Marco Rubio, Mr. 21st Century, has weighed in on the Kim Davis debacle with his usual clearsighted intellect, saying "there should be a way" for the Kentucky county clerk to keep her job even though she refuses to do her job because "religious freedom." Davis has continually refused to issue marriage licenses to anyone since the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Rubio made the statement before Davis was sent to jail by a judge Thursday for shirking her responsibilities. Jeremy Peters reports:
“We should seek a balance between government’s responsibility to abide by the laws of our republic and allowing people to stand by their religious convictions,” Mr. Rubio said in a statement to The New York Times, his first public remarks on the case.
“While the clerk’s office has a governmental duty to carry out the law,” he added, “there should be a way to protect the religious freedom and conscience rights of individuals working in the office.”
OK, there already is "a balance." It allows Davis to practice her religion according to her beliefs on her own time as a private citizen. That's her right. But no, there isn't "a way" for her to ignore the laws of the land while "in the office." (Unless Rubio considers going to jail for not doing your job but still keeping your job to be the "balance" he's seeking.)
Government officials take oaths to perform their duties and faithfully execute the law, not faithfully exercise their religious liberties. It's a wee bit concerning that someone seeking the presidency—who could presumably take the oath of office—doesn't understand the difference between faithfully executing one's duties as a public servant and exercising one's constitutional rights as a private citizen. Does that mean Rubio wouldn't faithfully execute laws duly enacted by Congress if they offended his personal religious beliefs?
Naturally, Rubio's got company because apparently a solid swath of the GOP field doesn't get it. Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Bobby Jindal have all sounded similar notes.