GOP Prez contenders respond

Timothy Kincaid

June 26th, 2015

Most of the presumed presidential candidates have weighed in on the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling today. Without exception, the Democrats expressed their delight and support.

But the Republicans had a number of different responses. As I see them, they fall into these categories:

Whew, that’s over

Some of the saner GOP candidates rightly see this as a favor from the courts and a way to get past the need to appeal to homophobes for the nomination and to the rest of the country in the general election. Their responses consist primarily of statements of respect for the courts and a promise to move forward.

Chris Christie opposed “the way it’s been done

“I don’t agree with the way it’s been done, but I take an oath, and the same way I’ve supported and enforced the law here in New Jersey since our Supreme Court made their 7-0 decision on same-sex marriage, and I’ve supported and endorsed that law. I would have to do the same across the country,” Christie told reporters. “But I want to be clear — I don’t agree with the way it was done, but it’s been done, and those of us who take an oath have a responsibility to abide by that oath.”

He appears to be the only GOP candidate who forgot to remind everyone just how much he loves the one man and one woman marriage.

John Kasich is also moving on

“I do believe in the traditional sense of marriage — that marriage is between a man and a woman,” the Republican said during a Statehouse news conference with legislative leaders.

But, he added, “We’ll honor what the Supreme Court does — it’s the law of the land. It’s the way that America functions.”

Kasich was asked how the state would handle anti-gay discrimination arising from the ruling — such as a photographer refusing to work a same-sex wedding.

“Let’s not create problems where there frankly is none — or very little,” the governor replied.

But we gotta protect religious freedom

Some took the above position, but also threw out some red meat to the cultural conservatives by adding statements of support for traditional marriage and a promise to defend religious freedom. However, they also were careful to appeal to move forward together as Americans.

Jeb Bush released this statement

Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.

He later told CNN that he opposed efforts to amend the constitution.

Ben Carson, in a rare moment of lucidity, said something similar:

While I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, their ruling is now the law of the land.

I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected. The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs.

I support same sex civil unions but to me, and millions like me, marriage is a religious service not a government form.

Lindsay Graham was a bit wordier in saying much the same

I am a proud defender of traditional marriage and believe the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional, and I will respect the Court’s decision. Furthermore, given the quickly changing tide of public opinion on this issue, I do not believe that an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution could possibly gain the support of three-fourths of the states or a supermajority in the U.S. Congress. Rather than pursing a divisive effort that would be doomed to fail, I am committing myself to ensuring the protection of religious liberties of all Americans. No person of faith should ever be forced by the federal government to take action that goes against his or her conscience or the tenets of their religion. As president, I would staunchly defend religious liberty in this nation and would devote the necessary federal resources to the protection of all Americans from any effort to hinder the free and full exercise of their rights. While we have differences, it is time for us to move forward together respectfully and as one people.

Marco Rubio had this to say

While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law. As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood.

“The next president and all in public office must strive to protect the First Amendment rights of religious institutions and millions of Americans whose faiths hold a traditional view of marriage. This is a constitutional duty, not a political opinion. Our nation was founded on the human right of religious freedom, and our elected leaders have a duty to protect that right by ensuring that no one is compelled by law to violate their conscience.

Carly Fiorina posted to FaceBook

The Court ruled today that all Americans should receive equal benefits and rights from the government under the law. I have always supported this view. However, this decision was also about the definition of marriage itself. I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage. I believe that responsibility should have remained with states and voters where this conversation has continued in churches, town halls and living rooms around the country.

Moving forward, however, all of our effort should be focused on protecting the religious liberties and freedom of conscience for those Americans that profoundly disagree with today’s decision.

Argle-Bargle, Sputter Spew

These candidates seemed less interested in where to go from here and seemed to see today as a day to vent their anger and spew their rage. They also hinted that somehow this could all be magically changed if you vote for them. Considering that changing the constitution was impossible twelve years ago when George W. Bush ran for reelection on the promise of a constitutional amendment (right up until the day he was reelected), these guys are either imbeciles or deeply cynical (or both).

