OPINION (Hofmann): Kim Davis and Religious Liberty (Sept 2015)

DEFENDING KIM DAVIS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
By Bradley A. Hofmann (KPTP Vice-President and Communications Chair)
September 2015

Kim Davis Banner

Opinion Editorials Disclaimer: The views expressed by contributing authors may or may not reflect the official positions of the Kitsap Patriots Tea Party.  We believe in free, responsible speech and welcome hearing the differing viewpoints of our members.

Background:

In recent news, Kim Davis, an elected clerk in Kentucky, was arrested for refusing to issue wedding licenses to homosexual couples following the Supreme Court ruling authorizing same sex marriage. In this article, I will share my thoughts in support of Kim Davis, provide the rationale behind my support, and present the case for Christians to stand in defiance of governmental decrees.

My Opinion:

I stand in support of Kim Davis. For far too long, Christians have been bullied by secularists. For far too long, God has been slandered as a public nuisance by secularists. I commend Kim Davis for her obedience to God in refusing to participate in a practice in opposition to God’s moral code. The issue is bigger than Kim Davis or same sex marriage. It is one of the survival of constitutional government and the fate of religious liberty in America.

Davis’ Motivation:

Kim Davis is not a hateful bigot as liberals and media may portray. As a self-described Democrat and Christian, she chose obedience to God first and foremost. By subscribing her name to a document which violated her faith, she knew the lens of history would show her participation in and condoning of an act in opposition to God’s law.  She did not want that hanging over her head. Davis’ motives were of pure reasons, not hate for any person or group.   David Barton of Wallbuilders offered a three-part defense of Kim Davis: 1) Davis merely refused to participate in an act which would violate her faith, 2) Our history contains myriad examples of religious conscience protections, and 3) the Bible instructs standing strong.

[F]ew subjects in the Bible are stressed as strongly as that of every individual maintaining a pure conscience before God – referenced more than thirty times in the New Testament alone; and multiple passages instruct that public policy be crafted to protect the rights of conscience.

Constitution and the Law:

I would like to make a few points regarding Davis’ legal obligation to issue same-sex marriage licenses:

First, in no way does the Constitution mandate same-sex marriage. I agree with Mark Levin (view links below for Levin audio) when he argues that the Supreme Court took an activist role and exceeded its bounds by attempting to legislate.  It was the Supreme Court not adhering to the rule of law (i.e. the Constitution), not Kim Davis.  Levin states that we are a Judeo-Christian nation and the Court took the issue of marriage out of the hands of the people and is actively separating us from our beliefs.  For a detailed constitutional analysis, listen to Levin’s 01/16/2015 broadcast.

Second, Supreme Court rulings are not the same as law. Mark Levin declared, “Just because a court issues an opinion doesn’t make it lawful.”  Governor Mike Huckabee, in agreement, pointed out a fact most reporters have missed: there is no Kentucky law mandating that Kim Davis issue same-sex licenses. Since courts cannot legislate and no law existed, Kim Davis was not breaking the law. As the Founders intended, the several states, localities, and individuals themselves ought to make these important faith-based decisions.

Third, courts are comprised of fallible human beings, thus checks and balances on the court are necessary.  The Supreme Court is not a Supreme Oligarchy consisting of angels having final arbitration over the Constitution.  Like all branches and levels of government, human nature dictates that checks and balances be in place.  Kim Davis was an elected clerk representing the will of her constituents and imposing an important check on judicial power.  In his book “Men In Black”, Mark Levin points out that courts have issued grotesquely immoral rulings: “Activist Supreme Courts have justified slavery, segregation, and racism.  They helped precipitate the Civil War and set back race relations more than a century.”  The personal opinion of 5 of 9 lawyers in a court is not equivalent to the moral nature of the body politic.  In the words of Al Sharpton, “Resist we much, we must, and we will much, about that, be committed (Note: inserted for comedic purposes).”

Fourth, liberals are hypocrites when it comes to the rule of law. Though not a constitutional or legal defense for Kim Davis, it is an important recurring theme for voters to be mindful.  Unequal enforcement (or non-enforcement) of the law is representative of the social and political decay instigated by liberals.  Senator Ted Cruz and Frank Turek of Cross Examined make the point:

Where is the call for President Obama to resign for ignoring and defying our immigration laws, our welfare reform laws, and even his own Obamacare? When the mayor of San Francisco and President Obama resign, then we can talk about Kim Davis. – Senator Ted Cruz

Liberals believe in civil disobedience—when it suits their causes. Despite chanting, “Do your job!” outside Kim Davis’s office, liberals were rejoicing when San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom ordered clerks to violate California law and issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in 2004.  – Frank Turek

