Ken Klukowski, the former head of the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, admitted on a right-wing radio show last week that Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was on “shaky legal ground” for ordering her deputies to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
FRC President Tony Perkins appeared last week at a rally in Kentucky defending the clerk and insisted in an interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News that Davis was not stopping her deputies from issuing marriage licenses. However, that was exactly what Davis was doing, and Klukowski honed in on that fact in an interview with conservative broadcaster Eric Metaxas last week.
Klukowski told Metaxas that while he is sympathetic to Davis’ plight as a fellow gay marriage opponent, he said that Davis’ refusal to let deputy clerks issue marriage licenses to legally eligible couples was indefensible and incompatible with religious freedom.
He said that by trying to “exercise my governmental authority to order the other public servants here, that they are not going to do this either, that’s where I believe she is on, respectfully, she’s on very shaky legal ground. That would be the difference between a conscientious objector in the military who says, ‘I want to serve my country so I am going to volunteer for the military but because of my faith I don’t believe in bearing weapons.’ He can still serve, he’ll just be assigned to a noncombat role, he’ll never have to pick up a weapon. The equivalent here would be someone saying, ‘I will take command of this infantry unit, I am going to take command of this rifle company, but not only am I not going to fight I am also going to order all the troops under my command that because of my religious objection they are not going to fight either.’”
Metaxas, however, saw it a bit differently, and compared Davis to a Nazi officer who refused a command from Adolf Hitler to send his military unit to murder Jews.
Klukowski responded by saying that Davis’ defenders are turning the First Amendment on its head: “The First Amendment has never been construed as saying that whatever your personal beliefs are that if you are in a position of authority, if your power is in fact a governmental power, the power of the state, that you have the right to make other civil servants, who have their own rights under the First Amendment, to make them act in conformity with your personal religious beliefs. Then you have the issue of, well, what are their religious beliefs? What are their personal beliefs?”
He went on to say that there is no legal precedent saying that officials can “combine” their “personal individual liberty” with “your governmental power to also make other public servants partake in your objection.”
Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt called last week for the arrest of Judge David Bunning, the Bush-nominated federal judge who held Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in contempt after she repeatedly defied court orders to let her office issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Pratt told Sam Bushman of the far-right “Liberty Roundtable” radio program on Wednesday, “This district court judge merely withdrew his horns, they haven’t been cut off. And we’re not finished until we can cut that district judge Bunning’s horns off.”
“In fact, he’s the one who should be put in jail for violating his oath of office,” Bushman said.
“Thank you!” Pratt responded.
“It’s an assault on the Constitution,” Pratt added of Bunning’s decision to detain Davis for five days, “it’s something that Joseph Stalin could only have dreamed about, and here we’re doing it to ourselves. It’s really incredible. We have lawyers like this Judge Bunning that are so ignorant of this American republican system that they don’t seem to know their left hand from their right.”
"Either they’re so ignorant and they don’t know," Bushman replied, "or they have hatred and contempt to where they think they are superior, judge, jury and execution is what it turns out to be, they just didn’t get to execute Kim because we all came to her defense."
UPDATE: In a phone call, Bushman told us that he didn't mean to imply that Judge Bunning wanted to execute Kim Davis, but was merely playing off the phrase "judge, jury and executioner" in describing a judiciary that he told us is trying to "concentrate all power." Bushman also objected to the use of the term "far-right" to describe his program, telling us he'd prefer the description, “American that believes in and wants to promote God, family and country and wants to protect life, liberty and property and believes and advocates that this nation shall endure.”
FRC head Tony Perkins has already compared Davis to the previous award winner, Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who, unlike Davis, actually faced persecution for her faith, as she was arrested and imprisoned by Sudan’s government for converting to Christianity. Leading up to Ibrahim’s appearance at the FRC event, Perkins attempted to use her story to attack the Obama administration, even though her U.S. supporters actually thanked the State Department for working diligently to secure her release. An attorney working on Ibrahim’s case, who is also a Religious Right figure, criticized Perkins for his rhetoric.
