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“God’s Authority” Has No Place In Civil Government

| September 7, 2015

kim davis gay marriage jail

Kim Davis, above the law.

The South has a long history of mistaking Supreme Court decisions for something closer to opinion columns than laws. You can disagree with an opinion column like this one, as the comment section below will soon attest. But you must abide by laws. Southerners sometimes have a hard time with the concept. Andrew Jackson almost 200 years ago defied a court decision that ordered the state of Georgia out of Indian affairs. George Wallace a half century ago thought segregation his god-given right to impose in defiance of supreme court decisions to the contrary. (We owe Wallace the rebirth of Confederate finger-flipping on government grounds.)

pierre tristam column flaglerlive.com flaglerlive More recently several southern states found ways either to challenge Obamacare, undermine it or refuse to implement life-saving components like Medicaid expansion.  Without looking too far, Bunnell’s city government every year snubs court decisions by itself sponsoring, rather than merely participating in, its explicitly Christian “day of prayer.”  

Now we have a self-righteous clerk of court in Kentucky, married four times, divorced three,  refusing to marry gays and lesbians. Kim Davis doesn’t think the recent supreme court decision legalizing gay marriage applies to her because in her world god’s law ranks higher. A federal judge sent her to jail. She could have avoided that had she allowed other clerks in the office to issue licenses, a common sense compromise that skirts the legalities while generously giving religious objectors a way to marry job and belief, however intolerant the belief or illegal the arrangement. But she refused even that much, signaling that this is really not a deep personal belief sort of thing as much as a dogma she wants imposed on people seeking a marriage license as much as on fellow-employees seeking to accommodate them. (Several deputies started issuing licenses Friday, against her orders. Davis’s lawyer claims the licenses are “not worth the paper they’re written on.”)

Davis is not the problem. She’s a symptom of a new and viral movement–and by viral I mean diseased rather than popular–that seeks to carve out religious objections all over the law books, turning the First Amendment on its head and making civil government a vassal of religious edicts rather than a protection against them, as it was intended to be. It is an attempt to dismantle the secular state in the name of personal or corporate religious “preferences,” the euphemism used to cover what amounts to exclusion and discrimination in, of all things, god’s name.

Conservatives revile affirmative action–except when it comes to religion. Religious organizations that have long profited from tax exemptions are now adding increasing numbers of exemptions from regulations to skirt laws, standards, inspections and transparency everyone else must to comply with. That’s how Hobby Lobby, aided by the five cardinal-robed Catholic majority on the Supreme Court,  denied its employees contraception they’re owed under federal health insurance laws. It’s how parents keep their children from being vaccinated while weakening public health’s immunities. It’s how Florida lawmakers justified the foul attempt earlier this year to legally ban transgenders from using the bathroom of their choice. It’s how sectarian child care centers in Florida can legally evade inspections. It’s what’s kept federal stem-cell research shackled to religiously imposed restrictions of zero scientific validity.

June’s Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage was a great victory for gays and lesbians and a civil rights landmark. But it’s become the rallying cause of  America’s mullahs, among them most of this year’s Republican candidates for president, to further put Christianity above the law, or at least subject the law to religious tests. That’s where Kim Davis got her spiel about god’s authority trumping the law of the land. The Taliban, ISIS and Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabites make the same claim, but since they do it in Arabic we tend to miss the connection.

As long as we’re talking marriage, morals, god’s law and religious exemptions, could Muslims seeking to marry four wives or Mormons seeking to marry 40 now have that right under the guise of religious privilege? Could North African immigrants have the right to snip off their daughter’s clitoris? Could a Hindu wife immolate herself on her husband’s pyre during a home-baked funeral in suburban Somewhereorother? Since the First Amendment could now so easily be flouted, could any of a million Southern nostalgists revive slavery and cite biblical edicts to trump the 13th? Could wife-beaters unite behind St. Paul’s misogyny for their next defense in court? For that matter could a humanist fireman who finds dogmatic Christians particularly revolting refuse to answer the call at Southern Baptist church blaze?

Absurd scenarios every one of them, at least in the United States. But no less absurd than the Kim Davises of the world who claim their version of god’s authority trumps the nation’s secular laws.

I would have more respect for people like Davis if she invoked the country’s long tradition of civil disobedience. But the giveaway is in the word civil. It’s an appeal not to god or any other otherworldly abstraction, but to civil and human rights. Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus not because she felt she had a god-given right to ride up front, but because she wanted the same rights whites had, here and now. She was seeking equal access. She wanted her piece of the 14th Amendment.

If the civil rights movement often did conflate rights with god, it was a god of inclusion and universal respect. The god being invoked in disputes over gay marriage would be unrecognizable to the civil rights movement, or to anyone who’s invoked god in the context of civil or human rights. It’s a resentful, angry, petty god, a god of hate rather than a god of love. The Constitution certainly protects counterfeit Christians no matter what they believe. What it does not do is allow the corruption of government that serves us all by those individual beliefs. It’s the difference between permissible ignorance and ignorance granted the force of law. The gospel according to Kim Davis, in other words, has no place in civil government.

But we haven’t heard the last of that crock.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him on Twitter @PierreTristam.A version of this piece aired on WNZF.

