Liberty Lies in Our Hearts: Kim Davis & Civil Rights

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Friends of Padre Steve’s World

Just a short post today, and I do mean that. Yesterday, I promised a short article and a Facebook friend, a lawyer said, “That was short?” I replied that it was like an “Alan Shore closing.” For those who have not seen Boston Leal and watched James Spader play that character you really need to do so; but I digress…

In Boston Legal Alan Shore once quoted Learned Hand, a Federal Judge and judicial philosopher. He said, “Liberty lies in our hearts, and once it dies there, no constitution can save it.”

In light of my last few articles where I waded into the morass of the case of Kim Davis, the Recalcitrant County Clerk of Rowan County Kentucky, who was stupid enough to trust her money grubbing, politically motivated lawyers from Liberty Counsel and is now sitting in jail on contempt of court charges; I need to clarify a couple of things.

First, I feel bad that Mrs. Davis is being used as a pawn and sitting in jail while her lawyers collect all kinds of donations to support their next cause; and that as soon as they can they will jettison her. That is a fact, because these supposedly Christian legal groups are known for this. They take a case, promise the moon, usually lose and they abandon the person they represent after they have milked the case for every penny they can get. Sadly, other than their fifteen minutes of fame most of the clients get nothing for their efforts. Mrs. Davis is paying the price for that. She is going to be in jail at least a week while her lawyers try to appeal something that there is no precedent to appeal and which has not hope of succeeding. During the time they will make still more money. The truth is to get out of jail Mrs. Davis can find a way to do her job without violating her conscience, or she can resign and allow another to do it. However, when you, like Mrs. Davis, occupy an elected office that pays $80,000 a year in a county where the per capita income is well under $20,000; an office that your mother held for 37 years prior to you taking it less than a year ago; that can be tough.

Second, I cherish the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and my philosophy of life, professional and private is guided by the premise found in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men….”

That my friends is the essence of civil rights, and for that matter the foundation to protect religious rights of all people as well. Those rights are for all, not just Christians; and it is incumbent on elected and appointed officials of the government to follow the law in order to secure those rights for their fellow citizens. If they cannot they should not hold office. People can believe whatever they want. They can believe in any God, they can believe in any secular philosophy, they can hold any political ideology, they can believe that those who do not believe like them are going to hell or whatever; but when they swear to uphold the laws of the land in a public office where they are required to secure the freedom of others by serving them in accordance with the law; they have to either find a way to reconcile their personal beliefs or resign their office.

In fact I have for over 32 years as a commissioned officer in the United States military have had to do that. If by some chance this lands me in someone’s hell, or if indeed God is that petty, vindictive and capricious as to send me to hell for following the law of the land; then I will deal with that during my eternal vacation on the Lake of Fire. But I will not allow fear of what might happen to me in eternity to interfere with safeguarding the rights of the people in my care. My God is certainly big enough, loving enough, and gracious enough to deal with that; otherwise there would not be explicit commands in the Bible to obey the government.

A final thought and clarification on the rules for commenting on this site:

I welcome comments, especially from people who do not agree with me. I get many comments on my articles from different people and welcome comments, especially from people who do not agree with me. As long as they stay on point and are civil I enjoy them.

I have one man who frequently disagrees with me on my views of the Civil War, Reconstruction and Civil Rights. He is an honest man and pretty intelligent. He keeps his comments in line with the subject of the articles in question. He does not venture into tangents that have little to do with the articles in question. Likewise, even when he strongly disagrees he is polite and respectful. We do not agree on much, but I think that we could be friends and I welcome those kinds of comments.

Then I have other commentators. Sadly, most of these people are conservative Christians. These people seldom deal with the article itself, but decide use this site as their forum to promote or defend their denomination or their theology; most of the time in the most crude, ignorant and condescending manner possible.

As of today, I will not allow the comments of people who do not stay on point with the article, attempt to hijack this site as their forum; or who treat me with contempt. As of today I will simply disapprove those comments. If a person wants to comment they can deal with the article, if not I welcome them to start their own blog where they can spew their ignorance at will. But I will not give such people a forum ever again. I don’t have time and as much as I love bacon and pulled pork barbeque, I refuse to cast my pearls before swine.

So I am off to the Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire concert tonight. Was that short enough?

Have a great day,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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11 Comments

Filed under civil rights, faith, News and current events, philosophy, Political Commentary

11 responses to “Liberty Lies in Our Hearts: Kim Davis & Civil Rights

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Great post!! Liberty lies in our heart …..

  2. Pinky

    You said “If a person wants to comment they can deal with the article, if not I welcome them to start their own blog where they can spew their ignorance at will. But I will not give such people a forum ever again. I don’t have time and as much as I love bacon and pulled pork barbeque, I refuse to cast my pearls before swine.” I have had to do this and take at least a dozen people off my FB page. Whats wrong with people? I always say dont fight and if you want to pontificate do it on your own page! Anyway enjoy Earth wind and fire! Growing up I only bought a few albums as I could not afford much even with jobs as a kid. Earth Wind and Fire was one of the few I bought! enjoy! Sounds like fun!

    • padresteve

      I wish I knew Pinky… It’s a mystery to me. I don’t go to other people’s blogs or social media pages to attack or to argue with them.

  3. georgiakevin

    It is pretty sad when most of the people of the USA no longer even recognize what freedom truly is but accept that the freedom we have is being taken away from us a bit at a time. In a sense we are all pawns for big business in one way or another and when most of us not only accept this but lean over just waiting for us to have it done over and over again. Some of us no longer even can stand tall for what is right. “We have met the enemy and he is us”

    Your post is both spot on and well written.

  4. Marty

    If Kim Davis were told she couldn’t have her job because of her gender, I bet she’d be quick to claim her civil rights were being violated–even though the supposedly “biblical” view is that women belong in the home. I’d feel sorry for her but if she refuses to do her job for WHATEVER reason, she should resign. In effect she’s forcing her religious views on other people, and that makes HER the violator of religious freedom.

  5. Padre,

    Speaking of barbeque, hope you enjoy the Labor Day Holiday. Speaking of the Holiday, Ms. Davis picked the wrong weekend to get thrown in jail. She is missing the opening weekend of College Football, several opportunities to enjoy a cookout, and apparently a good concert.

    Also, staying on point since you brought the pursuit of happiness. I’m about to tune into my Arkansas State Red Wolves as they travel to the LA Coliseum to be the sacrificial lamb for the University of Spoiled Children football team. I am prepared for a slaughter but hopeful for a upset.

    Enjoy the evening and as always I hope you sleep well. I am looking forward to a night of insomnia because ASU pulled of the upset of the season.

    Peace, Hope and Love to go with Earth, Wind and Fire.

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