What next for Kentucky?

I thought it interesting that US District Judge David Bunning requested that not only Rowan County clerk Kim Davis attend the hearing tomorrow at 11:00am following her defiance of his order but that all six of her deputy clerks attend as well. All of them are authorized to issue licenses too. It is known that four of them support her stance, one does not care much either way, and the sixth is willing to issue licenses. But all have been forbidden to do so by their boss on the grounds that since it is her name of the forms, that means she will go to hell even if the signature is that of her deputy, because her god is not very smart and unable to pick up on such subtleties
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It’s martyr time, Kim Davis!

Today the US Supreme Court turned down the request of Rowan County clerk Kim Davis for a stay of US District judge David Bunning’s ruling that she has to issue marriage licenses to all qualified couples, including same-sex ones, pending a hearing on the merits of her case by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. That court had already turned down her request for a stay on the grounds that her appeal was unlikely to be successful.
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Kim Davis has committed a boo-boo

The saga of Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County in Kentucky, who has been fighting for Jesus by denying marriage licenses to all couples ever since the US Supreme Court ruled in June that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, has got weirder. (Her appeal for a stay of the district judge’s order to issue licenses is now before the Supreme Court.) It turns out that in February, she had issued a marriage license to a couple consisting of a transgender man and a woman.
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Ted Cruz’s Sunday sermon

There is a provision in the tax code, inserted into the law without debate in 1954 by then senator Lyndon Johnson, that requires nonprofit institutions, if they want to preserve their tax-exempt status, to not engage in political campaigns or try to influence legislation. (I went into this in some detail back in 2012.) Some churches have chafed under this restriction and beginning in 2008 decided to challenge it and for the past few years they have engaged in what they call Pulpit Freedom Sunday, usually timed a month before the November elections, giving explicitly political sermons, telling people how to vote, and even following it up by sending tapes of their sermons to the IRS, daring them to revoke their tax-exempt status. So far, the IRS has declined to do so.
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The revolt of the (few) Kentucky county clerks

Christian hero Kim Davis, the Kentucky country clerk who, despite losing her case in court, continues to refuse to issue all marriage licenses so that she does not have to issue them to same-sex couples (because Jesus would not approve) is taking her fight to the streets. A rally was held in front of the state capitol that supposedly drew thousands of people to hear her speak for about a minute. It sounded more like a revival meeting than a political rally designed to kick off a mass revolution.
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Trump and the Bible

One of Donald Trump’s strengths in the eyes of his supporters is that they think that he is genuine and is willing to say what he believes even if it offends the elites. In fact, he has tapped into the fact that his willingness to be ‘politically incorrect’ is a large part of his attraction. But when it comes to religion, he seems to want to be ‘politically correct’ in paying lip-service to the Bible.
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Religious implications of finding life on other planets

There have been an increasing number of discoveries of planets orbiting other stars that are in the habitable or ‘Goldilocks’ zone, not too close or too far from the star and thus having the kinds of temperature and size that might be able to support life. The possibility of intelligent life existing on other planets is tantalizing no doubt and opinion is split as to whether it exists or not. I for one think that it does. From our own existence, we know that the probability of intelligent life emerging is non-zero. Given the huge number of stars and planets out there in the universe, it seems possible, if not likely, that it could have emerged elsewhere too. But at the same time this same vastness of space makes it highly unlikely that we will ever find out about other life so it will likely remain a theoretical speculation.
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Evangelicals and Donald Trump

Evangelical Christians are a major part of the Republican voting base and I was curious about how they felt about Donald Trump, since he does not seem to be particularly religious. At least, he does not talk about god at every opportunity. Sarah Posner writes that Trump has split the evangelicals along unusual lines, with so-called ‘born again’ Christians being less favorable to him, and those evangelicals who do like him being those who care more about projections of American machismo than they do about religion.
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