“THE LAW” VERSUS A CLEAR CONSCIENCE — reblogging Your Sister is in Jail

freedomconscienceI suppose it will seem to some that I am going too far, that I am just being absurd and playing the Hitler card. I am not playing the Hitler card.  What I am playing is the conscience card. With that in mind, please consider the words of Hartley Shawcross, the lead British prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal. Here is an excerpt of Shawcross’ defense of the CONSTITUTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL, the document that authorized the Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal.

Admittedly, the conscience shrinks from the rigors of collective punishment, which may fall upon the guilty and the innocent alike, although, it may be noted, most of these innocent victims would not have hesitated to reap the fruits of the criminal act if it had been successful. Humanity and justice will find means of mitigating any injustice in collective punishment. Above all, much hardship can be obviated by making the punishment fall upon the individuals who were themselves directly responsible for the criminal conduct of their state. It is here that the powers who framed this Charter took a step which justice, sound legal sense, and an enlightened appreciation of the good of mankind must acclaim without cavil or reserve. The Charter lays down expressly that there shall be individual responsibility for the crimes, including the crimes against the peace, committed on behalf of the state. The state is not an abstract entity. Its rights and duties are the rights and duties of men. Its actions are the actions of men. It is a salutary principle, a principle of law, that politicians who embark upon a particular policy-as here-of aggressive war should not be able to seek immunity behind the intangible personality of the state. It is a salutary legal rule that persons who, in violation of the law, plunge their own and other countries into an aggressive war should do so with a halter around their necks. (from here)

We cannot hide behind the “fact” we are just following orders or obeying the law. We can always refuse orders or disobey “the Law,” and sometimes we must. Therefore, it seems to me those who think Kim Davis should resign want something that never was and cannot be. They want good people bound by “The Law,” but not bound by the need for a clear conscience. Yes, Ms. Davis occupies an elected office. Yes, she has obligations to her constituents, but would she fulfill those obligations if her conscience did not require it?

Don’t we know that “The Law” can be anything man can imagine? Who establishes — what establishes — The Law? Are the members of the Supreme Court the only people who can read the Constitution? Are the members of the Supreme Court the only people who take an oath to support and defend the Constitution? Why doesn’t anyone take an oath to support and defend the opinions of the Supreme Court?

Why do we require public officials to take an oath to uphold the Constitution, not the Supreme Court? Most of us can read. The Constitution is plainly written. It is a brief document. The Federalist Papers, not a library full of legal journals, explains most of the major issues. After considerable deliberation, the American People, not the Supreme Court, reluctantly accepted the Constitution as The Law of the land.

Didn’t the Constitution infer that men have the right to own slaves? The fact the Constitution is imperfect is why the American People accepted it reluctantly.  With its unconstitutional decisions — with lies — the Supreme Court threatens to wreck the Constitution. Just five people, five people with too much pride in their own wisdom, arbitrarily amended the Constitution and legalized same-sex “marriage,” overriding the laws of Kentucky and many other states.

No one believes the people who wrote the Constitution considered “same-sex “marriage” a right. We know the men who wrote the Constitution designed a system of laws intended to protect our individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not to force crap like same-sex “marriage” upon unwilling. Yet same-sex “marriage” advocates would use “The Law” to do exactly that. Is homosexuality a new or obscure concern? Don’t we all know that when the Supreme Court declared a right to same-sex “marriage” five people lied?

Is Ms. Davis perfect? No. Is she some sort of hypocrite? I don’t know. Is she the one I would have picked to take a stand against same-sex “marriage”? I certainly would not have picked her if I were making a movie. Nevertheless, with her refusal, she has made the hypocrisy of the proponents of same-sex marriage self-evident. With blatant hypocrisy they demand that she follow “The Law,” but when have they shown any respect whatsoever for The Law, especially the plain intent of the Constitution?

Should we be surprised that those who would pervert marriage will also pervert The Law? No. Instead of condemning Ms. Davis, such should question their own motives. Why do they prefer lies? What price will they pay to defend their precious lies? Who won’t they sacrifice upon the altar of that perversion they call “The Law”?

So what should we do? Here is a suggestion. (H/T to insanitybytes22 for the link to Your Sister is in Jail at Glass Planet.)

But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority…”

The ink was barely dry on U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s order sending Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis to jail for following in the apostles’ footsteps, obeying God rather than man before the Minutemen of the “me too! I’m good just like you!” faction of Christ’s Holy Church took to the interwebs to declare their solidarity with the pitchfork waving mob. It is not my purpose to go down any of the gazillions of rabbit trails, logical and otherwise that sprout like toadstools across the manure-rich landscape of social media after the rain of such schadenfreude laden storms. (continued here).

