Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) wants to be President, but he keeps finding ways to make conservatives angry, and that will not help his cause.
On Wednesday, Governor Christie found a new way to annoy conservatives when he told reporters that any government employees who have objections (religious or otherwise) to issuing marriage licenses to gay couples should not be allowed to opt out of doing so!
“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t. I’m sure there are individual circumstances that might merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”
Reporters then pressed the Governor further about clerks who object to doing so based on religious belief, to which Christie said that accommodations could be made for specific cases depending on certain (unnamed) criteria, but in general, even religious dissenters should not be able to opt out.
“You took the job and you took the oath. When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it.”
This stands in stark contrast to what many other conservative leaders (in and out of politics) have been saying in the days following the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage. For example, two of Christie’s GOP opponents, Governor Bobby Jindal and former Governor Mike Huckabee, both believe that conscientious objectors should have the ability to opt out from participating in the gay marriage process. “If they have a conscientious objection, I think they should be excused,”Huckabee reasoned over the weekend.
Pastor Bill Owens, who heads up the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP), went even further than Jindal or Huckabee, arguing that Christians should practice civil disobedience in the wake of the court’s ruling!
The head of an organization of African-American pastors told Newsmax Saturday that Christians must oppose the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling through civil disobedience because “you do something to get arrested to call attention to the injustice.”
“I was in the civil rights movement, so I know how to do it” the Rev. Bill Owens, president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP), said in an interview. “When we sat at the counters at restaurants, we knew we were going to be arrested. You do things to get arrested, to call attention to it.
“So many people were silent,” he added. “The church people were absolutely silent on this issue. A few leaders spoke out, but the masses of the church people were silent.”
It’s going to be much harder, because we’re going to have to go from state to state. It’s going to be hard to do, but it can be done.
“Remember, blacks worked for 300 years for civil rights in the courts. Three-hundred long years. It’s not something that we’re going to win overnight.
“There is no quick fix, but I think now the church will rise up,” Owens added. “All the Christian churches in the United States that believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, they need to rise up.”
“We’re asking people to rise up and be ready to go to jail,” Owens told Newsmax. “Why go to jail? To let it be known that we will not bow down, we will not give up, whatever the costs.
I don’t think this is going to be a winning issue for Christie. Many conservatives are already worried that the liberals will be trying to force them to violate their conscience – they don’t want to have to worry about Republicans doing it too.