Wasn’t like we didn’t see this coming, when, as little as 3 months ago, Marco Rubio asserted in a Christian news network interview it wouldn’t be long before the tenets of Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church would be classified as hate speech thanks to the gay-liberal agenda-machine shouting get on board or be labeled homophobic, a hater, when a tea party, conservative, Christian nationalist flavor seemed to suddenly take over state legislators in recent years, Arizona’s proposed SB1062 allowing businesses to refuse service to persons on religious grounds, alleged protection for faith-based business owners, only averted by a level headed governor. Others emboldened by the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling to enact religious restoration acts against primarily who else, gay people, Indiana making headlines for all the wrong reasons, eventually talked sense to by their state coffers slated to be empty if the legislation went through with no language for gender identity and sexual orientation added to anti-discrimination statutes there. Arkansas learning from Indiana’s uproar, wisely choosing to drop their own version of so called restoration act. Wasn’t like we didn’t see this coming when we heard the ruling come down from the highest judiciary in the land, it was only a matter of how big right-wing freak outs, protests would be concurrently standing on their bibles and the dissenting opinions of the 4 judges who voted to oppose; many pundits, comedians wondering if they would get anymore of Antonin Scalia’s pure apple sauce comments. Needless to say he didn’t disappoint, nor political entities, now confirmed presidential candidates namely Ted Cruz. No surprise either when evangelical mouthpiece, Mike Huckabee also a presidential candidate, made the conservative talk show circuit rounds encouraging civil disobedience surrounding the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, nearly foaming at the mouth about the 5 lawyers who didn’t rule our republic the people did, 5 lawyers who were ‘not the supreme being.’ Enter Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis and more importantly both her job duties and her religious beliefs; though many just began to hear about Davis as she faced a final contempt of court hearing and possible jail time, this has actually been a months’ long saga involving various courts, appeals and open defiance on the part of Davis equally to do a portion of her job, issue marriage licenses, while thumbing her nose at the Supreme Court, that states governor, the latter having previously announced a direct order to clerks to comply with the national court’s ruling. And because she is an elected official, she had no direct boss to fire her for incompetence, dereliction of duty, the governor doesn’t even have that power; though, watching this play out, there is an argument maybe he should. Her bosses are essentially the people of Rowan country, plenty of whom support her and her belief system against homosexual marriage, so as long as they don’t demand her recall en mass, people nationwide are due to watch a spectacle. Kim Davis pushing the envelope even further not only denying marriage licenses to same sex couples, but refusing to issue any marriage license pending her case and numerous appeals, not only refusing to issue those licenses herself but barring her staff from doing so as well. Earning her the designation via her followers, fellow faith based minds, easily called sycophants and haters, ‘the Rosa Parks of the religious freedom movement;’ we’re pretty sure poor Ms. Parks has since rolled over in her grave. Appeals dried up, warnings falling on deaf ears, grinding to a halt the marriage license division of the county clerk’s office, to say nothing of the media circus descending on such a small town, hints why Ms. Davis again found herself before a judge two weeks ago Thursday on a contempt of court charge subsequently jailed when the judge did find legal grounds for that contempt. Not for practicing her faith, praying at work over a meal, her lunch, not for sharing the gospel with random people in or out of her office (proselytizing), not for having a personal conversation with someone and mentioning Jesus, not for inviting a coworker to a bible study or her church, not for reading her bible at work while on break, not for preaching in the street or speaking out against that which she finds immoral, rather for not doing her job, and worse for expecting the law, the government to give her a pass on religious grounds.