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120 Responses for ““God’s Authority” Has No Place In Civil Government”

  1. m&m says:

    She has a lot of guts and beliefs and I applaud for that. I do not support the gay movement but I don’t think jail is the right place for her.

    • Citizen one says:

      @m&m. She has a lot of guts and beliefs and you can applaud her for that, but jail time is the RIGHT place for her. She not only disobeyed the court of law but imposed her “personal” belief that masks her disgusting discrimination against humans. Who gave her the right to judge what’s constitute a marriage? The law has spoken and she must be held accountable like every other public servant. Because what’s more dangerous? A.) Gay rights or B.) A rogue government official that can’t be held accountable?

      Very respectfully,

      Citizen One

  2. Robert says:

    Three questions/comments to the author: 1) why do you refer to “God” with a lower case “g?” Since it is done many times, I assume it is done on purpose, 2) sixth paragraph – what is a “lexbian?”, and 3) you make some references to “conservatives, right-wing religious groups, etc” – why did you not mention that this woman (Kim Davis) is a registered Democrat? Just wondering.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Robert, 1) god is not a person but concept, like love, happiness or dread. At least that’s how I see god. You may see it differently, and if I were to quote your concept I’d be happy to capitalize god then, out of deference to how you see him, her or whatever. But just as I’ve long ago abandoned my Catholic upbringing’s imposition of what god is or isn’t, you can’t very well expect me to accept yours or Kim Davis’s. Isn’t this what this piece is partly about? b) that was a typo. Thanks for flagging it (seven of our usual 12 proof-readers are off for the holiday and clearly the other five have already had too much to drink). 3) I referred to Davis as a conservative. Surely you know the history of conservative Democrats, or that the South’s legacy of conservative Democrats like Davis has been the backbone of the Republican resurgence since Reagan. Florida’s Democrats outnumber its Republicans too, that hasn’t stopped it from being a one-party state led in large part by Davis-like mullahs and mullettes.

      • Kip says:

        Isn’t Christianity, Muslim, Skiff, Jewish religions a concept, and God, Allah, ect. the “person” or higher power they pray to. So grammatically you should capitalize the name God as it refers to someone. Much like I would capitalize the Peter from a story.

    • Ron says:

      This is what she said accepting her present (?) position. Following her election, Davis told the Morehead News, “My words can never express the appreciation but I promise to each and every one that I will be the very best working clerk that I can be and will be a good steward of their tax dollars and follow the statutes of this office to the letter.” Uh, when did the flip occur?

  3. Ceaser things to Ceaser says:

    Kim Davis took a state/government job she knows what’s expected of her. One doesn’t agree to go to war and suddenly scoff at the idea of having to carry a weapon and kill. Simple remedy resign and move on.

    • Ronnie says:

      I wonder what the reaction would be if a pacifist was in her position and refused to issue gun permits as they believe in the right to bear arms. Some people who support her now would be up in arms I do believe!

      • Ceaser things to Ceaser says:

        A pacifist shouldn’t take a job that REQUIRES them to comprise their beliefs. When you work for the government you do what they say. It’s obvious one would know that before they sign up.Right or wrong if a law changes to keep up with the times one should remove themselves from the equation so as not to flip flop if they feel that strongly about it.

        • Lancer says:

          So…

          If government legalizes slavery, apartheid, the holocaust, etc. you are to be a good government steward and follow the law?

          This argument did not work at Nurembourg

          • Ceasers things to Ceaser says:

            This woman is the GOVERNMENT she is an arm of the government. If she doesn’t want to represent their system and it compromises with her beliefs she can’t be part of it! You can’t ride the fence or have it both ways. Do what they want or quit and go or stay in jail. That’s what happened in some cases during the holocaust. Many refused to heil Hitler, make uniforms and weapons for war or even enlist to fight for Hitler. I bet your ancestors didn’t put up a fight to prevent or abolish slavery anyway?

          • Austin says:

            Your argument is just as ridiculous. There is a fine line for everything like this. Clearly she is wrong and she should do her job as it’s required. The only ones who agree are bigoted conservative whack jobs like her with 4 marriages and an almighty quest to conquer the GAYSS!!!

          • Nancy N. says:

            She has another option – quit. But she’s unwilling to put her money where her mouth is.

          • Samuel L. Bronkowitz says:

            Straight out of the gates and we have our first Godwin.

            Here’s a lesson my dad taught me about civics and politics, as a city councilman for almost 30 years. When you elect to take office, your job is to represent the state and local government through service to the community. When service threatens to step on your sense of ethics, you have one of three choices: abandon your ethics, find a solution that allows you to serve without abandoning your ethics, or resign your position. Kim Davis chose a different path – she chose to not fulfill her elected duties because she felt like issuing marriage licenses to gay couples violated her sense of ethics. In doing so, she broke the social contract she signed when she took office.

            The question you need to ask yourself if this. What do you want in your elected official? Do you want someone that’s there to serve you in their official capacity, or do you want someone who’s there to serve themselves in their official capacity? Kim Davis chose to serve herself and not the public and got slapped by a judge for it in defiance of federal law, when instead she should have found an alternate solution or resigned from office.

  4. Mark Fetz says:

    You might want to read closing of our Constitution. It reads: In the year of our Lord, 1787. Our Founding Fathers would disagree, wholeheartedly.
    Separation of church/state isn’t in our Constitution. Jefferson did not even attend the Constitutional Convention, although he did attend church in the Capital, along with James Madison.

