Ignore the profiteers
Don't be fooled. The controversy over issuing marriage licenses in keeping with the non-discriminatory inclusiveness embraced by the Supreme Court is not about religious freedom. It is about American freedom from religious tyranny.
Across the centuries, godly religion has always been distorted by two seductive forces: arrogance and ignorance.
In the public square, arrogant religion is heard demanding permissive endorsement of its faith and its truth to the exclusion of all other.
Ignorant religion grounds its sense of privilege in its black-and-white beliefs, most often buttressed by literal reading of Scripture. The Bible is not rigid. It lives like poetry and it must be allowed to breathe with life. It invites us to live with grace, mystery, intelligence and gratitude.
Politicians will seek to capitalize on this controversy by endorsing the so-called victim and her defiant piety regarding the rule of law among us.
Profiteering preachers will rise up here or come from beyond our borders to build their reputations, garner new and unsuspecting followers and make a bit of money at the same time. Opportunistic lawyers will move in as well.
Recognize that our faith, whatever it may be, is not meant to be a privileged substitute for good old, hard-earned American citizenship.
The Rev. Albert M. Pennybacker
Retired, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Tired of doublespeak
How utterly predictable for Kim Davis' lawyer to represent her incarceration, due solely to the county clerk's misguided, solipsistic attempt to force her doctrine on others under color of authority, as an attack on her freedom.
How disconcerting to hear so many of her supporters parrot this Orwellian line of doublespeak, which cannot possibly survive even the slightest application of critical thought.
How disappointing that so many pusillanimous politicians persist in pandering to this element of the electorate by insisting they be able to craft legislation accommodating blatantly prejudicial acts by elected officials.
These self-same politicians, who would gladly climb over one another in a jingoistic frenzy to prove themselves the most utterly devoted to the sanctity of the Constitution, are pathetic in their obvious lack of even the most rudimentary understanding of the intent of the First Amendment.
Violators of rule of law
If individuals who are so concerned that Kim Davis in Rowan County should "just do her job and obey the law" are not hypocrites, they should insist that U.S. Marshals arrest every mayor of a sanctuary city for illegal residents. The mayors flout federal laws and should be severely punished.
Other examples from Washington D.C., are appalling:
President Barack Obama is constantly delaying, for political reasons, the dates of implementation of various parts of Obamacare. However, no opposition was forthcoming from the weak Republicans in Congress. He also refuses to enforce some immigration laws.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder announced early in his tenure that the Department of Justice would not prosecute hate crimes involving certain minority defendants.
In the recent challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court to the Obamacare legislation, Chief Justice John Roberts said that while the language of the law did not allow subsidies for federal exchanges, he knew that subsidies were what the legislators intended. He voted to allowed Obamacare to continue.
I wonder how much protest regarding the above items was voiced by individuals so concerned about Davis doing her job and obeying the law. Probably very few.
Bruce K. Parsley
Kim Davis, Rowan County clerk, went to jail because of her own choosing. Hooray for Judge David Bunning who put her there in contempt of court for refusal to uphold the rule of law.
Yet, one must feel some pity for this woman. She seems to have no understanding of the U.S. Constitution or that it is the duty of the Supreme Court to make final interpretations of what laws mean.
Her followers don't understand it is the court's duty to rule in favor of a minority when their civil rights are abridged even though a majority may feel differently.
Poor Davis has fallen into the clutches of the zealots, ideologues and the radical out-of-state Liberty Counsel who want to make her a martyr for their cause.
They have reinforced her belief that the Bible is an inherent text subject only to their interpretation. This is no different from radical Muslims who choose their own tortured interpretations of the Quran.
This is not altogether Davis' fault but the fault of Kentuckians who have yet to see the urgency of good schools and the necessity for civics lessons well learned.
Jack C. Blanton
Davis is no Dr. King
The statement by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis' attorney equating her situation with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s when he was jailed for his beliefs is as far off the mark as you can get.
King was jailed for his efforts to gain civil rights for those who had for decades been denied them.
Davis was jailed for openly and defiantly denying legitimate civil rights to certain people.
Davis is no King, and any attempt to draw similarity between the two is an insult to his memory, life and work.
Davis' actions were a blatant example of an elected pubic official openly denying citizens their constitutional civil rights, plain and simple.
If the legislature changes the law for the sole purpose of accommodating an illegal act, it would be an endorsement that such discrimination is not just OK but legal.
Does anyone besides me see another Supreme Court decision in the future, should our elected officials be so stupid as to actually try to legalize discrimination?
Marriage licenses obsolete
Why are marriage licenses required in the first place?
Driver's licenses help ensure incompetent drivers are kept off the road, license plates help identify vehicles that might engage in nefarious activities, and hunting and fishing licenses are a revenue source that insure the quantity and quality of game and fish.
But what are the benefits of marriage licenses, other than providing a revenue source to help pay the salary of county clerks and their deputies?
It seems the person actually performing the marriage, with public registration verifying the fact, is the sole determinant in qualifying the couple for joint tax-return status, which is about the only thing being accomplished by the ceremony.
All other benefits, such as right of survivorship and durable power of attorney, can be accomplished through an attorney, and probably at less cost than a wedding
Our society downgraded the sanctity of marriage long before this issue. We now tolerate cohabitation, premarital sex and children born out of wedlock to the extent that the joint tax return is the only tangible identifier of a marriage.
I apologize for dashing the hopes and dreams of aspiring brides, but someone has to say "the emperor has no clothes."
Ronald B. Blackburn