According to RAW Story, right-wing extremist Kim Davis—the Rowan County, Kentucky court clerk who refused to give marriage licenses to LGBT couples in spite of this summer’s Supreme Court ruling declaring such discrimination unconstitutional—is being held up by the far right as a political “martyr” for religious liberty. Comparisons are being made between this bigoted ass clown and Jewish victims of the Nazis, and civil rights figures such as Rosa Parks.
The lies are obvious, but let me clarify why they are lies and why the people telling them know they’re lying.
To begin with, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifically forbids Congress from making any “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This does not mean that people may impose their religious beliefs on others. In fact, it means the exact opposite: Those in government may not abuse their positions to force their religions onto other people—period.
Next, the 14th Amendment specifically forbids the same rights and privileges enjoyed by one group of Americans from being denied to other groups. Our rights and privileges apply to every American—period.
Finally, the Supremacy Clause (Article Six, Clause 2) means that federal law (and the federal Constitution) trumps state laws and constitutions—period. Just because Kentucky passed a constitutional amendment denying LGBT persons the same right to marry we straights take for granted doesn’t mean it’s legal for the state or its officials to discriminate. That’s what the SCOTUS rightfully ruled back in June.
The fact of the matter is that no Christians are being oppressed in the U.S. They have not only enjoyed absolute freedom to practice their beliefs; they have also dominated public policy for decades at all levels of government to one degree or another. The far right whackjobs defending Kim Davis know all this, but they hope you’re too stupid to figure it out. What they’re whining about isn’t oppression, but that they no longer wield the political clout they once did to impose their beliefs on everyone else.
Kim Davis is not a martyr for any cause. She is a bigot who is being punished for abusing her office to discriminate against people she doesn’t like. It’s one thing to respect a person’s right to practice his or her faith. It’s quite another to be expected to let that same person force that faith on others. Religious liberty isn’t just for one bigoted sect of so-called Christians. It’s for everyone.