    • Ceasers things to Ceaser says:

      The point is you can’t serve two Gods. If a persons worship is a way of life then one would be expected not to put themselves in situations where they would allows mans rule to override their convictions.

      Case in point Abedʹnego Shaʹdrach, and Meʹshach friends of the prophet Daniel did not bow down to the kings idol as everyone else did. Not even with threat and then action of being thrown in a furnace. They didn’t work for him but when they realized live now or offend their God they chose death if need be. This is different because this woman took a job from the king/the government, this is beyond paying taxes she does a job for them not God. I know of people who wouldn’t secularly work in a factory that supported making war products or porn products. No not a pacifist or a prude just people that refaining from certain employment is following what Jesus said “my people are no part of this world”. I know many more who don’t take jobs because it interferes with their everyday worship but they still mange to support their family’s and now bum off of their church. The problem is the current state of so-called Christianity/Religion and its followers is that they want to pick and choose when they want to practice worship and sin, not just making everyday mistakes we all sin and make mistakes, but practice sin or live a double life or be a weekend zealot. Then they act like gay people and Muslims are the problem. When it’s the religious leaders that are called a Harlot in the Bible prostituting themselves to the governments giving mixed messages to fit their agenda.

    • Knightwatch says:

      Read the damn First Amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. This is freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Then research legal opinions since. It’s all there.

      • Ceasers things to Ceaser says:

        I don’t have to read the first Amendment to know the government can flip flop when it wants to, no matter what your led to believe “Congress shall not do”. This is what happens when you put your trust in men rather then God. Jeremiah 10:23 (CEB) I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own, that we’re not able to direct our paths.

        • snapperhead says:

          Does this “God” have a websilte or something so I can see his position on real issues like global warming, taxes,education, infrastructure, campaign reform, term limits,economic development, Isis, etc etc etc…? Before I put my trust in this “God” I need to know where he stands.

  5. I’d hate to be on a boat with Pierre. He leans so far left that we would capsize for sure.

  6. Gia says:

    Amen on that. Religion is a private matter & don’t mixed it with gov. business.

  7. Tim Stanford says:

    I’ll bring the life jacket.

  8. Those founding fathers Mark speaks of were flawed human beings and never leaned so far right as some conservatives do today. I’d gladly get in a boat with Pierre (and anybody else with an open mind and a kind heart)

    • w.ryan says:

      I doubt highly that our founding fathers would support Gay marriage. It’s not an open mind that I see in Pierre but a practical one.

  9. Knightwatch says:

    This woman flat out disgusts me. She and her god have nothing to say about the legal right of two people in America to marry, regardless of gender. She has no god-given right to disobey the law. We are a nation built on secular law derived from English common law and our own Constitution. Her god, or anyone else’s, is completely irrelevant to and specifically excluded from our legal system.

    And that brings me to the Huckster and his like-minded bible-thumping wingnuts who contend that their god’s “laws” trump (no pun intended) our nation’s secular laws. Bull feathers! Think of, and fear, an America in which “sincerely held” religious beliefs supercede the law. Whose religion rules — Islam, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Wiccan? Who decides who’s right – some supreme Ayatollah? None of those folks want an agreement with Iran to prevent war, yet seem to wish for their theocratic government. Good luck there. We’re not buying it.

  10. Their “Lord” was not who you think he was. This country was founded by freemasons.

  11. sw says:

    Kentuckys finest @ work here

  12. Mike Bencal says:

    In order to be consistent, those who support this clerk must also support Muslims when they invoke Sharia law.

  13. Bob says:

    One sentence in your liberal rambling upsets me. That is the one about parents not getting their children vaccinated. I do believe they should, but if you’re suggesting the government requiring them to, then we are treading into dangerous territory.

    • Samuel L. Bronkowitz says:

      I disagree. Immunization isn’t just there to protect the child, it’s also there to prevent the child from being a disease vector. That is a social responsibility that a lot of people overlook because a child that’s carrying something can give what they have to children that are under the recommended immunization age. At the very least, there needs to be punitive civil consequences for not choosing to immunize because your behavior isn’t just hurting your family but can potentially hurt society.

      • Bob says:

        That’s the way it is in North Korea and China and the former Soviet Union. Do you want the government to tell you how to live?

        • Samuel L. Bronkowitz says:

          I’ve never really thought about it that way, Bob. You make a great point. Laws that tell you how to live will just push this nation closer and closer towards it being the socialist mecca that Obama seeks. Clearly the solution is to eliminate traffic laws, laws defining rape and murder, and pretty much every other law in existence. Better not pass any law ever, lest be become a Muslim run socialist paradise.

  14. Ron R. says:

    Your column is spot-on, Pierre. Thank you for a very well stated piece.

  15. The founding Fathers fought against religion and wanted a clear separation of church and state.

  16. YankeeExPat says:

    Does God get an assigned Parking space at the Rowan County KY Municipal building?

  17. Ron Haggerty says:

    Following her election, Davis told the Morehead News, “My words can never express the appreciation but I promise to each and every one that I will be the very best working clerk that I can be and will be a good steward of their tax dollars and follow the statutes of this office to the letter.” This is what a hypocrite says after getting a very well paying job. No matter what one’s beliefs our nation is one of laws, man made.

