Ted Cruz defends Kim Davis with brazen ignorance of 8th grade civics

Constitutional conservative Ted Cruz is mad on the Internet about President Obama lawlessly and tyrannically throwing Kim Davis in jail over her deeply held Christian beliefs.

Well, kinda.

The only words in that sentence that are correct are “Ted Cruz,” “mad on the Internet” and “Kim Davis.” The rest has been inferred by Cruz in this word salad of a press release following today’s federal court ruling that held Davis in contempt for refusing to abide by an earlier court order.

As Cruz wrote:

I stand with Kim Davis. Unequivocally. I stand with every American that the Obama Administration is trying to force to chose between honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court opinion.

Cruz, who presumably took 8th grade civics before he clerked on the Supreme Court and served as Texas’s solicitor general, surely knows that nothing about Kim Davis’s case had anything to do with the Obama administration. He surely knows that there are three branches of our federal government, with many powers delegated to the states — the enforcement of marriage laws being among them.

And one would think that, as closely as Cruz has been following these marriage equality cases, he would know that the Obama administration, while it certainly had thoughts and feelings on the issue, never acted against Kim Davis. The Supreme Court decided Obergefell, the governor of Kentucky declared that Davis had to abide by the ruling, a federal district court ordered her to comply by the governor’s decision and the Supreme Court declined to hear her appeal.

Where does the Obama administration factor in to all of this? Nowhere. Does Ted Cruz care? Not in the least. He’s too busy making common cause with Mike Huckabee — who has spent the better part of today warning that today’s ruling amounts to the “criminalization of Christianity” — and others warning of the coming Christian Holocaust.

In familiar fashion, Cruz, et al derive this fear from a willful misinterpretation of the First Amendment. As Cruz wrote:

Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office. 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.

Nope. Not even kinda. Christians are more than welcome to serve in public office, and they don’t need to disregard their faith. What they absolutely do need to do, however, is not let that faith interfere with the different or non-faiths of others.

Thomas Jefferson was remarkably clear on this point.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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