Sunday, September 06, 2015

First They Came for the Christians

By Daniel John Sobieski

We live in a fundamentally transformed America where Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis is thrown in jail for refusing to issue a lesbian couple a marriage license in violation of her religious beliefs but San Francisco officials who violated the law, created a sanctuary city, and harbored an illegal criminal alien charged with the murder of Kate Steinle, are not?

Kim Davis, we are told, is obligated as a public official under the law, as determined by the Supreme Court, which was not established to write laws to issue such licenses. But then are we saying Christians can’t be public officials?

What about Muslims? Would a Muslim clerk be thrown in jail?

The Supreme Court has ruled, we are also told, that gay marriage cannot be stopped under the Constitution and must be permitted in all fifty states. The Supreme Court once ruled in Dred Scott that slavery was legal, and that some human beings were property, if they were human beings at all.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who once abandoned being a strict constructionist in defense of ObamaCare’s constitutionality, got it right when he attacked the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage:

“Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law,” he wrote.

Stripped of its shiny rhetorical gloss, the majority’s argument is that the Due Process Clause gives same-sex couples a fundamental right to marry because it will be good for them and for society,” Roberts wrote. “If I were a legislator, I would certainly consider that view as a matter of social policy. But as a judge, I find the majority’s position indefensible as a matter of Constitutional law.

It is the Supreme Court’s job to validate god laws, and overturn bad laws, not to write them. There is a reason we have state legislatures and a Congress which passed the Defense of Marriage Act. There is a reason we have 50 states. One-size laws do not always fit all. The Supreme Court doesn’t always get it right. And bad rulings, like bad laws, should be disobeyed.

What about the Jim Crow laws written by Democrats? They were scrupulously obeyed by public officials in the South. What Kim Davis has done used to be called civil disobedience. Martin Luther King was willing to go to jail for his beliefs. So is Kim Davis, who shares in King’s belief that bad laws should be disobeyed.

And now we have the Obama administration chiming in and saying that no one is above the law. Really? Is this the same Obama administration that won’t obey its own laws such as ObamaCare, rewriting them on a whim, legislating by executive order contrary to the will of congress and decisions by the Supreme Court?

When Fox News host Megyn Kelly told guest and Presidential contender Sen. Ted Cruz that Kim Davis was indeed obligated to follow the law, Cruz pointed out the double standards embraced by Davis critics, who often pick and choose which laws they will enforce:

Well, but that's fundamentally wrong. The consequence of that statement, that standard is that Christians can't hold public office or if they do, they must be willing to violate their faith or go to jail. That is not America. That is not how this country works. And let me point out to all of the politicians, both Democrats and Republicans who are touting that if Miss Davis doesn't want to follow this lawless judicial decree from the Supreme Court that she should resign her office. Where have those voices been? Calling for the mayor of San Francisco to resign who has declared San Francisco a sanctuary city. Defying immigration laws...

...American citizens have been murdered by violent criminal illegal aliens because of the mayor's violation of the law or where are those voices calling for President Obama to resign for six-and-a-half years, he has defied the law, immigration law, he's defied welfare reform laws, he's even defied his own ObamaCare law. When the mayor of San Francisco and President Obama resign, then we can talk about Kim Davis.

We don’t throw conscientious objectors in jail during time of war. We accommodate them. We can’t the religious beliefs of Kin Davis be accommodated when homosexual and lesbian couples can hike over to another county and find a compliant clerk?

Accommodating the religious beliefs of Americans is not on the agenda of the Obama administration or the secular progressives that dominate our courts, our media and our culture. Witness the persecution and prosecution of the Little Sisters of the Poor, dragged into court for refusing to comply with the ObamaCare contraceptive mandate, also the law of the land, in violation of their religious conscience. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized:

The Little Sisters contend ObamaCare not only violates the First Amendment's religious guarantees, but also the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That requires the government to implement its policies in ways that do not impose an unnecessary burden on the free exercise of religion….

If the Little Sisters lose their case, they'll either have to violate their religious conscience or face fines of around $2.5 million a year, or about 40% of what they beg for annually to care for the dying poor. Their ministry would be severely crippled, as would the First Amendment's guarantee of religious liberty.

The incarceration of Kim Davis for her religious beliefs shows just how far we have gone down the slippery slope in the war on religious liberty. The Soviet Union, as the late Francis Cardinal George of Chicago once observed, also had guarantees of religious liberty in its Constitution. Sounded good, except there, as increasingly here, you could exercise your beliefs in the public square as the state became the ultimate deity.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

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