Instead of calling for Kim Davis to resign, we need to replace the people who appointed and confirmed the appointment of dishonest judges. We also need to amend the Constitution. We must stop the judges on the Supreme Court from arbitrarily amending the Constitution.

57 thoughts on ““THE LAW” VERSUS A CLEAR CONSCIENCE — reblogging Your Sister is in Jail

  1. Good post, Tom. You and I are having similar thoughts about the nature of the law today.

    In terms of “the law,” in this case, a clerk is required to sign their own name on the dotted line saying they personally approve of this license and are backed up by the full force and power of the county gov. I empathize there and with some amusement, because twice in my life I have been asked to sign loyalty oaths for organizations and political groups I was in. It sounded so normal, so routine, but actually sent me fleeing in terror out the door, never to return. There is just something about signing your name in blood and declaring you condone and approve of all that is being done here, under penalty of law.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As member of the Republican Party, I am required to sign an oath, a loyalty oath. I don’t like it, and I wish they would get rid of it.

      It requires that we support the Party’s candidates. Basically, what it means is that if you participate in the selection process, you support whoever wins the party’s nomination. If the Democrats were not so bad……

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        1. Guess so. We vote on it at the unit (county) level. I have always had mixed feelings about it.

          When drives it? We don’t have party registration in Virginia. So we have to have some way to keep the Democrats out. Since the people we most want to keep out of our nomination processes would lie anyway, a loyalty oath does not strike me as a good solution, but I don’t have a better one.

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      1. Ha! Yes, I know. Both Republicans and Democrats here have those loyalty oaths. The rules, “the law” shall we say, varies from year to year, so sometimes we have a primary,sometimes we don’t, sometimes the unaffiliated can vote, sometimes they can’t. That no man’s land of ever evolving political legalism can really get complicated and confusing.

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        1. Here, at least in the county where I live, the Republican majority in favor of a loyalty oath is more decisive. There is also momentum towards firehouse primaries. Since the party actually runs a firehouse primary, that’s better a state-run primary. Makes the people we elect a little more accountable to the party.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post Tom.

    I am reblogging your post comments about My Sister is in Jail. I ask any readers that may consider any post that brings up the name Hitler to be a a hysterical response to an issue. In my opinion, Tom’s post is directly relevant to the issues concerning Kim Davis.

    KIng Solomon wrote the phrase, My Sister is in jail, in his Song of Songs. The word sister meaning has been interpreted to the Church of Christ as explained in this link.

    http://biblehub.com/songs/8-8.htm

    Regards and goodwill blogging..

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    1. I am not quite certain what you mean when you say “it has begun,” but I agree.

      The line is drawn and what we have seen is only the beginning. Men are calling good evil and evil good. Time to prepare to stand for the Lord.

      Time to put on the armor (Ephesians 6:10-20). On our own strength we will not stand.

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    1. You might benefit from reading Michael Gerson’s column today, just to get a conservative view of the situation from someone other than me. (I always like to inject a little conservative common sense into these anarchical liberal proceedings – the very idea that people can just opt out of the law – and even expect to get paid by taxpayers to do so. Sheesh.)

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kim-davis-is-no-rosa-parks/2015/09/07/e821d528-533b-11e5-9812-92d5948a40f8_story.html

      Scout

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      1. Commonsense. There is a time for that word, but it is often abused. Think about the structure of it. Common plus sense. Commonsense refers to wisdom that almost everyone shares. However, given the way you abuse the word “conservative”….. while referencing the Washington Post.

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  3. What would you do? Cut a great swath through the law to get at the devil? And when the devil turned round, where would you hide, the laws all being flat? This nation is planted thick with laws, men’s laws, not God’s and if you cut them down, and people like Davis are just the sort to do it, could you really stand upright in the winds that would blow? I would give the devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake.

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    1. Think about what you wrote. I don’t think you wrote what you believe. If you did, shame on you.

      Sometimes civil disobedience is called for, and that is hardly a threat to the established order. One of the main reasons the Roman Empire persecuted the early Christians is that those Christians refused to obey the law. They refused to worship the emperor. It took several hundred years and somewhere near 5,000,000 martyrs, but eventually the Roman Empire stopped martyring disobedient Christians.

      When man’s law conflicts with God’s law, we must refuse to obey man’s law. If you think that is a threat to the safety of your body, you are right. Disobey evil laws, however, is good for your soul.

      Does the rejection of evil laws mean we have to try to overthrow the government? Given that every society produces some evil laws, that something of a separate issue. That’s the problem the American colonists faced when they rebelled against King George III. Did those colonists disobey the teachings the Bible? No. I don’t think so, but I think it would be interesting to hear your opinion.

