Following a judge’s order yesterday that Davis remain in custody of U.S. Marshals for continuing to defy the courts, Staver appeared on “Washington Watch” where he once again brought up Nazi tyranny.
“Washington Watch” host Craig James, the Family Research Council official who mentioned his own lawsuit against Fox Sports for terminating his job as a football analyst over comments he made mocking gay rights, said that America is now on a “slippery slope” of anti-Christian persecution and legal organizations like Liberty Counsel need to “confront people who are breaking the law,” which in James’ mind, is not Davis.
Staver accused Davis’ critics of turning America into Nazi Germany: “Back in the 1930s, it began with the Jews, where they were evicted from public employment, then boycotted in their private employment, then stigmatized and that led to the gas chambers. This is the new persecution of Christians here in this country.”
The Liberty Counsel head has previously claimed that respecting gay marriage laws is no different than handing Jews over to the Nazis: “You cannot obey something that is contrary to God's law. And we would easily say, well, what would happen if the government forced you turn over a Jew in Nazi Germany? All of us would say we wouldn't do that, we wouldn't listen to that. Well, we're about ready to walk into the moment.”
Despite progressive victories in 2012, the Right’s outsized influence on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit gives it the power to undermine progressive laws and thwart the agenda that Americans elected President Obama to pursue.
Bryan Fischer says that "Kim Davis is Rosa Parks" while Mat Staver compares her to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
On a related note, Concerned Women for America and the Travis Weber of the Family Research Council blame the Supreme Court for Davis' predicament by issuing its gay marriage ruling in the first place.
Bradlee Dean fumes: "When a sodomite confronts a county clerk for not handing out state licenses in violation of Gods Moral law and calls it bigotry, homophobia or hate, we, as Americans, need to realize that they are willfully ignorant or just plain wicked. And the wicked are those who know the truth, but choose not to obey the truth."
Franklin Graham says that Davis' jailing "is exactly what we feared would result from the Supreme Court's disastrous ruling in June ... As Kim fights this battle, she is really fighting for religious freedom for all of us."
Finally, Bill Federer warns that America is following ancient Rome's road to ruin.
On her radio bulletin today, Linda Harvey of Mission America expressed outrage that Kim Davis had to go to court over her order that the county office not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Instead, Harvey said that such couples should have just went to a different county office where they won’t face discrimination from a public official, all the while insisting that they are fraudulent marriages anyway.
“We must challenge this idea that homosexuality reigns supreme in this country,” she said. “We must speak out against the tyranny that threatens the very fabric of America and how we work, what we teach our children, what we are allowed to say publicly, how we worship and what we are expected to support or else face retaliation.”
Glenn Beck drove to Houston today to attend the funeral for Deputy Darren Goforth, who was ruthlessly gunned down last week at a local gas station.
Joining Beck on the trip was David Barton and his wife Cheryl and, on the way to the funeral, Beck and Barton had a conversation about the jailing of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis for preventing her office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, and Beck uploaded a video of it to his Facebook page.
While Beck said that he sympathizes with Davis, he cannot understand why she has not been fired for refusing to do her job. Barton, predictably, responded by asserting that Davis is entirely in the right to refuse to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because "the Founding Fathers made it real clear that the laws of God are higher than the laws of man."
"This is a law of God. Man's law is not allowed to contradict God's law," Barton said, which means there can be no justification for jailing Davis because she is upholding God's law.
Two years ago, “Trunews” host Rick Wiles wondered if President Obama would use a trip to Jerusalem to “declare himself as God.” While that didn’t happen, Wiles has now offered new evidence that Obama will soon announce his godhood: A dream from a friend.
That was all the proof Wiles needed, citing the dream as evidence that Obama is “evil” as he “said he is a God,” and is bringing about America’s destruction. “This dream is coming true, the time is now,” he said.
Religious Right activists roundly claimed that they were shocked and stunned that a federal judge held Kim Davis in contempt of court, even though the decision was inevitable as Davis had continued to break the law even after the Supreme Court rejected her appeal.
This left many wondering how anyone could be surprised that a judge would actually hold Davis accountable for blatantly violating the law, with some even questioning whether her lawyers at the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel are giving her bad advice in order to turn her case into a fundraising bonanza, with the group even going so far as to tell her to break the law. As one retired judge told the Courier Journal, “I think you have an ethical responsibility to tell your client she doesn’t have a legitimate cause of action.”
Of course, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver has been urging public officials to defy the Supreme Court even before the court issued its landmark marriage equality decision. The group even acknowledged that the marriage equality ruling would “expose Davis to potential liability if she refuses to compromise her religious beliefs and violate her conscience.”
But Davis, who identifies as a born-again Christian, doesn’t seem ignorant at all of the fact that she was breaking the law, as she attempted to convince lawmakers to change Kentucky’s laws on marriage licenses. When that didn’t happen, Davis went ahead anyway in ordering county officials not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing “God’s authority.” According to Davis, “if I left, resigned or chose to retire” from the county clerk position, “I would have no voice for God’s word.”
Davis and her supporters are instead tried to use bizarre legal arguments to back up her case:
1)God’s law trumps U.S. law
Rena Lindevaldsen, a Liberty Counsel attorney, offered insights into the group’s legal thinking when she delivered a lecture to the Liberty University School of Law, which named Lindevaldsen its interim dean after Staver decided to dedicate more time to his work at Liberty Counsel.
Lindevaldsen told students in a speech entitled, “Do Government Officials Have Authority to Impose Their Morals on Others?,” that any law that is not “consistent with Scripture” — or, more accurately, their interpretation of scripture — is no law at all, and therefore, officials are obligated to break such laws since “civil government only has the authority that God has established.”
