This is what discrimination — with a side order of ignorance — looks like

Be sure to watch this video of the illegal act of Kim Davis in Rowan County, Kentucky, where Ms. Davis, as a county clerk, takes it upon herself to deny some people a marriage license. You should probably read along with the script at Wonkette, as well. Because it’s classic.

Guess if you want to make a stand these days, you’d best be sure that you’re willing to make it onto an ill-read blog like this one. Ms. Davis has two choices: Resign. Or go to jail.

At present, she and her county are facing a lawsuit from the ACLU.

Published by datingjesus

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      1. The whole “religious liberty” issue is going to be the next big Civil Rights controversy headed for SCOTUS.

        1. The thing is, by issuing a marriage license, this woman is not prevented from going to church and practicing her religion. Since when does religious practice involve preventing others from conducting their lives according to their religion? This woman has free choice to marry who she wants. If according to her beliefs, she must marry a man, no one will prevent her. As it should be. So should it be for others. According to this woman’s faith, is there not God granted free choice? Who does she think she is to take action against that God given right? I don’t understand the legal case at all.

          1. Some States…like Kentucky…have enacted their own versions of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act which SCOTUS has used, most recently in the Hobby Lobby case, to extend a definition of “the exercise of religion” into the public square.

            Christian zealots, “followers of Christ” in this instance, contend their “exercise of religion” demands they publicly discriminate against any individual or group, homosexuals in this instance, whose life choices are not specifically sanctioned in their particular interpretation of ecclesiastical canon. Their law, their interpretation of scripture, trumps Constitutional law, the 14th Amendment, Equal Protection Under the Law.

            They don’t have much of a case for public discrimination, really, if you ask me. In canon law or secular law. But that won’t stop them from litigating…or forcing others to litigate. Confederate States in particular have busied themselves finding ways around the 14th Amendment since they were forced to ratify it to regain representation in Congress following the Civil War. SCOTUS gets involved when the exercise of States’ Rights forces 14th Amendment interpretation: Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, Bush v. Gore, Obergefell v. Hodges.

            In my view, it will be SCOTUS who will be forced to verify the boundaries of religious liberty relative to the 14th Amendment.

            1. Christ, the guy who said, ” ” about same sex couples, who welcomed all without discrimination, and endorsed loving your neighbor, is being abused by these self proclaimed “followers of Christ”. They are far from followers of Christ. They are frauds, using cherry-picked Old Testament language to serve their purpose.
              Society cannot accommodate every whim of individuals, under the guise of it being a religious belief. Enough is enough! Yes, believe what you want people and go to your church of choicr, but the line should be clearly drawn to no longer allow religion to justify activity that influenced the life of another in a way that’s not welcome. The SCOTUS needs to do something! I think you’re right about that.

              1. “Society cannot accommodate every whim of individuals, under the guise of it being a religious belief. Enough is enough! Yes, believe what you want people and go to your church of choicr, but the line should be clearly drawn to no longer allow religion to justify activity that influenced the life of another in a way that’s not welcome. The SCOTUS needs to do something! I think you’re right about that.”

                To quote our host: “Come sit by me.”

                  1. We’re not very good at defining the boundaries separating ,i>accommodation from oppression.
                    And we’ve never really been any good at tolerance.

                  2. Good one. ‘‘It is a risky step to interfere with the most intimate details of other people’s lives while loudly claiming liberty for yourself” Risky and makes no sense! Remember, “liberty and justice for ALL”?

              2. “Society cannot accommodate every whim of individuals, under the guise of it being a religious belief.”

                The problem is: The law has. Depending on how broad your definition of “whim.” And some States’ RFRAs desire to accommodate “whims”…especially since the Obergefell ruling.

                Key to defining what constitutes the “free exercise of religion” is determining what constitutes religion. SCOTUS has traditionally taken a very broad approach to that interpretation: a system of sincerely held beliefs. This has been, generally, a good thing. Ask any Scientologist, Buddhist or Heathen.