In announcing the award, Perkins praised Davis for her “courage” in standing up to “militant secularists”:
“We are pleased to announce that Kim Davis will be honored at this year's Values Voter Summit. After meeting with her last week, I can tell you that Kim Davis wasn’t looking for this fight, but she is not running from it either. What militant secularists are almost certainly afraid of is what is coming to pass: courage is breeding courage. When other people might have cowered in fear, Kim took a stand. And today, millions of Americans stand with her and for the religious freedom upon which our nation was founded.
“Far from the media's portrayal, Kim isn't trying to impose her views on anyone, she is simply asking that her orthodox religious views be accommodated.
“The courage of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis isn't just changing the conversation -- it's changing the political landscape. In places like Missouri, where state officials watched with horror as Davis was hauled off to jail for her Christian beliefs, leaders are moving quickly to protect their people from the same fate. The Supreme Court created this mess -- now it's incumbent on states to protect the victims mired in it.
“While the Court redefined marriage, it did not redefine the First Amendment. Thank goodness for people of courage like Kim Davis, who refuses to let religious liberty be trampled by legal tyranny. We applaud her. In the face of intense pressure, she's shown more courage than 99 percent of the elected officials in Kentucky,” concluded Perkins.
Perkins addressed the rally in front of the Kentucky prison where Davis was detained after a federal judge held her in contempt of court but doesn’t seem to know some basic facts surrounding the case. For example, Perkins told Fox News that Davis wasn’t barring her deputy clerks from issuing marriage licenses, even though Davis explicitly said at the time that she was doing just that.
Now, almost as soon as they arrived, the Oath Keepers are packing up and going home. Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes writes in an email to members today that Davis, through her attorneys at the Religious Right legal group Liberty Counsel, has (probably wisely) declined their offer of assistance. He encourages members to save their gas money for another mission, such as "our planned upcoming operation to guard Texas border ranches against drug cartel violence and invasion":
Upon request by Kim Davis' legal team, Oath Keepers is canceling the planned security detail for Mrs. Davis in Morehead, Kentucky.
Oath Keepers has been contacted by Kim Davis' legal team at Liberty Counsel, and they have, on her behalf, declined our offer of assistance in protecting her from a possible repeat incarceration by Federal District Court judge David Bunning. We will, of course, respect her wishes, and are hereby issuing a stand-down for our security volunteers who were planning on deploying to Morehead, Kentucky on Monday.
Oath Keepers will NOT be conducting a security detail for Mrs. Davis. We always seek the full consent and cooperation of anyone we protect, and we must respect their wishes if they decline that protection. Anyone who was planning on going to Morehead, KY to serve on the security detail are now asked to not do so. We do thank you most sincerely for your willingness to step up, as unpaid volunteers, in defense of due process. That was a very honorable intent, and we commend you.
This is a free country, and of course you are free to still go there on Monday and peaceably assemble to express your support for her due process rights and your opposition to arbitrary arrest if you want to, but Oath Keepers will not be conducting a security detail, and she apparently does not want anyone else to do so. Therefore, we encourage you to save your gas money and time off work for another security detail, at another time (such as for our planned upcoming operation to guard Texas border ranches against drug cartel violence and invasion).
We have not talked to Mrs. Davis directly, and therefore we don't know her reasoning or ultimate intent, but we do note that civil disobedience where the person is willing to allow themselves to be unlawfully arrested and are willing to go to jail to make a point, is a time honored, respectable, and honorable American tradition going back to Henry David Thoreau. We must respect that if it turns out to be her chosen strategy. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and such non-resistant civil-disobedience can be a powerful tool in resisting tyranny. Or it may be that she is confident of making an accommodation. We don't know, but regardless we will respect her wishes and stay out of it.
Rhodes ends with a "special message to our critics":
As for the many harsh critics of our offer to protect Mrs. Davis, it is frankly sad that so many Americans cannot understand taking a stand in defense of someone's due process rights regardless of who that person is, what they stand for, or what they are accused of doing or have done. That should not matter, and all that should matter is our common ground of the Bill of Rights and the hard-won rights of due process and in particular jury trial. As I told one person who wrote in:
You can't see past your opposition to what she did long enough to see our point about due process and the dangers of having judges use their contempt power like a magic wand to put people into indefinite detention till they submit. Please try to focus on the due process rights of the accused, not on the particular crime. I would, and have, stood up for the due process rights or anyone, regardless of the accusations made against them. I did so during the Bush Admin, when I stood up for the due process rights of Yasir Hamdi and Jose Padila, both of whom are Muslim Americans who were held in indefinite detention by Bush. I also stood up for the due process rights of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. And the paper I wrote at Yale Law about that won Yale's top prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. But that was during the Bush years, and was a harsh criticism of what a Republican was doing to Muslims. so the leftist professors at Yale ate it up.