  18. Mark Fetz says:

    Some quotes from our secular humanistic/deist/freemason Founding Fathers: http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755

  19. PeachesMcGee says:

    She was still married to one man while getting impregnated by another man.

    Hypocrite? You decide.

  20. markingthedays says:

    If she truly believes it is wrong to allow gay marriage, she should simply retire and let God provide her all the things her salary used to buy. This is just attention-seeking.

  21. RickG says:

    I fully endorse and accept Pierre’s version of god. Remember he, she or whatever was invented by humans to explain those horrible diseases and disasters in the days of old… oh god was also given good qualities as well as long as you didn’t give god any s–t… then the loving god would condemn you to everlasting burning… what a guy, girl or whatever

  22. Bob says:

    Same sex marriage is not the law of the land……..Congress never voted on it. The Supreme Court upholds the laws, it doesn’t enact them!

    • Lancer says:

      That is correct, Bob. Only not in our day and age where the federal government constantly usurps its authority and has abandoned all concept of the limits placed on it by the Constitution.

      • Nancy N. says:

        You both need to go back to civics class and stop learning your U.S. legal procedure from Fox News.

        The Supreme Court interprets to Constitutionality of laws. In interpreting the constitutionality of the law that was being challenged, it established a legal precedent that says that the Constitution includes the right for same sex marriage.

        The Supreme Court didn’t make a new law. It said that the right already existed in the Constitution, existing law, and any law conflicting with that was thus illegal under our form of government, where the Constitution itself is the highest law of the land.

        This is no different than the many Supreme Court decisions in the past declaring on things like school desegregation, mixed raced marriage, and other civil rights issues. I suppose you think we should go back to the days too when mixed race couples couldn’t marry?

        • Bob says:

          Nancy I suggest you read “Men In Black” by Mark Levin. He knows a bit more about the constitution and Supreme Court than you.

          • Nancy N. says:

            “Men In Black” is nothing but the rantings of a conservative who doesn’t like the things the Supreme Court does because they disagree with his personal bigotry. He’s an originalist who doesn’t see the Constitution as a living breathing document that evolves with the passing of the centuries.

            In Levin’s view of the world, the Supreme Court should be interpreting the Constitution the way it would have been interpreted in the framers’ time in the 18th century – complete with all of the endemic racism, sexism, and lack of technology.

            Originalism is just a way of putting a serious sounding academic face on what is underneath just bigotry and opposition to progress. It’s a farce. Lipstick on a pig.

  23. Jack D. Howell says:

    I respect Kim Davis’s religious beliefs. However, she took a political office and must uphold the law. Davis has made her position clear so she belongs in jail as a result of her actions and contempt. I strongly believe that the governor needs to remove her from office. Letting her resign is the easy way out.

    • Charles F. Ericksen, Jr says:

      But resigning is the government”s solution to any poor performance. When was the last time anyone was FIRED?

  24. Geezer says:

    Kim Davis doesn’t seem to be one to hold a claim on any moral high ground.
    She could have deferred to other clerks to process the same-sex nuptials.
    Better yet – she should have performed her duties in a non-judgemental manner.
    Unprofessional, unkempt, and plain ‘ol stupid will be her lasting legacy.

  25. Haha! That was just ridiculous. Freedom of religion. Didn’t try to prevent them anything just didn’t want her name in it so they put her in jail? That is just ridiculous. I think we have a bunch of Christian phobics

  26. Tim Stanford says:

    Face it our founding fathers were racist who did not believe in women’s rights.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Beyond the legal scope of her duties as a court clerk, Ms Davis is discriminating against, and denying service to, a selected class of citizens based on her own personal religious beliefs. Her particular manner of worship does not grant her the right to discriminate against other human beings, any more than some court clerk would have had the right to deny HER a license to legally marry because she happened to be pregnant with another man’s child at the time SHE applied for one, no matter what THAT court clerk’s religious beliefs happened to be. Ms Davis needs to stop praying in her jail cell and practice, instead, putting herself in the shoes of her fellow human beings. From what I have been told about his teachings, I think that is what Jesus would probably advise her to do.

  28. Ira Heller says:

    From Justice Hugo Black writing for the SCOTUS majority in Everson vs. Board of Education (1947): “The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another . . . in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and State’ . . . That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”

    She is free to practice her religion in her personal life, but in her role as a government employee, she is not entitled to force her religious beliefs on the citizens of Rowan County, especially when by doing so she deprives them of a right defined by the Supreme Court, which declared bans against same-sex marriage unconstitutional. She is in jail for defying several court orders and preventing her subordinates from fulfilling their jobs. If she cannot fulfill her civil duties as a clerk of the court, she should resign.

    What if a civil servant, charged with issuing licenses of all kinds, found G-d, and decided that their issuing of a gun license violated their religious convictions of Thou Shalt Not Kill?

  29. Anominity ike says:

    What was she charged with? If she was thrown in jail, im interested in what she was xharged with??

