Kim Davis is Dead Wrong

We not only have freedom of religion in this country, we have freedom from religion. According to her oath of office, she certifies that the records are accurate and maintained in proper order. She does not certify that she personally approves of the records or endorses them. If as a matter of conscience, she believes that she cannot fulfill the duties of her office, then she should resign. That is her right, but she does not have the right to choose what law she will or will not obey. If everyone did that, the entire legal system would collapse.

In real terms, her actions and those of others are simply efforts to subvert the law by claiming religious freedom in the practice of her conscience. The record of her religious observance thus far has not been good so why is she suddenly becoming so pious? This clearly is a strategy of the Republicans to undermine the Supreme Court decision and to confuse the issues through legal wrangling in which the Court repeatedly has said that she has no merit or standing for appeal.

The Bill of Rights and legal precedence have been interpreted in numerous cases that there shall be separation of church and state, which not only means that the government can not impose a state religion, but also means that no religious institutions can impose their dogmas or persons their beliefs upon others or enact them as mandatory requirements to obtain basic civil rights. There are no religious tests for holding office, nor are there religious exceptions for not obeying the law.

The Constitution and legal precedence have established that federal law supersedes state or local law in most cases where the Federal Government has a primary interest. Equality before the law clearly is one of the foundations of our legal system, and when it is not observed then we have a corrupt and unjust system. The Supreme Court merely declared that this one minority couldn’t be excluded from having the same rights as other citizens. And because it addresses a fundamental right, then it must be equally applied under the law and cannot be over ridden by state law.

The Supreme Court decision does not address the issue of what churches or synagogues or mosques may or may not do when it comes to same-sex marriage. The rites and rituals of the church are beyond the purview of the court. Although the clergy are authorized to issue a marriage certificate, they are not restricted in what ceremony they may choose to use or to whom they may refuse to offer the ritual. The law applies only to public officials.

Kim Davis is an elected public official who has chosen to put herself above the law and thereby disqualify her for office. She cannot be fired; she only can be impeached and that is a very lengthy and expensive process. She claims she is taking a moral stand, but is it moral to disobey the law? Especially when you are a public official elected to uphold the law? This is a deliberate effort to avoid the implementation of the law and to exclude a protected minority as defined by the U.S. Supreme Court. We already have many abuses of our legal system, are we to tolerate one more abuse?