Klingenschmitt: Requiring Govt. Employees to Follow the Law is ‘Slavery’

Tony Perkins may be falling down on the job when it comes to making hyperbolic statements and obnoxious comparisons, but at least I can still count on Gorgon Klingenschmitt to bring the stupid. On his Pray in Jesus’ Name show, he said that forcing government employees to actually treat citizens equally under the law is slavery.

As Klingenschmitt sees it, government workers should have the right to able to opt out of having to “participate in somebody else’s sin” if they are a Christian, asserting that failure to grant such an exemption is a violation of the Constitution’s ban on requiring a religious test to hold public office.

“We do pray against this demonic yoke of slavery,” Klingenschmitt said, “which is being forced by some liberal judges upon the good people of North Carolina … Father I pray that you would enable each individual person in North Carolina, whether they are a private or public servant, that they would retain their right of conscience, they would not be forced and compelled by the government to participate in somebody else’s sin if it violates their religious views. God, give us religious freedom, especially for those now being compelled by the government to sin.”

Right, exactly. Like if a Muslim court clerk believed that believing in Christianity was sinful, it’s slavery to expect him to process paperwork for a court case. If the head of a zoning department thinks being Christian is a sin, they can totally refuse to approve the building of a church. I mean, it would be slavery to require them to do their jobs and treat people equally, amirite? Oh, wait, this applies only to gay people? How surprising.

httpv://youtu.be/UXC09KVTRtI

Follow Us!
POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • scienceavenger

    I pray that you would enable each individual person in North Carolina… not be forced and compelled by the government to participate in somebody else’s sin if it violates their religious views.

    Nobody is being forced to do anything Gordo. If they don’t like the demands of the job there, they can go get one somewhere else. I’d think a free market guy like you wouldn’t need this explained to them.

  • John Pieret

    And where Klingyshit treds, can Bryan Fischer be far … um … behind?

    “There’s a court hearing today before the federal judge, and she may order these probate judges to violate their own conscience and their own religious scruples,” he said. “She may order them to violate their conscience. You know what that is, ladies and gentlemen? You are ordered by an agent of the government to violate your conscience? That is tyranny.”

    “When you are ordered by an agent of the government to violate your own conscience in something that you do, that is slavery. If you are forced to violate your conscience to do work, that is tyranny, that’s Tammy Bruce, that’s the gay gestapo. Tammy Bruce is the one that coined the term ‘gay gestapo.’ That’s the gay gestapo at work. You either do what we tell you or you’re going to get punished.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/bryan-fischer-gay-gestapo-forcing-alabama-judges-slavery#sthash.LupdmW46.dpuf

  • wreck

    “Gorgon Klingenschmitt”

    “In Greek mythology a Gorgon is a monstrous feminine creature whose appearance would turn anyone who laid eyes upon it to stone….The Gorgons are monstrous creatures covered with impenetrable scales, with hair of living snakes, hands made of brass, sharp fangs and a beard.”

    Sounds about right.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    He’s got a point. I was in North Carolina and had to participate in other peoples’ sin. It was awful. I mean, they just sauntered right up to my wicket and tried to force me to marry them. Imagine! sin! Well, I stood up to them and slammed the window shut, right then and there! There’s no way in aych ee double-ell that I’m participating in the sin of marrying a Protestant and a Catholic!

  • caseloweraz

    Wikipedia: Gordon James Klingenschmitt (born c. 1968) is a former American military chaplain and politician. A Republican, he is the member to the Colorado House of Representatives for the 15th district.

    What is Klingenschmitt, a Colorado state representative, doing worrying about North Carolina? Is he preaching? Doesn’t that violate the Establishment clause?

    And by the way: Born “circa 1968”? Maybe we should demand a copy of his birth certificate.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    When they begin denying marriage licenses to men who divorced their first wife for any other reason than her adultery (or marrying a divorced woman), which are both prohibited by Jesus himself, I will say they’re taking a stand against sin. Oddly, Jesus didn’t say anything about teh ghey.

  • Trebuchet

    And lest we forget, Klingingschitt is an elected member of the Colorado state legislature.

