Trump Just Made A Surprise Statement About Kim Davis That’ll Have Many People Furious

Although many Republican presidential candidates this week defended or praised Kentucky clerk Kim Davis for refusing to violate her faith and principles by issuing licenses to same-sex couples seeking marriage, Donald Trump will not.

“The Supreme Court has ruled,” Trump said Friday. “It is the law of the land.”

Trump’s comments differed sharply from those of GOP candidate Mike Huckabee, who Thursday tweeted his defense of Davis, who has been jailed for her stand.

“Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubts about the criminalization of Christianity in this country. We must defend ‪#ReligiousLiberty!” Huckabee tweeted.

“I’m a believer in both sides of the picture,” Trump said Friday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Trump said Davis need not have become personally involved and could have allowed her deputy clerks to issue the licenses.

“She (Davis) can take a pass and let somebody else in the office do it in terms of religious, so you know, it’s a very … tough situation, but we are a nation, as I said yesterday, we’re a nation of laws,” he said.

Licenses were being issued Friday, although Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, had said she would not authorize any employees to issue the licenses in her absence.

“My conscience will not allow it,” Davis said. “God’s moral law convicts me and conflicts with my duties.”

Trump said the issue could have been handled differently to avoid a showdown over principles.

“The other simple answer is rather than going through this, it’s really a very, very sticky situation, a terrible situation — 30 miles away they have other places, they have many other places where you get licensed, and you have them actually quite nearby,” Trump said. “That’s another alternative. I hate to see her being put in jail. I understand what they’re doing.”

h/t: Reuters

Do you support Kim Davis? Defend religious liberty and sign the petition to free her from wrongful imprisonment!

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Christian Football Coach’s Perfect Response To The Atheists Attacking Him Earns Him New Fans

University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt has come under fire from the atheist group Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). The group is demanding the coach stop pushing his Christian beliefs on players and that the university eliminate the team chaplain position.

The FFRF charges that Richt, along with chaplain Kevin “Chappy” Hynes (who is his brother-in-law), is “on a mission to win souls” for Christ. 

The group reported that Coach Richt “fundraises for his brother-in-law’s chaplain position and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. At a gala event in the Butts-Mehre football complex in July of 2014, Richt helped bring in big money for the FCA.”

“We’re at a secular university, I understand that,” the coach responded to the accusation earlier this week. “I don’t try to make anyone believe a certain way at all. Anything that has to do with the spirit is strictly voluntary and never has any bearing on someone’s availability to play at Georgia. It’s always been that way.”

He went on to explain: “I think we’re made of our body, we’re made of our mind, we’re made of spirit. We work hard on our bodies as far as getting them in shape. We’re working on schemes, plays, lifting, running, nutrition, sleep. When we work on the mind, we care very much about them getting their degrees, tutoring, academic appointments, classes and all, meetings. All those things are mandatory.”

Richt noted that he would be ignoring a key component in his players’ development if he did not take into account their spirits. “I encourage our guys to grow spiritually, I believe our spirit is going to live beyond our body. I encourage them to grow spiritually but I don’t tell them what to believe in. Everything we do is strictly voluntary in that regard,” he reiterated.

Interestingly, Gen. George S. Patton made a similar observation to his unit’s chaplain during the height of World War II. Third Army Chaplain James O’Neill reported him saying: “A good soldier is not made merely by making him think and work. There is something in every soldier that goes deeper than thinking or working—it’s his ‘guts.’ It is something that he has built in there: it is a world of truth and power that is higher than himself. Great living is not all output of thought and work. A man must have intake as well. I don’t know what you call it, but I call it Religion, Prayer, or God.”

As reported by Western Journalism, FFRF sent letters to multiple public universities demanding that they end their sports team chaplaincies or face possible legal action. Among them were Auburn, University of South Carolina, University of Missouri, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Clemson and the University of Georgia, AL.com reports.

The group is actively seeking plaintiffs to step forward among targeted schools in order to bring a lawsuit to challenge chaplain programs at public universities. To that end, the FFRF sent packets to players on several teams, including Georgia, South Carolina, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Wisconsin and Illinois. 

How successful the FFRF would be if it were able to bring its suit is not clear. The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of having taxpayer-funded chaplains for legislative bodies such as the U.S. Congress, and federal courts have done so for the military.

The Supreme Court has also recognized the right of students to voluntarily gather and pray at public school sporting events and during the school day, under the First Amendment’s free exercise clause, though the court has ruled students cannot offer corporate prayers at sporting events over public address systems.

h/t: TheBlaze

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Refusal To Issue A Same Sex Marriage License Is A Civic Duty

Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis has just lost her application in the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of a federal court order requiring her to issue a marriage license to a couple of the same sex. Denial of the stay puts Clerk Davis in a difficult situation. She is being called back before the District Court on Thursday morning to give an account for her behavior. Although the nation’s press has portrayed her as lawless, this one courageous lady is standing in the gap, defending the rule of law against judicial tyranny.  