With this reasoning, Liberty Counsel thinks that officials can impose their morals on others as long as they are acting according to their understanding of the Bible, and therefore don’t need to respect the legalization of same-sex marriage because its unbiblical. “Whether it’s zoning or taxes or marriage or abortion, in those issues, government doesn’t have authority to say that these things are appropriate because they’re contrary to Scripture,” she said.
2) Davis was elected before Obergefell, so she’s exempt
In one positively bizarre defense of Davis, Keith Fournier said that Davis’ oath to uphold the laws only requires her to uphold the laws that were in effect before January 2015, when she was sworn into office.
Some contend that that because Kim Davis works for “the government” she must comply by issuing the license with her name on it. In other words, she loses her right to religious liberty because she has a public position. This fails to consider the crucial fact that when she was elected to her post as the Rowan County Clerk, marriage under Kentucky law was solely between one man and one woman. That was the law she swore to uphold. Then the five oracles of the Supreme Court issued their edict in Obergefell v Hodges, with no basis in the Constitution, past precedent, common sense or the Natural Law.
If this would be the case, then anyone who was elected to office before the Loving v. Virginia case, which struck down state bans on interracial marriage, would then be able to refuse to issue marriage licenses to such couples, or allow officials to block the integration of schools because they took office before Brown v. Board of Education was handed down by the courts.
The injunction operates not against Davis personally, but against the holder of her office of Rowan County Clerk. In light of the binding holding of Obergefell, it cannot be defensibly argued that the holder of the Rowan County Clerk’s office, apart from who personally occupies that office, may decline to act in conformity with the United States Constitution as interpreted by a dispositive holding of the United States Supreme Court.
3)Davis is the only clerk obeying the law
Mike Huckabee has been making the case that Davis is the only clerk upholding the law and that it is actually the vast majority of clerks who are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples are the ones breaking the law.
As Huckabee said on MSNBC yesterday, marriage equality can only be legal in Kentucky if the legislature passes a same-sex marriage bill that the governor signs into law, adding that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision is invalid because the court “cannot overrule the laws of nature and the laws of nature’s God.”
When host Joe Scarborough said that Southern states still had to desegregate their schools after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown, despite the fact that the states still had segregationist laws on the books, Huckabee insisted that “you have to have enabling legislation.”
“The Supreme Court cannot and did not make a law,” he said in a statement. “They only made a ruling on a law. Congress makes the laws. Because Congress has made no law allowing for same sex marriage, Kim does not have the constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples.”
Before Obergefell was decided, Staver insisted that a state “does not have to obey” a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality because it would be “so far removed from the Constitution” that it would cause one to ask if the justices have “literally lost their mind.”
Pat Robertson made the same claim, saying that Davis and others are “not obligated” to follow Obergefell.
4)Gays can just drive to another county
Davis and her lawyers argue that all 20,000 Rowan County residents must accommodate Davis’ personal religious views — views that she ordered all deputy clerks to follow — by driving to another county if they want to access government services.
“You drive 30 minutes in any direction in Kentucky and get a marriage license,” Staver said. “You don’t have to force Kim Davis herself to issue the license.”
And what if the neighboring counties join Davis and the other handful of clerks in refusing to issue marriage licenses? Staver doesn’t seem to know, as he would likely to defend such clerks as well, insisting that it is more reasonable to let one official disregard the law rather than allow taxpayers to receive access to taxpayer-funded services.
5)Anti-religious test for office
While Davis may have exhausted her appeals in the case where couples challenged her refusal to issue them licenses, Liberty Counsel has tried to throw a Hail Mary by filing a lawsuit against the governor, alleging that enforcing the Obergefell is actually unconstitutional since it would “impose a religious test as a qualification to hold the office of county clerk.” The group even argued, like Fournier, that issuing marriage licenses would violate her oath and represent anti-Christian discrimination:
19. Before taking office as County Clerk in January 2015, Davis swore an oath to support the constitutions and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky “so help me God.” Davis understood (and understands) this oath to mean that, in upholding the federal and state constitutions and laws, she would not act in contradiction to the moral law of God, natural law, or her sincerely held religious beliefs and convictions. Davis also understood (and understands) the constitution and laws she swore to uphold to incorporate the constitutional and other legal protections of all individuals’ rights to live and work according to their consciences, as informed by their sincerely held religious beliefs and convictions, including without limitation such rights she holds in her own individual capacity.
20. Davis’s sincerely held religious belief regarding the definition of “marriage” was perfectly aligned with the prevailing marriage policy in Kentucky at the time she took office, as provided in the Kentucky Constitution, Kentucky statutes, and controlling court decisions, and as effected by the Commonwealth through Governor Beshear and Commissioner Onkst.
38. Governor Beshear’s targeted and discriminatory marriage policy pronouncements constitute government-imposed pressure on Davis to act contrary to her religious beliefs, and expose Davis to potential liability if she refuses to compromise her religious beliefs and violate her conscience.
But the Rowan County office is not Kim Davis’ church or her “business,” as she once referred to it. Davis does not have to offer her personal support or approval to same-sex marriage; in fact, she and her church can remain dutifully opposed to such unions, but she cannot stop the government, which has legalized gay marriage, and county clerk deputies from performing job functions just because she has a personal disagreement.
In yet another column defending the Kentucky clerk, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that “perhaps one day, students of history will read not only letters from a Birmingham jail, but letters from a Kentucky jail.” He even likened Judge David Bunning, the Bush-appointee who held Davis in contempt of court, to Bull Connor:
Federal Judge David Bunning did with a gavel what Bull Connor tried to do with dogs and fire hoses. Please...