It’s Kim Davis in a Landslide

Civil rights hero, Kim Davis, and everyone fighting for religious liberty have won a sweeping victory in Kentucky. The Kentucky State House voted 97-0, and the Senate followed with a 36-0 vote to remove a county clerk’s name and title from marriage licenses.

The linked article states:

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said the First Amendment “guarantees Kim and every American the free exercise of religion, even when they are working for the government.”

“County clerks should not be forced to license something that is prohibited by their religious convictions,” Staver said. “To provide a license is to provide approval and places a legal authority behind the signature. We celebrate this legislative victory. County clerks are now able to fully follow the law without being forced to compromise their religious liberty.”

Indeed, as Jewish or Muslim cooks who work for the government cannot be forced to serve pork, nor Jehovah’s Witnesses forced to raise an American flag, Christians should not be forced to endorse acts contrary to their religious faith.

Kentucky’s common-sense law should serve as a model for the rest of the nation to follow. We applaud Kim Davis for her courageous stand and for persevering in the face of the hatred spewed by “tolerant” left-wing Christophobes, and kudos to Governor Matt Bevin for standing by his campaign pledge to fight for religious liberty. We can also applaud the Democrats who participated in the unanimous vote to endorse Christian liberty. If liberal Democrats in Kentucky can see the need for religious accommodation, surely their comrades across the nation can see that as well. I won’t hold my breath.

"It’s not discrimination that’s the problem: it’s unjust discrimination that’s the problem."
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  • Brucehenry

    I’m fine with this compromise if it makes Davis and others of similar opinions feel better, but how is it a “victory” for her? She originally wanted to stop the clerk’s office from issuing licenses for same sex couples to marry, using the fact that her name was on the form as an excuse. She even tried to prevent her assistants from issuing the licenses she refused to issue herself.

    Well, her name will no longer be on the form, but gay people are going to be issued marriage licenses in her county all day long.

  • Brucehenry

    Also, calling Kim Freaking Davis a “civil rights hero” is symptomatic of the weird Orwellian bizarro language modern-day “conservatives” speak. She’s no Rosa Parks, she’s the freakin’ bus driver.

    • Scalia

      I knew that would get your goat, Bruce. You’ve been mostly quiet until my Kim Davis post. I’m glad I coaxed you to come out of hibernation!

      • Brucehenry

        Yeah I haven’t been interested in whether or not an oaf who works for another oaf actually is guilty of an oafish crime or merely an oafish faux pas. So I skipped the Trump threads.

        • Scalia

          I intended to limit my participation there to one comment: A simple reply to pennywit expressing my basic agreement and my observation that David was trying to do a little face-saving. It kinda blossomed from there.

          Trump’s the topic nowadays…fer or agin’.

          • And reduced to being a gammar Nazi.

            Getting better all the time!

          • Brucehenry

            What is a “gammar Nazi”?

          • Commander_Chico

            Ha he corrected the spelling.

          • Scalia

            Well, if you’re going to get technical, your use of the interjection “ha,” should be followed by an exclamation point with “he” being capitalized for the beginning of a new sentence.

      • His butt-hurt is palpable… Well Done!

        • Brucehenry

          It’s “butthurt,” not “butt-hurt.” And learn the rules about when to capitalize.

          It is to laugh.

    • Scalia

      Bruce, freedom of religion is a civil right, and Kim Davis would be considered a hero to many if not most people who support religious liberty. That status is not diminished merely because you don’t like what she stands for, nor is it diminished merely because you think somebody else is a bigger hero than she.

      • Brucehenry

        Of course freedom of religion is a civil right, but Davis is not standing up for religious freedom, she’s merely using her religion as an excuse to discriminate.

        This whole “religious liberty” argument from bigots is more of the Orwellian bizarro language I’ve mentioned.

        http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/files/2015/03/Religious-Liberties-Violated.jpg

        • Scalia

          Ok, two questions. Do you believe that sexual relations between adults and children should be legal? If not, why not?

          Do you believe that female “circumcision” should be legal? Again, if not, why not?

          • Brucehenry

            No because children cannot consent and can be coerced. And nearly always, FGM is practiced on girls who are too young to consent and are coerced into submission to it.

            But those questions have nothing to do with Kim Davis or with other holier-than-thou Puritans claiming the mantle of victimhood when not allowed to discriminate against sexual minorities.

          • Scalia

            And would it be accurate to say that you find both practices personality repugnant?

          • Brucehenry

            Yes but that is not why they are illegal. They are illegal because of the informed-consent issue.

          • Scalia

            With respect to sex with minors, those who advocate the same say that your standard is arbitrary. Many children either masturbate or have sex with one another. If a child chooses to have sex with somebody older, who is Bruce Henry to say otherwise? In Rome, a girl could marry at age 12.

            With respect to FGM, it is culturally accepted by many people. In fact:

            Common reasons for FGM cited by women in surveys are social acceptance, religion, hygiene, preservation of virginity, marriageability and enhancement of male sexual pleasure. In a study in northern Sudan, published in 1983, only 17.4 percent of women opposed FGM (558 out of 3,210), and most preferred excision and infibulation over clitoridectomy. Attitudes are slowly changing. In Sudan in 2010, 42 percent of women who had heard of FGM said the practice should continue. In several surveys since 2006, over 50 percent of women in Mali, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Gambia and Egypt supported FGM’s continuance, while elsewhere in Africa, Iraq and Yemen most said it should end, although in several countries only by a narrow margin.

            So, Bruce, what if these practices become legal, but licenses must be obtained in order to practice them? Previously, you have given conflicting answers to similar questions. You argued that Davis was merely a paper pusher, and that her responsibilities as a clerk did not amount to an endorsement of same-sex marriage (SSM). On the other hand, when answering questions about segregation or death camps, Bruce the Clerk was no longer a paper-pusher; he was morally outraged enough to insist that he’d quit his job if asked to issue licenses for such practices.

