I’ve resisted saying anything about Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who is still refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay people. The legalization of gay marriage happened so quickly, it is no surprise that there are a few problems here and there.
It doesn’t matter if she isn’t much of a poster child for religious piety, that’s not the point. The point is, nobody is above the law. Nobody is forcing her to issue marriage licenses for gay people. If she, an elected official, cannot follow the law and perform her job, she should resign. But Davis has taken it one step further and won’t even let other employees in her office issue marriage licenses. She is not only violating her oath of office, she is forcing her beliefs on other people and making them violate the law. Not to mention her forcing her beliefs on gay people. I’m glad she is going to jail.
But that’s not why I’m writing this post. What really pisses me off is that people who are running for the presidency are praising what she is doing, supporting her, and encouraging others to join her. Mike Huckabee called her up and thanked her for standing up to “judicial tyranny”. “I salute her today, and I stand with her. I thank God for Kim Davis, and I hope more Americans will stand with her.”
Rand Paul also praised her, saying “I think people who do stand up and are making a stand to say that they believe in something is an important part of the American way.” And Bobby Jindal says “I don’t think anyone should have to choose between following their conscience and religious beliefs and giving up their job and facing financial sanctions.” Nut case Ted Cruz said “Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny.” He also called on “every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis.”
These people are hypocrites and are not qualified to be president. Yes, people making a stand for something they believe in is a part of the American way, but those people are prepared to go to jail for their beliefs, and have. However, these candidates don’t think Davis should have to face any consequences. They think she should be above the law.
This is not about religious freedom. As the lawyer for one of the couples denied a marriage license put it, “religious liberty is not a sword with which government, through its employees, may impose particular religious beliefs on others.” The point is that religious freedom doesn’t give you the right to impose your beliefs on others against their will, and deny them equal protection under the law. That is not religious freedom, that is religious intolerance.
Imagine for a moment if Kim Davis was not a Christian, but a Muslim or a faithful member of many other religions, and was refusing to do her job because it violated her religious beliefs. These same presidential candidates would be calling for Davis’ head.
Religious freedom does not mean you are above the law. If your religion prohibits marriages between a believer and a non-believer (as many branches of Islam do), you can’t refuse to issue marriage licenses to such a couple. If interest on loans is against your religion (as it is in Islam) that doesn’t excuse you from paying it. If your religion practices animal sacrifice, that doesn’t mean you can violate laws against animal cruelty. If your religion uses illegal drugs in its ceremonies, you will still be arrested. It doesn’t matter how “sincerely held” your beliefs are. Not one bit.