  30. DwFerg says:

    The issue is Jail, not God. How does one explain all the criminals on the street on bail or without any seeming penalty(the deserter Bergdahl comes to mind). Let’s face it, the issue is political, the gay movement has steam, momentum,public opinion among younger people,and a supreme court decision in its favor, the opposition has centuries of tradition in theirs. Social Change can be transformative and accepted, or vehemently opposed.(like marijuana legality) Some people prefer to fight the tide on whatever principles they stand on. Who should judge ? Flagler Live or its readers ? Sheer provocative opinion is to be found throughout the article and the comments above. Just like mine !

  31. theevoice says:

    HIS authority is the only one that matters..our original constitution and bill of rights is based on the BIBLE..amen

  32. liberal says:

    ” It’s a resentful, angry, petty god, a god of hate rather than a god of love.” You couldn’t have said it better.

    There are over 4,000 religions in this world, which one is the correct one? Keep them all out of government.

  33. m&m says:

    God has been the backbone of this nation. He’s on coins, in national songs, in mottos etc. It’s only been the last 7 years since the white house was taken over by muslims and decided to destroy this nation. does anyone still believe there is a GOD??????

    • Geezer says:

      “does anyone still believe there is a GOD??????”

      Yeah, the “Muslims.”
      They definitely believe in God.

    • MarieS says:

      She’s a hypocrite. married 4x with different baby daddy’s? Who voted for this harlot?
      this hypocritical hillbilly is being paid $80,000 yearly shoving her self righteous, moral code on the voters is impeachable.
      Impeach her. She doesn’t deserve the position.

    • anon2 says:

      m&m: the coins of which you speak were not at the backbone, but somewhere at the rear end when it came to bearing a motto about god. In fact the god motto did not appear until 1864.

  34. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    Comparing Ms. Davis to the Hobby Lobby case is disingenous. The Government was trying to force the private owners of Hobby Lobby to pay for something that their religious belief forbade, whereas Ms. Davis is the Government and is trying to use her position to enforce her religious beliefs on others. Jail is where she should be, until she either resigns her position or agrees to carry out her Government duties in accordance with the law, regardless of her religious beliefts. She has a right to hold whatever religious beliefs she desires, she does not however have the right to force those beliefs on others, much as the Federal Government cannot force Hobby Lobby to pay for one type of birth control, which is readily available to it’s employees via other means, when it violates their beliefs.

  35. Samuel L. Bronkowitz says:

    It’s my understanding that her mother held the position that she does now for something like 40 years before she retired. How did she feel about letting blacks marry whites?

  36. Amom says:

    She is NOT courageous. If she was, she would resign. She disgusts me. Moreover, she denied the clerks who worked for her the right to express their beliefs by issuing licenses.
    Great article.

  37. Brad W says:

    I agree with you, Pierre, on a great many things . . . but this one I do not. Mainly I disagree because of this quote “turning the First Amendment on its head and making civil government a vassal of religious edicts rather than a protection against them, as it was intended to be.”

    Like many, you look at the first amendment from an interpretation that is false and that it was meant to keep religion out of government. The fact is that the first amendment was designed and worded for the specific purpose of protecting religious freedom. Because without religious freedom, a society can not be free.

    Thomas Jefferson knew this as well. When approached with the suggestion that we identify a national religion he returned his opinion and coined the infamous phrase in his response of “the separation of Church and State”. Many like to throw this phrase around as the lazy-man’s way of trying to silence the religious voice. But this opinion by Jefferson is so often misinterpreted in my opinion. Jefferson was pointing out that religious freedom, and the free expression thereof, is paramount to a society being free. Only a blind person could not see this, because what is the first thing any oppressive regime does to control the people . . . they squash religious freedom.

    Religion is not membership in a club. It is a value system that is a part of a person’s very being. It is not a list of rules that one can choose to follow in one environment and pick back up in another, because the teachings are not “rules” at all . . . it is about how one lives. Yet many have some perverse idea that people should be something they are not simply because they work in our government.

    Laws are written on paper and not stone for a reason. And laws can be amended and even overturned for a reason. And that reason is for our protection. The first amendment allows us the right to speak out against that which we feel is unjust. So many want to throw around the “first amendment” right to freedom of speech when it is in favor of their argument, but the same right should not apply who speaks out against what they feel is wrong or unjust simply because it opposes what appears to be popular today? Who should we appoint to speak out? Should we require all government employees to be silent in their opinions? For is we do, why not just throw away our Constitution entirety and become like the societies so many continue to flee and come here.

    Religion does have a place in government and the religious voice has a place in the public square. We should not be seeking to squelch that, but rather seeking to protect it at all costs. Because if we can not have religious freedom, the free expression of that religion in all settings, and the freedom to be who we are at all times; then how can we have any freedom . . . including sexual freedom?

    • Patriot76 says:

      This is where Americans simply lose the Constituiton in translation and your comments in response to Pierre are only further proof of the misrepresentations inherent in the interpretations of the 1st Amendment. Religion does NOT have a place in government just as government does NOT have a place in religion. The idea of a secular government (separation of church and state) is essential to maintain both establishments of man – most of our founders knew this and yet we continue to debate and complicate what really is not.

      We also bastardized the words of others because we fail to educate ourselves on the context of the Constitution and the debate our founders had hundreds of years ago. It was a debate as they didn’t all agree, but what they did agree on was a majority, democratic decision to provide a legal means for separating the organized establishment of government and church.

