Religious demands for special treatment get even more extreme

It looks like the publicity surrounding Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis’s claims that her private religious beliefs should allow her to disobey any law she thinks is wrong has encouraged other crazies to adopt her attitude and demand that their ‘freedom of religion’ means that their religious practices and privileges take precedence over everything else and everybody else’s rights.
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Big Mountain Jesus can stay

I came across this interesting story about a lawsuit against a statue of Jesus on a ski slope on a mountain in Montana, a statue that has come to be known as Big Mountain Jesus. Back in 1953, the US Forest Service issued a permit to the Catholic group Knights of Columbus to construct a 6 foot statue of Jesus on a 6 foot high base (now known as Big Mountain Jesus) on federal land that had been leased to a private ski resort. During winter, the base is usually covered in snow, with just the statue sticking up.
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Get rid of the monument already!

It turns out that despite repeated defeats in the courts, Oklahoma has still not removed the Ten Commandments from the grounds of its capital building. The appeal by the state’s governor Mary Fallin to the state Supreme Court was rejected on July 27. Fallin then said that she had not received a direct order (from her god perhaps?) to remove the statue, clearly a stalling tactic to avoid taking any action.
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When inter-racial marriage was blocked after the Supreme Court ruled in its favor

We have seen that some of those who object to same-sex marriage have thrown up road blocks by saying that they will have nothing to do with any marriage, same-sex or opposite-sex, and that this means they are not discriminating against same-sex couples and thus they are honoring both Jesus and the law. Of course, they are also not carrying out the duties of their office and, if ordered by the courts to do so, can be found in contempt if they continue to refuse, as has happened in the case of Kim Davis in Kentucky.
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Did Kim Davis make a strategic error?

[UPDATE: Federal judge David Bunning has ordered that Davis can be released from jail since five of the six deputy clerks have been issuing licenses to all qualified people and “provided that she shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.” You can read the judge’s order here. It is not clear as yet if Davis agrees to those conditions. She is probably checking with Jesus who is wondering why the hell this woman keeps bugging him with her petty concerns.]

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis continues to be in jail for contempt for defying a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses. She has asked the governor of Kentucky to release her from jail so that, according to her lawyers, “she can do her job”, but he has refused to do so, which seems appropriate since not doing her job is what landed her in jail in the first place.
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The legal status of Kentucky’s marriage licenses

And so it came to pass that same-sex couples received marriage licenses this morning from the Rowan County clerk’s office.

A gay couple emerged from the office of a defiant county clerk with a marriage license in hand Friday morning, embracing and crying after a lengthy standoff that landed the clerk in jail for her refusal to issue the licenses because she opposed same-sex marriage.

William Smith Jr. and James Yates, a couple for nearly a decade, were the first to receive a marriage license Friday morning in Rowan County. Deputy clerk Brian Mason issued the license, congratulating the couple and shaking their hands as he smiled. After the couple paid the license fee of $35.50, James Yates rushed across the steps of the courthouse to hug his mom as both cried.

A crowd of supporters cheered outside as the couple left, with a street preacher raining down words of condemnation. Yates and Smith said they are trying to choose between two wedding dates and plan a small ceremony.

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This is getting to be even more of a circus

Five of the six deputy clerks in the Rowan County clerk’s office decided that issuing marriage licenses to all who are legally entitled to them is perhaps not such a bad idea since David Bunning, the federal judge overseeing the case, told them that their only other option is to join Kim Davis is federal custody for contempt. Interestingly, and I am not sure why this was not more widely known before today, the sixth deputy who is still holding out happens to be her own son Nathan Davis. While a touching sign if filial loyalty, this also smacks of nepotism.
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