That’s the Way the Law Works #TraditionallySouthside

In recent days, my newsfeeds and social media has exploded with stories and posts about a singular individual who has had the most polarizing effect on our nation that I have seen in recent years. The stories have revealed the schizophrenic tendencies of our great land. Castigated by believers and unbelievers, straight and gay individuals, politicians and lawyers. At the same time, defended by believers and unbelievers, straight and gay individuals, politicians and lawyers. No, I am not talking about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I am talking about a lady by the name of Kim Davis, a Kentucky Clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Actually, if I understand the story completely, she chose not to issue any marriage licenses, which, by the way, has been the decision of many clerks and judges around the country. What sets her apart is that she was very vocal about her religious beliefs that prevented her from authorizing the marriage of same-sex individuals. And I believe that it is the very outspoken profession of her beliefs that landed her in jail at the hands of an overstepping federal court judge.

What has amazed me are the vicious verbal attacks hurled at this woman, and they have not all come from unbelievers or homosexuals. No doubt, you have read as I have, the attacks on her character. I have been appalled by the number of posts from professing Christians declaring this woman unworthy to stand up for the sanctity of marriage due to her own history of broken marriages and acts of infidelity. Sadly, they have overlooked the simple fact that since those days, Kim Davis was miraculously transformed by the saving grace of a Holy God who has declared her to be holy through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Her past is gone like the rest of us who have been saved. She has been washed clean. She is now living out her beliefs. Is she perfect? I can guarantee you that she is not. Neither is the man writing this blog nor are those of you who are reading this blog. The best that we can hope for is that we are forgiven, and based on that forgiveness, we have been empowered to stand for all that is holy and all that is godly.

Still, many Christians have called on her to resign if she couldn’t do her job. Others have supported the actions of Judge Bunning. Ironically, Kim Davis was not only standing up for what she believes, but also she was DOING HER JOB! Did you read that? She was doing her job! I have thought about this for several days now. I have read articles by theologians and pastors, politicians and lawyers, and ordinary people like you and me. All of them espousing their own brand of political or spiritual correctness. But here is the deal. I read a Facebook post this morning from someone that I don’t even know that hits the nail on the head. Here it is:

“I was in favor of Kim Davis being jailed last week in Ky because I believed the media when they said she was violating the law by refusing to issue a marriage license to same sex couples. But, I heard a comment from Mike Huckabee that made me wonder if it was true. So I did a little reading. Remember in Civics class where we learned that Congress makes the laws and the Supreme Court interprets them? Ok, in 1996, President Clinton signed the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) into Federal law stating that marriage was between a man and a woman. There was no Federal Law concerning marriage prior to that, so DOMA became THE Federal statute pertaining to marriage. The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that PART of DOMA was unconstitutional and some states voted to allow same sex marriage. However, they were in conflict with the remaining articles of DOMA. The way Federal Laws work is that state law can be MORE restrictive but it cannot be less restrictive than Federal law. So, some states, who voted to recognize same sex marriage were in conflict with Federal Law. Which is the reason the Supreme Court heard the issue again this year. We all know their decision. But, what we apparently forgot is that since they can’t make law, their decision to declare DOMA unconstitutional resulted in there being NO federal law concerning marriage. Which means, jurisdiction falls to the state. And what that means boys and girls is that Kim Davis IS NOT in violation of ANY law by refusing to issue marriage licenses after the SCOTUS ruling. In fact, if she had issued a license to a same sex couple, she would have been in violation of the state laws of Kentucky, which had voted no on the issue.

Congress failed to be prepared to handle the situation resulting from SCOTUS striking down DOMA by writing a new Federal Law so we are left with the issue being handled at a state level. In the states that voted no on this issue, same sex marriage is not Federally protected.

Like it or not, agree with it or not, that’s the way the law works in this country.”

5 Comments on “That’s the Way the Law Works #TraditionallySouthside

  1. I had no idea that that was the case. I has to recend a judgmental comment I made against this lady earlier this week, having to remind myself that to pass judgment was not my place, morally or legally, but with this new information I can look at this whole situation with renewed context. This is why I eternally appreciate you as my pastor Bro. Ben.

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  2. If the issue is with the state, why is governor Beshear refusing to take part in any of this? He was quoted as saying this issue is a “matter between her and the courts.” and that calling the state legislature to deal with the issue would cost hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars, which sounds to me like he doesn’t want the state to deal with the issue. Also, the SCOTUS specifically stated that denying gay marriage licenses is against the 14th amendment of the constitution of the United States. So if she’s denying marriages of any sort due to religious scruples, she’s still deliberately disobeying the courts and the constitution. Oh, and Obergefell v. Hodges specifically states that gay marriages are to be recognized on both a federal AND state level.

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    • Brian, thank you for your response. I think many of our politicians do not understand the nature of this conflict or they lack the will to address the issue. In addition, you missed the point of the post. The Supreme Court does not have the power to create laws. Only Congress can do that. In addition, if you view the Supreme Court as the final say on the Constitution, then they have contradicted the same Constitution by denying Mrs. Davis her rights to religious freedom. Up until recent years, both the Supreme Court and our congress have recognized and accommodated those rights: conscientious objectors in the military, abortion issues with doctors and nurses, and even recently, the Navy overturned a previous decision concerning one of its most decorated chaplains and his views concerning homosexuality.

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      • Freedom to practice religion doesn’t exempt anyone from exercising their duties as servants of the people. If Mrs. Davis didn’t want to give marriage licenses, she shouldn’t have taken a job that involves doing so.

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      • Brian, when she took the job, marriage had been officially defined as between a man and a woman. Serving the people, even in government service, should not require a person to violate their religious beliefs. Beyond that, I do not believe that the court has the right to do what they did. That made a mistake that needs to be corrected.

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