Jonathan Turley says Ron Paul's response to Kayser endorsement is inadequate

Prominent attorney Jonathan Turley has called on Ron Paul to do more than remove the endorsement of Christian reconstructionist pastor Phil Kayser.

Turley thinks highly of Paul but is critical of his handling of the endorsement and the removal of the endorsement from the website.

Turley calls Kayser, Paul’s preacher problem, writing

Now Ron Paul has his own embarrassing association. The preacher is Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, a pastor at the Dominion Covenant Church in Nebraska, who has a following in Iowa. The Paul campaign issued a press release (that it later removed from its site) heralding the endorsement of Kayser. The problem is that Kayser believes that gays should be executed according to biblical law. It was a a highly destructive endorsement for Paul who is attracting civil libertarians to his campaign. No one can stop someone from endorsing you, but the campaign clearly sought this endorsement from an extremist with reprehensible views. Unlike Wright, Kayser is not Paul’s personal minister, but the press release made him Paul’s problem in reaching out to civil libertarians.

While the campaign was right to pull the press release, it now should take responsibility and disassociate from Kayser. This is, in my view, another example of the dangers of faith-based politics, something that I have long condemned as inimical to separation principles.

Turley is right. Paul appears to be ignoring this and hoping no one will ask or hold him accountable. He may get out of Iowa without dealing with it, but this is only the first contest. I think GOP voters in other states will want answers.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Lynn David

    Pobre Ron… He’s got NOM (www.wrongonmarriage.com) going after him on marriage because he wants to leave it to the states (where NOM would have to spend and spend and spend….). And he’s getting Cliff Kincaid’s shoe in his backside for praising the WikiLeaker, Bradley Manning, who Kincaid descibes as a “flaming homosexual who dresses like a woman and has “gender identity” problems” and also for Paul’s support of gays in the military.

    And now this? And all that before? Paul is trying to walk a libertarian tightrope concerning gays and lesbians and yet realizes a small but significant part of his Republican electorate find those libertarian view reprehensible. He can’t win!

  • ken

    I think a lot of people are looking at this election the wrong way. If you are looking for the “perfect” presidential candidate you are never going to find him. Further, if you just focus on ONE issue (whether it be gay rights, abortion, gun control, etc) then you have already decided to vote democratic or republican depending on which side of the issue you stand. (or not vote at all if you don’t like the particular republican/democratic candidate).

    But frankly, I think just looking at the candidate’s stance on one issue is a bit foolish, esp. since it is unlikely there will be any further supreme court appointments in the next 4 years (were a president’s stance on such issues could have the most lasting impact).

    However, since everyone here wants to talk about Paul’s stance on gay rights, lets address that. Lets assume Paul really isn’t in favor of gay rights (despite his voting record). What do you believe he would do about gay rights if elected?

    Do you believe he will actively oppose gay rights or simply ignore the issue?

    What do you believe Paul would (and could) do about gay rights if elected?

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Well since the GOP is stereotypically anti-gay I doubt they will really care how Ron dissed this endorsement.

    Just my 2 cents,

    Dave

  • Teresa

    Ken said:

    I think a lot of people are looking at this election the wrong way.

    I couldn’t agree more, Ken, with your statement. I’d add a bit about how the media is driven to fill 24/7 ad time; and wants any meaningful content, however miniscule, to be divisive … on purpose, and for a purpose. Keep it seconds only, keep it wedge-driven, pit one community against another … on purpose, and for a purpose. So, we respond, Pavlovian style, to the tinkling bell, the buzzer.

    Our written media is not much better, overall. And, quite frankly, how many people take the time to read more than a paragraph or two on serious, political and social issues? Gone are the days of the Federalist Papers, or the assorted writings opposing the Federalists. Nope, even the one or two paragraphs by a columnist is too long for us. If it doesn’t Tweet, it doesn’t matter.

    I repeat again, we get the candidates, we deserve … anywhere on the political spectrum.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Ken = “What do you believe he would do about gay rights if elected?

    Do you believe he will actively oppose gay rights or simply ignore the issue?

    What do you believe Paul would (and could) do about gay rights if elected?”

    StraightGrandmother = I think it will depend on whom he surrounds himself with.

  • Richard Willmer

    The ‘soundbite society’ does throw up huge problems when it comes to socio-political dialectic, and there are some very serious issues that need to be discussed (for example: is our current iteration of ‘capitalism’ economically and environmentally sustainable?). However, I don’t think it’s ‘foolish’ to look at Ron Paul’s ‘stance on gay rights’, if only because it sheds an interesting light on both his political philosophy, and how it might work out in terms of his overall policy, and the matter of ‘religious endorsements’ of political candidates and campaigns (something we generally don’t see in mainstream ‘western’ politics outside of the US?).

  • Patrocles

    First, libertarian ethics obviously supports the right of privacy (I recommend to you the textbook I know best, John Hospers’ “Libertarianism”).

    Secondly, libertarianism doesn’t support a top-down system, where the federal government can impose its values on anyone.

