‘Under God’s authority’: Where theocracy meets hypocrisy

     Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Although her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied, Davis still refuses to issue marriage licenses. (Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo)

    Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Although her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied, Davis still refuses to issue marriage licenses. (Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo)

    Let’s return to Rowan County, Kentucky, where public servant Kim Davis is still laboring under the theocratic delusion that she can defy the law and practice homophobic bigotry on the taxpayers’ dime.

    What a scene it was at the courthouse yesterday. Two gay guys showed up in her office for a marriage license — as is their constitutional right, according to the highest court in the land — but county clerk Davis banished the sinners from her sanctuary, declaring that she was acting “under God’s authority.” In her misguided mind, that authority somehow trumps the secular authority of the courts that have repeatedly ordered her to obey the law.

    Which shows you what happens when zealots on the public payroll get it into their heads that they have the right to decide who passes God’s muster, in accordance with their own godly criteria. Davis is facing potentially huge fines, and even jail time. So be it. Let her play the martyr behind bars.

    Problem is, the martyr is quite the hypocrite. We’ll get to that shortly.

    With her absurdly expansive view of “religious freedom,” Davis is testing the high court’s gay marriage ruling — and shrugging off the fact that she has already flunked. Two weeks ago, federal judge David Bunning (a George W. Bush appointee) wrote that “her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform.” He ordered her to obey the law and respect “the constitutional rights of her constituents.” She refused. Last week, a federal appeals court ordered her to obey, and said there was “little or no likelihood” that Davis would win in the Supreme Court.

    True that. Two days ago, in a single sentence, the Supremes treated her the way you’d flick an ant off your wrist.

    And yet, she’s still defiant — the 21st century equivalent of George Wallace blocking the schoolhouse door. Davis released a statement yesterday, saying in part: “I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God. I never thought a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage. To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience…It is a Heaven or Hell decision.”

    Also, “some people have said I should resign.” Gee, ya think? If she wants to lord her morals over others, she needs to get off the public payroll.

    But since she refuses to quit – and, as an elected official, she can’t be fired; the state legislature can impeach her, but it’s not in session – the only recourse is to her haul her into federal court and impose heavy fines or a jail stint. Which is what the gay couples’ lawyers are seeking to do in Judge Bunning’s chamber tomorrow: “Since Defendant Davis continues to collect compensation from the Commonwealth for duties she fails to perform, (we request) financial penalties sufficiently serious or increasingly onerous” to compel compliance.

    What’s especially amusing about this case is that here we have a zealot who’s invoking “God’s authority” in defense of the sanctity of traditional marriage….yet she’s been married four times. A self-described Apostolic Christian, she violates the 18th Statement of Faith: “Marriage is a lifelong union ordained by God.” (Her defenders say that she came to this church only a few years ago, and that God’s forgiveness has cleansed her of all previous violations — to which I say: How convenient.)

    The point is, who is she — as a public servant — to pass condemnatory judgment on her constituents? And where in the Constitution does it say that government is empowered to impose a religious test on citizens?

    By the way, here’s the 17th Apostolic Christian Statement of Faith: “Governmental authority is respected and obeyed.” Maybe God hath granted her a loophole.

    Follow me on Twitter, @dickpolman1, and on Facebook.

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