            The logical conflict notwithstanding, your decision to quit your job is of course your prerogative, but not necessary. Religious accommodation and civil disobedience were not invented by Kim Davis. She merely availed herself of the tools others have utilized for a long time. You take every opportunity to call her a bigot, and your vitriol suggests that you think she’s insincere. If that is the case, that’s just slander on your part. You don’t think SSM is morally repugnant, but we do. You’re free to believe what you do, but so are we. If you can practice your beliefs in the public square, so can we. Liberty is the freedom both to participate and to refrain from participating in certain acts. I’m glad you, more or less, and griping along the way, go along with accommodation, but if you’re really committed to liberty, then you’re on our side whether you realize it or not.

          • Commander_Chico

            As a lawyer, you should know the doctrine of children’s lack of capacity to contract or consent is a long-standing one.

          • Paul Hooson

            Scalia is a lawyer? Many of his arguments here in support of Kim Davis and “red herring” issues he brings up to supposedly state his case are filled with enough logic holes to drive a truck through. – It’s all a good argument to hire a good Jewish lawyer instead. But, I still respect and like Scalia who usually is much better than this “off day” here today. But, given what he has to to defend,Kim Davis, is indeed a daunting task and I have to at least admire how he can somehow search for something, anything, to put some justification for this silly Kim Davis personality. – The other day, even the Pope “retired” that church leader who arranged that meeting with Kim Davis, where the visit became used for propaganda purposes by Davis, and the Pope much lamented the bad public relations for the church it all caused after such a successful visit to the United States.

          • Scalia

            Paul, it is your arguments that are filled with red herrings. You bring up stuff that have absolutely nothing to do with the discussion, and that fact that you think it does speaks volumes about your ability to follow an argument. Moreover, you try to support your argument by ascribing motives to a person you don’t even know. Not only is that logically fallacious (look it up), it is morally reprehensible.

          • Scalia

            I understand the history just fine, Chico, and I also understand that in other societies, marriage was allowed for those much younger.

          • Brucehenry

            I suggest that those polls indicate what I call “cultural coercion.” Asking Third World tribeswomen if they think a practice their tribe has engaged in for centuries should continue is a question that will yield skewed and meaningless results.

            And “those who advocate” sex between adults and children are wrong both morally and legally and their logic is flawed. The fact that teens may engage in sex with one another does not excuse the exploitation of children by adults and “those who advocate” it are nonexistent. If there is anyone advocating this behavior we can give it as much credence as those advocating bank robbery or refusal to pay taxes.

          • Scalia

            Cultural coercion can be ascribed to any viewpoint. Do most people really believe in SSM, or are they afraid of losing their jobs (or student status like Felix Ngole) or being outed like Brendan Eich? There are lots of people who say one thing publicly, but something altogether different in private. We can speculate like that all day long, but at the end of the day, that’s all it is—speculation.

            I of course agree with you about the exploitation of children, but there are those who passionately believe that children who consent are not being exploited. This is not a debate on the merits of their position; it is to illustrate the point that should it ever become legal, you would be within your religious rights to refuse to issue a license. Again, your religious liberty includes the freedom to refrain from acts as well as participate in them. If an act is legal, then somebody else should be able to step in and issue a license. Davis is primarily responsible for getting this legislation passed in Kentucky, and for those who believe in religious liberty, she should be applauded.

            Christian liberty can only be considered Orwellian in an Orwellian’s mind. You’ve already acknowledged that you, more or less, agree with the concept of accommodation. Why do you think accommodation is a long-standing legal practice if not to protect liberty? As I noted previously, many liberals who were A-OK with disregarding marriage laws when pushing for gay marriage, suddenly became Bible-beating fundamentalists when it came to laws they favor. Newspeak fits such persons to a T.

          • Brucehenry

            BTW here is the article from which the chart I posted above was taken. Most of these folks yammering about “religious freedom” would answer “B” to the questions on this quiz.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-emily-c-heath/how-to-determine-if-your-religious-liberty-is-being-threatened-in-10-questions_b_1845413.html

          • Scalia

            Wow! A false dichotomy on every one except possibly #7.

          • Brucehenry

            By the way I just have to say this: If you are asking this series of questions in order to lead up to an absurd and specious comparison of same sex marriage to pedophilia or female genital mutilation I am gonna lose a lot of respect for you.

          • Scalia

            I don’t exist to maintain your respect, and threats go nowhere with me.

          • Brucehenry

            LOL I get that, not a threat, and I’m glad you avoided the “slippery slope” argument.

        • Paul Hooson

          Absolutely right! Jews once had to wear big yellow Star Of David emblems on their clothes to promote discrimination and violence against them as well as having their places of worship closed down by government.

  • Brucehenry

    Davis gets a makeover, then goes on the lecture circuit:

    • Scalia

      Yes, Betty was “educated” Madalyn Murray O’Hare University. I’ve laughed at a lot of left-wing comedy. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re unbalanced. I have Democrat friends that howl with laughter at anything that comes at a Republican’s expense, but they get visibly resentful when others laugh at the same kind of behavior on their side.

      This video, however, isn’t funny at all because there’s not a shred of truth to it. When was the last time it EVER rained gays off of high buildings at any time in our history? You might post a suggestion that in order to be really funny, you have to try to inject something that’s true in your presentation. “Betty,” is merely taking ISIS and changing it’s name to “Christian.” As a matter of fact, Bruce, liberals had better PRAY that Christians don’t become ISIS. If that were true, ALL your rights would be taken away very rapidly.

      • Brucehenry

        Which was kinda Betty’s point.

        • Scalia

          Which means it’s a lie.

  • jay
    • Paul Hooson

      Yes, that SNL skit was more intelligent than it seemed on the surface. Sexual attraction is only meant so both human and animal species will have the will to reproduce the species. If not for sexual attraction, humans would have no special desire to take off their clothes and put their sexual organs into others, where more humans is often the result of such unions. God has no need to be sexual, because he does not have to reproduce.

  • bijou2

    How much did it cost the tax payers?

  • Paul Hooson

    The problem that I have is Kim Davis was a public official and expected to serve the public without bias according to the laws of the state. If a person’s job may face issues where moral objections come into play, then choosing another line of work appears to the duty of Kim Davis, both for a public official and according to her faith.