    There’s a possible conflict of ideas. But you have the same conflict in any other political philosophy which supports a particular ethics and as well a democratic procedure (risking that the procedure results in something which doesn’t conform with your ethics).

    The only way to avoid this at all is to abolish democratic procedure. (You can’t use the term “human rights” to circumvent democratic procedure, because then there’s the next question: Who by what procedure defines what’s “human rights”.) Of course you can shape democratic procedure so that it’s more gay-friendly. But is that really a problem of federal government vs. states?

    Sincerely, a gay-friendly dictatorship would serve gays’ interests best (like all other minorities); so gays have to consider if it’s worth the risk.

  • Richard Willmer

    Patrocles says: “Sincerely, a gay-friendly dictatorship would serve gays’ interests best (like all other minorities); so gays have to consider if it’s worth the risk.”

    I don’t agree at all with that: what would best serve everyone’s interests is a democratic system that recognizes the existence of people in ‘minority groups’ and requires all of us to respect the rights of such groups just as we respect the rights of people in ‘non-minority’ groups.

    The idea of providing, at a federal level, a legislative framework to counter what many regard as unjust discrimination against lesbians and gay men is not a ‘dictatorial’ one. If someone is fit to educate others, then his/her sexuality should not be an issue (and, as far we can tell, the reality is that there are many very effective educators who happen to be gay); if someone would make a good doctor, whether he/she is gay or straight in immaterial (and, as far as we can tell, the reality is that there are plenty of competent medics who happen to be gay); if someone has what it takes to serve in her/his country’s armed forces (and, as far as we can tell, there are many brave and able gay service personnel), then who they share a bed with at home is not important. As far as is humanly possible, such legislation should be on an objective basis, and not subordinated to certain people’s ‘ideologically-driven tastes’; one of the principal functions of a democratic system under the rule of law is to achieve this kind of ‘objective’ outcome when it comes to the framing of a country’s laws.

    There are people who disagree with things like ‘gay marriage’ or civil partnerships (and these people probably themselves constitute a ‘minority’ in many ‘western’ countries). Their right to express appropriately their views must also be protected, although they, like everybody else, have duty to try always to be as truthful as any of us can be … hence ‘anti-gays’ who attempt to smear gay people, by for example making false analogies between ‘homosexuality’ and paedophilia, are themselves posing a threat to kind of democratic dispensation that is best able to serve the interests of everyone.

    On the matter of Ron Paul’s own political philosophy: I’m not sufficiently well-versed in what that is to make properly informed comments. However, since the USA is a ‘single market’, and US citizens have the right to reside in any of the States, it does make sense to have at least an element of ‘harmonization’ when it come to human rights in the fields of things like employment law, social security, inheritance, personal honour and integrity, and freedom from forms of ‘protective custody’ (which is really what imprisoning gay people is about: “gays are ‘bad’, so we’d better put them in prison to prevent them from doing such-as-such”).

  • Teresa

    Patrocles:

    Sincerely, a gay-friendly dictatorship would serve gays’ interests best (like all other minorities); so gays have to consider if it’s worth the risk.

    Patrocles, a far-right, Evangelical … code for Dominionism or Theonomy … theocracy would certainly serve this ideologies interest; so, sincerely, a fundamentalist theocracy has to consider if it’s worth the risk.

    Are you on-board with this statement? Or, are you of the opinion that Iowa Evangelicals are not a minority in there extreme views?

    I, again, recommend to you the Frank Schaeffer video on BookTV, Sex, Mom and God. I was amazed when Mr. Schaeffer said groups like this have a deep hatred for the United States and its government. Upon reflection, I think he’s right.

  • ken

    Patrocles# ~ Jan 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

    “Of course you can shape democratic procedure so that it’s more gay-friendly. But is that really a problem of federal government vs. states?”

    No, it is a problem of a majority oppressing a minority, that the majority often understands little about.

    “Sincerely, a gay-friendly dictatorship would serve gays’ interests best (like all other minorities); so gays have to consider if it’s worth the risk.”

    While gay rights are an interest of gays (and many straights), they are not the ONLY interest. gays like straights are concerned about the economy, foreign affairs, health care, personal freedoms etc.

  • Richard Willmer

    Democracy works properly only if the majority understands that its best interest is served by defending the human rights of minorities; otherwise one effectively has the ‘dictatorship of the majority’ (or of the most powerful faction in a particular society … whichever of the two manages to get the upper hand).

  • Patrocles

    Teresa,

    of course, evangelicals have been a minority, at least after the culture wars of the 1920s. (Their status became somewhat better in the halcyon years, between 1945 and 1968, but that didn’t last.). The difference to gays is, that gays are one of the pet minorities of the mainstream culture, media and ruling classes, whereas evangelicals are alienated from them. So they are much more bitter. And phantasies about complete alternatives (like in this case God’s kingdom on earth) are spreading.

