In an interview with Newsmax TV yesterday, Pat Buchanan compared Kentucky county Kim Davis’ defiance of court orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses to his own efforts to convince President Nixon to defy a Supreme Court ruling on school desegregation.
Host Rick Ungar asked Buchanan to explain why he would oppose a devout Muslim becoming president out of fear that his or her religion would trump the Constitution, when Mike Huckabee and other GOP candidates frequently say that their Christian religion trumps U.S. law.
Buchanan responded that there were plenty of examples of people rightly following “natural law” rather than obeying the courts, such as protesters in the Civil Rights Movement. He added that his father, a devout Catholic, would likewise have disobeyed a law requiring him to provide “abortifacients and contraceptives to his employees.”
Buchanan added that he himself had advocated civil disobedience when he urged President Nixon to defy a 1971 Supreme Court decision that “called for district-wide desegregation and allowed for the use of busing to achieve integration.”
“I think that [Davis] did the right thing,” Buchanan said, “she defied the law and went to jail and paid the price, that’s the price of civil disobedience of an unjust law. But I do believe this. When I was in the Nixon White House, I urged the president to defy court orders mandating court-ordered busing from counties into cities, which were tearing apart cities and towns, defy the court and work with the Congress of the United States to really circumscribe the jurisdiction of the court under … Article III, Section II of the Constitution. In other words, it would be a constitutional confrontation, you’re exactly right. I don’t disagree with that, if you believe your position is correct.”
In a column last year, Buchanan similarly compared resistance to same-sex marriage to busing opponents’ efforts to nake “our black-robed radicals back down.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who will be hosting a number of GOP presidential candidates at this week’s Values Voter Summit, sent out a rather alarmist fundraising email today demanding donations to help his group fight the “Hollywood and radical forces” intent on “indoctrinating your children or grandchildren . . . ruining your job or career . . . getting you to compromise your faith . . . go silent . . . shut up . . . affirm sexual immorality . . . or deny key parts of the Bible.”
Referring to Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was found in contempt of court when she tried to stop her entire county office from issuing licenses to gay couples, Perkins warns: “If ‘politically correct’ government officials will put a Christian like Kim in jail for the faith we all SHARE -- well, what plans do they have in store for YOU?”
The WRONG people have plans for you
September 23, 2015
Their attacks are only beginning
$500,000 Matching Grant doubles your gift to help us
stand for you against the plans of anti-family forces
They have big plans for you. Who? The White House. Judges. Radical Left organizations.
Ask Kim Davis. She's a Christian like you, and she went to JAIL for her faith -- a faith you and she share.
Consider that carefully. If "politically correct" government officials will put a Christian like Kim in jail for the faith we all SHARE -- well, what plans do they have in store for YOU?
Depending on the circumstances, they'll do whatever is necessary to drive Christianity from influence in America by indoctrinating your children or grandchildren . . . ruining your job or career . . . getting you to compromise your faith . . . go silent . . . shut up . . . affirm sexual immorality . . . or deny key parts of the Bible.
As you know, Kim is the head clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky. When the U.S. Supreme Court ignored the Constitution by inventing a "right" to same-sex marriage, Kim requested a simple religious accommodation so that a marriage license that violated her conscience would go out in some other way than under her authority. It was a reasonable request.
But a judge threw Kim in jail for six days as Hollywood and radical forces cheered. These forces aren't interested in "fairness" or "equality." They want to drive people of faith from public life. THAT IS THEIR PLAN.
And that is why I pray you will give now in response to the Matching Grant . . . help FRC achieve and even exceed our September 30 goal . . . and continue to expose and oppose their plans in the most influential sectors of society.
The White House, ACLU, LGBT organizations, liberal Hollywood stars, and "politically correct" corporations plan to:
- Threaten your job or career if you try to live your faith openly at work.
- Destroy your family business if you don't affirm sexual immorality.
- Attack your favorite Christian ministries if they don't hire homosexuals, cross-dressers, or help provide for abortions.
FRC is working every day to stop them. Our team of dedicated staff members includes top policy experts, researchers, and communication specialists stationed strategically near the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. But our most important team members are supporters like you.
Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission joined Jerry Newcombe on his “Vocal Point” radio program earlier this month to discuss Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who at the time was attempting to bar her entire county office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
Cass wholeheartedly agreed with Davis’ stand, saying that “governors and mayors and higher authorities” should all be following her lead in resisting the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.
He compared the situation to that of a wife who is under the “authority” of her husband, but should nevertheless disobey him if he asks her to do something “immoral or illegal.”
“It’s just like in the military,” he explained, “if someone gives an unlawful order, you don’t obey it; in the home, if the husband, who has been delegated authority, tells the wife or the children to do something that is immoral or illegal, are the wife and the children supposed to obey that authority? No.”
“And when human authority, whether it be in the home, whether it be in the church, whether it be in the state, when human authority lines up with God’s canons of righteousness and justice, then they are to be obeyed,” he said. “But when they tell you it’s okay to murder innocent, pre-born children, then they are to be disobeyed. When they tell you that you are to marry people who are violating God’s standards regarding marriage, they are to be disobeyed. And this woman in Kentucky is doing what other, if you will, higher magistrates — governors and mayors and higher authorities — should have been doing all along.”