    I wouldn’t expect Kim Davis to take a job in my strip club if it violated her faith.

    • Scalia

      Gay marriage was not legal when Davis became a county clerk. She should not have to choose between her career and her religious convictions.

      Paul, we have a history of rights conflicting with law. Sometimes you have to go to jail in order to get the law changed or to have a legal accommodation. Davis accomplished that. Are you saying that you oppose civil disobedience?

      • Paul Hooson

        When the law changed, it was her duty to either comply with the new rules or else choose another line of work if it violated her faith to the extent that she could no longer perform her duties as an employee. No employer should have to pay an employee who refuses to do their job.

        I’m opposed to employees who expect to be paid, but refuse to do their job.

        • Scalia

          You didn’t answer my question. Are you opposed to civil disobedience?

          Also, should Jewish and Muslim cooks who work for the government be forced to serve ham?

          • Brucehenry

            The people for whom those Jewish or Muslim cooks are cooking should not be, and are not, denied ham because of said cooks’ reluctance to serve it. Either another line cook serves the ham or the hot dog or the pepperoni pizza or that cook dishes it up.

          • Scalia

            Nor are people denied marriage licenses in Kentucky. They were temporarily suspended due to Kentucky’s laws at the time of the Supreme Court ruling and Ms. Davis’ religious beliefs. An accommodation was worked out without Davis having to compromise her religious beliefs.

          • Paul Hooson

            I’m Jewish myself, where an estimated 57% of Jews including myself eat pork. In fact, it’s my favorite meat. I’ve only had two jobs outside of owning my own businesses, but when an employer mandated I do things their way, I always complied. They paid my salary.

            I don’t see where Kim Davis had a legal leg to stand on. She was paid to do a job, and expected to be paid, but refused to do her job. She has the right to picket the workplace during her nonemployee hours to voice any political opinions she has, but had no legal grounds to not not perform her duties as an employee.

          • mikegiles

            IOW, because you don’t take your religion seriously no else should be allowed to practice theirs?

          • Paul Hooson

            I’m very allergic to chicken, and too much beef is not good for either the history of heart problems that I’ve had or my rheumatoid arthritis. I think think pork is a suitable moral choice for me because it is a white meat, better for my health than beef.

          • Scalia

            And I think that rabbis have considered things like that. I do not believe that they recommend pork because you have heart problems. This is the first time I’ve heard you mention your health as being the cause of your affinity for bacon, ham sandwiches and pork chops. Besides, you’re missing the point of Mike’s post. Care to read it again?

          • mikegiles

            So why didn’t you say that originally. Instead you brought up your failure to keep Kosher in an argument on following religious observance. Deflection.

          • Scalia

            For the third time: Do you or do you not support civil disobedience?

          • Paul Hooson

            I cannot support civil disobedience in this case because as a government member Kim Davis was probably a member of a government public employees union, where she no doubt had a labor board or representative to file a complaint that her job description had changed as a result of a court ruling. I feel that she deliberately handled this as a public publicity stunt when other legal channels existed to contest a changed job description.

            Davis personally had been divorced three times and married four times, and even had twins outside of wedlock, where she is something of a “cafeteria Christian”, where she picks and chooses what items from God’s word, The Bible, that she chooses to follow. That in itself is pretty unorthodox.

          • Scalia

            Now you’re performing a legal tap-dance, Paul. You’re trying to jump on a technicality in order to say that you support civil disobedience, except when it’s performed by conservative Christians, and you buttress that contention by getting inside of Davis’ mind and conclude that her motives were somehow nefarious. How bigoted of you, Paul.

            Kentucky law left her no leeway. Her name had to appear on all licenses. She saw, quite correctly, that her name amounted to an endorsement. I think you’d agree that if a segregation ordinance were adopted where you live that would force gays to relinquish their homes to straight couples, and you were responsible for issuing eviction licenses, you would either quit your job or refuse to issue them. You don’t have to agree with her beliefs in order to see that she had no option. Sometimes civil disobedience is necessary to effect change. Change was brought about in Kentucky because of what she did—UNANIMOUSLY!!

          • Paul Hooson

            That was the purpose of her publicity stunt, to change a court decision that she disagreed with. – I actually very much like most conservative Christians, where most are very good friends of Israel and have a true love for the Jewish people. But, I have no admiration for Kim Davis who is an obvious screwball publicity hound. She could have quit her job if she didn’t want her name or endorsement on the marriage licenses, complained to her labor representative or her state labor relations board.

            I’m unclear the current status of Kim Davis. Is she still responsible for the issue of marriage licenses, but just not with name on it, or just working fulltime booking appearances on televangelist programs and making paid speeches or what?

          • Scalia

            “[P]publicity stunt…publicity hound.” You know this, how? Were MLK, Jr. and Rosa Parks publicity hounds? Would you like it if I said they were? You don’t have a sweet clue what is going on in Davis’ mind. It’s not like she has a lengthy public record whereby you can examine her statements to detect lying or to compare consistency.

            If you have conservative Christians as good friends, then you know that they sincerely abjure homosexual acts as immoral and as contrary to God’s laws (both natural and scriptural). You also know that they could not conscientiously participate in events that would signal endorsement of any act that would displease God. If you believe in the Constitution, then you know that a government employee doesn’t lose h/er rights merely because s/he works for the government. Christians have as much Equal Protection as anybody. AGAIN, Davis had no legal option. why is it so difficult for you to see that?

          • Paul Hooson

            MLK was a Christian minister who opposed racial discrimination and segregation as sin. By contrast, Kim Davis, in violation of court orders was promoting discrimination against homosexual citizens. As a government employee, government services need to be provided to all citizens on an equal basis by law, and since the government collects taxes from everyone without discrimination, all citizens who are considered to be protected against discrimination are entitled to use government services without being discriminated against.