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      1. I recall the witness of Sir Thomas More in this regard. He was the King’s chancellor and a lawyer. When all were called upon to recognize the illicit union of the King and Boylen, More did not protest or offer defiance. He did not spurn the King and the laws of the land. He merely said nothing. In fact, at his trial for treason, they tried to prove his silence betokened denial of the King’s supremacy over the Church in England. More was able to argue rightly that the law required they prove his silence betokened consent, not denial. A lawless man has no defense behind the law, but a man who follows the law has its full protection. More had a show trial; he was convicted before he entered to the room to be sure, all because he would not bend to marriage.

        Those martyrs resisted where they needed to. More did not recognize the King’s marriage or supremacy. Polycarp sought martyrdom and would openly flaunt the Roman laws of pagan worship. Yet, for all his defiance, he was not martyred. In every case, the martyr has been modeled after Christ: oppressed and afflicted but not uttering a cry.

        Resist the law when it is done in humility, not in defiance. Otherwise, the law will be turned back upon us. Resisting in this way will only bring greater sorrow. What judge will not impose greater sanctions on the faithful in an effort to fulfill what has already been called the new orthodoxy?

        The civil power has NEVER been able to marry anyone, heterosexual or otherwise. Marriage is solely between a man and a woman. It is the most natural and basic institution. No state has the authority to say who is married and who is not; it has always been beyond their purview. So let the state issue pieces of paper and extend tax benefits. Neither are marriage. Those things are of Caesar, not God. The martyrs did not worship idols themselves; they didn’t prevent others from doing so. I can’t recall any martyrs who used the power of the state to resist pagan worship.

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        1. All in good humor here mastersamwise, but this is a discussion I have had with God on several occasions. I am a bit like Saint Peter and see no reason why we shouldn’t simply lop off a man’s ear.

          While there certainly is a time to comply and to remain somewhat silent, I’m also reminded that we already had the ultimate martyr go to the cross and die for the sins of all of mankind. It is finished. We are not called to surrender our own selves to the authorities, especially when we have been so blessed with self governance. To remain silent in the midst of that blessing, to refuse to participate, to bow to the authorities when we ourselves are supposed to actually be the authorities, is a sin in my mind. However broken or dysfunctional, we have a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The people in that case, are called to defiance, because in that context, dissent, defiance, is democracy in action. It would be different if we were living under a king, fascism, or a war torn wasteland. Who is the law of this land? We are. Anytime we don’t like the law of the land or believe in is not in alignment with what God wants, we are called to step up and speak out.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I truly think there is a difference between one in public office and the voter. The former does not have the freedom of the latter. They are bound by the law and have a responsibility to it. Hence why if the devil were to come before me for judgment, his case being good, I would give him his due.

          I think the voter is the perfect person, in our constitution especially, to make the stand you are talking about. The civil clerk is a servant of the court and the law. Their duty is to uphold it. If that is something they cannot, in good conscience, do then they should relinquish their post or avoid those instances where they object.

          Again I am reminded of Sir Thomas More who, upon the mandate that all public officials affirm the supremacy of the king over the Church, relinquished his post and thereby remained the kings good servants, but God’s first.

          The voter must act according to his wits. A public clerk must act according to the law.

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        3. I think sometimes we get confused between suffering and being a Christian servant. As Christians we are to serve joyfully, not suffer pointlessly.

          Anyway, I am not going to let you off the hook. What about that problem the American colonists faced when they rebelled against King George III. Did those colonists disobey the teachings the Bible? Read the Declaration of Independence. I think the colonists took great care to avoid rebelling against a lawful government, but from what you have said, I don’t think you do.

          Why do we have elected officials? Those people represent us. When we have an issue like same-sex “marriage,” which includes a dispute as to what the law actually is, elected officials have an obligation to actively represent the will of the people. If that includes refusing to implement immoral laws and remaining in office while they do it, I have no idea why you think that is wrong. Kim Davis is not violating her oath of office. She took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not obey rogue judges. If she allows her name to be used on a same-sex marriage certificate, she believes she would be violating her conscience and arguably God’s Law. She would probably be violating the will of the people who elected her as well. Then she would not be following Christ’s example and trying to be a servant of the people.

          Consider why Christ allowed Himself to be sacrificed. He did what we cannot do. We cannot pay the price for our sins. He also was obedient to God’s will. Does God want each of us up on a cross to pay for the sins of all Mankind?

          Unless you believe in pacifism — I don’t — then what is the point in rolling over and playing dead? When our government creates evil laws in our name, and we submit to these laws, do nothing to oppose them — especially our elected officials — then we have tacitly supported those vile laws.

