Thursday, August 25, 2016

Federalist writer claims that gay people want to "ban religious people from legal field"

Ruth Neely
Holly Scheer thinks that the controversial Wyoming judge who will not marry gay couples is a victim:
If your religious views block you from performing a job, don’t do that job. That’s the Left’s refrain about religion and expressing it. If you’re religious, that’s fine, but it really needs to not impinge on others via your career. Keep your relationship with a Higher Power meekly to yourself.
The problem with Scheer's projection is the assumption that religious views can reasonably prevent someone from performing a job. It's the Kim Davis proposition. Here is the relevant snippet from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit when they denied Davis's request for a stay on the injunction requiring her to issue marriage licenses:
In light of the binding holding of Obergefell, it cannot be defensibly argued that the holder of the Rowan County Clerk’s office, apart from who personally occupies that office, may decline to act in conformity with the United States Constitution as interpreted by a dispositive holding of the United States Supreme Court.
In other words the constitutional rights of gay couples to marry are not trumped by the constitutional right to free exercise of religion. In this case, Judge Neely, is free to worship what she wants in the way that she wants to do so. However, she is not free to impose her beliefs on others by refusing a service as a government official. Moreover, when she demonstrates behavior that makes her impartiality questionable, she is unfit to sit on the bench.

A judge who merely sends out a tweet that is offensive to gays, Jews, Muslims or Blacks has probably violated judicial standards for behavior.

I have posited and continue to believe that what these folks really want is the right to express their disapproval, all neatly cloaked in scripture. In this case Judge Neely announced he intention to refuse service in advance of being asked to provide the service as a county magistrate. She could not wait for an actual event to occur to express her disapproval.

Scheer continues:
The case of Judge Ruth Neely in Wyoming shows, in stark clarity, that it doesn’t actually matter whether religious people do their jobs well and keep their religion to themselves. It’s unacceptable to think and believe certain things, such as marriage being an institution between one man and one woman, and if you do that, forget about going into the legal profession.
I cannot find the graphic of my bullshit detector whirring to the point that it disassembles but you get the idea. Judge Neely is free to “think and believe” whatever she wants about who is eligible to marry but when it comes to being a government official the law of the land prevails. The law of the land was determined by the ruling in Obegefell and she is not free to frustrate the constitutional rights of gay people. It's really not all that complex.

Scheer continues (at length):
Ruth Neely has been a municipal judge for more than two decades. She hears cases about the types of things you normally see in small towns …  Marriage is not listed in the duties and responsibilities of this position. Neely also serves part-time as an unpaid court magistrate, and this position allow for solemnizing marriages. The Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics (CJCE) has recommended that Neely be removed from both of her positions …  simply because she has chosen to not solemnize gay marriages, a voluntary part of her unpaid job.
This is about judicial standards of conduct which requires respect for the constitutional rights of citizens. There is nothing that can be relegated to “simply” about that. Suppose Neely said that her religious beliefs preclude her from marrying Jews to Protestants. Would that make it more obvious that she is unfit to serve in any judicial capacity. What assurance would Jews have of fair justice in court? What does her position on marriage say about the prospective treatment of gay people who come before her as a municipal court judge?
Neely has remained firm in her religious convictions. She’s an active member of a Missouri Synod Lutheran church in Pinedale, and bases her personal morality on that faith. Addressing the ethics committee’s concerns, Neely stated: “Homosexuality is a named sin in the Bible, as are drunkenness, thievery, lying, and the like. I can no more officiate at a same-sex wedding than I can buy beer for the alcoholic.”
So the gay people who might come before her are comparable to thieves, perjurers and alcoholics. Now I am supremely confident that she can fairly dispense justice to gay people. Moreover it's nice to know that licensing a marriage to people she disapproves of is comparable to enabling an alcoholic. Remind me why this imbecile should not be promptly booted from the bench.

Later on (Scheer is painfully verbose):

The rapid action against Neely should give us all pause. Should a person be hired or fired based on criteria that have nothing to do with the actual functions of the position? Some religious beliefs make performing job functions difficult: Pacifists in positions that require physical force. Christian Scientists in positions that deal with blood transfusions. Muslims in places that process pork. Are we ready to say that the legal field, especially at the judiciary level, is totally out of bounds for all people with traditional views on marriage? This would shut out faithful adherents to all the world’s major religions.
One more time: This has nothing to do with religious belief. I don't care if Neely believes that Barcaloungers coated in peanut butter are holy. It is irrelevant. There is a difference between religious belief and actions. Moreover, this has nothing to do with private employment. Rather this is about a judge whose ability to be impartial is now in questions — and rightly so.

Yet, as long as Scheer has brought it up, if an employee's religious beliefs precluded him from treating a gay superior with due respect and follow her directives then I would start the process to terminate his employment. He, in turn, would become a martyred Christian victim, set up a GoFundMe page and hit the lecture circuit — with a book in the works: Fired for my Faith by the Homosexual Agenda. He will be hawking the pretentious tome at the next Values Voter Summit where he will address the crowd. I never knew that I possessed such power.

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