Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been quiet lately … since his indictment in Collin County on charges of securities fraud.
The case hasn’t yet been settled. Paxton, though, spoke to a conservative political group, Texas Values, and asserted that Christians are being “marginalized” in public life.
I believe I’ll disagree with him on that.
I agree with the attorney general that people of faith should run. They should rely on their faith to inform their decisions. I cannot question either of those two notions that Paxton put forward.
Then again, I welcome people without faith to run as well. This country belongs to them as much as it belongs to believers.
Moreover, I have to draw the line on the idea that the so-called “marginalization” is anything new.
The U.S. Constitution has been quite clear on the role that faith should play in government. The founders knew what they were doing when they omitted the very word “religion” in the document. The only reference comes in Article VI, which declares that “no religious test” shall be applied to candidates running for public office.
Isn’t that crystal clear? It is to me.
Not to Paxton, apparently.
According to the Texas Tribune: “It’s important to understand opponents of religious liberty aren’t going away anytime soon,” said Paxton, a Republican, as he spoke to a crowd of about 100 people gathered at Pflugerville’s First Baptist Church. “We must refuse to be marginalized in the name of political correctness.”
Political correctness? What’s he talking about?
Religious liberty is a comprehensive term. It means different things to different people. To some, it means that we should be free to practice whatever faith we wish. To others, sadly, it means believing only in the faith they worship, as many Muslim-Americans have learned over the years when they encounter protests from non-Muslims.
And to even more Americans, the term “religious liberty” means being guaranteed the right to not worship any faith at all.
I do not believe what Paxton said in Pflugerville that there’s been an “ugly and frightening turn of events” that turns on people of faith who seek and hold public office.
If he’s referring to that Kentucky county clerk who refuses to grant marriage licenses to gay couples — and I suspect that’s Paxton’s point of reference — I’ll just remind him that she took an oath to serve all the residents of her county.
Even those who are gay.