Similar to all headlining, talked about, gone viral recent cases couched under the umbrella ‘religious freedom’ once again the devil is in the details; like Barronelle Stutzman, in particular, Aaron and Melissa Klein and others Kim Davis had options in front of her before feeling persecuted, before finding herself incarcerated, before ‘having to choose between her faith and her freedom.’ As Barronelle Stutzman could have chosen to stop doing weddings, seeing which way the wind was blowing in her state, being a floral shop, began by finding out what her gay, long-time client wanted exactly prior to saying no on religious grounds; turns out they would have been satisfied taking X quantity of flowers sans “full wedding services” in deference to her well-known beliefs, items she stated in court documents she would have willingly provided had she known. Once sued sold her business to someone who would comply, used the profits to pay off fines and legal fees, gone on social security since she is age 70, sought employment at another flower shop, people of identical persuasions doubtlessly happy to have her. As the Kline’s Sweet Cakes by Melissa’s bakery, baking confections for a variety of occasions, could have ceased and desisted doing wedding cakes upon their state’s legalization of gay marriage thus avoiding a lawsuit, fines and narrowly escaping civil rights charges by shutting down, Kim Davis had virtually 2 options, issue the marriage licenses recognizing truths exemplified by this story comment, “The most absurd thing in this entire affair has been the suggestion that there was ever a question of “religious conscience” at issue in the first place. Neither a marriage license, nor a clerk’s signature on that license, constitutes anybody’s approval or endorsement of the marriage that may — or may not — take place under that license. A marriage license is merely an official certification that the couple meets the legal requirements for marriage to each other under existing law. It is a certification of objective, legal fact. It doesn’t mean a County Clerk agrees with existing law, nor does it in any way constitute the clerk’s participation in the wedding itself. In claiming that her religious conscience is being violated, what she is effectively saying is that her religious beliefs require her to “bear false witness” (i.e., to lie) passively (by omission). The entire thing catapults the entire question of “religious conscience” into the realm of the absurd!” Or, tenure her resignation understanding she wasn’t capable of doing the job the people elected her to do under the new, redefied parameters she objects to. Undeniably identical to Stutzman subject to huge legal fees, possibility of losing her home, the Kline’s forfeiture of their business livelihood, it is only because she wants to remain in that office, remain on the job, refrain from issuing marriage licenses, executing a part of her job she was then ordered to appear in court, found in contempt of a lawful action and thus jailed. This isn’t, life isn’t, America isn’t, via constitutional statutes on religious freedom, some variation on Bartleby, the Scrivener, supposed to be a, modern at the time, demonstration of Christ-like pacifism, comment on a sinful world, where you get to say, I would prefer not to, and everything be ok. Magnifying the intensity, significance of Kim Davis’ defiance is she took an oath of office upon becoming, to become county clerk swearing to uphold the constitution; an oath she repeatedly violated, wants permission to keep violating as opposed to vacating her job, which would permanently solve this nonsense, nuisance problem. Compounding the previously alluded to absurdity surrounding Kim Davis’ self-inflected “situation,” self-inflicted martyrdom, all she had to do to get out of jail was hand the judge her resignation letter, indicate she was willing to resign effective immediately; the judge even offered her a compromise, permit her deputy clerks to issue the licenses and you are free to go, to which she ultimately said no, citing her signature was still on the offending document. Surely if her concern over keeping her job were purely financial, the idea she wouldn’t eat, be able to pay her mortgage without a job, buy her life saving, heath maintaining medication, assuming she takes any, she would have spent the time she was biding hoping for a successful appeal investigating her job options should she be mandated to leave, dedicated time she should have been filling out marriage license paperwork to see where her clerking experience could be valuable, generate soon to be lost income, and if everything else failed, agreed to the judges offered compromise at least and until she found other work. Telling is the only financial consequence mentioned directly effecting the case isn’t the potential wrecking of Davis’ life, shunting her family onto welfare, food stamps, delaying hard working people’s well-earned retirement, but encompassed in an older than Davis, irony of ironies, commenter to PBS News Hour reporters stating if she can’t do her job she is obligated to resign, referencing the months of time and money, tax payer dollars incidentally, spent on dealing with her.
