By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Matt Jenkins for Congress campaign announced that campaign manager, Rodney Stanhope, has been fired for his expletive filled rants on line defending Jenkins controversial position on same sex marriage.
The Jenkins for Congress campaign became embroiled Sunday in a heated exchange with social conservatives who disagree with Jenkins’ new position on the topic. Stanhope who was managing the Jenkins campaign quickly became entangled in multiple on line flame wars with social conservatives on line. Some of the verbage, expletives, and opinions expressed in Stanhope’s angry posts online were embarrassing to Matt Jenkins and the Matt Jenkins campaign so on Tuesday the campaign announced that they have terminated Mr. Stanhope’s employment.
In a written statement the campaign said, “The Matt Jenkins for Congress campaign has officially terminated our relationship with Rodney Stanhope. Mr. Stanhope had been the Campaign Manager until yesterday. Mr. Stanhope’s actions and statements made while working with the campaign were extremely unprofessional and hurtful to the citizens of Alabama’s 7th Congressional District. Though we had no control over Mr. Stanhope’s actions we still feel the need to apologize to all of those that were offended. Matt Jenkins will not surround himself with people of this caliber and once it became abundantly clear that Mr. Stanhope was lacking in this regard he was let go.”
Jenkins said, “The statement concluded, “Mr. Stanhope has left the State of Alabama and is no longer a part of this campaign in any way.
Jenkins also clarified his stance on the gay marriage issue.
In another statement the Matt Jenkins for Congress campaign said, “There is a misconception that the government definition of marriage must be accepted by everyone. It does, but only for certain purposes. The definition of marriage as far as government is concerned is, “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law”; or “the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.””
Jenkins continued, “Using this definition under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, everyone must have equal protection under law. But there is a religious definition of marriage that sits apart from the legalistic one, based in the religious doctrine of their faith. Marriage, for this purpose, has been defined as; a “Biblical Covenant between a man and a woman for the purpose of pro-creation”. But not all churches agree on this definition, or the purpose or limits of marriage. Just as not all churches agree on divorce or annulments. Nor do they all believe there must be children for it to be a true marriage. If the government uses any religious definition of marriage, that violates the free exercise of religion – and the establishment clause of the Constitution. The decision regarding religious marriage ceremonies, and the rules and regulations of said marriage, should be determined by an individual’s church.”
Matt Jenkins said, “Under our system, government can’t establish religious doctrine. For this reason, I stand by my comments that I wrote endorsing same-sex marriage. I did not intend to tell anyone what their religious beliefs should be. But I intend for the government to stop illegal and unconstitutional discrimination against law abiding people. I teach my children the Golden Rule. I believe this issue is between individuals and God, and government should not be involved in approving of or disapproving of such unions. My personally held, religious doctrine on marriage should have no bearing on the legal issues regarding marriage as defined by government, nor should any other Representative’s. The fact remains, the Constitution demands equal protection under law. Perhaps it would be ideal if government were not concerned with marriage at all, but the reality is that when children, property and end-of-life issues are involved, government is needed because custody, divorces, and probate issues are decided in the courts.”
Jenkins is challenging Representative Terri A Sewell (D) in Alabama’s only majority minority Congressional District. Sewell is the last Democrat representing Alabama in the Congress. According to the Alabama Republican Party website, Jenkins still has not officially qualified with the party to run for congress in the seventh district.