arrest them for standing in a pulpit and howling that the Invisible Wizard’s (poorly expressed, locally interpreted) rules must precede the laws of legislatures and their interpretations by the courts.

The pastors understand, however, that their day has ended — that they are no longer their community’s wise man, sage, informal moral leader without portfolio, and their congregations understand that they no longer enjoy the presumption of goodness, that they are somehow “better” people. They can still believe whatever they like, they can still preach whatever they like, they can still enforce whatever rules they like in their clubhouses and homes — but they should expect ridicule and disdain from “the world” rather than admiration and deference. They have sustained not merely a political defeat, but the rejection of an entire culture.
As the Christofascist become increasingly marginalized by rational members of society, their outrage and fury over their lost sense of entitlement will likely increase.  The irony is that the selfishness and obnoxious demands for special rights will likely only hasten the decline of respect for their ignorance embracing beliefs.  In the last analysis, the sooner the Abrahamic faiths become dead religions, the better off the world will be.


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