As an elected official faced with an obviously illegitimate Supreme Court opinion, in a better time, a President could have explained to the American people why the Fourteenth Amendment has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, and protected her. Failing that, Clerk Davis should have been able to call on her state’s Governor to protect her — to interpose between her and the five Justices. However, Democrat Governor Steven Lynn Beshear is demanding she make a choice – either resign, or comply with his lawless instructions to implement the Supreme Court decision sanctifying same sex marriage. The Governor apparently believes in the unconstitutional Doctrine of Judicial Supremacy — that by a stroke of the pen, five elite lawyers wearing black robes can rewrite the Constitution, and that no one may question their decisions. Even worse, the Governor apparently cares nothing about the created order. He has no problem with a Court that had the audacity to try to change the Creator’s definition of marriage for all America — by pretending to find the issue hidden in the penumbras and emanations of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

Clerk Davis’ position is quite different. She stands on God’s law and Kentucky’s law. God’s law is clear. See Genesis 2:18-24 and Matthew 19:4-6. And, according to Kentucky law, and notwithstanding the Governor’s action unilaterally preempting the authority of the Kentucky legislature, same-sex couples simply are not eligible to obtain a marriage license. Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 1 was passed by 75 percent of the voters in 2004. It states: “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

Must Clerk Davis conform her practices as Clerk to those of a lawless Supreme Court and a capitulated Governor? Surely not. She cannot turn back now. Having stated that her behavior is constrained by her understanding of God’s law, any retreat would do damage to the name and reputation of the Lord. She could resign. But resignation would be the equivalent to admitting that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s folly, no Bible-believing Christian or Jew can serve in public office in America. Efforts are already beginning to use the Obergefell decision to remove Christian judges across America.  

Clerk Davis is constrained by her civic duty as an elected official in Kentucky, sworn to uphold the Constitution. As a lower civil magistrate, there is only one course of action – to refuse to issue the marriage license to the same-sex couple BECAUSE the federal court order requiring her to issue the license is based upon a wholly illegitimate decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that same-sex couples are constitutionally entitled to marry. Although some have tried to muddy the waters as to her reasons for resisting, this case is not a matter of her conscience or her personal religious scruples. It is about her civic duty as a civil government official. She resists illegality not because her conscience is offended, but rather it is her conscience and religious beliefs that gives her the courage to stand against lawlessness. She is well aware that she could face the court’s sanction for disobedience of a court order, perhaps including civil or criminal contempt of court.  

However, Clerk Davis is bound by her oath to support the Kentucky State Constitution, and the United States Constitution – not as perversely and politically “interpreted” by the Supreme Court, or even by the Governor of Kentucky, but as she understands her oath to be. If it were to be otherwise, her oath would not be to support the Constitution, but rather a pledge of fealty to obey a higher government officer no matter how lawlessly that higher officer may behave.  

According to Romans 13:4, Clerk Davis is a minister of God for good, and not for evil. While she is elected by the people, she is to serve the people according to the laws of God and men. As a servant of God, she has no authority to implement a court ruling that is contrary to God’s law. According to God’s law, two people of the same sex cannot marry, marriage being reserved to only one human relationship, one male and one female in a lifetime committed union. See Matthew 19:4-5. As was true for the apostles Peter and John when brought before the Council in Acts 4 and 5, Clerk Davis must obey God, not men. Acts 5:29.

Therefore, Clerk Davis cannot resign, and cannot capitulate; but she must resist by interposing herself as a lower civil magistrate sworn to uphold the law, not just to do what a higher civil magistrate has ordered her to do. By resisting, Clerk Davis risks being held in both civil and criminal contempt, fined as well as being forcibly removed from office. But she will be blessed by God for her righteous stand embracing the rule of law, and resisting tyrannical power. And, Clerk Davis’ courage just might inspire those in authority to have the courage of what they claim to be their convictions and join in the resistance.  

________________________

Herbert W. Titus taught Constitutional Law for 26 years, and concluded his academic career as the Founding Dean of Regent Law School. William J. Olson served in three positions in the Reagan Administration. Together, they have filed over 80 briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, and dozens more in lower courts, addressing important public policy issues. They now practice law together at William J. Olson, P.C. They can be reached at traditionalmarriage@lawandfreedom.com or twitter.com/Olsonlaw.

This article is part of a series on “Building Resistance to Same-Sex Marriage.” Please support this important work with a contribution to the U.S. Justice Foundation. Permission is freely granted to publish, copy, reproduce, distribute, or excerpt from this article for any purpose.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Sheep Led To The Slaughter: The Muzzling Of Free Speech In America

“If the freedom of speech be taken away,then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”—George Washington

The architects of the American police state must think we’re idiots.

With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called “government speech.”