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        4. The Colonist’s rebelled against what they perceived to be a violation of natural justice based on relative theories of consensual governance. I believe that conflict could have been avoided if there was less liberal and democratic sentiments in America. I further believe there was nothing religious about the American founding i.e. it had no real moral basis for its aims. Compare it to something like the Spanish Reconquista or the Battle of Lepanto where the impetus for the conflict was mainly religious preservation, not just political.

          The judges cannot be rogue according to the Constitution. Whatever our opinions are regarding the decisions of the court, it is not our power to tell the court how to rule on cases. In fact, the relative autonomy of the judiciary from elective procedures was the goal of many of the framers. Therefore, when the justices issue a ruling, our laws, as they currently stand, legalize same sex marriage as a constitutional right. Another panel of justices, a new constitution, or new legislation could change that. But today, in this current time, same sex marriage is protected under the federal constitution and anyone who has sworn an oath to support that constitution must uphold the law in this regard.

          I don’t buy her excuse. I find divorce to be equally reprehensible to the institution of marriage and yet Davis deemed it fully within her beliefs to issue THOSE forms and apply her seal and sign to them. It is the greatest hypocrisy and a scandal to the very name of Christ. She is cutting down laws at her own discretion and the devil has turned on her. She cannot stand for Christ if she would tear asunder what God himself has joined. So in reality, she has been violating the law of God every time someone filed for divorce.

          Christ submitted to death and triumphed over it. If anyone would follow him, then take up the cross and be crucified along with him. Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest during World War II. He was taken to a concentration camp. He led the prisoners there in solidarity, never letting them lose hope. One day, a Polish man with a wife and children was chosen to starve to death in retribution for escape attempts. Kolbe offered himself in the man’s place. After two weeks, Kolbe was still alive and was finally injected with poison.

          Why should Kolbe have paid the price when he neither tried to escape, nor was chosen for death? If we want to emulate Christ, then dying for another’s sin, even an entire nation’s sin, will be an integral part of our lives.

          Resist in ways that will reasonably be effective. Davis will not succeed and actually make things more difficult for Christians in public life. What we ought to do is resist in a prudent and calculated manner, with greater emphasis on conversion of hearts than the changing of law. This is very difficult to do as it relies not on our own power or artifice but on Divine Providence. In short, do not place your trust in princes like Davis, Cruz or what have you. Instead, the cup of salvation–the passion and death of Christ–I will take up and call upon the name of the Lord.

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        5. @mastersamwise, who wrote:

          The judges cannot be rogue according to the Constitution. Whatever our opinions are regarding the decisions of the court, it is not our power to tell the court how to rule on cases. In fact, the relative autonomy of the judiciary from elective procedures was the goal of many of the framers.

          So much for the concept of “checks and balances” which in the Framers’ view applied to all three branches.

          You might consider reading the Declarations of Virginia and Kentucky of 1798 (for example) as a treatise on the Constitutionality of laws. And a bit over half a century later, the US Supreme Court affirmed that black people, whether free or slave, had no rights at all.

          The SCOTUS rulings (Dred Scott and Obergefell and others) did not bring about an actual change in rights; it was merely a foolish ruling by a SCOTUS panel bent on inflicting their own partisan views on the nation. Same-sex marriage may well be voted into legality by the states; some already have, although for many others these were court-inflicted decisions. But this is not a “right” nor something into which the federal court should be inserting itself. And in any event, it does not change other rights in the First Amendment.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Liked by 1 person

        6. “…nor something into which the federal court should be inserting itself.” That is your opinion. Your opinion has no legal weight except in the ballot box. I do not say that the court is right or wrong. I think it is wrong. What has not changed, however, is that, just like Dredd Scott, Obergefell is the law of the land by the power enumerated to court in the constitution. The law may change like it did for Dredd Scott. But is Davis going to affect that change? No, she is not, if we are truly honest with ourselves.

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        7. @mastersamwise
          I am hardly an expert on Spanish history, but I understand the Spaniards and the Muslims fought a religious war. However, their war was no more religious in character than the American Revolution. Because of the terminoly and our crummy educational system, we just don’t think of it that way. We think of it as being about taxes with representation, but it was far more than that.

          Check out the Declaration of Independence and think about what the Founders said. Their document is explicitly religious in character. With reference to God, they said why government exists. They defined the difference between a legitimate and an illegimate government. Then they went on to carefully present a detailed list, enumerating examples of the tyranical character of King George’s government.

          Anyway, you have given me a good idea for a series of posts. Thank you.

          @Keith
          I think I will let your comment on rogue judges stand as is.