Scott Walker issued a statement (which I don’t seem able to find directly)

“As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage,” Walker said in the statement.

Rick Perry (is he running again? really?) implied magical powers

I am disappointed the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. I’m a firm believer in traditional marriage, and I also believe the 10th Amendment leaves it to each state to decide this issue. I fundamentally disagree with the court rewriting the law and assaulting the 10th Amendment. Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written.

Rick Santorum seems of the mind that one can simply not “accept bad decisions”

The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott to Plessy, the Court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices.

But leaders don’t accept bad decisions that they believe harm the country, they have the courage of their convictions and lead the country down the better path. Marriage, the family and our children are too central to a healthy society to not fight for what is best. I realized that fact early on and that is why I lead the charge against some in my own party in 2004 to ensure the Federal Marriage Amendment received a vote and I continue to stand for marriage, for families, for freedom,” continued Santorum.

As President, I will be committed to using the bully pulpit of the White House to lead a national discussion on the importance to our economy and our culture of mothers and fathers entering into healthy marriages so that every child is given their birthright- to be raised by their mother and father in a stable, loving home. I will stand for the preservation of religious liberty and conscience, to believe what you are called to believe free from persecution. And I will ensure that the people will have a voice in decisions that impact the rock upon which our civilization is built.

I’m completely insane, just bat-poop loony-tunes crazy

Yes, I know that some of the positions taken above are irrational, contradictory, cynical or delusional. And yes I know that they are all damaging to both the national dialogue, the political culture, and the respect for the separation of powers.

But they, at least, sound sane. Maybe not bright (hello Rick Santorum and Ben Carson), but sane.

These guys don’t. At all.

Donald Trump chose to respond by Twitter

Which we think was his response to the marriage ruling. But it’s Trump. That could mean anything.

Mike Huckabee completely lost it and started ranting some truly weird nonsense.

I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.

This ruling is not about marriage equality, it’s about marriage redefinition. This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court’s most disastrous decisions, and they have had many. The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny.

The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than it can the laws of gravity. Under our Constitution, the court cannot write a law, even though some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and accept it without realizing that they are failing their sworn duty to reject abuses from the court. If accepted by Congress and this President, this decision will be a serious blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment.

But as crazy as Huckabee’s “I will not acquiesce” insanity, no one quite does crazy as well as Bobby Jindal

Jindal released a statement and it wasn’t all that radical – or not by comparison

The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls, and tramples on states’ rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.

This decision will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision. This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty.

But it was his action as Governor of Louisiana that earns him the title of Jackass Jindal.(nola)

The Jindal administration has said Louisiana’s state government won’t recognize gay marriage until a lower court rules on the issue. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has taken up a gay marriage case, but was waiting on the Supreme Court ruling before moving forward with it. The Jindal administration is now delaying recognition of gay marriage in Louisiana until this appeals court decision is issued.

Lawyers said the delay will probably only last a few days. Attorneys representing seven Louisiana same-sex couples have already filed a motion seeking to enforce the ruling in the state. The appeals court ruling will largely be a formality, now that the Supreme Court has issued an opinion.

And what the rest of his administration is saying is off the rails. (inforum)

In Louisiana, Republican Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office issued a statement saying that it had “found nothing in today’s decision that makes the Court’s order effective immediately.”

The Louisiana Clerks of Court Association was advising local clerks not to issue licenses for 25 days, the period in which the Supreme Court could be petitioned for a rehearing, said New Orleans lawyer Brandon Robb, whose firm specializes in working with the gay community.

Yeah…. cuz the Court may decide to rehear this case. And if the ruling doesn’t say “effective today” it can just be ignored. Uh-huh.

Congratulations, Bobby Jindal, you’ve managed to out-stupid Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson combined.


June 26th, 2015

I think Trump’s tweet might be in response to SCOTUS decision in King v. Burwell, which dealt with the legality of tax credits for the ACA. Roberts sided with the dissent on Obergefell v. Hodges.