            Certainly many self-professed Christians are opposed to homosexual acts, however, even Jesus drew a division between the sin and the sinner, no matter what state of sin the individual was in. People are foremost all just people. They all put on a pair of pants one leg at a time. It may be news to some, but homosexual eat, drink, use the bathroom, and are in other way the same as any other person except for the choice of their lover in the bedroom. Further, scientific evidence finds that homosexuality is a normal sexual variation in both human and animal species. There is no scientific evidence that homosexuality is an abnormal behavior based on science. Further, most Christians only keep the portions of the Scriptures they wish to follow. In a few days, Jews will be celebrating the Passover. This Passover was so important to Jesus that the famous “Last Supper” was a celebration of this important Jewish religious event giving praise to God. The bread and the wine from this event took on great significance to many Christians such as Catholics where the tradition of Holy Communion came from Passover celebration by Jesus. Few Christians these days keep the Jewish religious traditions that Jesus held sacred.

            Kim Davis needs to read and comprehend the meaning of. “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15. God does not judge us by how well we want the neighbors to walk in faith with God, but well we walk in faith ourselves.

          • Scalia

            You write three paragraphs and typically dodge what I’ve been arguing. Liberty is the freedom both to engage in or not to engage in certain acts. If you believe in religious liberty, then you cannot support laws that coerce Christians to endorse acts they find morally objectionable. Nobody argues that gays put their pants on differently. Where in the name of sanity did you get that??

            Moreover, it’s already been pointed out to you that science DOES NOT support your fantasy that “homosexuality is a normal sexual variation,” but even that misses the point. The point is that your argument attempts to get inside the head of a person you don’t even know in order to discredit her actions. You don’t like her beliefs, so that is sufficient to excoriate her, and you don’t even realize that by doing so, you undercut your support for people like MLK. The ONLY difference is you agree with MLK, but you don’t agree with Davis. You have no moral or legal authority to coerce our endorsement.

          • Paul Hooson

            I’m not sure what junk science you’re citing, but I personally know one psychology researcher, Michael Lubin, whose own research proved that homosexuality is common in the animal kingdom as well.

            I certainly respect you, but your arguments have been rather shallow here. Kim Davis is a kook and difficult to defend, but you did manage to give it the good old college try here.

            As an old Jew strip club owner, I don’t expect to win your endorsement of my lifestyle of young girlfriends, tolerant social views, etc. But, in business I’ve always found money from homosexual customers to be just as good as money from anyone else. And, I respect my gay customers over the years as being good people, no worse, and often better than many people. You discount my views here, claiming that my opinions are not valid because I lack “moral authority” in your eyes. In defense of all the good homosexual customers and friends I’ve known in my 60 years so far, I can’t help but defend their right to be treated with equal respect and dignity.

          • Commander_Chico

            I endorse your lifestyle of young girlfriends. Do you get many gay guys or lesbians in your club?

          • Paul Hooson

            I never really did get many gays in the club, unlike the Southeast Portland businesses like the magazine shop or the grocery store. The gay customers were usually very nice people whether they were male or female, and they appreciated my respect for them as persons. I’ve always had great relations with the Black community as well, where all my friends were Black until age 12, and I went to mostly Black schools when younger. All Jews are marginally African as well, where one of my relatives from 1850 was born in Chad, Africa, so I’m marginally Black myself.

          • Scalia

            Both Jim and I expressly addressed your appeal to “the animal kingdom,” but your memory neurons appear to be misfiring. You’ve similarly forgotten other arguments which makes dialog with you frustrating in the extreme.

            You cannot rationally call my arguments shallow if you don’t address them. That’s a cop-out. Take any one of my arguments and show me the inferential mistakes I am making. If you cannot do so, you’re just blowing smoke.

          • Paul Hooson

            Some form of homosexual conduct has been observed and documented in nearly 500 animal species so by researchers. These sexual behaviors have been observed and documented in animals as advanced as primates and as simple as gut worms. Humans share varied amounts of the same DNA with various animal species, where humans must be viewed as complex animals with the benefit of a larger brain mass as a portion of their total size as well as functional thumbs which helped humans to advance learning as well as tool building. Tool building is an important difference between the advanced and less advanced animal forms. While humans and primates have proven the ability to build tools, I was deeply impressed that one dachshund I once owned had the ability to count to 15 without any errors and during a walk he was used to getting a drink from an outside water sprinkler system on a neighbors lawn. One warm day, he put his snout down the pipe, but could not taste any water, so he back up and put his paw down the pipe where he essentially used his paw as a dipstick, fashioning a sort of tool, That is a very advanced cognitive intelligence process for an animal who normally has the IQ equal to a two year old child.

            I once had five cats, with four males and one female. Given the choice of a female cat which should give off mating scents and signals, all of the male cats should have attempted to breed with her. Instead, two of the male cats were never observed attempting to mount her and have sex, but one male cat would on a regular basis attempt to mount the smaller male cat. You can attribute this to two things here, one being a homosexual attraction of the one larger male cat to the smaller male cat, when a female was available, and also a need of the larger cat to display a dominance conduct over the smaller male cat. Ancient Roman soldiers often engaged in a similar sort of conduct with captured soldiers who surrendered to them. Many Roman soldiers in a battlefield situation often would anally rape their male prisoner soldiers, first supposedly to humiliate and express dominance over the conquered soldiers, but also as a situational sexual outlet when females were not available for sexual unions. In jails and prisons, while most prisoners will masturbate as a sexual outlet, mounting other prisoners and engaging in homosexual conduct often becomes an outlet for many of the most heterosexual of the prisoners as a sexual outlet, in addition to the homosexual prisoners seeking prison “mates” and prison mating conduct.

            My background is as a psychologist who became a lifelong businessman. I am more than happy to discuss science at any time when science needs to be brought into a discussion.

          • Scalia

            Like I said, Jim and I have already replied to that. Why in the world would I repeat what I previously wrote when you don’t pay attention? How many posts are we going on now, and you haven’t addressed even one of my arguments? It took three times to get you to halfway answer my question about civil disobedience!

