Gotta go

It’s the first week of biology labs here at UMM, and I caught most of the morning sections — I’m expected to put on my lab coat, get into the lab, and do my job in a half hour. Except that I have just learned that if I invoke God’s authority, I can shirk all I want for as long as I want. I think I’ll just go back to bed for a while.

Except…here in the real world, if I refused to do my job, I’d be fired so fast. It doesn’t matter that I have tenure — refusal to fulfill the obligations of my employment, the basic, necessary work for which I was hired, would get my ass launched out the door like I was loaded into a cannon. I could squabble futilely for a good long while, throw lots of money at irresponsible lawyers (the only kind who would take my case), but the conclusion would be foregone.

I guess I better get moving. I’ve got a few hours of teaching sterile technique to cell biology students ahead of me, even though it is not mentioned in the Bible.


  1. Thomathy, Such A 'Mo says

    Well, she may protest as long as she likes, but she’s going to be removed from her position eventually. What’s really awful about her behaviour is that rather than do the easiest thing she could when she can’t with conscience perform her job, step-down, she is simply refusing to perform one of her job’s requirements. What other functions of her job could she refuse to perform without being summarily dismissed, by whatever means she can be?

    I find it incredible that a person can so flagrantly flout court judgments without some more immediate consequences.

    Shame, indeed, upon Kim Davis. I don’t think, however, that she’ll ever be damned to hell.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    oh psshhawww. just claim religion!!!! when not fulfilling job requirements; to demand a free-pass for shirking one’s duties. Could use that claim as demonstration of two absurdities: (1)The theists’ claims that Atheism is a Religion , and (2) the use of religious beliefs to trump [punintended] job responsibilities (even when the job is a government position defined as separate from religion).
    {good to know. previously unaware that “tenure” was not an absolute, that it still carries conditions for continual employment. good to know.}

  3. robro says

    I’m willing to bet that there are folks way down upon the Swanee River who see her as a martyr in Obama’s War Against Christianity and freedom to be a bigot. I can hardly wait to have that conversation when I go back there later this year…ugh.

    I wonder if she refuses to issue marriage certificates to couples of different races. I know people that would put inter-racial marriage in the same category of evil as same-sex marriage. More opportunities for awkward conversations at the family dinner table. More ugh. I hate going to Florida.

  4. Usernames! (╯°□°)╯︵ ʎuʎbosıɯ says


    However, the clerk [Kim Davis] eventually emerged and said she would not issue the licenses to same-sex couples, and they asked under whose authority she could make that decision.

    “Under God’s authority,” Davis said. “I’ve asked you all to leave, you’re interrupting my business.”

    Sure, sure. And please point out the statute that prohibits Marriage Equality.

    Oh, you mean the bibble? Sure, go ahead and quote the relevant original Aramaic (or Greek) text.

    You’ve never read it in the original? Yes, that was a trick question, because no originals exist. So you don’t even know what your God’s word was; you’re just making it up (or going off some third-rate mistranslation) as you go along.

  5. cmutter says


    Thanks, Ms. Davis, for providing your own test case, so the ACLU or Satanic Temple don’t have to do it.

    When she gets found in contempt of court and possibly booted from office it’ll provide lots of ammo for the “OMG war on Christianity!!!” crowd, but I don’t think that’s a big deal. They have persecution pareidolia – they’ll spot persecution whether it’s there or not.

  6. bcwebb says

    Common dummy, sterile technique is covered in the bible in Revelations 16:8:
    The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. 9Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues.

    Or at least, I think that’s what it’s about.

  7. says

    Lawyers for that clerk in Kentucky may be using Davis for their own ends. The lawyers are unethical, religious doofuses.

    […] Davis is being represented by the Liberty Counsel, a far-right fringe group that specializes in anti-gay litigation. (Naturally, it is also a Christian ministry and a tax-exempt nonprofit.) Founder and Chairman Mathew D. Staver has used Davis’ case to raise money and boost publicity for his group, going so far as to hold a rally for Davis. In his spare time, Staver has continued to participate in the Faith and Freedom radio show; in recent weeks, he has described the newly gay-tolerant Boy Scouts as “a playground for pedophiles” and compared acceptance of Obergefell to turning over a Jew to the Nazis.