      If a politician walked into your congregation and started spewing “liberal” rhetoric – would you not feel your religious practice has been infringed?? It is the same with government – when you step into public office swearing a legal oath to uphold the laws and Constituition, you leave your practice at home and do your legal obligations.

      Religion drives morals and values, which drive policy (in theory). But those morals and values are vetted in a public arena by the people under God. We do not allow one person or another to speak for God – but God speaks through us when we as a collective pursue the right discourse.

      So please, continue to preach your hate for liberals and Obama or any other scapegoat you identify as the cause for your lack of education and ignorance. The irony here is not your lack of knowledge on the Constitution or the law, but your lack of understanding of God and determination to speak for him, rather than listen to him through others.

  38. Marlee says:

    Like mother, like daughter. Like mother, like son.

    1. Davis has only held office as the Rowan Country clerk since January. (registered Democrat)
    2 Her mother was county clerk for 37 years. Davis was her deputy for 26 of those years.
    3. Her son is one of her deputies.

  39. groot says:

    Agree, church and state should be totally separate. Regardless of her personal beliefs, she should have just issued the licenses. This could be shaping up as a test case. Huckabee is supposed to be there today to add support and defense. It’s a classic natural law v enacted law case. There has been nothing like this since Scopes trial which was right down the road from Kentucky.

    • Lancer says:

      So…Christians or others who practice religious beliefs cannot, or should not, seek political office?

      There is NO such thing as separation of church and state. That doesn’t exist.

      The founders stated there would be no state sponsored religion.

      Leftists have been easily confused, misguided and incorrect about this matter for decades. Makes you wonder what else they haven’t thought through.

      • Aves says:

        They shouldn’t seek an office where they might have to do something they morally disagree with, so that they don’t have to be caught between secular laws and religious ones.

        I’m a pacifist. I don’t want to shoot a gun or kill people. I would never enlist in the military or run for a government office where I would have to pass out gun licenses, because to do those things would make me violate my morals. So I take myself out of that position.

  40. Satan says:

    So many “Godless Heathens” in this forum. I guess this would be a good time to ask a favor of all you “non religious” humans………Can I have your SOULS ? You don’t need them anymore.

    Your Friend
    SATAN

  41. Anonymous says:

    It’s been a real circus here in Kentucky. I expect her to switch to a Republican after Mike Huckabee’s visit today. Who knows, they may run her for Governor or US Congress. If a Catholic, who doesn’t approve of divorce, were in office would they have a right to deny a marriage license?

  42. Jason says:

    Should she be in jail? Maybe, maybe not. What does her holy book say about those who commit adultery, let me check ………………… ouch, I think she’s getting off light.

  43. Kevin says:

    Already in this country, religious zealots are refusing to serve certain meats or alcohol at restaurants and on planes to customers because it is against the server’s religion…how far do the right wing wackos want to take this foolish argument? No one is preventing Ms Davis from practicing her religion on the contrary the courts are preventing her from having her beliefs imposed on society. If she were issuing a license from her church I would be fully with her but she is a government official and the government has no religion dictating beliefs. She can resign or comply those are her options. If she is such a woman of faith why would she want to work in such an evil field of work as government anyway?

  44. Lancer says:

    Congress makes our laws. The Supreme Court interprets them. Congress has NEVER passed a law authorizing homosexual marriage. The supreme court has usurped its authority. Just because you “want” homosexual marriage doesn’t mean the way our laws are passed has been changed.

    Second…there is no such thing as separation of church and state. It doesn’t exist and makes no logical sense whatsoever. Were that the case, no one who practices their religion would, could or should be elected or hold office. The founders simply said that there would be no state sponsored religion and one was free to practice their religion. During the time of our founding, the Catholic Church was deeply involved in many European countries and it was not deemed prudent for the United States.

    Third, the government is not always correct. Slavery, apartheid, the holocaust, all were authorized by the government. It didn’t make it right. What if she ran on this issue and her constituents voted her in office because of her beliefs and will to not issue these marriage certificates?

    What is being completely overlooked is that the Federal government has usurped its authority, is not abiding by the constitution and is becoming more tyrannical with every passing day. All the loving socialists in this forum ignore the historical cycles that after socialism, there is a despot. Today, you may be in the cheering section but, tomorrow you’ll be on the chopping block.

    That is exactly what our republic was established to prevent. That is, “if we could keep it”, as Ben Franklin said.

    • Bob says:

      Thank you Lancer for a sensible statement on this subject!

    • Knightwatch says:

      Lancer, I’ll try to be kind here. You should have spent more time in civics class. So here’s a belated lesson from Wiki. “The first amendment to the US Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” The two parts, known as the “establishment clause” and the “free exercise clause” respectively, form the textual basis for the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the “separation of church and state” doctrine. Three central concepts were derived from the 1st Amendment which became America’s doctrine for church-state separation: no coercion in religious matters, no expectation to support a religion against one’s will, and religious liberty encompasses all religions. In sum, citizens are free to embrace or reject a faith, any support for religion – financial or physical – must be voluntary, and all religions are equal in the eyes of the law with no special preference or favoritism.”

      Did you read that … no coercion in religious matters; citizens are free to embrace or reject a faith, any support for religion must be voluntary; no expectation to support a religion. All to ensure no American citizen can be coerced or intimidated by a state or individual-sponsored religion. Love that Constitution!