Unsurprising we see cases like this playing out across the country when, forget the general public, we have presidential hopefuls, lawyers actively practicing law, who have such a poor understanding of the constitution; her lawyer, one Matt Staver, instead of injecting logic from a legal background into proceedings infused with needless high drama by counseling her to resign, goes from agreeing to represent her to pie in the sky arguments alleging totally unsubstantiated claims about violation of due process independent rejection of her accumulating appeals, multiple warnings from a judge incarceration would be her fate if she did not comply. He went from there, displayed on Good Morning America, to being completely unable to answer basic questions about where reasonable accommodation ends for someone’s religion and when it’s time for them to seek another job. Unable to satisfactorily answer what the difference is between her denial of gay marriage licenses and hypothetical denial of interracial marriage licenses, though religion has been used as grounds to call that immoral under god and only changed by constitutional amendment, as Chris Hayes reminded him, on his show All In, via Supreme Court decision circa 1957; unable to form a defensible argument to what if a clerk refused to issue divorce certificates, noting Jesus himself condemned divorce. Staver’s response just relentlessly repeating those other facets didn’t fundamentally change the institution of marriage, between one man and one woman; going a step further, asserting licenses issued during Davis’ incarceration aren’t valid, assumedly due to her not being there to witness their creation, verify the person’s eligibility to marry in accordance with the law, rational left utterly murky and unclear, despite both Kentucky’s governor and attorney general assuring interested parties, national observes they were very much valid and meeting the legal standard. One also questions both Mr. Staver’s GMA recounting of the choices made by Kentucky state and the prudence of alleged choices made by state officials there, a reported state authorization for recusal of their attorney general on religious freedom, conscience grounds in defending the marriage laws, supposedly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on outside counsel. While it is far from unheard of even required for lawyers, prosecutors, judges, officers of the court to recuse themselves from cases in which they have a conflict of interest, possess a personal bias, history with case content, a lawyer with a relative killed by a violent felon not recusing himself from a case defending a felon circumstances eerily similar to what happened to their family member, the referenced justification here is the problem. Using religion as the excuse to waste additional tax payer funds on outside counsel leading us to where we are, giving Kim Davis and her legal representation a mistaken impression they have precedent to request accommodation. Switching gears to Mike Huckabee throwing his hat in the ring to be leader of the free world for the second time, staunch supporter of Davis and her methodology in exercising her religious freedom, who has a whole different set of problems with Supreme Court compliance as it pertains to our wayward county clerk, who talks extensively about what he will do, if elected to office, to protect people like Davis, who believes the Supreme Court ruling not is just morally wrong, believes it not just a misinterpretation of the constitution, the law, but seems to think it non-legally binding, invalid until such a time as the states choose to enact their own local version or not. Continuing to hammer home his point even when confronted with the legal cold, hard fact it wasn’t that way when the Supreme Court ruled on Brown vs. Board determining separate but equal was inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional; instead steps were immediately taken to integrate public schools nationwide, local police, municipalities expected to comply with the final judiciary ruling. Neither was it that way when the Supreme Court rendered a verdict on Roe V. Wade; abortion has since been the legal right of doctors to perform and women to ask for, regardless how many restrictions conservatives have tried to put on it, how many personhood bills they try to get passed in local legislatures, scrapping the bottom of the barrel attempting an end run around said ruling. Huckabee’s skewed interpretation shockingly reminiscent of prosecutorial misconduct allegation in the Darren Wilson grand jury where prosecutors couldn’t/didn’t answer juror questions with one elementary fact; yes, federal law trumps state statues period, sands topic, there in guidelines for excessive force. Next the marriage license form he mentioned on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, listing gender terms man and woman has since been replaced with party A and party B; lastly in this section, let’s simultaneously dispense with the 5 lawyers argument, 5 random lawyers didn’t just upend the law, our understanding of marriage as Huckabee portrays. There was a case brought before the Supreme Court seeking to legalize gay marriage on constitutional grounds and 5 of the 9 lawyers, judges possessing extensive legal expertise, credentials to get there, comprising a majority, voted in favor of doing just that; meaning the Supreme Court did what the Supreme Court is designed to do, render a final decision on court cases involving constitutional questions. Landmark, deciding case only reaching the Supreme Court after numerous cases were seen in lower courts; a whopping 37, for those bad at math, more states in the union than not, choosing of their own accord, exactly the way Huckabee wanted it done, to recognize, legalize same sex marriage before the Supreme Court did a thing. A process involving a lot more than 5 lawyers their ruling only making it uniform across all 50.