    […] The first sign of trouble arose early in the case: When a federal judge ordered Davis to issue licenses or be held in contempt of court, the Liberty Counsel advised her to disobey the ruling. Good lawyers don’t usually tell their clients to defy lawful court orders, especially when jail time is a real possibility. Yet the Liberty Counsel didn’t mind putting their client at risk—perhaps because the idea of a middle-aged woman being hauled off to jail for purportedly following her conscience would send thousands of anti-gay Americans reaching for their pitchforks (and checkbooks).

    Now the Liberty Counsel has filed an angry, rambling application to the Supreme Court that is little more than an anti-Obergefell rant dressed up as a legal document. […] Davis’ lawyers couldn’t tone down the animus for long enough to pen the application […]. More and more, it’s beginning to look like the Liberty Counsel is taking Davis for a ride, using her doomed case to promote itself and its extremist principles. Davis has certainly humiliated and degraded the gay couples whom she turned away. But I wonder if, on some level, she isn’t a victim, too.

    Lawyers who are also a nonprofit, tax-exempt ministry? WTF?

  8. eeyore says

    I am morally opposed to the war on drugs, so I should not take a job as a DEA agent; this is not a difficult analysis. Don’t take (or keep) a job that bothers your conscience. Orthodox Jews and Muslims who object to handling ham should not be working at delis that serve ham sandwiches. To use John Corvino’s example, Amish farmers should not take jobs as school bus drivers and then complain that it bothers their conscience to drive busses. And this clerk has an even weaker case than the baker and the florist and the photographer because she took a job working for the government, enforcing government laws.

    On the downside, she’s probably doing what most of her constituents want, which means she’ll get re-elected as many times as she likes. Though at this point she’s become enough of a hero to the Christian conservatives, I’m sure one of them could find her a job in the private sector.

  9. Usernames! (╯°□°)╯︵ ʎuʎbosıɯ says

    I wonder if she refuses to issue marriage certificates to couples of different races.
    — robro (#5)

    You should totally do a preemptive strike by stating you hope she denies issuing licenses to divorcees (Matthew 19:9) or non-virgins.

  10. annetaylor says

    You know this jerk is, in fact, on her fourth marriage. The Jesus character had nothing to say about the gays, but had plenty to say about divorcing. Essentially, she’s a court-sanctioned adulteress–adultery being punishable by airborne stones.

    She should do time. There is such a charge as “theft of services” that should be lobbed at her… along with the stones.


  11. moarscienceplz says

    Oh, she’ll lose her job eventually. What chaps my hide though, is that she will then go on the godbot lecture circuit and “earn” way more money telling all those mouth-breathing xians how “oppressed” they all are.

  12. says

    I hate to think that Kentucky clerk will earn money on this display of intolerance, but my bet is that she will.

    In the meantime,

    The latest motion in the case asks U.S. District Judge David Bunning to hold Davis in contempt. Bunning will probably hold a hearing for the gay couples to present evidence, which could include testimony from Davis herself. Bunning would then decide on punishment. That could include fines, jail time or both, but the motion asks the judge to impose only financial penalties.

    This morning, Davis refused to issue a marriage license to April Miler and Karen Roberts. That’s in addition to having refused David Moore and David Ermold four times.

  13. frog says

    Her own lawyers advised her to defy the court’s order? Isn’t that grounds for disbarment?

    I love that she’s claiming the protection of the 1st Amendment, when meanwhile her actions (or rather lack of action) are exactly in violation of the 1st Amendment.

  14. shadow says

    The godbotherers probably will pay the fine(s) she incurs for her faith. Fine her $10K per day — that $80K per year will go fast, and she’ll see how much support she’ll get from the other bible thumpers.

    How long can they last at that rate?

  15. mithrandir says

    @Lynna, OM: I’ve seen that article a few times, and I wanted to say something about this line:

    Davis has certainly humiliated and degraded the gay couples whom she turned away. But I wonder if, on some level, she isn’t a victim, too.

