Wednesday, September 9, 2015

“Jail the Christian!”

The title of this post might be jolting. But, what is more jolting is that this quote is being practically shouted today by ... “Christians”. Think about the irony of that. As I do, it brings me literally to tears of grief. I never thought I would live to see the day that Christians would be jailed in America for conscientious objection or civil disobedience tied to clear religious conviction. What is more astounding than the fact that I did live to see this day, is that on that same day, “Christians” are cheering it on – and for all the wrong reasons.

By way of background, on September 4, 2015, a federal judge threw Rowan County Clerk, Kim Davis (Democrat), in jail, without bail, for refusing to issue marriage licenses to all couples including both heterosexual and same-sex couples (equally). [As an update, on September 8, he randomly ordered her release pursuant to her behaving in a manner that satisfies him (not necessarily a manner that satisfies the people of Rowan County), but the damage of precedent is already done and will become the biased template.] Over the weekend I engaged in a number of conversations, mostly with Christians, expressing my personal defense of Kim Davis and opposition to what is clearly excessive punishment under judicial tyranny (the same judicial tyranny the Supreme Court warned of in their famous decision in June). Several of my friends responded by openly defending the judge who jailed Davis, even posting their defense of her jailing across multiple social media outlets before thousands of people (the practical equivalent of shouting). And, the vast majority of these defensive friends are professing “Christians”. I am fairly sure this is not an anomaly in America. What is becoming clear to me is that far too many “Christians” today are ill-informed Biblically, detached Constitutionally and conflicted intellectually (the same can also be said of non-Christians who argue in lock step with a deceptively ill-meaning culture). Without betraying trust, I will thoroughly address common responses here. I will paraphrase each response in italics followed by my reasoned and prayerful response.

Davis is not carrying out the law of the land. Before addressing non-progressives, the hypocrisy of progressives forfeits their basis for lecturing the rest of us on the “rule of law” as they have defended with thunderous applause when their political idols have openly violated the law of the land as a daily, public discipline. Allen West clarified further, “Lois Lerner, is free and receiving a taxpayer-funded six-figure retirement check while Kim Davis sat in jail. Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter — for whom six American soldiers lost their lives during search and rescue operations on his behalf — roams free while Kim Davis sat in jail. Eric Holder — who was held in contempt of Congress and responsible for Operation Fast and Furious, resulting in the death of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry —walks about free and probably on a speaker’s circuit while Kim Davis sat in jail. Al Sharpton — who owes the IRS millions in back taxes and has visited the White House some 80 times — did his show on MSNBC while Kim Davis sat in jail. Louis Farrakhan incites violence and talks of killing white people while Kim Davis sat in jail.” More to the point, when elected officials around the country were breaking the law by defiantly marrying same-sex couples, I don't recall the jailing arguments and fervor that are now directed at Davis. But, now that a Christian seems similarly defiant, of course we must jail her without bail! To the non-progressives, I offer this response: Davis herself asked the Court an eloquent question, “Under what law am I authorized to issue homosexual couples a marriage license?” Reader, can you name that law - just one law? The reason that you and the judge truthfully can’t is that there is no such law. As Presidential Candidate and former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, put it, “The Supreme Court cannot and did not make a law. They only made a ruling on a specific law. Congress makes the laws. Because Congress has made no law allowing for same-sex marriage, Kim does not have the Constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples.” Once the Supreme Court rules against the Constitutionality of a law, it remains the sole discretion of the Congress and the States to follow through by enacting law that either complies with the ruling or ignores the issue altogether. No such law or statute has been passed by either Congress or the State of Kentucky. In fact, the laws that do exist in the State of Kentucky are a Constitutional Amendment that prohibits same-sex marriages, in addition to a RFRA law that forbids jailing of Christians or any other person of faith on account of their religious convictions. Kim Davis was following the law passed overwhelmingly (75%) by the people of Kentucky. In truth, she is being jailed by a judge because she refused to break the standing laws of Kentucky. When she took her oath of office, it was an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Kentucky. She did not take an oath to uphold or obey the rulings of the Supreme Court as if they are laws, especially when doing so would violate her oaths. Kentucky’s laws have not been overturned or replaced, but remain in full force. Kim Davis is absolutely carrying out the law of the land … of both Kentucky and the USA. And, unlike the Supreme Court ruling, the First Amendment is in fact the law of the land and stand above the Supreme Court and this Federal Judge. It is this law that is being violated by the the judge that ordered her jailing without bail. These judges and their defenders are arguing to uphold a fictitious law of the land while they openly violate the actual highest law of the land. Logically, where are the cries to jail the judge for violating the First Amendment? This argument against Davis actually has very few teeth if any, intellectually and legally, as Davis was following the law of the land to near perfection, which is more than can be said of her jailer.

