Yesterday, a federal judge released Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis from custody after deputy clerks in her office began issuing marriage licenses. Davis had ordered the deputy clerks not to issue any marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage because she said doing so would violate her religious beliefs.
Davis’ release came just in time for a Mike Huckabee campaign rally that was scheduled to take place outside the jail where she was being held.
After leading Davis out to the tune of “Eye of the Tiger,” the Republican presidential candidate said that the Kentucky clerk’s stand could save America from the threat of “the tyranny of one branch of government.” Just as divine intervention started and sustained America, Huckabee said, “God showed up and he showed up in the form of an elected Democrat named Kim Davis.”
Huckabee told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody that the judge’s decision to release Davis from custody was nothing short of a miracle: “I think it is a God of miracles that we saw act in getting Kim Davis out of jail. But her being in jail brought attention to something that many of us have warned about: the criminalization of Christianity.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is incensed that Judge David Bunning, the son of a former Republican U.S. Senator who identifies as a Roman Catholic and personally opposed the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality ruling, decided to enforce the law when it came to Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ refusal to let her county office issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Starnes told “AFA Today” host Crane Durham yesterday that the judge should have instead upheld the teachings of the Catholic church that gay marriage is wrong.
What gets me about Judge Bunning, I saw a profile piece over the weekend and they said that he is a devout Catholic man who opposed the Supreme Court’s decision on this issue. So what does that tell me, Crane? It tells me this man is not a man of strong character if in fact he ruled against the basic tenets of his own faith. So I think we are dealing with a lot of unscrupulous characters here.
Starnes’ insistence that the judge cite Catholic teaching over constitutional law in this matter, and that his refusal to do so shows that he lacks character and is an “unscrupulous” individual, reveals a lot about how the Religious Right views the Davis case. (Ironically, it is usually Religious Right activists who allege that “activist judges” are putting personal feelings ahead of the law).
Starnes believes that the judge should have sidestepped the U.S. Constitution and imposed his personal religious beliefs on the people in his courtroom, just as Kim Davis imposed her personal religious beliefs on the people seeking a marriage license from the county.
But the courthouse isn’t Bunning’s church, just as the county clerk’s office isn’t Davis’ church.
It seems that those supporting Davis believe that public officials should make sure that everyone else in the country has to follow their personal reading of God’s law, as long as that personal interpretation of God’s law corresponds with the political agenda of the Religious Right.
Pat Robertson onceagain hailed Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who is barring her county office from issuing marriage licenses, as a hero for challenging the “criminalization of Christianity” in a country that “was founded as a Christian nation.” The “700 Club” host said today that a judge’s decision to temporarily put Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals for repeatedly breaking the law proves that now anyone can be sent to prison just for their faith.
“Christianity, the founding principle of this nation, is criminalized,” he claimed. “You go to jail if you believe in God and stand fast for your beliefs against the onslaught of secular humanism and the flood that comes about with it.”
“Kim Davis is not exactly that champion we’d all want to stand up for our beliefs but nevertheless she did it and she’s the heroine of the piece, but there will be many, many others,” he said.
Somehow, Robertson himself has avoided a prison sentence, despite the alleged criminalization of Christianity in America.
Today, conservative reality TV stars Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson will be addressing a rally headlined by Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck in opposition to the Iran nuclear accord.
With such an all-star lineup, it may be easy to miss that one of the rally’s sponsors is none other than the Center for Security Policy, a far-right group led by anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.
Gaffney’s role in organizing an event headlined by the likes of Cruz, Beck and Palin — who all believe that Sharia law is comingtoAmerica — may be fitting, considering that Gaffney is one of the most unintentionally hilarious right-wing conspiracy theorists out there:
In the run-up to the 2012 election, Gaffney accused the Obama administration of supporting a United Nations resolution that would have legitimized blasphemy laws. In reality, the Obama administration actually forcefully opposed the resolution in question, with the president personally speaking out against blasphemy laws during a United Nations address.
But that didn’t stop Gaffney from claiming that the exact opposite had happened and warning that the president would begin to ban anti-Islamic speech in the U.S. as he pushes “the Sharia blasphemy agenda of our enemies, that is to say suppressing freedom of expression in this country which is our constitutional right.”
“President Obama, from his first months in office, has been enabling in this country an insidious effort by Islamic supremacists to keep us from engaging in speech, videos, training or other forms of expression that offend Muslims, their god, prophet and faith,” he wrote, warning that Obama has “brought U.S. diplomacy and government practice into closer and closer alignment with the demands of Islamists that such 'slanders' be prohibited and criminalized.” By giving “policymaking and advisory” roles to “persons with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood,” Gaffney claimed, Obama is going to try to “restrict your freedom of expression.”
