The unfortunate case of Kim Davis

The attacks on Kim Davis because of her hair or clothing are just sexist, classist, and mean-spirited .

Kim DavisFame is a fascinating thing to me. In August 2015, three Americans received France’s top honor for stopping an armed attacker on a train. In September 2015, Alek Skarlatos, one of those three men, is slated to be a contestant on ABC-TV’s Dancing with the Stars.

In June 2015, Kimberly Jean Bailey Davis was an obscure elected county clerk for little Rowan County, Kentucky, population of less than 24,000. Now she’s a lightning rod in the culture wars. She “defied a U.S. Federal Court order requiring that she issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the Obergefell v. Hodges U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States.”

Kim Davis has been criticized for not doing her job.

From Snopes:

Four couples [have] sued Rowan County and its clerk, Kim Davis, for refusing to issue marriage licenses because of Davis’ religious objections to the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

Davis is obligated by law to issue a marriage license to all qualified applicants, which now includes same-sex couples, the plaintiffs said. By “promoting a particular religious belief” at the Rowan County courthouse, Davis has “acted maliciously, with callous disregard for, or with reckless indifference to, the clearly established rights” of the plaintiffs, they said.

The argument that an elected official could not be allowed to ban the registration of a gun because weapons are against his or her religion, or keep women from driving on the same grounds, is a compelling point. This great West Wing clip frames the argument well. That she’s been married four times – she remarried husband #2 – and therefore is a hypocrite, is true – as the evil Westboro Baptist church has pointed out – though it is rather beside the point, as a matter of law.

But the attacks on Kim Davis because of her hair or clothing or weight or looking marginally like Dick Cheney are just sexist, classist, and mean-spirited, and lowers the tenor of the conversation. We need to be able to call out her bigotry without slut-shaming or hillbilly-shaming.

She has been held up as some sort of martyr for “oppressed” Christians, more so since she was temporarily sent to jail. Judge David Bunning, son of baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and former US Senator Jim Bunning, explained why he rejected her argument. “The [marriage license] form does not require the county clerk to condone or endorse same-sex marriage on religious or moral grounds. It simply asks the county clerk to certify that the information provided is accurate and that the couple is qualified to marry under Kentucky law. Davis’ religious convictions have no bearing on this purely legal inquiry.”

(Yeesh, Kim Davis supporters gather outside the judge’s home to hold him ‘in contempt of God’s court’. Whatever THAT means.)

Moreover, “While religious institutions are guaranteed protections against any government regulation or involvement in their religious life, the government is also protected from religious institutions attempt to garner political power over the nation. What this means is that anyone who functions as an agent of the state must remain religiously neutral, providing equal service, treatment, and rights to all people of all religious, ethical, social, and cultural backgrounds.”

Kim Davis and others have compared her stance to that of black civil rights icon Rosa Parks. I would argue she is the bus driver who refused to restart the bus until Rosa gave up her seat to a white man. Many gay rights advocates believe Davis has done the gay rights movement a huge favor by laying “bare the prejudiced, discriminatory beliefs that fuel the ‘religious liberty’ fire.”

Trump did NOT say this!
Trump did NOT say this!

Theoretically, there should be a compromise. Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, “both public and private employers have a duty to exempt religious employees from generally applicable work rules, so long as this won’t create an ‘undue hardship’.”

This is a very important principle, which would allow a Muslim woman to wear a hijab or a Sikh man to wear a dastaar, if it didn’t interfere with the task. As an elected official, it wouldn’t apply to Kim Davis, though Kentucky’s religious freedom law might come into play.

If she is objecting to “issuing licenses with her name on them, because she believes (rightly or wrongly) that having her name on them is an endorsement of same-sex marriage,” there may be a mechanism “modifying the prescribed Kentucky marriage license form to remove the multiple references to Davis’ name,” – assuming it hasn’t already been done – “and thus to remove the personal nature of the authorization that Davis must provide on the current form.”

Just yesterday, her lawyer repeated the assertion that those licenses issued by her deputy clerks were invalid, and “those responsible for issuing the licenses without authorization could face ‘criminal penalties.'” After giving her every scintilla of the benefit of the doubt, this position proves to me, without question, that the issue is not really about the religious freedom of Kim Davis, but rather the religious tyranny of her and her followers.

The larger point is that the system, as it has, must continue to allow couples in Rowan County, KY the opportunity to marry, which the Supreme Court declared is a fundamental right as early as 1888.

Related: this pictured quote attributed to Donald Trump about Kim Davis is untrue. HE DIDN’T SAY IT, and in fact, was largely unaware of the issue until very recently. The Donald makes many inflammatory statements but does not need to be defamed by Facebook pranks.