I like to think of myself as a moderate. I could vote for a Republican presidential contender. But if it’s anyone other than Chris Christie or John Kasich, forget it.

Priya Lynn

June 26th, 2015

KZ, Trump’s tweet was put out today right after the marriage ruling, he was just confused.

Paul Douglas

June 27th, 2015

What? Ted Cruz had nothing to say?

Ben in oakland

June 27th, 2015

I believe I just heard Cruz shout out from the rooftops, “please send me some money, and I’ll do something or other about whatever this is about.”


June 27th, 2015

It is always the same argument, religious freedom, as if every person in this country adheres to their religious beliefs. Nobody is asking them to marry a person of the same gender. There was a call for a Constitutional amendment back in 2003 and it was repudiated. Even Bush stated that it was a waste of time. These people should be more concerned with their own lives rather than trying to dictate how others should live.

Ben in oakland

June 27th, 2015


And where would the fun, power, money, Dominion, and deflection be in that?


June 27th, 2015

Cruz did make a statement–JoeMyGod has it–where he demanded that SCOTUS justices be replaced every 8 years. I’d be totally fine with limited SCOTUS terms, actually, although the specific time limit would be up for some debate.

But the rest of his speech was angry nonsense, as expected.


June 27th, 2015

Should their efforts to force SCOTUS to leave ALL marriage decisions to states, would these hopefuls be willing to accept ALL the consequences? Would they condemn states that decided, by popular vote, to reinstate miscegenation laws, or strip women of all rights to property when they marry a man? Of course, the entire point is that they aren’t thinking past this one, immediate, specific factor – wanting to outlaw gay marriages without sounding like they actually hate gay people. Trying to hold on to so many contradictory ideas must me maddening.


June 27th, 2015

My first instinct about the Donald’s tweet was that he was talking about King v. Burwell. But given the timing and the fact that he’s a moron who thinks that one man can run/decide everything, he probably assumed that Roberts would have had the power to say “you’re fired” to the dissenters and to declare a 4-0 victory.

There’s an easy way to prove there is no god: If god existed, Penn (my Alma Mater) would have revoked his diploma by now or at least asked him to dis-associate…


June 27th, 2015

er-I meant to the majority, obviously. Dang we need an “edit” button on BTB! :)


June 29th, 2015

I love it. Constitional originalists pushing for 8 yr term limits on the Supreme Court. Lol.

Priya Lynn

June 29th, 2015

“There’s an easy way to prove there is no god: If god existed, Penn (my Alma Mater) would have revoked his diploma by now or at least asked him to dis-associate…”.

As Einstein said there’s a neverending list of things where god’s inaction could only be excused by his non-existence.

Timothy Kincaid

June 29th, 2015

Matt and Priya,

That is, of course, a variation of the No True Scotsman fallacy.

Priya Lynn

June 29th, 2015

Religious people usually postulate a just, loving, all powerful and all knowing god.

If we accept those as necessary characteristics of god then I don’t see how you can avoid god’s inaction only being excused by his non-existence.

If you want to postulate that a god exists that is not just, or loving, or all powerful, or all knowing then I concede that I can’t disprove that such a god exists.

Timothy Kincaid

June 29th, 2015


Your definitions of what God must be does not reflect anything but your own definitions.

Often I am frustrated at anti-gays declaring that “the homosexual lobby wants…” or “the homosexual agenda believes…” followed by some wildly imagined nonsense.

Though you likely will disagree, whenever I see atheists insisting that people of faith believe this, that or the other, it almost invariably is incorrect, lacking in nuance, or designed in such a way as to support their presumptions.

If it is your desire to have a cartoon understanding of people of faith, go right ahead. I cannot stop either atheists or anti-gays from believing whatever they need in order to hate the people they hate.

But I do wish that both would be more willing to presume less and imagine less.