Back in 2013, as Sen. Ted Cruz was wondering out loud if Chuck Hagel, then the nominee to serve as U.S. secretary of defense, was secretly working for North Korea or Saudi Arabia, Gaffney was just asking if Hagel was in fact be an Iranian secret agent.
“You couldn’t find a guy who has been more active in terms of promoting the interests of Iran at the expense of the United States than Chuck Hagel other than somebody who is actually an Iranian agent,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that he is, I don’t know, but I certainly think that’s the point of comparison here because it’s almost that full-throated.”
“Ms. Abedin was brilliantly placed to run Islamist influence operations for sixteen years under the recently departed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” he said.
6) Restore HUAC
In order to find all of these Muslim Brotherhood agents who have infiltrated the U.S. government, Gaffney said that we need “a new House Anti-American Activities Committee” to find the “treasonous” actors inside the administration.
7) Chris Christie Committed Treason
Gaffney was very offended in 2011 when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie derided the “crazy” rhetoric about Sharia law coming to the U.S. In fact, he was so offended that he thought Christie could be committing “misprision of treason,” or the act of concealing treasonous acts against the U.S.
Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis’ attempt to block her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples has inspired Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, who writes in a column today that Rowan County should become “a ‘sanctuary county’ where the biblical view of marriage continues to be honored and respected.”
However, Schlafly writes in WorldNetDaily, judicial tyrants are instead sending Davis to jail “merely for abiding by state law and the Bible.”
When the Supreme Court ruled by the narrowest possible margin that Kentucky’s definition of marriage is unconstitutional, the Court’s decision was qualified by its assurance that religious freedom would not be jeopardized. “The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection,” the Court solemnly intoned on June 26.
In the Appalachian hills of eastern Kentucky, one brave woman is testing whether Justice Anthony Kennedy really meant it when he wrote those words. But the local federal judge for eastern Kentucky, David Bunning, wrongly sent Kim Davis to jail for her beliefs, without respecting or accommodating her sincere Christian beliefs.
It is not “rule of law” to jail someone based on judge-made law; it is “rule by judges.” Kim Davis is not committing civil disobedience, because she has not violated any law. She was arrested, humiliated with a mug shot and jailed, merely for abiding by state law and the Bible.
When the Supreme Court ruled that all 50 states must license same-sex unions on the same terms as marriage, the court was implicitly declaring that Christianity and the Bible are wrong. If San Francisco can be a sanctuary city, let’s allow Rowan County, Kentucky, to be a “sanctuary county” where the biblical view of marriage continues to be honored and respected.
Linda Harvey of Mission America agrees, calling in her own WorldNetDaily column for such sanctuary cities to not only ban same-sex marriage but also prohibit gay pride parades and sexual reassignment surgery. Because “family life would be much healthier and safer in these cities,” Harvey thinks “the trend would be contagious as people share their positive experiences with friends and relatives across the country”:
Since we are beginning to see violations of constitutional rights based on objections to homosexuality as marriage, I believe there’s a clear precedent for establishing sanctuary cities for authentic, lawful, man/woman marriage.
Think about how great life would be in those cities. After all, unlike the defiance of immigration law, these cities would be upholding the actual law under our actual Constitution, not the imaginary one in the mind of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
So, why not cities that uphold a standing, just law? Family life would be much healthier and safer in these cities. Keep out the vile “gay-pride” parades as well as harassment lawsuits against bakers and florists. And how about no pro-homosexual lessons in school, falsely implying that some people are born homosexual, or born to mutilate themselves by sex-change surgery? Also, no ban on counseling for teens who have same-sex attractions.
Of course, such cities would not be without challenges. They would be targets for dirty tricks, phony “hate crimes,” special sections on “gay apartheid” by the New York Times and so on. The formulaic fables and drama, based on no facts but lots of screeching, can be composed now in advance.
We are not unaware of the schemes of Satan, nor of Saul Alinsky adherents.
It will take a courageous city council to take this step, yet the trend would be contagious as people share their positive experiences with friends and relatives across the country.
Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign organized a rally this afternoon in front of the jail where anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was being held in the custody of U.S. Marshals after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
As fate would have it, Davis was released from custody just hours before Huckabee’s rally, so she came out to speak alongside Huckabee, Staver and her husband, taking the stage to Survivor's “Eye of the Tiger.”
Davis, the Religious Right’s favorite new “persecution” victim, received a hero’s welcome as Huckabee and Staver declared her victorious over the forces of darkness/the rule of law.
After briefly losing her composure, a teary-eyed Davis thanked God and the crowd, beseeching attendees to keep up the fight. Huckabee then closed things out by claiming that pastors and school administrators may soon end up in prison for opposing gay marriage, even though that is not the reason that Davis was put in the custody of U.S. Marshals.
Others at the rally warned of an impending anti-Christian holocaust — a line frequently usedbyStaver — while one participant raised up a Confederate flag.