July rambling #1: a dog for mayor of Schenectady, and the benefits of music

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” – Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
Um
On ISIS’ Terms: Courting a Young American.

Nicholas Winton, Rescuer of 669 Children From Holocaust, Dies at 106. Here’s the 60 Minutes piece from 2014.

Why Don’t the Poor Rise Up? Is it because of a loss of the spirit of e pluribus unum?

John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on transgender rights.

Same-Sex Marriage DOES Threaten “Traditional” Marriage. It’s “a threat to those who do not believe in EQUALITY between the sexes in general.”

So much anger about love. Related: There are 6 Scriptures about homosexuality in the Bible. Here’s what they really say. He could have gotten into St. Paul’s interesting pro-celibacy position in 1 Corinthians 7.

100 Percent Is Overrated. People labeled “smart” at a young age don’t deal well with being wrong. Life grows stagnant.

John Green explains — in under eight minutes — the mess that is the economy of Greece.

Leonard Starr, R.I.P.

Stephen R. Bissette: comics pioneer & evangelist, from Radio New Zealand.

Dondi creator Irwin Hasen’s final interview.

I Can’t Believe This Is an Archie Comic.

A most disturbing story about Jackie Fox of the Runaways: One famous band. One huge secret. Many lives destroyed.

Garrison Keillor sees transition out of ‘A Prairie Home Companion’.

Ken Levine’s ode to radio, and your own “radio station.”
Nailed_it
Brian Eno Lists the Benefits of Singing: A Long Life, Increased Intelligence, and a Sound Civilization.

Polyphonic overtone singing – Anna-Maria Hefele.

Keith Richards: Life. Full Documentary Movie – 1 hour.

Music video: “HAVE A NICE DAY” – WORLD ORDER.

Songs that Stephen Sondheim wishes he’d written. (This is part 3, but the first two are linked within.)

Paul McCartney Opens Up About Lennon, Yoko, and More. “Our greatest living rock star on why Lennon’s a martyr, who gets the credit, and touring in his seventies.”

Nice story about guitarist Lawrence Juber.

Now I Know: A Tale of One Cities.

Leonard Maltin remembers Omar Sharif. I noted that I knew him better from reading his bridge column, initially with Charles Goren, trying (and failing) to ascertain the art of the artificial bid.

BBC Radio 2003 half-hour documentary of the romantic (and business) relationship of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz available for the month of July. Here’s Mark Evanier’s brief encounter with them.

Korean age.

Meet The Obscure Exclamation Comma: Because Excitement Can Happen In The Middle Of A Sentence. Sorry, I ain’t buying.

A Dog Named Diamond Is Running for Mayor of Schenectady, New York. And her owner, Kathy, sits about ten feet from my desk at work. In fact, I have Roger Fur Mayor bumper sticker on my office cubicle wall, from when that cat ran in 2011.

Maria from Sesame Street retires. That would be Sonia Manzano.

Muppets: Congressional Muppets and what is marriage and number six and a thank you.

This Crazy Fan Theory About ‘Jeopardy!’ Actually Makes Total Sense. Or not.

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

The Friends of the Albany Public Library presented the library with a check at the Washington Avenue branch. “The $3,500 will go towards the costs of the summer reading program. Albany’s Tulip Queen was also on hand for the presentation.”

Preparing the circus’ center ring. The state of the Republican debate.

Jaquandor links to stuff.

July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk

I REALLY want to see the movie Life Itself, about Roger Ebert.

clock.numbers
Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell. To that end, Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations and Congratulations: It’s a corporation.

An answer to the child immigrant problem at the US-Mexican border? I note that the Biblical Jesus was a refugee, his parents fleeing Herod’s wrath. Yet so many people who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ “are so uncaring and hateful about hungry children trying to get to a better, safer place to live.”

In the non-surprise category: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda.

Yiddish Professor Miriam Isaacs has dug in a previously unknown treasure of over a thousand unknowns Yiddish songs recorded of Holocaust survivors; the text is in Swedish but can be translated. Miriam was my old racquetball buddy decades ago.

The Creation Myth of 20th Century Fundamentalism by Jeff Sharlet, who I also knew long ago.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe came out as gay. Arthur explains why it STILL matters. Also: I Can Be Christian, and Gay, and Live in Alabama.

Portraits of people in 7 days’ worth of their own garbage.

These next several feel of a piece, about understanding life and each other:
Amy B says This is not a bucket list.
It’s Not as Simple as it Seems: Neal Hagberg at TEDx Gustavus Adolphus College.
Technology has taken much away much.
I Dare You To Watch This Entire Video.
*She Sent All Her Text Messages in Calligraphy for a Week.

