A few weeks ago, North Dakota’s only US Congressman Kevin Cramer told a Bismarck area TV station that he is skeptical workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people exists. According to Cramer, as he has never had anybody call his office about this issue, it must not exist. Now keep in mind, under current North Dakota and Federal law, it is legal for employers to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation.
In fact, legal discrimination against Gay and Lesbian couples is part of the North Dakota state constitution.
This is the latest in a long line of incidences in which Cramer has came across as being more socially conservative than he appears when he is running for office. During election times, Cramer tries to position himself as a traditional North Dakota Republican. In the upcoming election for example, he will continue to take positions on expanding energy, the farm bill and calling for fiscal restraint in Washington DC. I would not be a bit surprised to see some ads pretty soon in which he calls for “North Dakota common sense in DC.”
However, since being elected to office, Cramer has acted more like a socially conservative Michelle Bachmann than a fiscally conservative Jason Chaffetz. In addition to his clueless opinion on GLBT discrimination, Cramer has also blamed abortions for school shootings, claimed that the Bible calls for Christians to NOT help the poor, and he hired his Pastor, Larry Jahnke as his Deputy State Director. Cramer has also said that he “considers his public service an extension of my service to Christ.”
Now I want to be very clear, I have no problems with Cramer’s faith. He has claimed that he is a Christian, and I have no reason to doubt that he is sincere in his faith. However, as a Christian myself, I often feel estranged in faith from many on the extreme right.
If Cramer really believed that North Dakota was this socially conservative, would he not run as one? I suspect that Cramer realizes that while a majority of North Dakotans are a church going people, they are not the same type of Evangelical Christian that he is. I suspect that if Cramer was to be more open with his Socially Conservative opinions, he would lose favor with many common sense North Dakotans.