As much as right wing conservatives, Christian political operatives and select so called evangelicals like to go on about it, cling to ridiculous slippery slope arguments that have yet to, have never materialized, reality is, religious persecution in America is a laughable concept put alongside Coptic Christians wearing orange scrubs mimicking prison garb marched along a beach then beheaded by ISIS, the grizzly fate of Indonesian school girls for no other reason than their profession of Christ, the man for whom that’s his sole excuse for being thrown into, and still languishing in, an Iranian prison, mirroring fates of Christian believers in, China, North Korea, multiple dictatorial regimes. Or the African girls kidnapped by Boko Haram less because of their faith and more because them getting an education was against the militants religious persuasion; Malala Yousafzai shot on a bus headed to school for being defiant girls be allowed to get an education counter to the same religious dogma. Compared to that, this is just cheap theatrics including her teary eyed, shaky speech upon release after a measly 6 days; it’s quite frankly an enraging insult to people who actually do suffer greatly, potentially die for Christianity, far from reenacting Jesus’ crucifixion as some sort of offering. Face it she doesn’t hold a candle to Nora Lam, she’s no Nelson Mandela; her biblical causality may be just, where the interracial marriage push back on ‘holy’ grounds wasn’t, Moses had a foreign wife remember, her management of that cause contrastingly is an utter disaster. Coming to grips with something else lessening Kim Davis’ martyr status by leaps and bounds, as bad as they are prisons here are not the Gulag; you get 3 square meals a day, clean drinking water, sanitized utensils, trays containing food, a properly sanitized kitchen is where said food is cooked, medical care, a bed, daily showers, clothing provided, there are codes overseeing buildings where prisoners may be housed including standard household amenities, heat and air-conditioning, designated time in an exercise yard, obey basic rules, follow directions and you avoid solitary confinement, you have the chance to earn privileges, depending on your offence, be a model prisoner and you get time off for good behavior. Nor was she in federal prison restricted by sanctions of a federal penitentiary; she spent 6 days in county lock-up with low level criminals, petty thieves. The worst thing she probably encountered was people drunk or high on drugs sleeping it off, coming down in the drunk-tank. A shout out to the Kim Davis supporter who said, based on what happened to her, we might as well be living in Iran; maybe LGBT persons will buy your plane ticket, you can share a cell with the man above and learn what religious freedom truly is, to appreciate the religious freedom you had. Unfortunately while you may be harassed, even beaten up for carrying a bible around, consistently talking about Jesus, that harassment isn’t routinely carried out by police, members of the military on the citizenry as a matter of course; under law you have the right to file charges for escalated degrees of harassment, assault against your person, circumstances, severity of attack may even warrant offenders be charged with a hate crime. Each bizarre push back to the Supreme Court decision very important seeing as we’ve already seen a Facebook meme asking if Quakers could deny gun licenses to people as pacifists, a military commander who wanted to retain command but refused to issue commands under the same premise, asking what we would think if a Muslim DMV worker suddenly tried to refuse issuance of a driver’s license to a woman wearing pants, not listed though applicable, a woman without her head covered, a woman not wearing a full burka or a woman at all seeing as many Muslims don’t believe women should drive. Another reality unfolding showing the other slippery slope we should be worried about, a Muslim flight attendant suspended from her job for refusing to serve alcohol after her conversion to the faith, recently learning it forbids her from serving it as well as consuming it, is making news requesting continuation of a purportedly previously reached accommodation sparking the comment “it has already started, a muslin flight attendant now wants her job back, because of her religious freedoms, of not serving alcohol on flights. doesn’t anybody read the job description before applying for a job anymore.”[Sic] Better yet proof maybe you should know more about a religion before you convert, move to an airline that doesn’t serve alcoholic beverages on its flights; true, gay marriage licenses weren’t part of the job description when Davis took the job 14 years ago, but now they are, time to adapt. Personally I agree with Staver and Davis on a singular two pronged point, legalization of gay marriage fundamentally changes the institution of marriage and the wrongness, according to the god she professes, of gay marriage; however, and this is a big however, if it’s that fundamentally important to what she believes she should, repetitive I know, resign. Answering frequent Fox news guest pastor “whenever man’s laws conflict with God’s moral law, we have to obey God’s moral law,” you abide god’s moral law by removing yourself from the ‘immorality,’ questioned before by the commenter detailing the purpose, significance and functionality of a marriage license incongruent with Davis’ extreme interpretation. Either way you still get to hold a press conference, you still get to speak out, will predictably get invited to the conservative media junket, Fox News and so on, people still get to know your name and your cause, rally people to go through the proper legal channels to get what you want, to change the laws of the land the right way not the wrong way.