      As to that clerk in Kentucky, the Supreme Court ruled that there is no, repeat, no constitutional basis to deny the right of two citizens of any gender to marry. The SC did not make a law as some of the ignorant persuasion contend. It merely did its constitutionally-mandated job – interpreting the U.S. Constitution. That clerk’s god and religion, or anyone’s for that matter, have neither standing nor say in this issue. You want to pray, go to church. You want to hold public office, do your job. No god, no religion, no discrimination.

      • Bob says:

        Your source, Wikipedia, is written by anonymous people and can be changed by anyone. Think you better consult a more reliable source!

  45. Bill says:

    OK did she not say she would be fine with all this IF the State could take her Name off the licenc? Also why do we need permision from Government to get married? I agree with those calling for the seperation of State and Religion. our Constitution calls for it it demands it but NOT how the left see it. the Constitution does not want Government interfering in our religion no matter what one chooses.

  46. Nancy N. says:

    Here’s the thing: I see a lot of people, here and elsewhere, saying that marriage is a religious institution. I see Kim Davis saying that doing her job is against her religion.

    You know what I DON’T see? Any one of these people willing to put their money where their mouth is and give up their jobs or the 1100 benefits that registering their marriage with the government confers.

    You think marriage is a religious institution? Fine, then go to your church, get the priest to bless you, and don’t register with the government. You are engaged in “holy matrimony” and not that icky government “marriage” that is now tainted by those sinful gays.

    Enjoy living in the non-existent legal relationship status hell that the LGBT community has been consigned to until now. See how YOU like it.

    • Lancer says:

      Marriage is, indeed, religious. The government made marriage their issue.

      Try doing some research.

      • Nancy N. says:

        I did some research, first hand. I actually got married. By a notary public. In a theme park. With no priest or church in sight. No mention of any deity involved.

        Explain again how marriage is de facto religious?

        • Lancer says:

          Marriage existed BEFORE government. Government made marriage its business, Nancy. That’s the point.

          Why does government need to be between the promise and commitment of my wife and I?

          Wait! Taxes.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I propose that we declare Ms. Davis’s (current) marriage to be null and void, seeing as she was actively breaking God’s law when she was granted HER (4th) marriage license (while pregnant with an out of wedlock child.) If judgments are to be made, let’s make them across the board.

  48. Patriot76 says:

    After my last comments I realized that maybe I won’t get through to some people on the “other side” until I put things into words they can understand – I am highly offended by the growing Baptist / Protestant right-wing / new-conservative movement in this country and it offends not only my sense of Constitutional dignity, but also my beliefs as a Catholic (you know, Christs church)..

    The comments in support of this woman who claims to speak for God are in direct conflict with my personal strong religious beliefs so guess what – your comments don’t hold any water – holy or otherwise.

    Let’s call a spade a spade – Extremist Baptists and Protestants in this country are to blame for the bigotry of the Christian group

  49. I/M/O says:

    The only point here is the Supreme Court has no Constitutional authority to pass any law. Only a legislature can do that. Congress has no authority to pass such laws. So if Kentucky and other States such as Ohio have not passed Gay Marriage Laws then it is up to the State Legislatures of those States to bring their Constitutions in line with this court ruling and no hide behind it that Judges have passed a law.

  50. Sherry E says:

    Those commenting that the Supreme court cannot “make” laws, need to understand that they have the ultimate power to declare ANY law UNCONSTITUTIONAL:

    http://www.fjc.gov/federal/courts.nsf/autoframe!openform…/courts…/287
    The power of judicial review makes the Supreme Court’s role in our government vital. Judicial review is the power of any court, when deciding a case, to declare that a law passed by a legislature or an action of an executive branch officer or employee is invalid because it is inconsistent with the Constitution.

  51. Sherry E says:

    Should our country be led by religious zealots. . . REALLY???? We should never forget. . . here is just a sample of historical Christian atrocities:

    . Emperor Karl (Charlemagne) in 782 had 4500 Saxons, unwilling to convert to Christianity, beheaded. [DO30]
    . Peasants of Steding (Germany) unwilling to pay suffocating church taxes: between 5,000 and 11,000 men, women and children slain 5/27/1234 near Altenesch/Germany. [WW223]
    . Battle of Belgrad 1456: 80,000 Turks slaughtered. [DO235]
    . 15th century Poland: 1019 churches and 17987 villages plundered by Knights of the Order. Victims unknown. [DO30]
    . 16th and 17th century Ireland. English troops “pacified and civilized” Ireland, where only Gaelic “wild Irish”, “unreasonable beasts lived without any knowledge of God or good manners, in common of their goods, cattle, women, children and every other thing.” One of the more successful soldiers, a certain Humphrey Gilbert, half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, ordered that “the heddes of all those (of what sort soever thei were) which were killed in the daie, should be cutte off from their bodies… and should bee laied on the ground by eche side of the waie”, which effort to civilize the Irish indeed caused “greate terrour to the people when thei sawe the heddes of their dedde fathers, brothers, children, kinsfolke, and freinds on the grounde”.
    . Tens of thousands of Gaelic Irish fell victim to the carnage. [SH99, 225]
    Crusades (1095-1291)