  • A Masked Avenger

    WITHOUT AGREEING WITH THIS SHITWEASEL,

    In the very broadest terms, “being required to perform services against one’s will” is part of the definition of slavery. If instead of government employees, or bakeries, we were talking about legal brothels, this would matter a great deal. Requiring employees of brothels to perform sexual services for all customers, without the right to refuse, would be monstrous. Even if the employee’s reason for refusing was that she was racist.

    Although conversely, brothels should be able to fire racist employees. One could argue that the threat of being fired constitutes “compulsion,” but most of us would probably agree with it anyway, despite absolutely opposing any effort to force the employee to provide services against her will.

    Sorry for going all Philosophy 101 here. This shitweasel’s rhetoric is over the top, and his analogy is problematic, and it’s particularly inapplicable to government employees who, IMO, have fewer rights than regular citizens when acting in their official capacity. In dismissing his asinine rant, though, I’d hate to lose sight of the fact that compelling people to do things is something we do for good reasons, to the minimum extent possible, and not lightly.

  • busterggi

    “Oh, wait, this applies only to gay people?”

    For now, don’t worry – if they win it will start applying to people of color, Jews, etc just like it used to.

  • felicis

    Masked-Avenger, “…being required to perform services against one’s will is part of the definition of slavery.”

    True – I would agree that it is a necessary condition of slavery, however it is not at all sufficient. There are a lot of other pieces to ‘slavery’, included being considered ‘property’ that can be bought and sold.

    In general, the ‘minimum extent necessary’ to compel people to serve those they may not want to, is that for a functioning economy – if you choose to run a public business, you must be open to the public, not to some subgroup of the public that you like. Businesses get a number of perks, including greater power than an individual, one check on the abuse of that power is the requirement that they treat those who enter their establishment the same regardless of their personal opinions on the matter.

    So – if you run a bakery and want to only serve cake to Christians (or whites, or heterosexuals, etc.) , it is reasonable for the government to step in and require that you serve everyone, or shutter your doors.

    If someone comes in and is abusive, or starts breaking things, etc. you can call the police and have them removed, but their *existence* is not sufficient for that. Even their lack of desire to buy something is not generally sufficient to have them removed as trespassers.

    Similarly, I would argue that the employer should not be able to fire racist employees – merely because they are racist – so long as they are performing their job and treating customers and the other employees (of all races) with equal (and appropriate) respect. No more than a Christian employer should be able to fire a Hindu employee – merely over a difference in belief.

    Now – ignoring the host of problems with ‘legal brothels’, why would “Requiring employees of brothels to perform sexual services for all customers, without the right to refuse” be “monstrous”? Presumably the job would entail a specific list of ‘sexual services’, and the job is to perform those services for whoever comes knocking. If you are not interested in that, you are welcome to find a line of employment more in keeping with your personal beliefs.

    And the threat of being fired is somehow not a threat in this case? You cannot be “absolutely opposed to any effort to force the employee to provide services against their will”, but be OK with the threat of firing. Then you are merely opposed to _some_ efforts to force &c..

  • Sastra

    Oh, wait, this applies only to gay people? How surprising.

    My money is on it expanding to include atheism. If “marriage” is created and defined by God, then allowing atheists to marry makes a mockery of the foundations of marriage. Unlike race or “wrong” religions, this reasoning hits their main point more directly — and hey, atheists are a marginalized group which needs more marginalizing or Our Nation will fall. Can’t we people of faith all agree amicably on that?

  • raven

    In the very broadest terms, “being required to perform services against one’s will” is part of the definition of slavery.

    Irrelevant.

    Government employees get paid for what they do. That salary thing. And they can quit any time.

    No one is forcing them to do anything except their jobs. Sorry to break it to you, but that is life. It’s that way in the private sector as well.

  • http://composer99.blogspot.ca composer99

    Off topic, but I’m seeing ads for Scientology in the bottom banner and the “first blockquote” ads.

  • A Masked Avenger

    Now – ignoring the host of problems with ‘legal brothels’, why would “Requiring employees of brothels to perform sexual services for all customers, without the right to refuse” be “monstrous”?