Adding more unsavory elements to what happened in Kentucky are the trends and obscure details brought out surrounding religious freedom cases in America; closer examination proving they readily follow patterns better suited to clever con jobs, elaborate, ingenuously simplistic Ponzi schemes than standard bearers stoically representing faith against a monstrous, overreaching, ‘liberal’ government. Salon.com (see bonus links at the end of the article for full reference reading) contributors penning several articles on the Davis conundrum, political theater presenting readers with much the after story, what becomes of them once cameras are done rolling on key figures; interesting facts like the disturbing habit of crowd funding sites GoFundMe and such being set up on behalf of those behaving like bigots, generating jillions of dollars raised by fellow bigots to support the original bigots in their ongoing bigotry; a path many thought Davis was on, soon would be. Known fundraising on her behalf the chief deciding factor in her being jailed rather than fined, judge smart enough to understand people could pay the fine for her, reducing her incentive to comply. That is until GoFundMe, at least, got wise to what people were using their site for and shut down a funding page for Aaron and Melissa Klein, who turns out were not nearly bankrupt from losing their business, facing fines, and not because they moved their cake business to the internet, rather thanks to the funding page, realities that didn’t stop her from bawling her eyes out at the Values Voter Summit last year citing her ‘lost’ business. GFM finding it violated their terms and conditions on discriminatory acts; GoFundMe’s policy now reading in part, “GoFundMe will not allow campaigns that benefit individuals or groups facing formal charges or claims of serious violations of the law.” Sadly for sanity, civil rights, tolerance, common sense, dignity even when approaching emotional issues faith being one, plenty of other entities were listed willing to ride Kim Davis fervor all the way to the bank, make her a very rich women long before her “struggle” is over. Another opinion writer taking a more political bent exposing what the right, conservatives are really trying to protect and how Kim Davis exemplifies that, it not being what you think, what they profusely shout it is; instead of being the wholesome defenders of values, the party of principles, pillars of Christianity also holding office, who believed that anymore today anyway, this author puts forth quite compellingly they are fighting so hard to maintain the power and privilege of social exclusion afforded them by being, in Davis’ case one of god’s elect, in the instance of the Koch bothers being white, male, capable of generating massive wealth and doing so spectacularly. It goes hand in hand with the personal responsibility hype perpetuated by the GOP across a gambit of topics social safety nets, retirement, the mortgage crisis, healthcare to fall back hot buttons like birth control, abortion one more author called BS and spent an entire article explaining why starting from their latest darling example Kim Davis and covering George W. Bush’s first run for president 15 years ago. The crux of their commentary, that current GOP operatives don’t believe in personal responsibility espoused in the Bush campaign ad supplanting their platform concept with the idea ‘public and private sector workers can refuse to do their jobs with impunity as long as they can recite a biblical verse to back it up’ particularly and perhaps only on subjects of religion and contraception; religion becoming the great get out of jail free card. Facts found after hearing political analysis of the Davis situation on Hardball with Chris Mathews, the last video at the end of paragraph 3 starting at 13:24, dissecting the convoluted argument of Mike Huckabee regarding the constitution, even calling for him to step down as an unqualified presidential candidate based on those arguments, going on to mention “so much nepotism in that office it’s crazy.” We know at least one of her sons works with her as a deputy clerk, we know Davis was wed 3 times before ‘finding Jesus,’ is currently on her 4th marriage and who knows what else is going on behind the closed doors of her office, in a place where court officers were so ignorant, ill-educated and undereducated they made comments, later repeated by GOP supporters, they had never arrested someone who committed no crime. Though Davis again was arrested and jailed on contempt of court charges; yes a crime. Contempt of court charges not based on her profession of Jesus, Christianity, owning, reading a bible, refusal to profess the state religion, participate in a satanic, pagan ritual, rather, repetitive by now, refusing to do her job, vacate her job when she knew she could no longer perform it. Ending with, for our content purposes anyway, a piece challenging fellow authors to denigrate Kim Davis on her actions as opposed to her hair, clothes, weight; however, criticisms of her appearance aren’t just tempting easy pot shots but part of the whole ensemble including her deplorable actions. Like Phil Robertson and Mamma June’s precursors to her, she embodies a stereotype; where their long hair beards, backwoods ways and obvious obesity respectively just added to the “social ugliness” of Robertson’s comments on blacks, gays and June’s lack of etiquette plus the scandalous involvement with a child molester doomed her in the public eye, Kim Davis’ long hair, style of dresses looks eerily like a cross between Michelle Duggar and Warren Jeff’s cultists appearing to have just walked off the set of Little House on the Prairie. In other words all the things we’ve learned to associate with injustice, inequality, bigotry and sexual abuse, perversion in the name of religion. Secularly it reminds me of a meeting I had with job placement works and a client advocacy group, my client advocate’s boss attending to critique her performance; my problems with the advocacy head were purely job related. I attempted to give her the short version of my years’ long issues with job placement personnel I was working alongside in an effort to gain employment as a disabled person while waiting for attendees to assemble, she couldn’t understand common obstacles of persons with disabilities in seeking work despite being program director, refused to acknowledge well thought our arguments explaining how things had been mishandled, kept giving her 2 cents on what should happen next sans any real familiarity with my individual case. To top all that off, she came to the meeting in a sleeveless shirt, true something someone might wear under a suit coat if a woman and it was hot midsummer, but her tattoos were showing, her hair stringy barely up in whatever bun, ponytail thing she started the day with, was Caucasian so it wasn’t as if she couldn’t easily carry a brush and simply re-brush it, smacking gum the entire time. Totally unbecoming a department head, program manager looking instead like Brett Butler in Grace Under Fire the 90’s sit-com featuring a blue collar single mom of 3; whereas I, when dressing for administrative assistant work, though female, wore button up short or long sleeve men’s shirts tucked into kaki style pants in various neutral, standard colors and was willing to find an office were this business casual was acceptable. Channeling Davis, her outfit just added to the unprofessionalism, the perpetuation of negative perceptions along with her empty-headedness about her job.