Our church, First Presbyterian Albany, hosted a work camp in the city the week leading to the 4th of July. Homes were repaired/painted throughout the city; 400+ youth and adults, from several states, including Hawaii, plus folks from Ontario, Canada, were hosted at Myers Middle School; 75+ First Pres folks volunteered to make it all happen. We received some media coverage, including one of the radio stations, WFLY present on opening day. Here’s the web link to the Times Union article. Plus nice coverage from a local public radio station.

The Importance of Eating Together.

Sinful, Scandalous C.S. Lewis, Joy, and the Incarnation.

Interview with Marion Meade, Dorothy Parker biographer.

Jaquandor, via George RR Martin, on writing. While he writes just one word at a time, I write five or six, accidentally leaving one out.

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With.

Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless.

whyteachmusic
Melanie plays with toys. So does Chuck Miller.

GayProf’s life continues at 40.

Is Dustbury, “prolific” as the inevitable consequence of a desire to maximize his output before the time comes when he cannot put out anything? And, I wondered, am I?

I realize that the 45th anniversary of the moon landing depressed me. Here’s part of the reason. Another part is that, despite disliking violence, I understand why Buzz Aldrin punched Bart Sibrel after being harassed by him suggesting that the July 1969 moonwalk was faked.

Cat Islands.

Louis Zamperini Was More Than A Hero.

Paul Mazursky wrote and directed Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), An Unmarried Woman (1978). But I saw (or heard) him in a number of TV shows and movies.

James Garner’s legacy: A commitment to civil rights and political activism.

Why I want to see the movie Life Itself, about Roger Ebert.

Check out this interview Rebecca Jade, my first niece, did recently through Voices of La Jolla. Click on the microphone/link on the upper right-hand corner to listen to the podcast.

Watching the new Weird Al Yankovic videos, especially Word Crimes. Weird Al is a marketing machine.

Did I mention that Paul McCartney came to Albany, NY? And Omaha, Nebraska? Who performed the mysterious ‘train song’ from the Beatles’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’? The George Harrison Memorial Tree killed … by beetles.

Some of SamuraiFrog’s favorite Marvel stories; nice reveal in Fantastic Four #21. Also, for round 15 of ABC Wednesday – YOU can still join! – Mr. Frog will “highlight a different Muppet for each letter, hopefully, some of the lesser-known Muppets and milestones in Muppet history.” So far, A is for Arnold, who you WILL recognize; B is for Bobo the bear.

Superman and the Bible.

For the rest of the summer, absolutely everything new that’s published in the New Yorker will be unlocked. “Then, in the fall… an easier-to-use, logical, metered paywall.”

Renting Liechtenstein.

Could “The Big Bang Theory” get canceled? I’ve watched the show maybe thrice, but I find TV machinations interesting.

Mark Evanier wrote about The Battle of the Network Stars, some cheesy TV competition c. 1977. What struck me is that I knew every actor and the associated show from CBS, all but one from ABC, but had serious trouble with the NBC stars. Even I knew of the actor, say, Jane Seymour, I had no idea what show she was representing.

GOOGLE ALERTS (me)

Arthur responds to my TWO posts on Hobby Lobby.

Dustbury cites my Instant Runoff Voting post and my TMI post.

Mr. Frog tackles #1 Songs on My Birthday, which some of the rest of you regular bloggers – you know who you are – might consider.

(not me)
Alison Green, M.D. will join Green Family Practice Clinic on August 1st as the newest family practice doctor in Newport. “Alison joins the practice established by her father, Dr. Roger Green, continuing a rich family heritage of healthcare providers.”

(image from http://teachr.co/1oik2Qr )

May Rambling #2: New Zealand music

I rant about the JEOPARDY! Million-Dollar Tournament.

America.duck
Descendants of Solomon Northup, who recounted his story in a memoir, 12 Years A Slave.

The Real Origins of the Religious Right. “They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.”

Dustbury points to an article about how the ineptitude of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and its predecessors, go back nearly a century.

The Worst Argument Ever Made Against Gay Marriage.

Amy Biancolli’s book: To plunge is to live. Also, her parents in love.

Judy Sanders, a former local news reporter and photographer, is dying of ovarian cancer. Confronting the long goodbye from Paul Grondahl, and a piece by her former colleague, Ken Screven.

Diane Cameron’s blog Love in the Time of Cancer has been going on since 2008, but I just discovered it.

Getting kicked out of the prom.

