Thursday, September 3, 2015

Faux Christian Martyr Kim Davis in Jail, Conservative Twitterverse in Full Outrage Mode

Image from source, Boston Globe.
Yes, the Kounty Klerk from Kentucky has refused to do her job, issuing marriage licenses (to either gay or straight people), all the way to jail. She's flat-out wrong in her assertions that religious beliefs trump the rights of her constituents, or that they have any relevance whatsoever to her job duties. She honestly has no legal leg to stand on, and this is clear if you know even basic civics, and have a working, functional brain, unclouded by "truthiness" or overpowered by religious fervor.

Overwhelmingly, public sentiment (at least most places I've frequented in my admittedly unscientific studies) seems to be against Kim Davis and her quixotic quest. But a vocal (and very loud) contingent of conservative keyboard commandos is in full outrage mode. And so are several politicians and pundits, including some GOP presidential aspirants.

Now, while many of these people are crazy, there are sane, smart people among them. I may have a visceral distaste for some of them, like Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee, but I don't think any (okay, most) of them are stupid people. So that leaves a few options here:

1. They are genuinely confused by the difference between "holy matrimony" and civil marriage, and/or ignorant of the fact that they are legally not the same thing.
2. They haven't thought through the ramifications of allowing a county-level politician to choose which laws to follow, or the consequences of giving religious exemption to a religious clerk over which laws they should enforce.
3. They are ignorant of the premise of the separation of church and state in the United States.
4. They are so blinded by homophobia, that it stunts their thinking processes.
5. They are pandering to the prejudices of the base conservative voter, either for their votes or to other ends (such as chipping away at the already earned right for same-sex couples to marry).

I'm betting on a mixture of 4 and 5. Ted Cruz can't really believe this is persecution for religious belief. It isn't. Ms. Davis' religious beliefs are intact, no matter if she issues legal documents or not. She is not a pastor or church official, she's civil servant. Her beliefs have nothing to do with the issuance of marriage licenses, anymore than it does with hunting licenses, gun licenses, driver licenses, business licenses or building permits.

She is 100% wrong, and anyone defending her now, or alleging some phony "War on Christianity" is either seriously confused about the facts of the case, is too invested in religion-based bigotry to see the facts clearly, or is being disingenuous. Period.


Kim Davis follows the footsteps of George Wallace
Kim Davis is in jail for contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but make no mistake: this uncivil civil servant isn’t a religious freedom fighter. She’s a homophobe, pure and simple. “The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order,” said Judge David L. Bunning of Federal District Court. “If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.” Davis, county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, will be released when she complies with the law and issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples. . .

Read more at: Boston Globe


  1. This where I disagree with you, Jamie.
    I don't believe this is a federal issue, it is a local issue.
    The clerk could have been removed through impeachment, possibly by the governor and certainly through recall elections. The judge didn't want to do that.
    And she wasn't being discriminatory- she didn't give anyone marriage licenses, so the discrimination is a no where argument.
    And where is it in Federal law/constitution where it says counties have to issue marriage licenses? It doesn't, so now the Federal government has federalized marriage when it should be a state and/or local issue.
    And as far as the judge saying "“If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.” That's just about a stupid a quote as you will ever hear.
    Like Obama and mayors and governors who blatantly disobey immigration laws. How about the pot laws in Colorado and other states? That breaks federal law. Presidents of all stripes, along with cops, judges and other people in charge choose which laws to follow and which ones we don't. That's all around us.
    And now that they are handing out licenses, why are they keeping her in jail? How long will they keep her in jail? Until her term ends? Doesn't that trouble you?
    And, btw, Kim Davis is a democrat.

  2. That's the thing, Dan, it's not a matter of opinion. It's really a Federal issue when you come down to it. It's the application of a Supreme Court ruling being disobeyed by a county official. Yes, there is a hierarchy between county, state and federal, but she's willfully disregarding an order from the highest court in the land, and it's filtered back down to her.

    I disagree that she wasn't being discriminatory. She shut down all marriage licenses in the county, which disadvantages and places needful hardship on anyone in the county seeking to marry. This is a classic "take your toys and go home," or "cut off your nose to spite your face" maneuver.

    Civil law is threaded with hundreds, actually over 1500 laws based around marriage. The whole point of the SCOTUS case was that you can't give Citizen X a set of rights, responsibilities and benefits, and withhold them from Citizen Y arbitrarily. SCOTUS ruled that it WAS arbitrary, and there wasn't a state interest in doing it. By denying citizens--any or all citizens--this right, you are effectively blocking them from attaining what other citizens have access to.

    The suggestion that citizens go over to the next county assumes that the next county doesn't go the Davis route and do the very same thing. And it makes the taxpayer go out of his way for no state's interest. And if you give Davis--a particular sect of Christian with a particular grievance based on (let's face it) a flimsy legal leg to stand on--an exemption on this specific subject, marriage licenses for gay people, where does it end?

    Can a Muslim DMV clerk deny a woman a drivers license? Can a Quaker clerk deny a hunter a license? Why not? Christianity isn't the only religion, and gay marriage isn't the only potential licensing issue. It's a whole Russian Nesting Doll set of Pandora's Boxes.

    As for Obama disregarding law, as you see it, and your other examples, I'll be honest upfront and tell you I'm not as familiar with those particular stories, or their veracity. I'm up on the issues around the Davis case and can speak to them. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and just say "I don't know" in regard to those, but it is immaterial to the facts of this case.

    Yeah, I know she's a Democrat, though I've been assured by new neighboring Kentuckians that politics is weird in Kentucky.


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