Richard Rush

June 29th, 2015

Timothy, atheists are rank amateurs when it comes to creating a “cartoon understanding” of Christians. The real experts are the multitude of loud aggressive Christians who, for years, have been building that “cartoon understanding” which now seems to be the predominant image of Christianity in America.

Here is a brief list of just some of the notables. The list is woefully incomplete, but it’s the best I can do right now.

Alan Keyes
Alan Sears (Alliance Defense Fund)
Albert Mohler (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)
Andrea (Sheldon) Lafferty
Anthony Falzarano (professional ex-gay)
Beverly LaHaye (founder, Concerned Women for America)
Bill Donohue (Catholic League)
Brent Bozell (founder, Media Research Center)
Brian Camenker (Mass Resistance)
Bryan Fischer (with AFA)
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles
Chris Buttars (former Mormon bishop & Utah state senator)
Chuck Colson (Prison Fellowship Ministries) (also a convicted felon)
Cliff Kincaid (Accuracy in Media)
David Barton (Wall Builders)
David Kyle Foster (Mastering Life Ministries)
DL Foster (Witness Freedom Ministries)
Don Feder
Donald & Tim Wildmon (American Family Association)
Elaine Donnelly (Center for Military Readiness)
Erwin Lutzer (Pastor)
F. Lagard Smith (Liberty University)
Firpo W. Carr
Flip Benham (pastor)
Franklin Graham
Gary Bauer (failed presidential candidate)
Gary Cass (Christian Anti-Defamation Commission)
Gary Glenn (Campaign for Michigan Families)
Glenn Beck
Glenn Stanton (Focus on the Family)
Harry Jackson Jr.
Hugh Hewitt
James David Manning (ATLAH)
James Dobson (Focus on the Family)
James Hartline
James Holsinger (Surgeon General nominee)
Janet Folger Porter
Janet Parshall
Janice Shaw Crouse (Concerned Women for America)
Jerry Falwell (deceased)
Jim Bob Duggar
Joe Glover (Family Policy Network)
John MacArthur (Christian entrepreneur)
John Smid (formerly of Love in Action)
Joseph Farah (World Net Daily)
Ken Blackwell
Kevin McCullough
Kirk Cameron
Laurie Higgins (Illinois Family Institute)
Linda Harvey (Mission America)
Lou Engle (The Call)
Lou Sheldon
Maggie Gallagher
Marie Jon (Renew America)
Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel)
Matt Barber
Michael Brown (Coalition of Conscience)
Michael Heath (Christian Civic League of Maine)
Michael Marcavage
Michael Voris (
Mike Huckabee (failed presidential candidate)
Pat Boone
Pat Robertson
Patrick Buchanan
Paul Weyrich (deceased)
Peter LaBarbera
Peter Sprigg (minister with Family Research Council)
Randy Thomasson (Campaign for California Families)
Ray Comfort
Regina Griggs (PFOX)
Rev. Ken Hutcherson
Richard Land (President, Southern Baptist Convention)
Richard Malone (R.C. Bishop)
Rick Santorum
Rick Scarborough (Vision America)
Rick Warren (pastor, Saddleback Church)
Robert A. J. Gagnon (Assoc. Prof. of New Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)
Robert Emrich (Dir., Maine Jeremiah Project)
Robert Knight
Roy Moore (ousted Chief Justice, Alabama Supreme Court)
Sally Kern (Oklahoma State Rep.)
Sandy Rios
Scott Lively
Stacy Harp
Steve Kern (Baptist pastor, and husband of Sally)
Ted Baehr (Chairman, Christian Film & Television Commission)
The Phelps clan
Thomas S. Monson (President, LDS Church)
Timothy Dailey (Family Research Council)
Todd Starnes
Tony Perkins (Family Research Council)

Priya Lynn

June 29th, 2015

Timothy, I simply don’t believe you that the vast majority of (if not all)christians believe their god to be just, loving, omnipotent and omnisient.

I find your implication that anything other than a trivial minority don’t see it that way as disingenous and self-serving.