Now, with the shoe on the other foot, leftists are apparently as blind to the bedrock issues of due process for someone they despise - Davis - as the Bush supporters were when it came to someone they despised - Jose Padilla and Yasir Hamdi.
Clearly, in America, what matters most is whether the accused is seen as a "good guy" or a "bad guy" and if seen as being bad, then there is zero concern for due process and people will clamor for expedited punishment. I suppose that is just a reflection of human nature. But sad nonetheless.
Now, after a cycle of the Republicans in power, and then the Democrats, with both exponentially growing the military industrial complex, national security surveillance state over us, I see that Orwell was right when he said "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." It doesn't matter to me whether it is a right boot or a left boot. Or whether you think the person being smashed deserves it. I oppose it. - Stewart
As Steve Benen noted yesterday after Mike Huckabee claimed that the Dred Scott decision is still the “law of the land” and is just being ignored by elected officials, when it comes to the implementation of marriage equality, the GOP presidential candidate has invented “his own brand of crackpot civics.”
Huckabee put his made-up civics beliefs on full display in an interview yesterday with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in which he claimed that Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear could “very simply” fix the situation with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, by removing clerks’ names from marriage licenses altogether … while simultaneously claiming that the governor actually has no authorityto do so.
This, Huckabee explained, shows why the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality was “so illegal … because this has left the whole country in a state of ambiguity and confusion.”
“The governor can fix this very simply by simply saying he’ll change the form,” Huckabee said. “Now the question is, does he have the authority to do that? And if so, under what authority? This is where this all gets very confusing. And it’s why the haste to rush into implementing same-sex marriage is so ridiculous and, frankly, Tony, it’s why it’s so illegal is because this has left the whole country in a state of ambiguity and confusion.”
Huckabee went on to cite the Tennessee judge who denied a straight couple a divorce this month in a stunt ruling meant to protest the Obergefell decision, which the former Arkansas governor said was just a sign of all the confusion about gay marriage.
“It’s chaos, confusion that’s been created,” Perkins agreed, “and this is just the beginning of what we’re going to see play out here.”
Huckabee then proceeded to roll out some other desparate legal theories about Davis, claiming that she is not required to follow laws that were implemented after she took office and even claiming that she could be guilty of a felony in Kentucky “if she just arbitrarily changes the wording of the marriage license.”
“When she was elected to that position,” He said, “she was operating under the Kentucky constitution that expressly says that marriage is between a man and a woman. … So that’s what she was elected on, that is the job she is doing. And there is a specific statute in Kentucky law that if she just arbitrarily changes the wording of the marriage license, that’s a felony. So here’s the question: Which law does she follow? The ambiguous and unconstitutional judicial tyranny ruling of the Supreme Court that has not yet been codified? Or does she follow the specific constitutional and statutory requirements under Kentucky law, under which she was elected?”
“And I just really am disapponited that some of the people think the way to handle this is just have public officials resign their jobs,” he added, “because they’re going to go ahead and surrender to what Jefferson called judicial tyranny.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made this argument on his “Washington Watch” radio program today in response to a caller who claimed that the arrest of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who attempted to bar her entire office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, portends laws making it “illegal to pray in the military” and is reminiscent of Nazi “legislation trying to annihilate the Jews.”
“It’s just kind of sad that if you have religious beliefs you can’t be an elected official,” the caller said.
Perkins agreed, attacking the “intentional” “misconception” that “religious liberty is simply the freedom to pick the church of your choice” rather than the freedom of people like Kim Davis to impose their religious views on everyone else.