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        8. On the contrary, the Spanish wars sought to preserve a culture and a religion that went back to the time of the Romans. The ideals of self-government and self-determination–though noble when rightly understood i.e. not in the context of secular Humanism–have only been part of Western philosophical patrimony for roughly 300 years. Appeals to God and Nature are not sufficient to make a conflict religious. Yes, they believed the rights they demanded came from God. But it was not a religious and cultural oppression that was the impetus for the conflict. Stripping the confilct down to its bare and unidealized skin, it was a conflict of political power. The colonists believed they had a God given right to a say in levying taxes, discriminating against French Canadian Catholics–that is what Jefferson meant by “or abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies” as it was a protestation of the Quebec Act which allowed the predominately French Catholic colonists there retain their French legal system and remove allegiance to the protestant religion, a law that did not sit well with the Puritans of Massachusetts–and all the other things they believed to be so intolerable. I am severely critical of the education system in this regard as a former historical interpreter as I have read numerous first hand accounts and histories that shatter the vision of America at her founding from both left and right. In reality, the American government went on to do the exact same things the British crown was accused of doing except that they were the ones legislating it. The tax hike in the colonies after the war was larger than that they rebelled against.

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        9. @mastersamwise

          Thank you for your comment. I don’t agree, but I must admit you are thoughtful and carefully consider your words.

          In truth, every one of the colonists who fought in the American Revolution had their own motivations. Every man’s motives are also tainted. Nevertheless, the leaders of the American Revolution took a frightful risk. The odds were not at all favorable to their cause. That why that war lasted a long time.

          Many people died, and the conflict brought much suffering. The rebels might have hoped for it, but there never was much reason to expect an easy victory.

          When men fight long and hard and give so much for a cause, they know why they are fighting. Therefore, I think the men who wrote and voted for the Declaration of Independence were honest and direct about their purpose. Since that document speaks clearly, and we have celebrated it for so many years, I am comfortable letting it speak for itself.

          Did the founders create a perfect government? No. That would take perfect men. You should know mastersamwise that none such exist. The best the founders could do is create a better government, and that they did.

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        10. I agree that they set up the best government they knew and am actually partial to it. I do not think the nation they established or the nation we have today has the religious character that many would ascribe to it. I have seen too many try and consider America as some new Jerusalem. We are a secular nation out of necessity to provide the best religious tolerance possible. We live in a delicate balance between a secular state and a religious people. That balance must be maintained. If a Muslim working at a DMV in Dearborn refused drivers licences to women, there would certainly be an outcry for religious freedom.

          I think that is what we need to remember here. At least for me and my Church, these are man’s laws. We have a duty to change them and resist them according to what is prudent, but they remain the laws of men only.

          The devil is demanding his due here. This is the price of secularism, I think. If we don’t let the devil have his due under the laws we have already wrought, then who is going to be standing upright in the storms to come?

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        11. @mastersamwise

          What is a Christian culture? What is a Christian government? I can tell you what a Jewish government looked like, but a Christian one?

          The Bible is a very political document, but it never describes a Christian government. I suspect God knows that without Jesus to rule over us we are incapable of any such thing.

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  4. Reblogged this on Invitation to a Biblical World View and commented:
    According to Mrs. Davis, to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple has a heaven or hell consequence. Which if you read Romans 1:18-32 and Galatians 5:19-21 you will see she is telling the truth from the word of God. It is far better to serve God than to serve man. Thank you Kim Davis for being brave enough to be thrown in jail by a judge following a wicked decision by the 5 to 4 Supreme court decision that overthrew the majority of voters across the United States.

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    1. If she resigned, would she not remove herself from that Heaven or hell choice. As it is, instead of allowing her scruples to control her actions, she apparently wants to continue to put herself in a position where she takes taxpayer money to disobey the laws of the Republic. Better to find other work that poses no such moral dilemma. Given her views, it sort of seems like insisting on getting paid to bartend but refusing to serve alcohol. Or a fundamentalist Muslim who insists on getting paid to work at DMV, but refuse to issue drivers licenses to women. We don’t really think that’s a good situation, do we?

      Moreover, we really don’t think it’s a good idea in our magnificent pluralistic democratic Republic, that any individual can just self-exempt from compliance with law because he or she has some idea in his/her head that a particular thing violates some religious constraint. What’s the limiting principle between that and complete anarchy? If it’s the validity of the religious belief, we will need religious courts to rule on that.

