“I am deeply saddened by the Supreme Court’s ruling that imposes legalized gay marriage on the 70 percent of Kansans who voted to honor and protect the traditional definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. It is a shocking abuse of power. It is wrong. I will continue to fight to protect our most sacred institutions.”
That was the reaction of Mike Pompeo (now President Trump’s nominee to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state) when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the Obergefell v. Hodges case in June 2015 that the “right” for two persons of the same sex to marry was protected under the U.S. Constitution.
Pompeo’s remarks did not set well with Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), shown, who was incensed that Pompeo did not approve of same-sex "marriage." During Pompeo’s confirmation hearing this week, Booker also cited a speech that Pompeo gave as a congressman in 2015 at a church. During the church service, Pompeo quoted a pastor’s comments delivered at the Kansas State Legislature: “America had worshipped other Gods and called it multiculturalism. We’d endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.”
Booker badgered Pompeo during the hearing, repeatedly asking him, “Is being gay a perversion?”
Pompeo calmly replied that when he made those statements he was a politician, and he expressed “a very clear view,” at that time, and, “I stand by that.” In other words, Pompeo still held to his previously expressed position that it was wrong for two persons of the same sex to marry.
Booker indignantly asked, “So you do not think it is appropriate for two gay people to marry?” After Pompeo reiterated that he continued “to hold that view,” Booker said that this was a problem for him, arguing that there were people in the State Department who were in same-sex "marriages."
Pompeo responded that he treated such employees at the CIA (where he is presently the director) “with the exact same set of rights,” but was interrupted by Booker, who asked him the same question again. “You believe gay sex is a perversion, yes or no?”
As Pompeo tried to answer, Booker kept asking, “Yes or no, do you believe gay sex is perversion?”
Pompeo’s view that homosexual action is a sin is, of course, grounded in his view, as a Christian, that the Bible is the Word of God. As such, Pompeo could have quoted Romans 1:27 (among many other verses in Scripture), “Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” Clearly the words, “leaving the natural use of the woman” indicate that Scripture considers “gay sex” a perversion.
In the United States, one certainly has the constitutionally protected right to publicly disagree with what the Bible says, or what any other religious text says. At the same time, another person, such as Pompeo has the same right to agree with Scripture that homosexual acts are perversion.
Apparently, Booker believes that one’s own private religious beliefs are fair subjects for questioning during a confirmation hearing, and even grounds for a nominee to be rejected. Booker’s opposition to Pompeo owing to his religious beliefs appears to be a direct violation of the words of the Constitution, found in Article VI, which reads, “But no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Private citizens, of course, are free to vote for or against a candidate for religious reasons — such as in 1960 when citizens voted for and against John F. Kennedy because of his Catholic religion, or in 2012 when citizens did the same in the case of Mitt Romney, owing to his Mormon religion.
But Booker took an oath to uphold the Constitution. Despite this, Booker, while acting under that oath as an official of the U.S. government, is invoking a religious test as a reason to reject Pompeo for secretary of state.
What is particularly troubling about this is that this has become a pattern. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted last year against a nominee for the Office of Management and Budget simply because the nominee, as a Christian, believed that one had to believe in Jesus Christ to have salvation. In Oklahoma, a member of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents was forced out in December simply because of his view, expressed on a public affairs TV program, that homosexuality is “wrong.” In 2016, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson dismissed religious liberty as just a “black hole.”
It has become apparent that, while an American citizen can (for now) hold that belief in Jesus Christ is the only path to salvation, or that same-sex "marriage" is perversion, there is a troubling pattern emerging that an increasing number of persons think those views automatically disqualify the person who holds such views form serving in government, at any level.