Davis: Get off your knees and get to work

Statement by Annie Laurie Gaylor
Co-President
Freedom From Religion Foundation

"God showed up in the form of an elected official: Kim Davis." That absurd claim came from Mike Huckabee.

At least to pandering presidential wannabes, defiant Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis apparently looks like a political savior. Huckabee and Ted Cruz tried hard to hog some of Davis' limelight yesterday.

Huckabee added: "Today I was proud to stand with Kim Davis as she was released from jail. Kim Davis should have never been locked up for being a Christian and for following her conscience and the law."

How dishonest. Davis may be a Christian and may have been following her own hypocritical conscience, but she was locked up for refusing to do her job in accordance with the law.

"To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God's definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience," Davis demurred, while having no qualms about violating the conscience, and civil liberties, of others.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning properly noted that religious convictions cannot "excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk."

Davis ran for the office knowing that her job would entail issuing and signing marriage licenses for applicants. (Further adding to the irony is the fact she's been divorced three times.)

Far from being the martyr her deluded fans consider her, even comparing her to Rosa Parks, Davis is a 21st century incarnation of segregationist governors who tried to block black students from attending integrated public schools.

Davis figuratively tried to stand in her county courthouse's door to block county citizens from legally marrying. She didn't just refuse to issue licenses herself, but barred anyone in her office from issuing them.

Davis is not above the law just because she's a Christian bigot. And in the United States, contrary to her assertion, there is no law higher than the Supreme Court and its interpretation of our godless and secular Constitution.

Religious Right law firms like the Liberty Counsel are using the Davis affair to raise money and make outrageously bigoted claims. One of her lawyers, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, said Tuesday that asking Davis to do her job is like requiring her "to grant a license to engage in pornography, to grant a license to sodomize children or something of that nature."

If Davis can't in good conscience carry out the duties of her public office, then the solution is clear: She needs to resign and end this fundamentalist circus.

Otherwise, she should get off her knees and get to work.

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