Several months ago, Scott Sumner had a post expressing exasperation at the tendency for policymakers to make obviously erroneous public statements as “People can say just anything, anything at all – anything goes.” And of course I pushed the envelope a bit farther (as I most always do) to show that it isn’t just saying anything at all. They actually act upon these statements, unethical urges in an epidemic of attempts to create one’s own reality of epic proportion.
In the latest example of bureaucratic audacity, Rowan Co., Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, though having been jailed for refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, is still defiant after release, vowing to block the issuance of such licenses on religious grounds upon her return to work tomorrow in direct violation of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution.
Aside from the fact that Ms. Davis is on her fourth marriage, her personal opinion of anyone applying for a marriage license is entirely beside the point that the very same amendment to the Constitution she claims affords her the individual right to free exercise of religion as to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples also creates a partition between government and religion.
The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
“…Respecting an establishment of religion” is actually quite broad as to prohibit also the possibility of unofficial, de facto establishment of state religion by respecting establishments within bodies of religious governance on a case by case basis. In other words, government cannot establish a state religion by simply adopting legislation that reflects religious governance one piece at time, calling the entirety of the result a body of civil law instead.
If the marriage equality activists had not won their case on the 14th amendment, they could have won it on the 1st which would have been far more devastating to the “values” crowd because the concept of legal marriage could have been stuck down leaving nothing but civil unions for everyone. I almost wish that had been the case for the purpose of establishing a semantic and psychological difference between the two concepts of marriage in the public psyche to help prevent further encroachments of religion into civil law. If marriage is a religions thing and is governed by religious beliefs, it has no place in civil law being governed as if it were a religious thing.
And here we have the confused Ms. Davis not knowing the difference between civil law and religious law, who in her duties executes civil law, careening straight toward having the first amendment enforced as it should have always been as it pertains to civil governance of marriage.
In my last post about Ms. Davis, a more emotional post, I labeled her as a tyrant for usurping the legal authority of the State of Kentucky to impose her extra-legal urges on her constituents. But on second thought about the situation, it may not turn out to be such a bad thing after, as she appears to be determined to do, she exhausts this thing in the legal system up to the Supreme Court.