    Because we have a word for forcing people to fuck against their will. We call it rape. And being a sex worker doesn’t make you fair game for rape.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Curiously, the same people who are most inclined to accuse government employees of not doing their jobs, being lazy or unproductive are also the most inclined to find excuses for those same employees to avoid doing their jobs.

  • felicis

    Masked Avenger – I didn’t say anything about them being forced to have sex against their will – but if keeping your job is coercion, then how do you separate any act in a ‘legal brothel’ from rape? As I said, I was ignoring the host of problems with having legal brothels of any sort. Perhaps you should try to come up with a better example.

  • Michael Heath

    fifthdentist:

    Oddly, Jesus didn’t say anything about teh ghey.

    If you’re a fundie, he did. The premises to arrive at that conclusion is that Jesus is God, even prior to the OT, and the Bible is in the errant word of God.

    This is why it’s so exasperating having a dialogue with conservative Christians. When it’s convenient to refer to indefensible passages, it’s always a time and place and fallible human defense; “must read the Bible intelligently” (as if their opponents don’t). That where they fail to put their arguments within the framework of their very own premise; that the Bible is the infallible word of God. [Where I’m not referring to those passages that are obviously not meant to be read as the literal truth; that’s a heddle strawman to avoid dealing with other superior arguments thrown his way he’s yet to even confront.]

    In this case as young evangelicals take a more tolerant view of gay people, they’ll practice their cafeteria Christianity in a way that’s more helpful to gay people and their families. So those evangelicals will repeat fifthdentist’s assertion while conveniently referring to God’s word only when it’s convenient to contradictory positions they take. But don’t expect this avoidance in other cases; especially when their political objectives are in play.

  • Anne Fenwick

    … government workers should have the right to able to opt out of having to “participate in somebody else’s sin” if they are a Christian…

    Yup, they can resign. Which, as a matter of minuscule detail (in Klingenshcmitt’s eyes anyway) is something slaves weren’t in a position to do.

  • theguy

    Sometimes in a job you have to do a task you don’t like. If you work for government, you must uphold other people’s rights or freedoms no matter how much you hate them or what they’re doing.

    It’s not slavery because you’re paid and you can quit anytime. A Christian clerk cannot deny a marriage license to a gay couple any more than an atheist clerk could deny a marriage license to a Christian couple.

    Klingoshit’s hypocrisy is that he would certainly support scenario 1 but oppose scenario 2.

  • thebookofdave

    Jesus never had an objection to slavery. When did it become demonic? You should expect to have your prayer returned with the REQUEST DENIED stamp, Gordy. Or, much more likely, round-filed with no response.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    “Like if a Muslim court clerk believed that believing in Christianity was sinful, it’s slavery to expect him to process paperwork for a court case. If the head of a zoning department thinks being Christian is a sin, they can totally refuse to approve the building of a church.”

    Don’t be silly. In Gordo’s perfect world, all government employees will be good Christians, so that won’t even be an issue.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    @ MIchael Heath:

    I was starting from this point: The fundie, having been forced to burn the “The OT don’t count” card to justify bacon-wrapped the reason it’s OK to scarf down shrimp and keep clean-shaven because the old law doesn’t apply — because Jesus — is stripped of Leviticus. Or would be if they argued fairly.

    Stripped of the OT verse about man lying with man as with woman, there are a couple of New Testament verses that could be raised.

    That’s the moment I’m coming from: If the bits about mixed fibers and having to impregnate your dead brother’s wife are no longer valid, then neither are the verses damning gay people.

    Then they’re left with the verse or two from the New Testament that, IIRC, came from Paul, who also warned against marriage as all waking energy should be dedicated to godly activities ,since Jesus will be back next week, — at the very latest — making him (Paul, not Jesus) more sexually confused than Ghandi and the Marquis De Sade’s love child. But Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, while he did give quite specific instructions about divorce and adultery.

    Of course, as you said, honest debate is impossible when someone can claim that 99.9 percent of the OT is totally inapplicable but the 0.1 percent that addresses an eye for an eye and gay sex totally counts. But I think Orwell covered that whole black-white thought concept best.