“Do you really think that William Bradford and the Pilgrims came to America, to this land, seeking just to move their church membership because they couldn’t find a church that they really liked there in England or Holland, where they were before they came back to England?” he asked. “I don’t think so. And, in fact, they had religious freedom in Holland but they didn’t have the ability to build community and a framework to live under based on their religious freedom. That’s why they risked it all to come to what we now know as the United States of America.”
“They came here for the same thing that Kim Davis is asking for,” he said, “religious freedom. Not freedom of worship, but the freedom of religion.”
Perkins may have accidentally made the perfect Kim Davis analogy. The Puritans traveled to Plymouth Colony after a stint in Holland where, as historian Robert Tracy McKenzie notes, they “encountered a religious tolerance almost unheard of in that day and age.” In America, he writes, “they hoped to live by themselves, enjoy the same degree of religious liberty and earn a ‘better and easier’ living.” In doing so, they set up a theocracy, where, as PBS writes, they sought “religious freedom—but only for themselves.”
Pat Fagan, the director of the Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religious Research Institute, suggested yesterday that marriage equality opponents start referring to gay men’s marriages as “garriage” and lesbians’ marriages as “larriage,” with the overarching term for “homosexual marriage” being “harriage.”
Fagan made his proposal in a question to Ryan T. Anderson, the marriage equality opponent who was presenting on his new book “Truth Overruled” at FRC’s office.
"A proposal," Fagan said, "something along this line, that we in the pro-family movement start using related terms, but keep ‘marriage’ for what it always was. So we might call — and this is to be worked out — but something like,if you're talking about gay marriage you call it ‘garriage.’ If it’s lesbian, you call it 'larriage.' If you want a generic homosexual marriage it’s ‘harriage.’ But getting these words into use I think is key. And that will take time, but whomever holds the language ultimately holds the whole game.”
Anderson, who has been doing his best to soften the public face of opposition to marriage equality, politely told Fagan that while his “broader point” was “exactly right,” his “only concern with the three terms that you suggest is how will that be heard by other people?”
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes announced yesterday that he had reached out to Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel to offer the protection of his group, which he says is already forming a presence in Rowan County, Kentucky, where Davis was recently released from jail after prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses. Rhodes said in a statement that his position has nothing to do with gay marriage, but rather his conviction that Davis had been illegally detained by the federal judge who held her in contempt for violating multiple court orders.
In a phone call with former Jackson County, Kentucky, Sheriff Denny Peyman and other local Oath Keepers activists, Rhodes said that he was on his way to Kentucky to help with the Davis operation. Although the group had originally intended to picket outside the home of the judge who held Davis in contempt, he said, they had changed their plan when she was released on Tuesday.
Rhodes said that the Rowan County sheriff should have blocked U.S. Marshals from detaining Davis, but since neither the sheriff nor the state’s governor will do their “job” and “intercede” on behalf of Davis, the Oath Keepers will have to do it instead. “As far as we’re concerned, this is not over,” he said, “and this judge needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted and we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to. If the sheriff, who should be interceding, is not going to do his job and the governor is not going to do the governor’s job of interceding, then we’ll do it.”
Peyman suggested that he meet with the Rowan County sheriff to “educate him” on his responsibility to block the actions of the federal courts, but in the meantime, Rhodes said, “our guys are already there and more coming” and they are ready to “lead by example” by preventing Davis from being arrested again.
When Rhodes asked Peyman what he would have done if he were sheriff of Rowan County when Davis was detained, Peyman said he would have stopped the arrest.
“This is exactly the kind of thing that our Founding Fathers dealt with when dealing with the magistrates and the officers of the crown who wanted to run roughshod over the rights of the colonists without a jury indictment, without any of that,” Rhodes declared. “Same thing. They’re going to show their power and show you who’s boss.”
Although Rhodes's anti-government extremism doesn't always align with the Religious Right, his rhetoric on Davis not far from that of the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, who said that U.S. Marshals and county prison officials should have refused to participate in Davis' detention because they have no obligation to follow “laws that have no moral foundation that are actually in contradiction to moral law and truth.”
UPDATE: Rhodes reports that Davis, through her Liberty Counsel attorneys, has declined Oath Keepers' offer and he has ordered members of his group to "stand down."
This post has been corrected to note that Peyman is the former sheriff of Jackson County.