The Supreme Court made gay marriage law in all 50 states. Huckabee addressed this as well, “Five un-elected lawyers have abused their power by ruling in favor of a national right to same-sex marriage with no legal precedent and with nothing in our Constitution to back it up. They have violated American’s most fundamental right guaranteed by our Constitution — religious liberty.” Consider how it can be that five activist judges can create a new individual right based on personal behavior and subjugate an established individual right — a First Amendment right? The very first words, after the Constitution's Preamble, are these: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” “All” means that none/zero are left to the courts. Courts are forbidden constitutionally from writing law. In order to maintain the rule of law and government by the people, law has to be written by those elected by the people as their representatives. A “law” is not a “law” unless it is enacted according to Constitutional procedure. Further, the Supreme Court does not hold the Constitutional authority to change laws either. Under our Constitution, courts have no power to make or change law, none whatsoever. We are a nation of laws, not men. The most lawless actor in this case was in fact the Supreme Court and its minion, Federal Judge Bunning. The legitimacy of Davis’s protest is inseparable from the illegitimacy of the court opinion that made it necessary. But alas, the Constitution is ignored, Federalism is dead, the rule of law is history, and religious conviction is criminalized. The U.S. is apparently now a nation lorded over by five un-elected black robes. On these points, those who argue otherwise argue in favor of judicial tyranny, which is the exact opposite of republican democracy (also the law of the land). Martin Luther King Jr., famously wrote in his letter from a Birmingham Jail: “I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.” I agree. And, everyone, especially Christians, should also agree.

The Supreme Court is the final say. Wrong. There is no superior branch of government over the other two. All three are co-equal. The Supreme Court is the supreme of courts, not the supreme of branches of the Federal Government. And, only one branch has the authority to make laws – Congress. In fact, there are many examples of the Supreme Court being defied by another branch for inappropriate rulings. Probably the most famous is Abraham Lincoln defying the Supreme Court ruling in the Dred Scott case of 1857. The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that Dred Scott, a former slave, was not a person, among other things. Lincoln defied the Supreme Court and ultimately prevailed with the resulting help of Congress and the States. To those who hold such a position against Davis, your position should similarly apply to Abraham Lincoln and Dred Scott. But, therein your position is exposed for for its dangerous lack of merit. If your position was followed, we would still have black slavery today.

Davis should just resign. This is the second ugliest of double standards primarily directed by liberals (and echoed by Christians). Do you ever hear such imperatives directed by liberals at liberals? When Obama and Clinton refused to carry out the laws of the land (DOMA, sanctuary cities, DREAM Act, illegal bathroom servers and obstructing justice, IRS targeting conservative groups, DOJ prosecuting journalists, Obama assassinating American citizens, the cover up of actions that killed an American Ambassador in Benghazi, etc.) where were the calls for their resignations? What about all the mayors that openly broke the law by illegally marrying homosexuals prior to the Supreme Court ruling? According to liberal standards they should have resigned instead of breaking the law. But, liberals and their echoing Christians made no such impassioned pleas then, did they? Rather, we turned a blind eye to liberals’ flagrant and deadly violations of law but ruthlessly throw the Christian woman in jail without bail for such a small misinterpretation of "noncompliance"? All we heard while liberals broke the law was approving applause from those who now cry for the “righteous” resignation of Davis. Davis should resign after Obama resigns. Instead, the White House responds to her jailing with the quote, “no one is above the law.” Of course by that they mean...unless your last name is Obama. This is the richest of displays of utter hypocrisy. However, concerning this quote from the White House, it is in fact accurate. But, it also means that the President, Congress, the Supreme Court, and Federal Judges are not above the law either. Ironically and sadly, Davis is actually following the law that the people of Kentucky enacted (by referendum no less). She is the last person who should resign, and her judge/jailer should be the first. Otherwise, we jump on the next slippery slope: Christians with conviction are unfit to hold public office. Presidential Candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz put it best when he said, “Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office. That is the consequence of their position. Or, if Christians do serve in public office, they must disregard their religious faith–or be sent to jail.” That is not only absurd, it is at best persecution and at worst unconstitutional tyranny. Every reader must be reminded that such religious persecution is precisely the reason our early settlers fled England for America. Countless dead soldiers later, we have foolishly come full circle to embrace what we preciously eluded.