      Scout

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      1. “Moreover, we really don’t think it’s a good idea in our magnificent pluralistic democratic Republic, that any individual can just self-exempt from compliance with law…”

        Fortunately I am not living in a sanctuary city with 15 marijuana stores or else your comment would make no sense. Oh…wait, I am living in a sanctuary city with 15 marijuana stores, all in violation of federal law, so I guess your comment really doesn’t make any sense. Also, it is full of hypocrisy.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What is a “sanctuary city”? And do you approve of them? And is marijuana legal in your state? And, do you think it a good idea that each of us decides for ourselves whether or not to be subject to the law? And, if you do think a good idea that people just flit in and out of being subject to law based on individual decisions about whether to obey it, what is the limiting principle, as you see it, that stands between that principle and complete anarchy?

          And what is the hypocrisy in my comment? Are you aware of my having self-exempted myself from the application of the law? I am not, so it would surprise me to learn that you have superior knowledge of that situation.

          Scout

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        2. @ *scout

          When you say Kim Davis has self-exempted herself, that is not true. She accepted the consequences of her civil disobedience.

          What you are doing is trying bludgeon opposition with repetition that only partly true. That is not the same logical argument.

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        3. @ *scout, who wrote:

          What is a “sanctuary city”?

          Here’s a task for you: Provide a good working definition of this term as commonly understood by everyone on this thread who isn’t feigning colossal ignorance about it. Or state here, bluntly, that you really have no idea what this term means that’s been in the news for years and your request for a definition was genuine.

          This technique of yours, this poisonous interleaving of false modesty and false ignorance (often tied together) is one of the most irritating things about dealing with you in comments. You know you’re lying. The people you interact with here know you’re lying. And you’re even aware of the fact that your technique fools no one. But it’s the sort of thing that is just your style: Pretend you don’t understand something to distract attention away from the core issues under discussion. Your other common approach is to pick some tiny and immaterial aspect of a comment and focus all your attention on that, ignoring the main point.

          Grow up, *scout. You’re a smart man, and I don’t care how much you disdain conservatives and Christianity (except for your private versions of these things, of course), you can still engage in reasonable discussions of substantive issues without the *scout scatterpoint sideshow.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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      2. Actually the Muslim works for the airlines but refuses to serve alcohol to guests. By US law, her employers have to make “reasonable accommodation” for her religious beliefs — except that US law is not the only thing involved.

        What will never be a part of that case is a judicial inquiry into “the validity of the religious belief,” in this case the analysis of the extent to which the Qur’anic concept of abrogation of Meccan suras versus Medinan ones renders the complete prohibition of alcohol the final dictate, or the use of alcohol in moderation as noted in other suras.

        The Court is not tasked with pursuing whether a religious belief is doctrinarily valid (versus held in good faith). You know that; you claim to be involved in Constitutional law. But you’ve asserted over and over again here that it would tie up the courts inquiring into the validity of religious beliefs, which you know is not true. And you’ve asserted that people refusing to serve blacks at their places of business justified this on the basis of religious beliefs, which you also know is not true.

        You’re simply trying to make a slippery slope argument to undercut the protection of religious belief encoded into the Constitution as amended. You also give no credence whatsoever to civil disobedience, nor do you even acknowledge the possibility of unjust SCOTUS rulings (which of course cannot be punished by voters). But elsewhere, I’d wager that you’ve found other Supreme Court arguments lacking. Are you satisfied with the Citizens United decision, for example?

        Clerks and other government employees refused to enforce various slave-return laws, and made rather a point of this. (State nullification of federal laws was also used, just as is being done informally with regard to marijuana.) Those 1850s clerks were in a position similar to the current gal; they strongly felt that the enforcement of a new law would violate Constitutional provisions. They were correct. Some went to jail for this, but not many as the tide of public opinion supported them, just as the tide of public opinion is now in support of Kim Wilson. That may not always be true, and in any event it public opinion does not overrule the Constitution.

        The US Supreme Court in Obergefell had to override both public opinion and the Constitution in order to implement, by a majority of one-half of a black-robed blackguard, that bare majority’s notion of what is proper to raise their own estimate of themselves in world opinion. Some now sitting on this Court have previously stated flatly that the world’s notion of proper behavior and appropriate law should be given great weight. Presumably they were not thinking of Iran and Saudi Arabia when they said that.

        Ginsburg famously suggested that the US Constitution is not a good model for other countries to emulate, and that more progressive documents would be an improvement.

        ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I do acknowledge, Keith, “the possibility of unjust Supreme Court rulings” and civil disobedience has a long and honorable history in this country, particularly in the Civil Rights era of the mid 20th Century. But that’s not what we’re talking about here, is it? Ms Davis wants to have her cake and eat it too. She wants to defy the law, refuse to do her job, but keep the job and get paid for it from the public purse while she’s not doing it. What could be more indefensible than the idea that she not only self-exempts, but then has the citizens pay her to do it? If she resigned, that would be her civil disobedience statement and I certainly would respect her for it. I see you picked up my example of the Fugitive Slave Act. Yes, if you elect to go to jail rather than enforce, that’s a noble action. Just don’t expect that we let you stay in the job while you don’t do it. That cheapens your civil disobedience statement.

