As for many of us, I have been watching intensely the scene that has been going on in Kentucky with current Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis. Franky, I am amazed at how a small minority of religious zealots and exploitive politicians are taking up her cause. In my view, she is breaking the law of the United States of America, an oath she SWORE to protect.
These people supporting her cause are screaming about the rights for religious freedom. True, that is one of the constitutional rights protected and what makes America great. However, there is a right that far supersedes this right and that is called ‘Equal Protection under the Law’ when it comes to the public arena. This is long settled law…period.
So, do you think I am saying that the right to practice one’s own religion is not sacred? Not at all. Practice and preach your religion as fiercely as you may like. However, you do not have the right to impose your own beliefs on someone else’s beliefs. I think we can all agree about this, yet there are, in all honesty, thick-minded people who do not get this fundamental American principle and constitutional right.
The Rowan County clerk is a public official. She must act in the capacity as such. She has quoted the Kentucky statutes that oppose same-sex marriage. News flash….those statutes have been deemed unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court of America, the highest court in the land and the final arbiter of the constitution. Just because you do not like its rulings does not mean you can disobey them, especially if you work for the government.
I guess these vocal Right Wingers and pandering politicians never heard of the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution. Here it is in simple terms. The laws of the United States regarding the constitution supersedes ANY laws or statutes that come from state legislatures or state courts. This is American politics 101.
Those of you who still disagree to follow the law, let me turn the table around, just a bit, and see how strong you still hold on to your position.
Let’s say that a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man wanted to get married. Moreover, let’s install a Muslim county clerk into the mix. This county clerk says that it is against his religious belief to issue this license as it is against his Islamic religious conscience. Would the same people (the ‘Christian Hard Right’) who are advocating ‘freedom of religion’ be protesting this situation? Would presidential candidate Mike Huckabee be running out to protect the Muslim clerk’s ‘religious conscience?’ I would proffer the odds of that happening are 0000001%. Therefore, these ultra right religious group are really a Christian group that wants to impose their religious beliefs upon others in the public arena. This is objectively not permitted in the constitution. Yep, that crazy little clause as in the ‘Separation of Church and State.’
If an Orthodox Jew was a county clerk, and then enters a mixed religious couple of a Jewish groom and a Christian bride, would it be ok if this Jewish clerk would not issue a marriage license? There is an example of a Jewish Postal worker who would not work on the Sabbath (Saturday) and lost in court. He works for the government and that is the deal.
It is painfully obvious that the US Supreme Court has ruled, and we are a country of secular laws and not religious laws. If the Religious Right wants to insert religion in government service, would they be equally OK if Sharia law was fair game? Of course not. This is simply the Religious Right trying to insert their beliefs upon others. That is not what the constitution means by ‘freedom of religion.’
It is time to stop this nonsense and stop the pandering politicians, who swore to uphold the laws of the United States, to keep religion to themselves. That is what ‘freedom of religion’ means.
The beauty of this country is the solution is painfully simple. If your religious conscience does not allow for you to follow US law, do not work for the government. Everyone wins…unless their purpose is more nefarious.