    . First Crusade: 1095 on command of pope Urban II. [WW11-41]
    . Semlin/Hungary 6/24/96 thousands slain. Wieselburg/Hungary 6/12/96 thousands. [WW23]
    9/9/96-9/26/96 Nikaia, Xerigordon (then turkish), thousands respectively. [WW25-27]
    . Until Jan 1098 a total of 40 capital cities and 200 castles conquered (number of slain unknown) [WW30]
    after 6/3/98 Antiochia (then turkish) conquered, between 10,000 and 60,000 slain. 6/28/98 100,000 Turks (incl. women & children) killed. [WW32-35]
    . Here the Christians “did no other harm to the women found in [the enemy’s] tents—save that they ran their lances through their bellies,” according to Christian chronicler Fulcher of Chartres. [EC60]
    Marra (Maraat an-numan) 12/11/98 thousands killed. Because of the subsequent famine “the already stinking corpses of the enemies were eaten by the Christians” said chronicler Albert Aquensis. [WW36]
    Jerusalem conquered 7/15/1099 more than 60,000 victims (jewish, muslim, men, women, children). [WW37-40]
    (In the words of one witness: “there [in front of Solomon’s temple] was such a carnage that our people were wading ankle-deep in the blood of our foes”, and after that “happily and crying for joy our people marched to our Saviour’s tomb, to honour it and to pay off our debt of gratitude”)
    The Archbishop of Tyre, eye-witness, wrote: “It was impossible to look upon the vast numbers of the slain without horror; everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, and the very ground was covered with the blood of the slain. It was not alone the spectacle of headless bodies and mutilated limbs strewn in all directions that roused the horror of all who looked upon them. Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot, an ominous sight which brought terror to all who met them. It is reported that within the Temple enclosure alone about ten thousand infidels perished.” [TG79]
    . Christian chronicler Eckehard of Aura noted that “even the following summer in all of palestine the air was polluted by the stench of decomposition”. One million victims of the first crusade alone. [WW41]
    Battle of Askalon, 8/12/1099. 200,000 heathens slaughtered “in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ”. [WW45]
    . Fourth crusade: 4/12/1204 Constantinople sacked, number of victims unknown, numerous thousands, many of them Christian. [WW141-148]
    . Rest of Crusades in less detail: until the fall of Akkon 1291 probably 20 million victims (in the Holy land and Arab/Turkish areas alone). [WW224]

    • Lancer says:

      Interesting, Sherry (actually not).

      It’s interesting that you lay the violence of the entire crusades at the feet of….Christians!

      Apparently, Muslim intent on world domination and their aggression had nothing to do with anything? Siege of Vienna? Charles Martel?

      However, while we’re listing casualty reports…

      How many were slaughtered by the “religion” of Socialist/ Communism throughout history, Sherry?

      Hitler…a National Socialist?
      Stalin…a Communist? How many died in his purges?
      Pol Pot?
      Nicolae Ceaușescu?

      The estimate…100,000,000 purported casualties, Sherry.
      https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM

      That’s right…your love of all encompassing government has slaughtered more people in merely 120 years than religion has in hundreds.

  52. Nalla C says:

    The Supreme Court did not MAKE law here. What they did–and the ONLY thing they did–was expand the scope of eligibility for the purpose of obtaining a marriage license. That law was already made. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to create precedence with case decisions, if the decision affects existing law.

    Existing law, people. The law to obtain a marriage license exists. All the Roberts court said was “you can’t exclude these people from exercising that law” any more if they are otherwise eligible.

    Believe it or don’t. Dispute it all you want, but you’ll be dead wrong if you do.

  53. Nalla C says:

    Kim Davis is a tool and a hypocrite who is being used by despicable swine like Mike Huckabee, to further their morally-bankrupt agenda of hate.

    And NONE of this has a thing to do with “freedom of speech”, nor did the Supreme Court “write a new law”. I swear, more alarming to me than anything after watching this all play out in the court of public opinion is how freakin’ uneducated so many of our fellow citizens are in civics. This is what Free Market Education is doing to us, folks. Embrace it!

  54. Sherry E says:

    Oh Yes, I almost forgot. . . then there was the HOLOCAUST. Hitler was a Catholic and over 95% of the Nazis were Christians. . . Thanks so much Lancer!

    I say again. . . allowing “zealots” of any religion to create our laws and control our nation is insanity!

  55. Sherry E says:

    This oldie but goodie circulating on the internet seems appropriate:

    Dear Dr. Laura,

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

    a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

    g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

    i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

    Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

    Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

  56. God's Child says:

    I am a Christian and I stand by God. He’s a real person and not a concept. I believe in the 10 Commandments. I don’t agree with gay marriage but people can do what they want to do. We have freewill. Everyone has to make their own decisions in life. You are either for God or for Satan. Satan is very busy deceiving people into believing what is good is evil and what is evil is good. I ask you to please read your Bibles and turn toward Jesus.Ask Him into your heart.We don’t have much time left and God will bring judgement on us. I am not perfect just forgiven. Please Please don’t let Satan keep you from enjoying the blessings of heaven. I don’t want anyone to be left behind, yes,I am speaking of the rapture. And it will happen. I don’t know when and anyone who sets a date is wrong. But I do know it will happen sooner than later. Please be ready. Sometime in the future, it says in the Bible every head will bow and every tongue will confess JESUS IS LORD. I know you will think of this and I pray for ALL of us.

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