Priya Lynn

June 29th, 2015

I was a christian once. There’s no doubt in my mind that my experience as a christian is much more like the typical American christian’s than Timothy’s who was far more deeply immersed in particulars and dogma of christianity.

I have no doubt that I know far better than Timothy what the typical American christian believes.

Timothy Kincaid

June 29th, 2015


Yes, though you are neither American nor Christian, I’m sure that doesn’t hinder your ability to believe that you know more about American Christianity than I do. I’m sure that you believe that you know far better than me about all sorts of things, including things you’ve never heard of. And you certainly may think so.

But your understanding of theology is cartoonish, at best.

Timothy Kincaid

June 29th, 2015

Yes, Richard, there are people who espouse theology that is rather shallow.

However, even people like Alan Keyes have a theology that is more nuanced than “my God is Santa Clause who gives me everything I want and if the world contains even a smidgen of less-than-perfectness that proves he doesn’t exist”.

Priya Lynn

June 30th, 2015

I posted a couple of comments about the plausibility of god. Instead of attempting to refute them Timothy made a personal attack and claimed I charcterized my comments as I did out of a need to hate christians. The comments had nothing to do with hate, they were only logic and reasoning as to the plausibility of a god existing.

Epicurus said:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

Christians like to try to get around the problem of evil by saying that god has to allow people to do evil otherwise they wouldn’t have free will, the implication being that if god restricts people’s actions they don’t have free will. But assuming god exists he has already restricted people’s actions. We can’t levitate, we can’t free will ourselves to mars and back, I can’t free will myself to look like Jessica Alba, and so on. So the idea that if god restricts our actions we don’t have free will is falsified – free will has never been absolute. If god exists he could have prevented us from doing evil, he could have made us so that the desire to do evil is not in our nature. People without the ability or desire to do evil could still pursue happiness and have fulfilling lives where we make all manner of choices about how we want to live such as which career to take, who to marry, or what kind of car to drive, and so on. So, the question still remains, if god exists why is there evil in the world? The idea that a god exists that created the universe from nothing, created people from scratch and gave us our nature but couldn’t prevent evil in the world is preposterous.

I once said that if god is all powerful and all knowing then the world as it is now is necessarily exactly the way god wants it. Timothy chastized me for “putting limits” on his god. But if god is all powerful and all knowing and the world is not exactly how god wants it then it is Timothy who’s putting limits on his god, not me.

Timothy may claim this is a cartoon version of what christians believe. But I don’t ever hear him saying specifically how his vision of god differs from one that is omniscient, omnipotent, just, and loving. Apparently he doesn’t want to give a definition that can be disputed, so he asserts without saying how that this definition of god is a gross distortion of what he believes.

Timothy’s angry post wasn’t an attempt to refute anything I’ve said, its purpose was to browbeat me into silence about the plausibility of a god. That being the case I won’t post again on this thread.

Priya Lynn

June 30th, 2015

“However, even people like Alan Keyes have a theology that is more nuanced than “my God is Santa Clause who gives me everything I want and if the world contains even a smidgen of less-than-perfectness that proves he doesn’t exist”.”.

And you accuse me of making a cartoon of what christians say about god. That’s a good one.

The word contains far, far, far more than a smidgen of less-than-perfectness. I can’t believe you even said that.

Priya Lynn

June 30th, 2015

A world full of rape, murder, war, the holocaust, people being skinned alive and Timmothy talks about a world that contains “even a smidgen of less-than-perfectness” – unbelievable.

If the world truly did contain just a smidgen of less-than-perfectness I’d probably believe in a god too.

Now that’s a cartoon characterization of my position.

Okay, now I am really done.

Priya Lynn

June 30th, 2015

Timothy said “But your understanding of theology is cartoonish, at best”.

You only come to that conclusion by creating a cartoonish picture of my position in your mind.

Wow, just wow.

Timothy Kincaid

June 30th, 2015


You may believe absolutely anything you wish to believe.

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