          At some level, my argument that one has to test the validity of the religious argument for self-exemption comes into play if one allows, as I do not, that it is a valid concept. I go back to my example (slightly modified to move from cake selling to withholding government services) of a few posts ago – If I have a sincere religious belief that left-handed people should not receive drivers’ licenses, and am a civil servant charged with issuing drivers’ licenses, does the inquiry end with my refusal? Of course not. But then how do we sort out whether my religious belief packs less self-exemption punch than Ms. Davis’s re the issuance of civil marriage licenses to same sex couples? Religion being what it is, it’s a daunting class to carve out some beliefs and not others. And, to make the hypothetical a bit less absurd, it could well be that a strict Muslim DMV clerk of certain sects would look askance at the idea of women receiving drivers’ licenses. Is he equally entitled to withhold government services as is Ms. Davis? If not, what is the limiting principle that distinguishes him from her? If there is one, do we not have to have some means of assessing that? And, if so, do we also have to have some means of sorting out the nutter who, in all sincerity, believes southpaws should be turned away at the government window?

          Scout

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      3. Kim Davis did not go to jail like Hillary Clinton for her security violation or Barack Obama for tyrannical use of his pen and his phone?

        And what about those judges lying on their resumes? Didn’t they say they could read?

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        1. Huh? A shoolyard reply on a schoolboy level, Tom.

          Hillary Clinton is not a clerk of any particular county refusing to follow the law of the land. If Hillary Clinton goes to jail, it will be for mishandling classified information, not for refusing to execute her office in the face of court order directing her to do so (although I could imagine a situation in which the courts order her to deliver up some information, she tries to evade that, and they lower a contempt boom on her, but we’re not there yet. That would be a teeny bit closer to the present Kentucky situation, but not much).

          There are established avenues for challenging Presidential actions that exceed their lawful authority. The current President and several others have been caught out on that charge by the courts. The penalty is not jail. The penalty is court order invalidating their actions.

          Scout

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        2. Actually, Hilliary Clinton and Barack Obama and a great many Democrats want it both ways. They want one set of laws for themselves and another set for the little people and those who dare to buck their precious system. Kim Davis is quite open about what she wants. Clinton and Obama lie. Instead of resigning or recusing themselves, five judges on the Supreme Court lied and said the Constitution says something it does not say.

          And you? I don’t know what motivates you. I just see the hypocrisy in condemning someone for honest to goodness civil disobedience. Even if you support same-sex “marriage,” even if you had the bias we would expect of someone whose “spouse” happens to be of the same sex, you have to blind to your own hypocrisy not to recognize that regardless of the cause civil disobedience is still just civil disobedience.

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  5. Keith: re your 2340: You can be such a charmer, I must say.

    I view these sites as a place to exchange ideas. The first time I have to call someone a liar, as opposed to engaging the strength or weakness of the ideas he expresses, I hope I will have the self-awareness to know that I’ve lost the ability to exchange views with others and should go spend my time doing other things.

    As for Sanctuary cities, I think it’s essential to ask what someone is talking about when they use that term. To my knowledge (and I may be mistaken), there are no cities of any significance who have purported to withdraw from federal law on this point (at that point, the armed force of the national government can be used to quash rebellion, as we learned in the 1860s). There appears to be, however, in popular parlance an assumption that something like that has gone on. My question to insanitybytes was trying to understand what he/she was talking about and how it might relate to Ms Davis’s actions.

    What has happened in many places is that municipalities have been advised, on constitutional grounds, that they may not use local police powers to enforce federal immigration detainers, as that power runs only to federal authorities, and, thus, the use of local police to detain immigrants would present major liabilities for the local governments in terms of false arrests, arrests without warrants, etc. Federal courts have upheld that position, although I think it will continue to bubble up through the system and eventually get sorted out before the Supreme Court that we all here revere as the final arbiter of these tough issues. As if that weren’t enough (and it is enough, if I were in a position of local authority trying to evaluate my options), some local leaders have taken the position that the federal authorities are the only ones with immigration enforcement powers and that they (the localities) cannot divert scarce and expensive public law enforcement resources to doing what the federal government should be doing, and has the only constitutional authority to do. In common chit-chat, some of these places have been referred to as “sanctuary cities”, but the term is intended to be a pejorative and is a misnomer. If that’s what our colleague, Insanitybytes, is talking about, it is not analogous relationship to Ms. Davis wanting to have her individual religious views be the Supreme Law of the Land in her County in Kentucky.