    It’s a normal process of escalation. You had it the same way with the worker’s movements around 1900, their alienation, their bitterness and their ideas about a complete alternative “system”. (And of course, that was held against the workers’ movements: “a deep hatred of the United States”, like as you hold it now against those evangelicals.)

    Simple thing, we must find a solution, in which evangelicals don’t feel alienated. The way back from escalation is always difficult, because it means to give the “other”, the alienated and hateful people, either freedom/self government or participation in a common policy agreed by both sides (and how can we risk to give “these people” self government or participation).

  • ken

    Patrocles# ~ Jan 3, 2012 at 8:10 am

    “of course, evangelicals have been a minority, at least after the culture wars of the 1920s. (Their status became somewhat better in the halcyon years, between 1945 and 1968, but that didn’t last.). The difference to gays is, that gays are one of the pet minorities of the mainstream culture, media and ruling classes, whereas evangelicals are alienated from them.”

    What laws have been passed targeting evangelicals since the 1920s?

    Are there any laws saying evangelical behaviours are illegal? Barring evangelicals from getting married or entering into marriage-like contracts?

    Are people fired from their jobs just for being evangelical? Do police raid evangelical churches and harass the parishioners?

    blacks, gays, latinos, jews etc. make the news because of the brutality and discrimination they have suffered, not simply because they are numerical minority.

  • Teresa

    @ Patrocles,

    I think Ken’s questions above are very telling. Let’s add something to that. Rick Santorum believes the Federal Government should outlaw birth control. I’m assuming he means ‘artificial birth control’, which may well include sterilization, the largest birth control method used by middle and upper class whites.

    Will Evangelicals be on-board with this legislation? Which ones, when and how? You can only push people so far, until their own ox is gored, then comes the ah-ha moment. When it’s someone else’s behavior, not mine, I can be as glib and judgmental, and get on a band wagon of … “throw out all the ‘bad’ guys” … til I realize I’m one of the bad guys, according to someone else’s code of ethics.

  • StraightGrandmother

    ken# ~ Jan 4, 2012 at 11:39 am

    SPOT ON your comment Ken! I couldn’t have said it better myself. Next time see if you can work in Seperate but Equal while you are at it :)

  • Richard Willmer

    I must add my support for ken’s comment. Here is the UK we are profoundly aware just now of how things like racism can find its expression in extreme brutality as two of those suspected of responsibility for the death of the young black man Stephen Lawrence are finally convicted of Stephen’s murder, nearly 19 years after the event. And between January and September 2009, nearly 1,200 homophobic offences were reported in London alone, according to official figures from the Metropolitan Police (the police force that covers most of London); in September itself, there was the attack, in Trafalgar Square, on Ian Baynham – an attack which led to Ian’s death two weeks later.

    The broad level of support by ‘mainstream culture’ for appropriate measures to deal with racism and homophobia is actually an indication that ‘mainstream culture’ would like, as far as it is possible to achieve, a peaceful and civilized society!

  • Throbert McGee

    Simple thing, we must find a solution, in which evangelicals don’t feel alienated.

    Hmmm, how many evangelicals say that “We must find a solution, in which gays don’t feel alienated”?

    On the contrary, what many evangelicals would say is that is that any gay feeling of alienation is a problem that gays themselves “own”, and that the burden thus falls on gays themselves to either adjust their attitudes and cease to “feel alienated”, or to seek out the services of Exodus and NARTH and cease being gay altogether.

    (Personally, I think there’s some merit to the position that certain gays need to get over the reflex of “feeling alienated” and put-upon every time someone says something anti-gay. But if this is true for gays, it is true to at least the same extent for evangelicals when Richard Dawkins derides Christians as superstitious buffoons, or whatever.)

  • Throbert McGee

    Rick Santorum believes the Federal Government should outlaw birth control.

    Wait, what?

    I thought Santorum “merely” wanted to overturn Griswold v. Connecticut and thereby give state-level governments the freedom to infringe on the freedom of state residents to make their own medical choices. (Just as he believes that state governments should have “the liberty to take away the liberty” of individual citizens when they are caught engaging in certain types of consensual sex.)

    I’d never heard of him arguing for a Federal ban on birth control, however.

    I mean, I wouldn’t put it past him — as the CATO Institute recently pointed out, Santorum isn’t just radically un-libertarian on “social morality” issues, but supports big-government Federal intervention in many arenas.

    P.S. For the record, even if Santorum does want a Federal ban on “artificial” birth control, I wouldn’t consider that IN ITSELF a reason to vote against him. I mean, I want to have telekinetic powers and a flying car that runs on tap water and farts out Dark Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — but it doesn’t mean I’m going to GET them. And a President may privately “want” all sorts of laws that he is not Constitutionally empowered to impose.

  • Throbert McGee

    P.P.S. Mind you, I don’t want Santorum as the next President — but sometimes you have to hold your nose when voting, put your faith in Checks And Balances to protect the nation from a President’s loopier personal beliefs, and avoid treating highly specific stances as an automatic deal-breaker.