It has been said before by more eloquent writers than I that religion has no place in politics. This is a very unhealthy partnership and leads to foolish thoughts and actions. With this said, Virginia is a very Southern State. It is inundated with religion and the beliefs that result from this.
Religion typically dampens or attempts to dampen the skeptical nature of an individual; this is problematic. Skepticism spawns questions and questions spawn more inquiry. It is through inquiry that humans learn. Religion takes the opposite approach and asserts that questions indicate a lack of faith. In this aspect religion is very bad for society. In the case of the legal profession or politics, a skeptical person can be demonized as troublemaker. Religion praises belief and discourages skepticism.
Currently, Representative Bob Marshall is asking that the new Attorney General Mark Herring be impeached for not enforcing the ban on same sex marriage in Virginia. This seems like efforts misplaced as Virginia has so many other issues to deal with. Most notably the trial of the former Governor Bob McDonnell is soon approaching. Also there is no agreed upon budget for Virginia as of yet. His efforts seem to be misplaced. Religion normally does this, it encourages its followers to ignore real problems but instead focus on matters of alleged morality.
When this mentality infiltrates someone in politics and the legal profession, specifically the judiciary, the results are disastrous. A religious person in a position of authority will tend to bend toward their religion. Religion eclipses reason and superstition takes hold. The classic example of this is the “Salem Witch Trials”; the judges during those trials were extremely educated but believed inexplicably in witchcraft. This episode proves religion can dull the intellect of even the most educated person.
In the case of judges and attorneys involved in a civil action that involves abuse accusations the beliefs of the participants have incredible importance in the case. The burden of proof in a civil case is so low; it is essentially what the Judge chooses to believe. If the judge is pre-disposed to superstitious beliefs, the defendant is at a disadvantage. In the cases such as abuse accusations, the testimony of mental health profession is very much akin to spectral evidence that was allowed in the Salem trials.
When a religious person is involved in the legal professions or politics, belief trumps evidence.