“A year ago, we were working for a young, 27-year-old woman who was in prison in a Third World country because of her faith, Meriam Ibraham,” Perkins said. “I never thought, less than a year later, that I would be working on behalf of a woman in the United States of America imprisoned by her government because of her faith in Christ. That’s where we’ve come.”
Perkins also claimed that the U.S. Marshals and county prison officials “should have refused” to follow a federal judge’s finding that Davis was in contempt of court for refusing to obey court orders that her office issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
He said that Davis and others have no obligation to follow “laws that have no moral foundation that are actually in contradiction to moral law and truth.”
One Liberty Counsel attorney active in the case, Harry Mihet, recently spoke at a rally outside the jail where Davis is being held in contempt, where he invoked Martin Luther King Jr. to defend Davis, claiming that the clerk will never resign from her post:
KIM DAVIS UPDATE | MESSAGE FROM JAIL through her Attorney. Like, Comment and Share to Spread the Word! #freekimdavis #KimDavis #FreeKim
Mihet also appeared on American Family Radio’s “Sandy Rios In The Morning” yesterday to discuss the case, comparing a judge’s decision to put Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals after he found her in contempt of court to the massive persecution Christians faced in Romania under the brutal Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu.
Reflecting on Ceaușescu’s attempt to push the church underground and round up Christians, Mihet said that “never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that the day would come that I would have to represent an American citizen jailed for her convictions.”
The way Mike Huckabee sees it, the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling was “illegal, unconstitutional and unlawful” and thus Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is actually the only clerk in Kentucky, and possibly America, who is following the law by denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. As Huckabee said on MSNBC last week, the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell has not yet come into effect because “you have to have enabling legislation” and neither Congress nor the Kentucky legislature have passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage.
Huckabee seems not to have considered the far-reaching implications of his legal theory, which, if correct, would mean that thousands of public officials across the country are violating the law by failing to enforce outdated codes that have been left on the books after being struck down by the courts.
The state of Georgia, for instance, only repealed its school segregation laws in 2005, more than 50 years after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Surely, Huckabee doesn’t think that such laws should have been implemented for decades after Brown v. Board of Education was decided.
In an act of defiance that may be worthy of Huckabee’s commendation, the Louisiana legislature voted overwhelmingly last year to keep on the books the state’s “crimes against nature” law — which bans consensual oral and anal sex between people of any gender but had been used to target LGBT people — after fierce lobbying from Religious Right groups, even though the law had been overturned by the courts years earlier. This year, a Baton Rouge police officer arrested two gay men for violating the law, but his police department, recognizing that the law is not in effect, apologized to the men and didn’t press charges.
Of course, Huckabee doesn’t get to become the authority in America who gets to decide what God’s law says and which U.S. laws it trumps, just as Davis doesn’t get to use a county office to impose her personal religious views on others.
Seeing that Davis has said that she would never recognize gay marriage because, in her view, it violates God’s law, even if Congress passed a law legalizing gay marriage nationwide, Davis would still feel justified in ignoring it...and we bet she would still win Huckabee’s support.
On Friday, Mike Huckabee appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program to defend Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was found in contempt of court after repeatedly refusing to issue marriage licenses following the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Speaking with FRC President Tony Perkins, who will be joining the former Arkansas governor at a rally in defense of Davis today, Huckabee said that Davis’ rights have been “trampled upon by those who practice judicial tyranny.”
“I wonder if the president would be willing to trade some terrorists to get her out of jail,” Perkins joked. “It’d be nice if he would,” Huckabee said. “Bowe Bergdahl was traded for terrorists.”
Huckabee went on to say that prisoners in Guantanamo Bay have been “accommodated in every way and they were terrorists in our custody, yet Kim Davis is not given an accommodation of her faith and that’s why I say it is absolutely the criminalization of Christianity.”
Huckabee also told Perkins that Kim Davis’ case proves that gay marriage has an impact on all of us, claiming that now anyone who opposes same-sex marriage “may end up going to jail.”
“This is a county clerk who is in jail this weekend without bail, let me point out, because she believed that her faith was more important than following an illegal, unconstitutional and, as yet, an unlawful decision by the Supreme Court,” Huckabee said. “Congress hasn’t made a law yet that says there is same-sex marriage…. This federal judge is trying to enforce something that does not exist yet.”
Of course, Davis is not in jail because she opposes gay marriage, but because she has been held in contempt of court for consistently breaking the law. Requiring her to allow her office to perform its official duties for taxpayers in no way requires her to approve of same-sex marriage.
The GOP presidential candidate went on to say that Davis’ case shows that the government will soon imprison pastors or “the leader of a youth group that refuses to let transgendered [sic] people go and sleep in the same dorm at a church camp.”