    If she’s a victim, she’s a fully willing and consenting one. She’s even got a safeword, or rather phrase: “Mr. Moore, Mr. Ermold, your marriage license is approved.” It remains how long she’ll stay in jail once she finds out what it’s actually like, but if it comes to it, she’ll go to jail fully convinced she’s a martyr.

  16. EvoMonkey says

    I think Kim Davis’ undoing in all this will be that she also denied marriage licenses to heterosexual couples. That would seem to be no violation of her so-called “religious freedom”. Denying heterosexual sexual couples marriage licenses subverts a tenet of her fundie apostolic Christian faith. This reveals that this isn’t about religion. Her stance is purely anti-gay bigotry. She just did not want to appear to be a bigot, but in so doing I think she undermined her “religious freedom” argument.

    I don’t see how these cases distill down to where one person’s freedom begins and another person’s freedom ends as conservatives see it. It just seems to be an issue of justice and not personal liberties. These cries of Christian persecution and infringement of “religious freedom” are the new covert Confederate Battle Flag.

  17. irene says

    Quoted in a recent Dan Savage column: “Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis divorced three times, first in 1994, then 2006 and again in 2008. She gave birth to twins five months after divorcing her first husband. They were fathered by her third husband but adopted by her second. Davis worked at the clerk’s office at the time of each divorce and has since remarried.”

  18. robro says

    Usernames — I wouldn’t state that I “hope” she does any of this. I’m just wondering how far she will push it. Clearly she’s jumped the ship on Matthew 19:9 as she’s been “put away” three times, and working on her fourth. So, I’m guessing she doesn’t think a thing about issuing licenses to divorcees. Probably doesn’t even ask.

    Maybe Trump will run her as his VP, if Palin doesn’t want the job.

    Who’s her boss anyway? Where’s the boss? Shouldn’t that person or persons be stepping in?

    Note that there was similar resistance after the SCOTUS decision in Loving vs Virginia. Alabama judges continued to enforce that state’s anti-miscegenation laws for three years after the decision. Alabama didn’t actually change it’s laws until 2000…33 years after the decision. Jeez, it’s so embarrassing.

  19. Saad says

    EvoMonkey, #20

    These cries of Christian persecution and infringement of “religious freedom” are the new covert Confederate Battle Flag.

    Well said.

    It’s about ethics in civil rights journalism.

  20. cmutter says

    robro@22: She’s elected, so firing her isn’t straightforward. She could be impeached, but the legislature’s not in session until January. They could call a special session, but we don’t know if that would work because the legislature might actually be sympathetic, and/or not want the blowback from her supporters (of course, the longer the whole shitshow goes on, the more likely it would be to work).

    Federal court’s calling her and her office staff into a meeting on Thursday, probably to discuss contempt-of-court sanctions.

  21. says

    Cross posted from the Moments of Political Madness thread.

    Oh, good, a sign that some rightwing religious extremists will NOT support Kim Davis, the elected county clerk who is refusing to issue marriage licenses:

    […] Maggie Gallagher, whose life’s work has been opposing same-sex marriage, limply wrote in the National Review, “There is no way to maintain the rule of law if public officials can ignore direct court orders.”

    The most belligerently anti-gay writer at the Heritage Foundation, Ryan Anderson, wrote, “The citizens of Rowan County have a right to receive in a timely and efficient manner the various government provisions—including licenses—to which they are entitled.”

    If you peruse conservative media, it becomes clear that they’re more bent out of shape about Obama letting Alaska name its own mountain than they are about this woman’s supposed martyrdom.

    It is true that Gallagher and Anderson are both holding the line on the claim that individual county clerks should be allowed to refuse licenses, but only if the clerk is able to get someone else to issue the license. (Davis is trying to stop gay couples from getting licenses from her office altogether.) It’s a childish bit of ground to hang onto, this hope that gay couples have to endure a little humiliation by having one clerk refuse them before they are finally helped by another, but these are people who used to predict the end of civilization if gay couples got married. So they’ve given up all but this very narrow symbolic ground.[…]

    Talking Points Memo link