(Fred Weinberg) – I always enjoy watching liberals—undereducated by their own pathetic public schools—twist in the wind when someone of true conscience takes an action with which they disagree. It’s as if the left has cornered the market on conscience.
Back when I was a boy in school, they were marching in Selma, Birmingham and Montgomery, trying to convince Congress that all men truly were created equal and Martin Luther King was quoting Henry David Thoreau’s Essay on Civil Disobedience. (Before the teachers union took over, they actually made us read it in public schools.) Ultimately, King’s methods worked and both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed.
They were not passed without people like Rosa Parks and King, himself, spending some time in jail. The concept is called civil disobedience.
So, today, the very same people who consider those achievements among the holy grail of American government are perfectly willing to denigrate a County Clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, who is willing to go to jail for refusing to sign her name to a marriage license for a same-sex couple because of her own religious beliefs.
Now, I need to say right here that I am still very uncomfortable with the concept that a public official is refusing to do her job because of her religious convictions. It is a slippery slope.
But I am in awe of her courage. Just as I was in awe of those who braved Bull Connor’s dogs, water cannons and jails in Birmingham when I was just a boy.
Additionally, I—like Mike Huckabee—would like to know precisely what “law” she has violated. Where did Congress write a law that allows gay marriage and orders all 3,144 county clerks in America to issue such licenses. Where did the Kentucky legislature write such a law? I certainly can’t see one on the books. We know that equal rights in public accommodations is the law. It was signed by President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964 after having passed both houses of Congress. We know that all citizens have the right to vote. That law was passed in 1965 by both houses of Congress and signed by President Johnson.
When did Congress pass a law which says that the nation’s 3,144 county clerks must issue marriage licenses to gay couples? In fact, when did Congress pass a law which orders county clerks to issue marriage licenses at all? Which President signed that law?
In point of fact, her “crime” was to defy a court order issued by a Federal Judge, which was that she must issue such licenses. She said she could not and is, as of this writing, in jail.
Federal Judges are the closest thing this nation has to feudal lords. They serve for life and cannot be defied except by a higher ranking judge. But, as Huckabee, among others, has pointed out many times, this is a system of checks and balances. If the judicial system is a check on the legislative branch and the executive branch, those branches must serve as a check on the judicial branch of government.
To quote Thoreau, “The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free.”
I would like to think that if I felt that strongly about something I would have that kind of courage. I hope I would.
Her husband, speaking to USA Today, said “She won’t bow, I promise you. I’m just an old, dumb, country hillbilly, but I know God.”
Keep in mind that she is the duly elected Clerk of Rowan County which means that she really can only be removed by the people who elected her. And she’s perfectly willing to go to jail for what she believes. Whether or not you agree with her, that is impressive.
There is also the argument that the LGBT community is trying to make an example of her.
I’ve quoted Henry David Thoreau. Let me also quote those two modern philosophers, Ron White and Arlo Guthrie. (I doubt that has ever been done in the same column before.)
On the issue of selective enforcement, allow me to point out once again that there are 3,143 county clerks in the United States who presumably ARE issuing marriage licenses. And Davis wasn’t issuing ANY marriage licenses—not just licenses to same-sex couples. Yet, the Federal government has descended on this county in Kentucky to take this woman to jail.
Ron White: (from his album Behavioral Problems) “They found 7/8 of a gram of marijuana in my bag. Now, when I have 7/8 of a gram of marijuana, I consider myself to be…out of marijuana. That is no weed. They handcuffed me and put me in the squad car, and took me to jail. Now, I’m not being an ass about it. I broke the law, that’s fine, but…, this is Florida! These cops drove by three meth labs and a dead hooker just to get here!”
This is a local issue in Kentucky with an elected county clerk. If Davis’ actions were to inspire some more of the other 3,143 county clerks, then what?
Arlo Guthrie: (from Alice’s Restaurant) You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him. And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both queer and They won’t take either of them. And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin’ in, singin’ A bar of “Alice’s Restaurant” and walkin’ out? They may think it’s an Organization! And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day . . . Walkin’ in, singin’ a bar of “Alice’s Restaurant” and walkin’ out? Friends, They may think it’s a MOVEMENT, and that’s what it is: THE ALICE’S RESTAURANT ANTI-MASSACREE MOVEMENT! . . . and all you gotta do to join is to Sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar. With feelin’.
What happens if this becomes a movement?
How many county clerks will how many Federal Judges put in jail then?
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.