    Beyond that, I think InsanityBytes’ responses to my queries will be informative and useful to furthering our (mostly) civil discussion here.

    I am rattling on a bit, but I wouldn’t want to leave without saying that any modesty that I present here in terms of acknowledging my own weaknesses and shortcomings is entirely sincere. Your thinking it “false”, indicates that you have a much higher assessment of me than I do myself. Thanks, I guess.

    Scout

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    1. We have a public officials who won’t enforce our immigration laws. Instead they are actively working to subvert them. And what do you do? What do Democrats always do? They fire up the smudge pots and thrown up a smoke screen. They fired barrages of smelly nonsense with their legalistic bullshit cannons. They search for splinter in their opponent’s eye; they ignore the log in their own eye.

      Even as Kim Davis, a mere county clerk, engages in a minor act of civil disobedience, we have phalanxes of major government officials including our President and Congress, systematically shredding the Constitution, wasting trillions of dollars, and jeopardizing our nation’s security.

      So why do I write about Kim Davis. Her story reveals the hypocrisy of a great many the people who insist that she should resign. Some don’t know any better, by you do *scout. You want her to quit her job, but honest to goodness crooked politicians you don’t care about.

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  6. For Ms. Davis, Tom, responsible civil disobedience would be to resign her position. She wants her very well-paid job (I read somewhere that she is paid $80K per annum from the public purse), but she doesn’t want to do it. Moreover, she wants to interfere with others who don’t share her views from doing their jobs. Not a very edifying spectacle.

    As a Republican, I don’t know much about what Democrats do, but I’m all in favor of every crooked politician in the country quitting their job. Not sure where you got the idea that I think they should all stay put. But that’s a little off topic, isn’t it. Ms. Davis isn’t crooked. She just isn’t thinking very clearly and she’s being used by people around her to pursue larger agendas.

    Scout

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    1. @ *scout, who wrote:

      As a Republican, I don’t know much about what Democrats do

      Pretend ignorance, again.

      So, *scout, should Rosa Parks have simply meekly gotten off the bus, since that was the law? Specifically, a law that was part of “what Democrats do”?

      How about all those civil employees in the 1850s who refused to allow their states’ jails to be used to house escaped slaves? Should those clerks, officials and other public employees have simply resigned, and allowed the Democrats to do “what Democrats do”?

      This was indeed the most proximate cause of the Civil War: the South complained (in the secession declarations) that state employees were being allowed to override federal law, and the southern states complained that states did not have the right to do this. So they left the Union because the Union allowed too much of “states’ rights” and was not enforcing and jailing those public employees. Those employees had vowed to go to jail rather than let their jails be used to enforce a new federal ruling.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Again, Keith, I’m afraid I’m not as omniscient as you credit me. I don’t spend time in Democratic Party circles, so it’s just not something that I have a basis for commenting on knowledgeably in response to Tom’s 1744 comment.

    I agree with you that there is considerable irony in the way things played out in the 1850s. It’s a fascinating, but somewhat depressing period because we know where it’s leading. The intricate compromises intended to keep a lid on sectional conflicts kept getting more and more absurd – The Fugitive Slave Act was sort of the low point. And you’re quite right to observe that the States Rights issue got flipped on its head with Southern complaints about northern disobedience to the law. Ironies abound. The whole play of the state/federal arm-wrestling match from 1789 to the outbreak of the Civil War is well worth an immersion approach for people who really want to understand US history.

    I don’t have any problem with Ms Davis deciding that her beliefs are worth going to jail for. I agree that that is an exercise of civil disobedience. If that’s her chosen course, she’s in good historical company. Perhaps she can pen a letter from the calaboose that will go down in history as an inspiring testimony to her beliefs and the cause of non-violent resistance. Martin Luther King used his time in confinement wisely indeed.

    What I have a problem with is the idea that she shouldn’t go to jail for defying the law or, worse yet, that she should be the ultimate level of review in her County of decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States on constitutional issues. Then, I have an additional problem with the idea that she not only should be able to refuse to follow the law, as her civil service job requires, but she should also be able to forbid other civil servants who do no share her views from doing their jobs, and that they all get public salaries and benefits in the meantime. That’s where I think the civil disobedience reference gets cheapened and the analogy to other practitioners gets tortured more than a teeny bit. This is part of the point Michael Gerson was making in the link I provided.

    I’m interested to hear your views (and Tom’s and anyone else’s) on the Gerson column. George Will has also come out in much the same place. I suppose one response is to call them liars and leftists, but that would seem a bit counter-factual.

    Scout

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