Historical Basis of Christian Activism in America:

Since America’s founding, church leaders were at the forefront of political matters.  Our Founding Fathers named pastors, such as Rev. George Whitefield and Rev. Jonathan Mayhew, as the leaders of the American Revolution. The Battle of Lexington & Concord began with colonists assembling for battle at Rev. Jonas Clark’s church.  After a powerful sermon from Ecclesiastes, Pastor Peter Muhlenberg took off his robe revealing the uniform of the Continental Army.  Of the men that signed the Declaration of Independence, half had the equivalent of seminary degrees.  When the Supreme Court issued the Dred Scott decision, Abraham Lincoln, in obedience to the Almighty, defied the court and pushed harder to abolish slavery.  The stories are boundless of men and women of faith standing up for God’s principles.

Biblical Basis for Christian Activism:

There is no part of life that God’s influence doesn’t touch. Unfortunately, there is nearly no part of life that government doesn’t touch.  Mark Levin has surmised that “you just want to be left alone, but government won’t leave you alone”.  As salt and light, we must extend our influence to government affairs.  The world of politics is not outside the realm of God’s calling for us.  Christians must stand lest the free exercise of the Church and freedom of conscience be swallowed up by a ubiquitous, aggressive secularist government.

Throughout the Bible, God reminds us that he has His hand in civil government.  God sent prophets to counsel kings, awarded the righteous with places of esteem in civil government, and stresses the importance of just rulers through stories, heroes, and commands.  Frank Turek recalls:

Civil disobedience also has precedent in the Bible. When Pharaoh ordered Hebrew midwives to murder all Hebrew boys, they disobeyed and even lied to the authorities (Exodus 1).  And Daniel and his friends peacefully defied laws that contracted God’s commands.  Likewise, when the Jewish authorities told John and Peter to stop telling people the good news that Jesus paid for your sins and rose from the dead, they disobeyed saying that they would obey God rather than men (Acts 4).”

We are called to be bold and courageously speak the truth in love.  We have a duty to our fellow man as watchmen on the wall and a stewardship charge from God to occupy until He returns.  Christian apologists Dr. William Lane Craig and Frank Turek explain the Christian duty to resist unjust decrees:

[W]e should and must resist authority if it requires us to act contrary to God’s will. – Dr. William Lane Craig

Therefore, the principle for Christians is this: civil disobedience is necessary when a government compels you to sin or prevents you from doing something God commands you to do. You don’t disobey the government merely because it permits others to sin—only when it compels you to do so. – Frank Turek

Concluding Remarks:

When laws are unequally enforced, when laws are created by those unauthorized to create them, and when laws (whether promulgated or contrived) are used to suppress the rights of the citizenry, the conditions are primed for dictatorship and tyranny. Mark Levin states that “tyranny has many forms”.  Our Founders defined tyranny as the confluence of legislative, executive, and judicial power into the hands of one or a few (e.g. Madison).  We are dangerously close to that point.

In the decades following the Supreme Court’s removal of God from the public in the 1960’s, Christians have bent over backwards justifying their own surrender.  I emphasize: Christians have used out-of-context Bible verses as a weapon against themselves, have shrunk in fear of the IRS and secular authority figures, and have bought into secular talking points pushing docility upon believers.  The Scriptures declare the opposite: the body of Christ ought to boldly stand against cultural and political pressures that are contrary to God.  Was it wrong for the martyrs of the faith to oppose kings and pharaohs; was it wrong for Martin Luther to pound his theses on the church door; was it wrong for our fathers to separate from Great Britain and declare their religious freedom; was it wrong for Abraham Lincoln to defy the Dred Scott decision and progress God’s truth of the equality of man; was it wrong for Dietrich Bonhoeffer to follow his faith and speak out against the Nazis, was it wrong for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to defy unethical laws and to demonstrate for the advance of civil rights?  I call on Christians and churches to stand courageously and speak without fear.  Help the Kitsap Patriots Tea Party’s special project “Speak Without Fear” bloom throughout Kitsap County and beyond.

We are a country founded on Judeo-Christian values, founded by those fleeing religious oppression and seeking a land where we could worship God and live according to our faith, without being imprisoned for doing so. I call upon every Believer, every Constitutionalist, every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis. Stop the persecution now. – Senator Ted Cruz

Mark Levin References:
Supreme Court is Nullifying the Law, Not Kim Davis
Hits Back Hard Against Those Who Say Kim Davis Should Follow the Law
Dismantles Lindsay Graham’s Pathetic Arguments About SCOTUS and Rule of Law

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