New York Erratic asked: “Have you ever dated anyone who turned out to be gay?” I had a serious relationship with a woman who left me for another woman, with whom she stayed for some time. About 20 years later, she married a man, an old friend of hers.

Dan writes about The Casino And All The Promises, which is both a local issue and a cautionary narrative if casinos are offered to your town.

Lisa has been having the same blog problems I have

Mr. Frog on meeting celebrities

The Good Wife is my favorite TV show. Here’s why I love it, and why I have a difficult time explaining it to others.

Dustbury reminds me why I love word processing, and wish I had a goat.

A great interview with Mel Brooks, who’s promoting the rerelease of Blazing Saddles.

Dead Man Walking, and Burying the Bentley.

Mark Evanier’s childhood, and the color orange. Sweet story of coincidence.

New Paltz Students Find $40K in a Couch; NP is my alma mater, BTW.

Luckiest Unlucky Man or Unluckiest Lucky Man?

You’re Not Here. Abbott and Costello with the famed movie tough guy, Mike Mazurki.

How did Fred Astaire literally dance on the ceiling in the movie Royal Wedding?
.
The Oatmeal cartoon about irony. Is it ironic that the song Ironic is not about being ironic?

LYNDA BARRY SELLS OUT. I love her work.

Irene Vartanoff writes about Marvel Comics’ original artwork in the 1960s. And she would know.

Drawn Out: The 50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels.

The Documentary “Stripped” shows the past and future of comic strips. I supported Kickstarter for this.

Arthur celebrates NZMM: New Zealand Music Month. Lots of good stuff, but I must note #14, “New Zealand’s First Record.”

Tosy: U2 – Ranked 80-71 and 70-61.

Another great review of the niece’s album: Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact. (Hey, it’s good!)

Pantheon Songs remembers Marvin Gaye.

Muppet section: Joe Raposo and Roosevelt Franklin and Time In A Bottle. “Today me will live in the moment unless it’s unpleasant, in which case me will eat a cookie.” – Cookie Monster.

What IS a photocopier?

How do you spell the color: grey or gray?
***
The local Jewish Community Center had an ad campaign many found offensive. Several others thought it was poor because they couldn’t even read what it said. In any case, the ad is gone, and a couple of people suggested my blog post on the topic may have helped.

SamuraiFrog said ‘Why Not Ask Me Anything?’ and blamescredits me for him doing so. He answers my questions about music, and specifically about Billy Joel.

Likewise, Arthur’s Internet wading was my fault, or suggestion.

I rant about the JEOPARDY! Million-Dollar Tournament.

NALT Christians

October is LGBT History Month

Last month, my friend Dan sent me a link to this nifty page about Christians Openly Supporting LGBT Community In ‘We’re Not All Like That’ Campaign. I wrote back, “This will appear on my blog within the week! Thanks; I had not seen this.” I was particularly taken by Fred Clark’s video, maybe because of how he self-identifies.

Obviously, I didn’t post anything, and frankly, it got lost in my e-mails. Then Arthur wrote about it, and I was going to let it go as a topic. Moreover, while I appreciate the sentiment of NALT, I never like things identified by what they are NOT. Quirky, I know.

But then I saw this story about a tea party leader and former Baptist pastor who is proposing to file a ‘class action lawsuit’ against ‘homosexuality.’ Oy.

So let me share with you a sermon by Nicole Garcia at the MLP National Conference at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Tucson, AZ on Saturday, September 28, 2013, which addresses the topic of how some in the church view an inclusive faith.

Did you know that October is LGBT History Month? I did not until I saw a couple of huge displays in the fellowship hall of MY church.

I was telling this story recently: At my previous church, I was talking to one of the church leaders about the fact that we ought to have a discussion about gay rights; this would have been c 1990. She said, “We already did that.” I started attending in 1982 and joined in 1984, and I had no recollection of this. “Oh, we had somebody come in and talk with us in 1976.” Over the next several years, I brought it up, but the idea never gained any traction.

I’m happy to be in a church now without that ambiguity.
***
From Newsmax:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday withdrew legal opposition to gay marriage, making same-sex nuptials the law in the state.
The move makes New Jersey the 14th state in the nation to legalize gay marriage…
At City Hall in Newark, the state’s most populous city, Cory Booker, the two-term Democratic mayor who voters elected to the U.S. Senate last week, officiated for seven gay and two heterosexual couples who descended a set of curving steps just before midnight…
Booker, 44, who had refused to perform heterosexual weddings in his city of 277,700 residents because he objected to the exclusion of same-sex couples, called the ceremonies “one of the greatest privileges of my life.”

This dialogue from The West Wing is even better when you hear Martin Sheen say it.

LISTEN to Red Flag by XELLE