                Congress, on the other hand, greatly expanded that already broad approach when passing the RFRA because it defines the exercise of religion as…well…whims: not confined to, compelled by, or central to, any system of religious belief. And imposed broad protection of such religious exercise, “to the maximum extent permitted.” ( A little saving grace included there.) This was done out of fear “common religious practices” could be further regulated in future, (post 1990 Employment Division v. Smith), SCOTUS rulings.

                Because SCOTUS later ruled the effects of the federal RFRA were disproportionate compared to its stated objective, (“Congress does not enforce a constitutional right by changing what the right is.”/Kennedy, 1997), the enforcement power of the federal RFRA was severely limited, especially as it applies to the States. That inspired zealots to pass State legislation containing various interpretations of the RFRA, with mixed results. (See Indiana Senate Bill 101.) What Kim Davis, and others like her, are demanding is what Justice Scalia once characterized as relative anarchy: “a system in which each conscience is a law unto itself.” Law that supersedes 14th Amendment application and interpretation. This is, at its core, not a religious argument. It’s another States’ Rights argument exploited by neo-Confederate white nationalists bolstered by religious extremism to limit the application of post-Civil War Reconstruction and reconciliation: the 14th Amendment.

                Just as Congress cannot enforce a constitutional right by redefining that right, neither can the States, despite the significant power and discretion granted them under The Constitution. (See Obergefell.) If zealots continue to resist accommodation of federal law and public acceptance of cultural change, forcing SCOTUS review as they did with Obergefell, I doubt they’re going to wind up being very happy with the result. (‘‘If you stand in the way of a revolution and lose, there will be consequences.’’/Douglas Laycock) Especially if they seek SCOTUS review with its current configuration. Expect more highly politicalized activism, supported by Religion™, as we become more fully engulfed in the morass of unprincipled opportunism that has become our quadrennial election cycle.

                1. Thou shalt not kill is my sincerely held religious belief. So, does that entitle me to not pay any taxes that would fund military action or any other political or other activity resulting in or likely to result in killing, via taxes? Is that any different from using similar logic to not fund birth control by the church. Should we each get to pick & choose how we contribute as tax payers and as followers of law, based on individual sincerely held beliefs? Isn’t that exactly the opposite of the purpose of law for civilized society?

                  1. I’ve often wondered that, myself. How different would our world work if we got to decide where our tax dollars go?

                  2. “So, does that entitle me to not pay any taxes ….”
                    Possibly…if you have the money to fight the IRS. The RCC’s Hunthausen, after he left Montana for Seattle, withheld such a portion from his taxes for a similar reason…nuclear weapons proliferation……and got his wages garnished. That was before the RFRA. (Washington, as far as I know, doesn’t have one yet.)

                    But income taxes are a whole other issue, really. People can seek religious exemptions from all sorts of laws. Up until 1990, (Employment Division v. Smith), such exemptions were “presumptively” granted unless the government could demonstrate compelling interest not to…like collecting taxes. After that, with few exceptions, the religious were required to follow the same laws as everybody else unless legislation was enacted that specifically created an exemption. (Like tax exemptions for churches.) Enter the RFRA and State level RFRAs. Now the argument, on a legal level, gets much more complex. Strict Scrutiny. Substantive Burden. Compelling Interest. Competing interest. Corporate personhood. And the intersection of the 14th and 1st Amendments in the public square. Just to name a few.

                    The purpose of law in a liberal democratic society is to impose collective duty upon individuals to secure the common good while protecting those individual liberties deemed “fundamental.” Which is where the controversy arises, as our society progresses…or regresses…over time.

                    Traditionally in America, for the most part, the protection of individual liberties has taken a back seat to securing the common good. However, as Capitalism has evolved, (dragging our liberal democracy along with it), the concept of what constitutes the common good, and who or what is best suited to secure it, is coming under a great deal of scrutiny. Unfortunately, or not, the institution empowered to direct such scrutiny, and determine the boundaries between common good and individual liberty that impose an inherently limiting collective duty, is not democratic. There’s a reason for that…which gets a little more blurry every year.

  1. Wonkette is great.

    It’s interesting that history in the making can sometimes appear so pedestrian on the surface but I guess everyday normal is what we’re shooting for.

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