Governor Mike Parson’s office stated that he has no “religious litmus for state government employees, clarifying a statement he made earlier this week that wouldn’t have appointed a health director “who does not share the same Christian values” as him.
Parson faced sharp criticism by interfaith religious groups and lawmakers. Saint Louis Post Dispatch reported from a spokeswoman that “The Governor’s statement was intended to point out that (health director nominee) Don Kaurauf shared values that aligned with the Governor’s and was not intended to imply that he imposes a requirement that job applicants adhere to any particular religion.”
Kelli Jones, the spokeswoman continued to say, “Just because an appointee happens to possess values that align with the Governor’s Christian faith doesn’t mean that he requires them to adhere to his religion. Governor Parson has never required a religious litmus test for appointments as evidenced by the broad spectrum of religious backgrounds of his appointees.”
Former Senator Jonah Nasheed, a St. Louis Democrat, said, “I’m Muslim and I’m not Christian and he appointed me. I don’t think that he really meant what he said. Like I said, if that was the case, I wouldn’t have been, you know, appointed as a Muslim. I don’t think he meant to say it that way.”
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: STLTODAY.COM