            You don’t discuss matters in good faith, Paul, and you don’t have a sweet clue what the science is on same-sex attraction (SSA). You’re making a very obvious, fundamental mistake with your observations that we learned were fallacious in elementary school. I’d repeat what it is, but five months down the road you’ll have completely forgotten it and make the same ridiculous argument you’re making now.

          • Brucehenry

            But not the change she originally intended. Her intent was to prevent the issuance of marriage licenses for same sex couples, using the fact that a county clerk’s name appears on the license as her wedge. It was only after she was jailed for refusing to obey a lawful court order that her intent suddenly became “accommodation.”

            In other words her original intent was that her personal religious belief become the law of the land in Rowan County, Kentucky. The contempt of court sentence made her change her tune to save face.

          • Scalia

            Bruce, you’re making that up. Show me quotes from her that say that was her intention.

            Does she believe that SSM is a sin? Of course (I do too).Does she, as a matter of policy, believe that licensed marriage should be reserved to heterosexual couples? Probably (I do too). However, that does not mean that “accommodation” was merely a front. As I told Paul, Kentucky law left her no leeway. According to the law (I previously provided all the citations), no marriage license was valid without her signature. She could not in good conscience issue those certificates, and none of her clerks could legally do so either. From the perspective of her beliefs, she had no recourse but to engage in civil disobedience or to resign. The rest is just your attempt to get inside her head.

          • Brucehenry

            Everybody makes judgments about other people’s motives all the time. That’s why you never scold, say, Jim, when he tells us that Obama is deliberately trying to weaken America. Millions of people disagree and believe that Obama has the purest of motives for all his acts, but ol’ Jim keeps right on believing — and saying — otherwise. Never yet seen you ask him for quotes from Obama demonstrating his intent to destroy America from within.

            I’ve known bluenose pantysniffing Puritan holier-than-thou harridans like KIm Davis all my life and I have an opinion about what motivates them.

          • Scalia

            Ok, that’s an acknowledgement that you’re making it up and that it’s okay to stereotype people based on your experiences with them…just like folks I know that say Mexicans are lazy because every Mexican they know is lazy.

            With respect to Jim, I have rarely jumped into his side debates with anybody except Rick (because Rick preaches on this forum, he is held to a higher standard), but if he and I ever interact and he ascribes motives to somebody he does not support with evidence, I will certainly call him on it.

          • Brucehenry

            No not a stereotype. I know lots of matronly middle-aged white ladies, both conservative and liberal, both religious and non-religious. Some are open-minded, fair, and sincere. Some are pious and holier-than-thou. I make judgments about them based on the things that come out of their pieholes and their actions. If they are being bullies, like Davis, I recognize it.

            Some of the pantysniffin Puritan holier-than-thou f**ksticks I know happen to be men, so I apologize for using the pejorative “harridan,” lol.

          • Commander_Chico

            “Civil disobedience” implies being willing to accept the penalties involved. Right from the beginning – Thoreau went to jail because he refused to pay taxes to support the Mexican War and slavery.

            Asking someone whether they “support civil disobedience” is sophistry. You want to disobey the law, fine: be ready to go to jail.

            Davis was not a good example, because she was a public official trying to deny citizens their exercise of freedom of contract according to law.

          • Scalia

            ??? Again, totally bizarre. Davis went to jail, genius, and she was willing to do so for her beliefs. I’ve completely laid out my arguments here. If you care to respond to them, feel free, but don’t pretend that you’ve said anything substantive thus far.

          • Commander_Chico

            Ya, they should. They have the freedom to not take the job.

          • Scalia

            Nobody argued otherwise, genius.

          • Commander_Chico

            Just like Kim Davis could resign if she didn’t want to serve gay marriage.

          • Scalia

            Yes, she could, but she doesn’t have to.

          • Commander_Chico

            She’s gotta follow the law though. One way or the other. Which is what happened.

          • Scalia

            Just following orders, right? Civil disobedience is a long-standing practice. Your selectivity is again on display. If Chico disagrees with a person’s beliefs, they cannot engage in civil disobedience, but if Chico agrees with a person’s view, then by all means defy the law.

          • Brucehenry

            There is civil disobedience, and then there is civil disobedience.

            Rosa Parks engaged in civil disobedience in order to change an unjust transit system that denied black patrons the equal protection of the laws.

            George Wallace, when he stood in the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama, engaged in civil disobedience in an attempt to have the federal government relent and let the state of Alabama continue to discriminate in college admission, denying black people the right to attend schools they paid taxes to support.

            Kim Davis’s civil disobedience is more akin to Wallace’s than it is Parks’s, in my opinion. Is George Wallace a “civil rights hero”?

          • Scalia

            Civil disobedience (CD) is only a mechanism for people you agree with? Nope. If you accept CD as a legitimate mechanism to effect change, then every American may engage in it, including George Wallace. It either works or it doesn’t. In George Wallace’s case, I’m glad it didn’t work, but he was certainly entitled based on precedent to try it. The change that Kim Davis brought about protected religious liberty in Kentucky, and for that she is most definitely a hero.

          • pennywit

            Hmph. My position is generally that nonviolent civil disobedience is an acceptable tactic, but with two caveats:

            First, just as civil disobedience is a grand American tradition, so is going to jail for it.

            Second, if any nonviolent civilly disobedient protester harasses one of my kids over something, I will knock his block off.

          • Scalia

            Then we are in agreement. So, what’s the “humph” for?

          • Brucehenry

            Well we disagree then. I think that Davis, like Wallace, employed the tactic of civil disobedience in an attempt to preserve their respective state’s power to deny equal rights to all of its citizens. If her goal had been accommodation, she could have achieved the same goal by lobbying the legislature or suing in state or federal court but chose this tactic instead,

            Doesn’t make her a “civil rights hero.” Indeed, it makes her, like Wallace, the opposite of that, in my opinion.

          • Scalia

            No, Bruce. Davis had no recourse, and you’ve already acknowledged that she is sincere. To pursue those other options would have obligated her to perform acts contrary to her faith. Your argument would gain logical traction if she attempted to prevent an authorized subordinate from signing marriage certificates, but that wasn’t the case. Under Kentucky law, her signature was mandated. She had but two options, resign or go to jail.

