I know zealots wanting to merge government and religion in Texas isn’t a shocker to most people. However, this case of systematically using religious and political questions to screen government employees and the $200,000 of taxpayer’s money spent fighting for the right to do it is particularly outrageous.
Despite several motions for summary judgment by Williamson County and its commissioners, last week a Texas judge ruled that government job applicants, who were allegedly given a religious test in job interviews, could go forward with their suit against Williamson County.
The exposure of a religious test used to screen job applicants: Christian Sharia Law in Texas
It all started in 2013, when a constable candidate and 25-year law enforcement veteran, Robert Lloyd, was asked in his job interview about his views on gay marriage, abortion and religion. He then filed a lawsuit claiming his interview was inappropriate and illegal. In an interview with KXAN, Loyd stated:
The majority of the interview took place asking me what my political affiliation was, my views on abortion, my views on gay marriage, long conversation about my religion,” Lloyd claimed.
In court records, Lloyd recounts his answer when he was asked that question about his position on gay marriage.
“I gave the best answer that I felt that I could with the knowledge that the world is changing, people are changing, the US supreme court looks at these cases every day,” Lloyd said.
According to the lawsuit, one commissioner responded by saying, “If you are appointed as constable, you better come up with a better answer than that.
Then, other job applicants started to come forward saying they had been asked the same type of questions. One person interviewing for a position in the county clerk’s office was asked who her favorite president was. In an interview with KVUE, one candidate for a volunteer board position explained what she was asked in an interview with Commissioner Cynthia Long:
The first question she asked me was am I conservative as she is, the second question she asked me was what church do I go to [and] the third question she asked me was how do I feel about abortion,” said Eddie Hurst, Jr. Hurst.
Williamson County Commissioner admits on tape to asking government applicants about abortion and gay marriage and that’s very illegal.
Finally, Commissioner Lisa Birkman and other commissioners admitted on a video deposition obtained by KVUE they did indeed ask questions about marriage and abortion. As reported by Raw Story:
I asked a question on their view on gay marriage to all the applicants for Precinct 3 Constable and their view on abortion,” Birkman says in her deposition.
All of this is illegal for many reasons, including Article VI, Section III of the U.S. Constitution which states that
No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
This was also confirmed by the 1961 Supreme Court Case of Torcaso v. Watkins, which upheld in a case against Maryland that a state’s bill of rights allowing religious tests was unconstitutional nonsense that violated the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendments.
Watch the video:
Featured Image via Pixbay.