Likewise Kim Davis is free not because of some huge victory, giant furtherance for the cause of religious freedom helped by the crowd of protesters, mobilization of political operatives on her behalf, thought provoking speeches made on the rightness of letting her out of jail, a legal, political or otherwise caving to public pressure on something that never should have been done to begin with, think Indiana’s religious restoration act, but rather the judge seeing her sentence as no longer applicable. Since, in her absence, her deputy clerks had begun issuing marriage licenses and 5 of 6 pledged to continue doing so, the point of the exercise, the whole point of holding Davis in the first place; not some move to open a big can of hate on Christians, incarcerate them for believing in a ‘2000 year old book and a big man in the sky that may or may not exist,’ though seeing the actions of some ‘Christians,’ seeing spectacles like this one I can’t blame the ‘offending’ mind behind those words. The whole thing potentially poised to start all over again today as she returned to work, any day after that her conscience begins to eat at her as she has expressly said all along she will not violate her conscience; stating this morning in a press conference the any marriage license issued from her office will be unauthorized, excluding her name, her title and the county of origin instead using the following quote “license issued pursuant to federal judge’s order.” And here we finally, this far in, get to the center of the license validity mystery; state officials have radically changed the form removing key parts to quell gridlock in the clerk’s office, avoid a recall, impeachment process and reelection, special election of a new county clerk, whatever procedural headache there is for appointing an interim county clerk. Yet if a Denver baker cannot use his faith as a private sector business owner to refuse to do a same sex couple’s wedding cake, owing to state anti-discrimination statutes, 1- how much more does a government official need to do their job, 2- why aren’t similar statutes a matter of federal law? Similarly Kim Davis is not a present day Rosa Parks of the religious freedom movement, no matter how much she cries, no matter how well she pontificates about values and throws around the word conscience. A Salon.com writer decrying just such a notion put it this way, A- “Kim Davis has more in common with the racist bus driver than she does Rosa Parks;” B- “What makes people like Davis feel as though that they are being persecuted is that for centuries, they have been the ones who had all the power.” Now that people like her are being told others too share that power, must be viewed equally as citizens of America, fellow members of the human race, they, the former members of privilege are throwing absolute fits, prone to public boohooing forcing onlookers to question mental stability and cognitive age over chronological. As I’ve said before standing up for values doesn’t mean abandoning all logic reason and common sense; standing up for values doesn’t mean ignoring basic fact, clear evidence. Standing up for values doesn’t mean creating your own concepts and purporting them as fact to prove your point, manipulating faith/religion, morality to mean what you want it to mean in order to get your way. Neither does demonstrating your values, proving you live according to a set of values mean constantly throwing up red herrings, manufacturing instances supposedly showcasing people on the opposite side of your argument, your political opposition don’t have values, have the “wrong” values, nor does it mean making a fool of yourself, alerting people to how willfully uneducated you are in the name of values. Finally, adhering to your values, your interpretation of solid morality doesn’t mean hiding behind religious freedom to openly discriminate against women, minorities and people you don’t like. Hard to argue with the sobbing gay man who looks down at his marriage license allowing him to wed his partner saying it made him feel like a person, gay couples who have been together almost 20 years who’ve wanted to marry for a majority of that time; hard to argue the bigger picture being, gay people want to be recognized as people too, whatever piece of paper it takes to achieve that goal. Imagine if Kim Davis demonstrated some of the love she professed in her press conference, love another key cornerstone of her faith and spent time attempting treat these people like equal human beings, giving them respect, dignity, attempting to love these people into the kingdom of her god, the other Christian mandate instead of doing what she is doing, making American’s everywhere hang their head in shame.