“Thank God for Chief Justice Roy Moore,” Cass added, for refusing to “impose sodomite marriage” in Alabama because “it’s wicked, it’s unjust, it’s not in conformity with God’s law, and on its face, it’s not to be obeyed.”
Cass insisted that governors should stand up and defy the Supreme Court’s rulings in Obergefell v. Hodges and Roe v. Wade.
“She’s doing what every pro-life — so-called pro-life — governor should have done,” he said. “We should just tell the federal government, look, we have abortion laws, and they’re just, according to Scripture, we can’t deprive anybody of their life without due process, these babies are not getting due process, our Constitution is right and biblical in that sense, and therefore we tell the government, leave us alone. The same thing with marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman, no matter what demented rulings come out of the imagination of the Supreme Court.”
“Now is there risk, is there threats, could there be consequences,” he said, “could a tyrant, a tyrannical government bring force even and jail or threats of fines? They can, and Kim is doing what every lesser magistrate ought to be doing against an increasingly tyrannical, statist, secular government that is at war with God.”
Cass falsely claimed that Moore is currently barring clerks in Alabama from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
While the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling represented a major victory for gay rights advocates, Gayle Ruzicka of the Utah Eagle Forum warned at the Eagle Forum’s national conference last weekend that conservatives “better fight like tigers” because the gay rights movement’s “next target is the schools; it’s the children.”
“Are we going to let them take these schools?” she asked the activists who came in mid-September to the Eagle Council, the annual event hosted by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, which also featured several GOP presidential candidates.
As Ruzicka put it, she knows that Equality Utah is an effective organization because its leader, Troy Williams, is her former protégé. She told the audience at an anti-gay-marriage panel that Williams is now using what he learned at Eagle Forum to fight conservatives:
In our state we have Equality Utah, who is, by the way, I guess you call him as my nemesis now, I trained him, he used to be Eagle Forum, he was at my side all the time, he loved everything about us and everything we did, he now is the head of Equality Utah and they’ve got plans, his name is Troy, the first words out of his mouth, how excited he was over marriage and then his next words were, “and we have just begun.”
“We have God on our side but we don’t have God if we don’t do anything,” she said. Later, she claimed that the fight over LGBT rights may eclipse the one over abortion rights since abortion rights supporters “kind of went away into their abortion mills and we didn’t have to look at the awful things they were doing there.”
“But with this, they are coming after us,” she said of LGBT rights groups. “For them, this is the beginning, this is not the end, and they are coming after us, daily, and daily they are threatening us.”
Many members in the audience agreed with this assessment. One wondered if gay rights advocates would “take our lives over” marriage and another bravely pledged to go to jail due to marriage equality. One activist with Utah Eagle Forum explained that same-sex marriage is comparable to abortion because “in abortion, we kill the baby once it’s born. But with homosexuality, the baby is never born.”
Andy Schlafly, Phyllis’ son and the co-host of the panel, agreed that abortion-rights opponents must speak up against LGBT equality “because the homosexuals and the liberals have taken over the Supreme Court and pro-lifers need to understand that they are going to lose everything on the pro-life issue because of this homosexual rights issue.”
“They are going to lose everything because liberals have come through on this other issue and they’ve got control of Kennedy and Kennedy is the swing vote,” he said.
Schlafly said that activists can do two things to fight gay marriage: One is to follow Mike Huckabee’s lead in urging their elected officials to simply defy the Supreme Court ruling; the other is to find a congressman who would file articles of impeachment against Judge David Bunning, the Bush-nominated federal judge who placed Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals after finding her in contempt of court for blocking marriage licenses in her county.
If Congress were to even consider impeaching Bunning, Schlafly said, it would “send shockwaves to the other side” and put judges on notice. She warned that there is little time left before out-of-control judges go after pastors and Christian schools.
“I’m telling you, the homosexual movement is taking over the court system,” he said. “The courts are gone, the courts have been taken over by the homosexuals, so they are going to sue and bankrupt all of our churches and all of our schools.”
Religious liberty is on its last legs, he said, claiming that Tim Tebow is “excluded from the entire NFL simply because he quotes from the Bible.” He added that religious counselors practicing “ex-gay” therapy are also under attack because gays know that they need to “recruit” people while they are young.
“The battle over this is really with teenagers,” he explained, “there is not as much of a market for it for adults. The focus is on those teen years, when people are forming their sexuality. That’s why there is so much attention to teenagers. The other side is recruiting heavily for teenagers. We have no idea in this room how much recruitment is going on against teenagers right now.”
As expected, members of the audience agreed that gay marriage will effect everybody, and not just by supposedly destroying religious freedom and allowing abortion rights to continue. As one woman in the audience said, Eagle Forum must explain to Americans that they may all die if gay marriage continues:
People who have had any exposure to the Bible at all, people are familiar with Sodom and Gomorrah and this is what’s happened with this homosexual movement and the gay marriage. I mean, we are saying, ok, we are giving them a legal right to go in and commit sodomy, night after night, day after day after day, I mean, if people get that message, we’re making God mad, do we want to make him so mad that he comes down and destroys the whole country? Think of Sodom and Gomorrah. Maybe something like that can be a visual, do you know what I’m saying?