          • Brucehenry

            Yes she was sincere in wanting her state to retain the power to discriminate against those of its citizens her religion tells her should not have the same rights others enjoy. NOT A HERO.

          • Scalia

            You’re hopeless. You can only legitimately say that if you know her motives; you don’t. Allow me to inject something I’ve withheld until now: I know people who personally know her. She is a recent convert to the Apostolic Christian faith and is a very sincere, devout Christian. You’re implying that anybody who disagrees with you on this issue isn’t sincere with respect to their faith. That’s pretty steep.

            Again, you don’t have a rational leg to stand on. If there were subordinates who were authorized to sign certificates and if she attempted to prevent them from doing so, I would agree with you. You don’t have any evidence of that, but that doesn’t stop you from maligning her motives and form reading her mind. You normally argue better than that, Bruce. Your vitriol is puzzling and makes me wonder what’s unspoken here.

            Kim Davis had no legal option—whether or not you agree with her beliefs or motives—but to resign or go to jail. You say you believe in religious liberty. Well, that’s what was accomplished in Kentucky. Kudos to her!

          • Brucehenry

            There were subordinates who were signing the certificates while she was jailed and no one, to my knowledge, has contested the validity of those certificates. But before her jailing, she forbade any of her subordinates from signing them. It was only after she languished in jail for a day or two that she, one, relented and said she guessed it’d be OK if her assistants signed, and two, can’t we come to some kind of face-saving accommodation here?

            Her intent was to do everything she could to prevent any same sex marriage from occurring in her county. She didn’t start talking about accommodating anyone until she was jailed for contempt.

            As Betty Bowers notes in the video you find so unfunny, “If you call it religion, it’s not bigotry.” She can be as sincere in her misguided beliefs as you think she is. She’s still a bigot, whether her motive is religion or just regular old ignorance. Not a hero.

            That being said, one has the right to be a bigot in America, so I’m glad, for the sake of civil peace, that this accommodation was arrived at. And yes, Davis action spurred the bill to passage. It doesn’t make her a “civil rights hero.” Civil rights heroes try to make sure more people enjoy all the rights other citizens enjoy, not fewer.

          • Scalia

            Bruce, I’ve already reproduced all of the legal information from Kentucky. It was the judge in her case that allowed her subordinates to execute those licenses that legal experts said were noncompliant with Kentucky law. Davis was correct to forbid them from issuing them because Kentucky’s law was clear. For the fourth time, SHE HAD NO LEGAL RECOURSE. Why in the world do you think that Kentucky’s legislature passed this bill?? If what the judge did conformed to Kentucky law, no bill was needed.

            With respect to her clerks continuing to sign them before the passage of this bill, the legal consensus is that nobody’s going to challenge their validity (that does not imply that they were compliant). It’s no different than the Justice Department declining to prosecute for marijuana possession and use.

            And as I suspected, you really don’t believe in religious liberty , and that makes you the bigot. You’re not pleased that Christians are no longer forced to act contrary to their beliefs; you’re simply “glad” that something got worked out in the name of peace. Disgusting.

          • Brucehenry

            Oh I believe in liberty alright. Davis and her ilk are free, in my book, to worship and believe as they feel called. In the case of same sex marriage, they are free to consider gay couples unmarried “in the eyes of God,” just as Catholics believe divorced and remarried Catholics aren’t married “in the eyes of God.” (At least they used to, do they still?)

            But a civil servant has a duty to obey the law as CIVIL authority decrees. Davis was not being asked to consecrate a religious union, she was simply being asked to sign a form recognizing that the applicants had met the requirement to enter into a CIVIL arrangement.

            If she could not get it through her head that her job as a county clerk was a CIVIL service job and not a clergyman’s, then she should have refused the paycheck that came with the duties.

          • Scalia

            The merry-go-round continues. Federal laws are subject to the Constitution, and government employees do not check their constitutional rights at the door when they show up to work. Congress can make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion which includes the freedom to abstain from acts that contradict their religious convictions.

            There is no question that what Davis did was contrary to the Supreme Court’s ruling, and there is no question, given precedent reaching back before the Revolution, that Davis could engage in CD. Accommodation (why am I repeating this?) is a long-established legal practice to help ensure that everybody’s rights are protected.

            You’ve already conceded entanglement with respect to segregation and death camps. You, thus, reject your previous “paper-pusher” argument. Consequently, under your standard, Davis had no recourse but to resign or go to jail.

            Your attempt to get into her head and divine her motives is entirely irrelevant to the argument. You hate her beliefs and freely call her bigoted, but that has nothing to do with the argument. Anybody else with the same beliefs in her position would receive the same treatment from you, unless, of course, she refused to grant a marriage license to a 45-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl. In that case, you would agree with her abjuration of the contemplated union and would probably applaud her refusal to grant the couple access to their “constitutional” rights. That demonstrates that you neither respect nor understand religious beliefs.

          • Brucehenry

            Actually it merely demonstrates that you, like others opposed to allowing everyone equal rights, are happy to resort to strawman arguments.

          • Scalia

            The statement you just made is a straw man, Bruce, and if you would grant a marriage license to a 12-year-old girl, you can clear that up right now. I haven’t made one straw man argument here, but if you think I have, please show me one of them.

          • Brucehenry

            You’re the only one here suggesting that child molestation will (or might) someday be made legal and that I will have an objection to it if it does, which it won’t. Maybe not the technical definition of “strawman” but you keep trying to get me to argue about a hypothetical and I ain’t gonna.

          • Scalia

            Of course you “ain’t gonna” because you’ll be contradicting your already baseless argument.

            You are right, however, that what I wrote wasn’t a straw man, so you made a false accusation that I had employed one.

            The fact that you call a marriage between a 12-year-old girl and a 45-year-old man “child molestation” leads me to reasonably infer that should it ever become legal, you would not issue a marriage license to them. And if you won’t give them a license, either by resignation or by civil disobedience, you will be technically denying them their rights in order to preserve your own moral integrity. You would also, based on your previous statements, hope that the country would reverse the awful decision to legalize such a wedding, but in order to keep your job, you won’t interfere with others who issue licenses, so long as you don’t have to (EDIT, or you would resign). Welcome to the Kim Davis Fan Club, Bruce.

