The preamble of the US Constitution reads as follows:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In short, the purpose of the United States government, as outlined by the preamble, is to serve its people, and by that I would expect said service to cover all US citizens.

One of those services is the management and dispensing of legal rights associated with marriage.  Marriage over the years has evolved into considerably more than the joining of two people in a socially recognized relationship.  Multiple rights, recognized at the local, state and federal level, attach automatically, including tax-free transfer of property, joint tax filing, next-of-kin status in the event of a medical emergency and multiple others.  These rights have considerable value, which is likely a considerable part of the reason why those who have been excluded from access to marriage, gays and Lesbians most recently, have worked so hard to persuade the federal government to their point of view.  Those efforts came to fruition when Obergefell v. Hodges came before the US Supreme Court, which ruled that same-sex marriage bans in those states which have enacted such laws are unconstitutional.  In effect, that decision erased any distinction between same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage from the point of view of the government.  There is just marriage.

Enter Kim Davis, a county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky.  She is an Apostolic Christian who sees marriage in the purely parochial view of her church, being between one man and one woman.  Certainly she is to be allowed this viewpoint without question.  However, as a representative of Rowan County, Kentucky and by extension, the United States, she is obliged by law to perform her duties as county clerk in accordance with those laws which pertain to her position.  I would rather suspect that she swore an oath to that effect upon assuming her office, an oath one would hope she would take seriously.

Yet it probably comes as no surprise to any atheist that Ms. Davis was willing to exercise her own moral code when she was confronted with her first gay couple, applying for a marriage license, a few weeks back.  As with many believers of her ilk, she may hold that God’s Law holds sway over human pronouncements or that the US is a Christian nation and she therefore has the right to exercise her Christian beliefs as a right of her office.  In both cases, of course, she is mistaken.  Neither is her god a recognized authority by our government, nor is the United States a Christian nation, a fact affirmed by Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli.  U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning stated clearly in citing her for contempt that: “Her good-faith belief is simply not a viable defense,” adding that “Oaths mean things.”

So now she sits in a Rowan County jail cell until such time as she either relents in her obstinacy or is removed as a county clerk, with the latter being far more probable than the former.  Right now her subordinates are issuing marriage licenses for couples both gay and straight.  Any objections she may have to those actions are moot and ineffectual at this point; her office will function without her presence.  Much as Ms. Davis wanted to serve her god, her job required her to serve people.  She herself said: “God's moral law convicts me and conflicts with my duties.”  That being the case, she should be relieved of her duties – forthwith – and her position given to someone who is willing respect and honor the law of the land and provide services to those to whom the Constitution has guaranteed such service.

To Ms. Davis I would simply say this: “Your attitude does not befit your position – get out.”

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Comment by The Flying Atheist on September 4, 2015 at 7:43pm

Not to go off on a tangent, but does the phrase "promote the general Welfare" mean universal health care?  [grin]

Comment by Michael Penn on September 4, 2015 at 4:39pm

Yeah, I like that comment posted by Rachel Held Evans. Those words sum it up and they are golden. Idiots want to make this out that somehow Kim Davis is only practicing her legal right of public protest to the law.

WRONG! She is refusing to do her job. She is an elected civil servant.

Comment by Loren Miller on September 4, 2015 at 2:47pm

100% agreement, Pat.  Sadly, it's entirely possible that the ultra-right-wing Religious Reich may come to her support and lionize her to their own madhouse constituency ... and if they want to waste their money doing so, we can do nothing to stop them.

What is bothersome to me is that this is in large portion a direct result of the Hobby Lobby decision, though mapped onto a governmental venue.  I am encouraged that the Rowan County Kentucky Attorney wants nothing to do with her, will not defend her, and has wholly denounced her actions.

I'd like to think that, if such events repeat themselves in multiple locations, that those who would attempt to push their religion into the government using this technique would reconsider their actions.  Sadly, I suspect they are either not that smart or too bullheaded to do so.

Comment by Loren Miller on September 4, 2015 at 2:18pm

A further commentary, courtesy of The Daily Kos:



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