Mat Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel and the attorney representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her effort to bar her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, claimed yesterday that if Davis doesn’t get her way then Christians will be effectively barred from holding all public offices.
Interviewing Staver on his “Washington Watch” program, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that he was “very disappointed” in Republicans who have suggested that Davis resign from her position if she is unwilling to perform a major part of her job.
“That would establish a reverse religious test where if you hold an orthodox religious view of marriage, you would be barred from holding public office,” Perkins said.
Staver agreed with Perkins, noting that Davis “believes God called her” to run for clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky.
“But if what we do is follow the advice of some of these Republican candidates that say she needs to resign, well what does that mean?” he asked. “That means that Kim Davis and anyone else who is an elected official … that means you have to check your faith at the ballot box. And once you’re elected, you have to change your faith, put it aside, transgress it, you cannot have your conscience accommodated. ‘No more Christians need to run for office,’ that’s essentially the message, and if you’re in office you need to resign your post immediately. Now what kind of America is that? It’s certainly not the America that the Founders envisioned and I don’t think it’s the kind of America that most people want.”
“It won’t stop with this issue, Mat,” Perkins warned. “It will be something else next. This is the time to stand and exercise our religious freedom lest we lose that religious freedom.”
Davis, he said, is the first of many Christians who will be jailed “for their religious beliefs” thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision.
“This is a tragedy, it’s the first Christian jailed since the decision of the Supreme Court on June 26 on marriage,” he said. “But unfortunately, Tony, as you and I fear, I don't think this is going to be the last Christian jailed for their religious beliefs and conscience that collide with this issue of same-sex marriage.”
“No, not as long as there are Christians who are willing to live their lives according to their faith,” Perkins agreed, “and there are a lot of them out there.”
Yesterday, anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was released from jail and almost immediately took the stage at a campaign rally for Mike Huckabee, arm-in-arm with the GOP presidential candidate and with her attorney, Mat Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel.
Much of the public attention on Staver has focused on his bizarre, and so far unsuccessful, legal argument that Davis should be able to order her entire county clerk’s office to follow her personal religious views, even in defiance of several court orders. Staver has gone all-in on the Religious Right’s claim that LGBT rights is leading to the persecution of Christians, claiming that obeying gay marriage law is tantamount to handing over a Jewish person to Nazi enforcers and comparing Davis to victims of the Holocaust.
But it’s important to remember that when Staver is not playing the victim of LGBT rights, he is spouting virulently anti-LGBT rhetoric, going so far as to suggest that supporters of gay rights are ineligible to hold public office and defending laws criminalizing homosexuality in the U.S. and abroad.
As these 10 anti-gay comments make clear, Staver isn’t seeking a live-and-let-live world, but rather one where the government is a religious tool of conservative Christians and LGBT people are forced into the shadows.
While he has portrayed himself as a defender of freedom and liberty at home, Staver has actually praised moves in Russia, India, Malawi and Nigeria to outlaw homosexual relationships or speech in favor of gay rights. The group also defended U.S. anti-sodomy laws by citing [PDF] a satirical essay that joked about how gays “will sodomize your sons.”
3) Compares Gays To Terrorists
The Liberty Counsel founder has claimed that there is no need to negotiate or compromise with gay rights supporters because they are acting like terrorists.
“It’s kind of like with these terrorists, it’s hard to negotiate with terrorists because they have a zero-sum game,” he said of gay rights advocates during the debate about Indiana’s so-called religious freedom law. “It’s hard to negotiate with these people who simply are irrational and are inventing things that just simply don’t exist.”
Staver, who once warned that gay people seek to “groom” and “entrap” children, recently claimed that the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to “allow homosexual young boys in the Scouts and allow homosexual leaders in the Scouts” will lead to “all kinds of sexual molestation” as the organization transforms into “a playground for pedophiles to go and have all these boys as objects of their lust.”
6) Wants Gay Rights Supporters Out Of Office
Staver had strong words for members of Vermont’s legislature who voted for a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, saying that they were unfit for office: “It is a sad day in America when elected officials are clueless about the definition of marriage. If they cannot understand this basic human relationship between a man and a woman, then they are not competent for public office.”