            On the other hand, if you’re just a paper-pusher with no moral stake in the civil proceeding (also one of your arguments), then you’d have no problem issuing licenses for “child molestation,” segregation or death camps. However, you’ve previously stated that you wouldn’t issue licenses for the latter two (thus, rejecting your own argument). So, you will certainly pardon us for finding your arguments a wee incoherent.

            You see, Bruce? I can reasonably infer that your objection isn’t with what Davis did; you just don’t like her beliefs. You hate fundamentalist Christianity (or any other Christian belief that abjures SSM), and that’s sufficient for you to reach for any verbal prop to condemn them—at the expense of a sound argument.

          • Brucehenry

            But your argument, which equates same sex marriage with pedophilia, death camps, and Jim Crow, is OH SO SOUND. Yeah airtight logic, ya got me.

            I don’t “hate fundamentalist Christianity or any other Christian belief which abjures SSM.” I just consider opposition to SSM to be a bigoted position in the 21st Century, and I don’t care whether that bigotry is based on sincerely held religious belief or just plain old redneck ignernce. But in America, we are all free to be bigots if we wish, and if that bigotry is expressed as a “sincerely held religious belief” it must be accommodated, and Kim Davis has indeed spurred the KY legislature to what is considered to be a reasonable accommodation, so bully for her.

            Betty Bowers says two things in that video you don’t like which I find interesting. One is “if you call it religion, it isn’t bigotry,” which is apparently what opponents of SSM think. The other is a remark to ISIS members: “We don’t execute gay teens, we just shame them into suicide, it’s more civilized.” The difference in intolerance between the two fundamentalisms is a matter of degree, not kind.

          • Scalia

            But your argument, which equates same sex marriage with pedophilia, death camps, and Jim Crow, is OH SO SOUND. Yeah airtight logic, ya got me.

            You’re still thinking about YouTube videos, so you’re in a joking mood, right? That one’s not funny either. I never “equated” those things (why do I have to explain that?); I used them to illustrate the absurdity of your argument. I used something that you find morally objectionable to illustrate the inconsistency of your argument. You’re deflecting, Bruce.

            …and Kim Davis has indeed spurred the KY legislature to what is considered to be a reasonable accommodation, so bully for her.

            Well, after all this time…

            One is “if you call it religion, it isn’t bigotry,” which is apparently what opponents of SSM think.

            You find that false statement “interesting,” but it isn’t true. There are several “religious” statements that Christians would consider bigoted; it’s just that rational people try to avoid lacing their arguments with name-calling (which is what anti-bigot bigots use to silence dissent). I recall having a debate with a liberal over gay marriage. She couldn’t rationally defend her position, so she called me a bigot. My reply is that it is the “bigot” who irrationally clings to a belief (which is what a bigot is). A person pulling out the bigot bomb when losing an argument exemplifies what s/he claims to oppose.

          • Brucehenry

            I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this is not a court of law but a blog comment section. I don’t come here to “win” or “lose” arguments but simply to discuss things with others — others who are likely to disagree with my observations. It’s much less messy to argue here than with co-workers or family members, or strangers at Starbuck’s, where relationships might be strained, or I might get punched in the nose (or punch somebody in the nose).

            It amuses me a little that whenever you are “having a debate,” whatever poor schmuck you are having it with is unfailingly unable to “rationally defend her position.” Must be nice to be so much smarter than everybody else. Those poor irrational slobs are just too dumb to realize who they’re dealing with, I guess.

          • Scalia

            I’ve had many debates with erudite liberals who were more than capable of rationally defending their positions. Indeed, a couple of them are on these boards. Those debates are without rancor and are certainly devoid of name-calling. These liberals can logically reason from their presuppositions or philosophical templates. On such occasions, the discussion either results in an impasse or it’s directed toward an analysis of our templates.

            I normally try to begin each Wizbang discussion with a clinical analysis of the data and draw political conclusions from that data. When anybody starts throwing in irrelevant material or accusing me of being “shallow” or “bigoted” without even bothering to engage what I’ve said, I respond in kind. Yes, anybody arguing like that is not “rationally defending h/er position” and deserves disdain.

            Quite often, especially during Internet debates, somebody will come across as both intelligent and sincere, but when a debate turns against them, they reflexively resort to verbal bombs. That’s a sure sign of insecurity and betrays a character flow—if I can’t win on substance I’ll bludgeon you into silence.

            Take the Simpson murder trial, for example. I think that Simpson is factually guilty, but I also think that there serious problems with the prosecution’s so-called mountain of evidence. When trying to point them out to a lot of people (who happen to know next to nothing about the evidence), they flip out and scream that the Dream Team was filled with liars who used the race card to free a murderer. No amount of evidence from the trial will sway their minds or cause them to admit that anything was wrong with the evidence. Debating such people is worse than useless.

          • Commander_Chico

            Davis was more like Wallace: a public official attempting to deny citizens their rights under law.

          • Scalia

            Your comment has nothing to do with what we’re discussing. I know that’s not uncommon for you…just sayin’. Davis had no legal option but to resign or go to jail. You don’t have to agree with her in order to see that.

          • Paul Hooson

            That’s a very good comparison. George Wallace had a difficult time getting elected to office as competent govern services official who would also fund schools, pave roads, and provide services without prejudice to both Whites and Blacks, so then he started to race bait in political campaigns to get himself elected and then once elected stood in the doorway of the university as a political stunt. When Wallace could not run for office, then he put up his wife as puppet candidate to continue his rule much like Putin did in Russia when he put up that puppet president for one term. Wallace attempted to make himself governor for life in Alabama, but was something of a slightly benevolent dictator, actually helping to fund Black schools, streets, but just didn’t want most White voters to realize that fact.

          • Scalia

            That’s a very good comparison.

            Yes, I’m certain you think so.

