The government should keep away
From personal belief
The government, by taking sides,
Can only lead to grief
The government is neutral
So that no one view will win
Kim Davis is the government—
It’s time to reel her in.
I haven’t seen a GOP candidate get this one right yet (and I have not seen a Democratic candidate interviewed in the first place). The party of Keep Your Government Out Of My Business is applauding a case of the government getting all up in people’s business.
A commenter at NPR (I won’t link, because there are thousands of comments on that story now, and I will never find it again) asked whether her oath of office or the first amendment took precedence, and another commenter replied that the Free Exercise clause beats her oath of office. That second commenter is also wrong–see, “free exercise” in this case applies to the couples whom Kim Davis denied marriage licenses. Davis is the government in this case, and she is quite literally prohibiting the free exercise of couples in her county to enter their holy bonds of matrimony. Davis is also clearly violating the Establishment Clause as well, as her actions are essentially putting the county government under the heel of her personal religious beliefs, establishing them for everyone.
Why, other than Christian Tribalism and vote-grubbing (the cephalopod asked and answered simultaneously) would a party supposedly of Small Government be in the corner of such a blatant example of governmental overreach?
Well, much like the Blues Brothers, she is on a mission from god. So nyah.
Al Dente says
She has been reeled in by the judge.
Almost, Al Dente. Apparently, county government is the Davis family business, and her son Nathan intends to carry on in Kim’s place.
M can help you with that. says
So very much this.
Conservatives and theocrats (but I repeat myself!) never seem to get this right. Everyone has free speech and free exercise rights, which are only severely curtailed…in one’s actions as the government.
“Kim Davis, private citizen” has free speech and free exercise rights; “Kim Davis, County Clerk” has the free choice to either follow the law and do her job…or resign. I have the right to hold the opinion that religion is a spectrum of bullshit ranging from “silly but basically benign” to “holy shit keep it away from me.” If I take a job as a teacher at a public school, though? I’m acting as the government, so I can teach my subject, keep students from sniping at each other or disrupting the class, and do whatever it takes to avoid even the impression that my opinions on religion have the force of my position behind them.