Ruzicka responded to the audience member’s plea by saying that “we have to be sure to remind them who these people are and what it is that they do.”
One audience member similarly lamented that while “there are just not that many people who care about what God did to the people in Sodom,” someone should stand up for the rights of believers: “We have to get the young people who do care, we have to get the laws on the books to protect those of us who care. It is scary out there for what young people are being force-fed.”
Announcing that she worked alongside Phyllis Schlafly in the successful campaign to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, one woman in the audience said that activists need to realize that they are in a spiritual battle.
“We have demons that work against us,” she said. “If you ever a find a time where there was a hope, it was during the ERA days. We had everything against us, all the momentum, all the money, all the politicians, all the media, everything was against us.”
As it turns out, at least one man in the audience said he was expecting an even greater fight, asking if the U.S. military “is on our side or Obama’s side,” while another attendee speculated that U.S. service members are being conditioned to put on United Nations uniforms during a potential civil conflict.
Ruzicka seemed exasperated by the descent of the panel, which stretched until 11:30 at night, into manic paranoia about civil war and spiritual warfare. Of course, warning about the gay recruitment of children and the closure of Christian churches and schools may have had something to do with it.
Religious Right activists have spent decades warning about gay rights leading to divine wrath, judicial tyranny and the corruption of children, with little to show for it as support for marriage equality has only increased among voters.
Polls consistently show that barely one-third of Americans think that Kim Davis, the new, “persecuted” face of the gay-rights opponents, was in the right for barring her county office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
With the collapse of its public image, the anti-gay Right desperately needs new spokesmen and ideas, but if this conference showed anything, old paranoias are hard to shake.
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.
While few legal observers ever thought that Davis had a case — to the point that some suspected that her attorneys must have been deliberately giving her bad advice — Klukowski’s former group, the FRC, has defended Davis and announced today that it will honor her at its upcoming summit for challenging “legal tyranny.”
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."
On the same program, former sheriff and Oath Keepers member Denny Peyman echoed Pratt’s call for Bunning’s arrest.
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.”
As many predicted, Kim Davis is cashing in on her new role as a right-wing celebrity. The Family Research Council announced today that Davis will receive its “Cost of Discipleship Award” at the upcoming Values Voter Summit.
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.
Another county clerk in Kentucky who is trying to prevent same-sex couples from receiving marriage licenses, Casey Davis (no relation), is also scheduled to speak at the summit. He has gone so far as to say that he may die in his fight against gay marriage.
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.
Yesterday, we reported that the Oath Keepers, a "Patriot" movement group best known for the standoff at the Bundy Ranch and for showing up heavily armed to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, was converging on Kentucky to offer a "security detail" to anti-gay clerk Kim Davis to protect her from further arrest for refusing to do her job and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
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 authority to 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.”
The Religious Right activists who frequently claim that they are simply seeking to “live and let live” in a country that increasingly favors LGBT rights and other social progress sometimes compare themselves to the Pilgrims, citing the historical myth that the American concept of religious liberty originated with early Puritan governments.
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.”
Perkins is absolutely right that Kim Davis and her supporters are seeking something similar to what the Pilgrims sought in the 17th century : not the freedom of religion, but a religious state, governed by them.
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?”
H/T reader Erik
The Oath Keepers, the anti-government “Patriot” group that mounted an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management at the Bundy Ranch, stationed armed guards outside of military recruitment centers after the Chattanooga shooting, and unsettled Ferguson protestors when they showed up carrying assault weapons, is now offering anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis a “security detail” to protect her from further arrest if she continues to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.
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.”
Staver claimed that Davis was merely seeking the “simple accommodation” that her name be removed from marriage licenses in the county — a new line from the attorney who has been urging public officials to defy the marriage equality decision lest they run afoul of God’s law .
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.
This is the moment that Staver has been waiting for. The former dean of Liberty University’s School of Law has repeatedly urged public officials to break the law when it comes to gay marriage, and with Davis he finally has his test case.
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.
1) Labels Gays ‘Demonic’
For Staver, the battle against gay rights is part of a spiritual war, since he believes that the gay rights movement is “doing the bidding of the Devil” and is part of the spirit of the Antichrist and “demonic.”
2) Defends Bans On Homosexuality
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.”
4) Thinks Gays Will Force Us To Be Gay
Prior to the 2012 election, Staver warned that the Obama administration was planning to impose “in-your-face forced homosexuality” upon the nation.
He also charged that society would “just simply cease to exist” under marriage equality.
5) Paints Gays As Child Molesters
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.”
In 2013, Staver claimed that gay marriage would be “the beginning of the end of America.”
10) Wants War To Fight Gay Marriage
Staver’s opposition to gay marriage is so fierce that he has even threatened to wage a revolution to fight it:
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.
He said that while he would prefer a non-violent revolution, “you never know what happens.”
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.”
Swanson also revealed his plan to invite Davis to his National Religious Liberties Conference, which will take place in Iowa in November.
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 once again 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.