          • Commander_Chico

            As I said above, you disobey the law, be ready to go to jail. That is civil disobedience.

            Anyone can do that, as Thoreau did. Don’t expect to get off scot-free: Thoreau didn’t. As he said to Emerson: Why aren’t you in jail?

          • Scalia

            ??? Totally bizarre, even for Chico.

  • pennywit

    As long as same-sex couples can get their marriage licenses at their local county courthouse or city hall, I’ve always been amenable to compromises for municipal employees who felt they couldn’t sign them. But I didn’t have much sympathy for Kim Davis. As I recall, her initial position was that neither she nor anybody in her office should issue the licenses because of her personal religious objections.

    • Scalia

      Then you recall inaccurately. Kentucky law prescribed a county clerk’s name on every marriage certificate. Kentucky law also defined marriage as between one man and one woman. There was no legal wiggle-room. Davis was a clerk prior to the SCOTUS ruling, and she stated that she would comply with Kentucky law. When she was confronted with the fact that the court’s ruling trumped state law, she said that she would not comply due to her religious convictions against endorsing something she believed was sinful. When it was suggested that her subordinates sign the certificates in her place, she forbade them both because her name was still on marriage certificates and because they had no statutory authority to sign on her behalf (or their own behalf). She refused to relinquish her position and was thus jailed for it.

      If you believe in rights at all, you would have sympathy for her regardless your agreement with her views. She had no legal recourse. While in jail, it she promised not to interfere with her subordinates so long as her name was not on any marriage certificate. Legal consensus doubted the validity of those certificates, but nobody was going to object to them given the acrimonious political climate. The Kentucky legislature unanimously passed the accommodation bill that resulted from Davis’ heroic efforts.

      I hope your commitment to rights runs deeper than a mere “compromise.”

      • pennywit

        What would you say if a state official attempted to enforce a still existing state law that ran counter to Torcaso v. Watkins?

        • Scalia

          You need to be more precise with your question. Would he have the “right” to engage in CD? Yes, of course. Would he lose in court? Yes, of course. Should he lose in court? Yes, I believe so, because it does not appear that an accommodation can be made (if his beliefs abjure working with an atheist or anybody not in fellowship with his church). The purpose of accommodation is to protect everybody’s rights as much as possible.

        • Scalia

          To elaborate, under originalism, “free exercise” is partly defined by the religious test prohibition. While Congress cannot prohibit one’s free exercise of religion, “free exercise” does not include a religious test (for government). Thus, one cannot appeal to the First Amendment to protect a right that was not granted. Thus, accommodation is built into the Constitution.

  • Brian Brandt

    Here’s what I never ‘got’ about the Kim Davis controversy –

    When the Supreme Court struck down Kentucky’s marriage law (‘One Man – One Woman”) there was no legal definition of who could or could not marry. The Kentucky legislature had not yet met to pass a new legal definition. The judge ordered Ms. Davis to give a license to any gay couple (Man/Man, Woman/Woman) who walked in.

    Had I been Ms. Davis’ lawyer I would have had her ask the judge for legal guidance. What happens, for example, if a guy and three gals walk in and decide to get married? A guy and an eight year-old girl? A girl and a horse?

    If the judge says no, then I would ask him “On the basis of what legal definition of marriage are you directing me to reject these, Your Honor?”

    Would have been interesting to see how he handled that.

    • Scalia

      Interesting observation, but the SCOTUS’ ruling affected adult homosexuals who were allegedly being denied their Equal Protection and Due Process rights under the 14th Amendment. Since the ruling was restricted to gay marriage, the other arrangements would most certainly have been rejected by the judge as irrelevant.

    • b l

      Horses and eight year olds are out. Both have to be legally able to sign a marriage certificate themselves. It’s a legal document. That means they have to be 1) Human and 2) legally adult. Your horse can’t sign for something.
      Bigamy is a tougher problem. It’s thorny. It seems like an easy thing to say “well if anything goes, bigamy should be okay too” but every culture in which bigamy exists is pretty much a crappy culture. Having an excess of unmarried young men results in a violent culture. So they really need to find some legal/constitutional framework for clamping down on that.

      • Scalia

        You’re not very good at law, are you? As I replied to Brian, the matter will be simply thrown out as irrelevant. The SCOTUS decision relates to adult homosexuals who were allegedly denied their rights under the 14th Amendment. Nothing else is covered.

  • b l

    “Indeed, as Jewish or Muslim cooks who work for the government cannot be forced to serve pork…”

    Simply not true. I don’t know of Muslim cases, but military cooks who happen to be Jewish cook the pork, pass the pork and don’t eat it themselves. They will unflinchingly put pepperoni on the pizza.

    If the job entails doing stuff you can’t handle, you take a different job. I recall one young lady in the Army who decided that her devout Christianity would not mesh with the fact that with an intelligence MOS you can play a pretty important role in determining which people get blown to bits (even though actual bits blowing is done by others). So she requested a change and became a chaplain’s assistant instead.

    And although I don’t support them, there are a few Muslims who left the US military because they did not want to kill fellow Muslims. They didn’t stay in and say “I’ll kill infidels for you, but you can’t send me to Afghanistan”.

    That’s how its done. You take a job, you sign on to all that goes with it. You don’t like, you leave. You can claim “religious exemption” for things pertaining to yourself and you alone- but you never, ever let it interfere with your duties to other people. When it does, it’s choice time. do the job or quit.

    • Scalia

      Simply not true.

      Yes, it is true.

      You really need to appraise yourself of federal accommodation laws. The EEOC has intervened numerous times to enforce religious accommodation, including, as linked above, Muslim flight attendants who refuse to serve alcohol, nurses who object to participating in abortions (including washing the instruments used for it), or Jehovah’s Witnesses who object to raising a flag.

      Accommodation seeks to respect everybody’s rights. If an accommodation cannot be made (such as religious tests for government workers), then the religious person claiming a First Amendment free exercise right will lose. If nobody else can serve alcohol or pork, then the employee will lose, but every effort must be made to accommodate a sincerely held religious belief.