Jailing was the only option since Davis is an elected official. This is a twisted version of “the punishment fits the crime.” But, that conclusion is disconnected from the realities of justice? Jail without bail should be reserved for the most violent criminals, not conscientious objectors. America has had a long judicial history of providing “reasonable accommodation” for people with religious objection, including elected officials. That is what the First Amendment is all about. Even the ACLU, who represented the homosexual couple in question, argued that the punishment of jail without bail was too severe. When the ACLU openly argues that the punishment is way out of bounds, you can bet it is way out of bounds. For anyone to align with jailing Davis, you are aligned more leftist than the ACLU. By the way, there were several reasonable accommodations available to this judge including issuing licenses without her signature. In addition to that, the judge had other options at his disposal including having the licenses issued in neighboring counties. But, the judge in this case was Hell-bent (pun intended) on making an example of this Christian. The problem is that the Constitution does not allow such punitive discrimination, but forbids it even more explicitly than it forbids discriminating against sexual preference. Religious freedom is the first in the Bill of Rights. It is truly shocking that those who oppose lesser forms of discrimination against homosexuals, support a most extreme form of discrimination against Christians (indefinite jail without bail) for individual conscientious objection. Further, those same supporters refuse to advocate for jailing liberals who openly breach our laws that result in the deaths of our citizens. The moral compass is broken.

Christians should not impose their views on others. Actually, what is happening in this case is exactly the opposite. Davis was marched into jail without bail indefinitely. Every one of her freedoms were thereby denied. She sat in a prison cell with zero line of sight of freedom. How again is this a case where Christians’ views are being imposed on others? No, this is a clear case where homosexuals’ and liberals’ views are being forced on Christians, and to the point of denying Christians all rights. This Federal judge has clearly declared, that the newly established “right” of same-sex couples to marry trumps Davis’ appeal to the constitutionally enumerated right of religious liberty explicitly enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution and the God-given rights contained in the Declaration of Independence. Further, calls for Christians to resign are yet another form of imposition upon Christians. So, who again is imposing on whom? Hint: in this case, those who are advocating for jail are imposing upon those being jailed.

This [defense of Davis] is the reason I left the church. This was a rather puzzling response. My reasoned defense of Davis was distorted as “hateful” towards homosexuals. How is it hateful to defend a Christian who is unjustly sitting in jail indefinitely? I don’t recall Christians jailing homosexuals. It is the Christian who is being jailed in this case, not the homosexuals. If refusing to issue a marriage license is hateful, how much more hateful is unjustly jailing a Christian? Are we so blinded by our culture's distorted definition of “love” that we actually support the jailing of Christians in the name of that same "love"? If that is love, I'd rather be hated. If that is tolerance, give me intolerance. If you left the church because Christians passionately defend each other when they are jailed, then I don’t follow you. Then again, such blindness should not be followed - but intellectually dismissed as a dangerously lopsided double standard.

Christians should not be applauding or defending in any way the jailing of Christians for civil disobedience and conscientious objection. If you applaud this, you are applauding your own slavery. And, you are encouraging the persecution of God’s Bride. Did you ever read about any followers of God in the Bible who defended the jailing of God's followers (Paul, Silas, Daniel, Peter, etc.)? Did you ever see an example of a Christian in the Bible who laid out positions in favor of jailing brothers and sisters over conscience? There is a good reason why such foolish positions are absent from the Bible.

To Kim Davis and her defenders, Isaiah 54:17 says, “no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” To the rest of you (especially Christians), in Psalm 50:20-21 God says, “You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother's son. These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.” Kim Davis is a daughter of the King, His prized possession and Bride. And, if you are a Christian, Davis is more your sister than your biological siblings - and she should be so treated. The surrender of our culture to the Enemy means that pain is unavoidable for both sides of this debate. The defenders of Davis will face persecution. However ultimately, if God is for us, who can stand against us? But, woe to those who defend her jailing, especially those who claim to be her spiritual family. We should rather be found wrong in defending Davis before the King’s return lest we be found in favor of jailing His Bride. 

I boldly and openly stand in defense of Kim Davis and pray for every spiritual sibling like her. If you are a Christian, you should too – no ifs, ands or buts.

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