Conscientious Objections to Following the Law
There is one aspect of the Kim Davis situation that is not getting enough attention. Let’s suppose that you think that officials like her should be given an exemption from following a law that they think is very wrong on religious grounds. Wouldn’t that mean that religious people would be less likely to get elected or chosen for public office?
Under the exemption scenario, the public or the appointing official would have every right to inquire about the religious beliefs of the candidate or applicant. Now, of course, a candidate could say “My religious views would not affect my public duties” or “I will always follow the law.” But people might not believe these statements, or just may be less inclined to take a chance on openly religious people. Thus, I would think that creating or extending such an exemption would actually harm religious folks who want to serve.