7) Warns Gay Marriage Will Cause A Crime Wave
Staver predicted that the legalization of gay marriage will lead to a new generation of criminals, claiming that the children of two women are more likely to turn to a life of crime:
He even claimed that transgender people will use the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to rape and kill women and girls: “So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls…. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.”
8) Blames Gay Marriage For Bank Failure
During the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, Staver said that the failure of two of the country’s biggest banks, Washington Mutual and Wachovia, was a price they had to pay for supporting gay marriage: “Washington Mutual and Wachovia, both of which actively promoted the homosexual agenda, have come to realize that anti-family policies will bankrupt the bottom line.”
9) Warns Gay Marriage Will Destroy Civilization
Staver believes that marriage equality will “has a catastrophic consequence for our religious freedom, for the very function of the family, for marriage, for our human existence, for civil society and for any area of our liberty” as it leads to “the unraveling of the United States.”
“Same-sex marriage is the beginning of the end of western civilization,” he said in an interview last year. “It really is, it’s that serious.”
This is the thing that revolutions literally are made of. This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war. I’m not talking about just people protesting in the streets, this could be that level because what would ultimately happen is a direct collision would immediately happen with pastors, with churches, with Christians, with Christian ministries, with other businesses, it would be an avalanche that would go across the country.
Last night on Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” Ben Carson defended Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis’ decision to prevent her office from issuing marriage licenses because she has religious objections to gay marriage.
Ironically, Carson said that gays are trying to force their “way of life” on Davis: “I don’t actually believe that they have the right to force their way of life upon everybody else, nor would I want to force my way of life upon everybody else.” Of course, it is actually Davis who is using a public office to impose her religious views on others, and gay couples are only asking that she follow the law.
When host Megyn Kelly asked Carson if he believes that a Muslim county clerk should have a right to “refuse a marriage license to Muslims who want to marry Christians,” the GOP presidential candidate said that Christians can cite their religious beliefs to refuse marriage licenses because “this is a Judeo-Christian nation in the sense that a lot of our values and principles are based on our Judeo-Christian faith.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana claimed yesterday that people are being put in jail in the U.S. because they “disagree with gay marriage,” even as Hillary Clinton remains “one email away from going to jail.”
When Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway asked Jindal about Clinton’s apology for use of a private email server while at the State Department, the Republican presidential candidate replied, “I thought she was apologizing for this failed foreign policy, I thought she was apologizing for Benghazi, for failing to stand with Israel, for allowing Iran to become a nuclear power. She’s got a lot to apologize for.”
Jindal contrasted Clinton with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was briefly held by U.S. Marshals when she was found in contempt of court for barring her office from issuing marriage licenses, which he claimed shows that you can be put in jail if “you disagree with gay marriage.” (Back in 2009, Jindal took a very different tack with a justice of the peace who cited his personal beliefs in refusing to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple, demanding that the official lose his job.)
“Here’s where we are in our country today,” he said. “If you disagree with gay marriage, they put you in jail, as you see what happened in Kentucky, and yet if you mishandle national security information you’re allowed to run for president. It’s a crazy, crazy world we live in.”
On his “Generations Radio” program yesterday, far-right Colorado pastor Kevin Swanson praised anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis for her “courage” in standing up to “the forces of darkness.” Swanson said he is thankful that Davis is upholding “the laws of God” by refusing to issue marriage licenses in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.
“Anybody that tries to approve of the absolute worst possible abomination on planet Earth and give a marriage license to homosexuals is violating the laws of God,” Swanson said.
Swanson went on to condemn the governor of Kentucky, along with every other governor in the United States, for lacking the courage to stand up to the Supreme Court and offer support to Kim Davis. According to Swanson, if the governors abide by the Supreme Court ruling and “refuse to act as ministers of God,” they are placing the Supreme Court above the word of God and therefore “they will go to Hell.”
“They have their place in the lake of fire,” he said. “These magistrates will go to Hell if they do not assume the courage to stand up against the Supreme Court of the United States and fear God, the God of Heaven and Earth over the Supreme Court of the United States, they will go to Hell. And it’s hard to imagine that all 50 governors of all 50 states are on their way, but if they are cowardly, if they are in a position of authority and refuse to act as ministers of God, they will go to Hell.”
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.
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.