Well, well, well, it appears that the ole Litmus Test debate is rearing its ugly head in Virginia, only this time it’s not Republicans balancing ideological purity with political effectiveness. Last week, the media began reporting that Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe was pushing for Richmond mayor Dwight Jones to become the new chair of the Democrat Party of Virginia (DPV). The job of DPV is pretty simple – grow the party. Chairing a political party is, naturally, one of the most partisan posts one can attain. So adherence to party ideology would seem to go without saying. But as Republicans have learned painfully over the years, ideological purity is in the eye of the beholder, otherwise known as “the base.”
Almost before McAuliffe finished his toast to Mayor Jones, the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered (LGBT) wing of the progressive left was in hysterics. You see, Mayor Jones – sometimes referred to as “Pastor” Jones – is not a big fan of same-sex marriage. One has to assume that his support of natural marriage comes from his Baptist faith. Another Democrat faux pas. As is becoming abundantly clear in the marriage debate, religious belief about marriage has absolutely no place in the public square and especially in the Democrat party (unless, of course, your religious faith favors redefining marriage, then you’re good to go). Long gone are the good old days when same-sex marriage advocates claimed that they just wanted to be treated fairly and that they’d never, ever force someone to change their beliefs or participate in a same-sex marriage.
Delegate Patrick Hope began the assault on Jones, demanding that he make clear publicly that he supports “marriage equality.” Others have been piling on since.
What makes this litmus test so interesting is the fact that Mayor/Pastor Jones is facing the same dilemma that millions of Americans are being forced to face as proponents of same-sex marriage bully their way to their goals – if you’re going to participate in the public square, you are not allowed an opinion in opposition to homosexual dogma. Acceptance of marriage redefinition isn’t enough; participation will be required. So, even if the Mayor changes his personal opinion on marriage, will that be good enough for the LGBT progressives? Will they also demand that, to prove his commitment, his church conduct same-sex marriage services?
It appears that Mayor Jones is being pushed to decide the age old proposition voiced by our Old Testament friend Joshua, “Choose you this day who you will serve.”