Long gone are the days when advocates of free speech could prevail in a case such as Tinker v. Des Moines. Indeed, it’s been 50 years since 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker was suspended for wearing a black armband to school in protest of the Vietnam War. In taking up her case, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Were Tinker to make its way through the courts today, it would have to overcome the many hurdles being placed in the path of those attempting to voice sentiments that may be construed as unpopular, offensive, conspiratorial, violent, threatening or anti-government.

Consider, if you will, that the U.S. Supreme Court, historically a champion of the First Amendment, has declared that citizens can exercise their right to free speech everywhere it’s lawful—online, in social media, on a public sidewalk, etc.—as long as they don’t do so in front of the Court itself.

What is the rationale for upholding this ban on expressive activity on the Supreme Court plaza?

Allowing demonstrations directed at the Court, on the Court’s own front terrace, would tend to yield the…impression…of a Court engaged with — and potentially vulnerable to — outside entreaties by the public.

Translation: The appellate court that issued that particular ruling in Hodge v. Talkin actually wants us to believe that the Court is so impressionable that the justices could be swayed by the sight of a single man, civil rights activist Harold Hodge, standing alone and silent in the snow in a 20,000 square-foot space in front of the Supreme Court building wearing a small sign protesting the toll the police state is taking on the lives of black and Hispanic Americans.

My friends, we’re being played for fools.

The Supreme Court is not going to be swayed by you or me or Harold Hodge.

For that matter, the justices—all of whom hale from one of two Ivy League schools (Harvard or Yale) and most of whom are now millionaires and enjoy such rarefied privileges as lifetime employment, security details, ample vacations and travel perks—are anything but impartial.

If they are partial, it is to those with whom they are on intimate terms: with Corporate America and the governmental elite who answer to them; and they show their favor by investing in their businesses, socializing at their events, and generally marching in lockstep with their values and desires in and out of the courtroom.

To suggest that Harold Hodge, standing in front of the Supreme Court building on a day when the Court was not in session hearing arguments or issuing rulings, is a threat to the Court’s neutrality, while their dalliances with Corporate America is not, is utter hypocrisy.

Making matters worse, the Supreme Court has the effrontery to suggest that the government can discriminate freely against First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum. Justifying such discrimination as “government speech,” the Court ruled that the Texas Dept. of Motor Vehicles could refuse to issue specialty license plate designs featuring a Confederate battle flag because it was offensive.

If it were just the courts suppressing free speech, that would be one thing to worry about; but First Amendment activities are being pummeled, punched, kicked, choked, chained and generally gagged all across the country.

The reasons for such censorship vary widely from political correctness, safety concerns and bullying to national security and hate crimes; but the end result remains the same: the complete eradication of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the “principal pillar of a free government.”

Officials at the University of Tennessee, for instance, recently introduced an Orwellian policy that would prohibit students from using gender specific pronouns and be more inclusive by using gender “neutral” pronouns such as ze, hir, zir, xe, xem and xyr, rather than he, she, him or her.

On many college campuses, declaring that “America is the land of opportunity” or asking someone “Where were you born?” are now considered microaggressions, “small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless.” Trigger warnings are also being used to alert students to any material or ideas they might read, see or hear that might upset them.

More than 50 percent of the nation’s colleges, including Boston University, Harvard University, Columbia University and Georgetown University, subscribe to “red light” speech policies that restrict or ban so-called offensive speech, or limit speakers to designated areas on campus. The campus climate has become so hypersensitive that comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld refuse to perform stand-up routines to college crowds anymore.

What we are witnessing is an environment in which political correctness has given rise to “vindictive protectiveness,” a term coined by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and educational First Amendment activist Greg Lukianoff. It refers to a society in which “everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression or worse.”

This is particularly evident in the public schools where students are insulated from anything—words, ideas and images—that might create unease or offense. For instance, the thought police at schools in Charleston, South Carolina, have instituted a ban on displaying the Confederate flag on clothing, jewelry and even cars on campus.

Added to this is a growing list of programs, policies, laws and cultural taboos that defy the First Amendment’s safeguards for expressive speech and activity. Yet as First Amendment scholar Robert Richards points out, “The categories of speech that fall outside of [the First Amendment’s] protection are obscenity, child pornography, defamation, incitement to violence and true threats of violence. Even in those categories, there are tests that have to be met in order for the speech to be illegal. Beyond that, we are free to speak.”

Technically, Richards is correct. On paper, we are free to speak.

In reality, however, we are only as free to speak as a government official may allow.

Free speech zones, bubble zones, trespass zones, anti-bullying legislation, zero tolerance policies, hate crime laws and a host of other legalistic maladies dreamed up by politicians and prosecutors have conspired to corrode our core freedoms.

As a result, we are no longer a nation of constitutional purists for whom the Bill of Rights serves as the ultimate authority. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we have litigated and legislated our way into a new governmental framework where the dictates of petty bureaucrats carry greater weight than the inalienable rights of the citizenry.

It may seem trivial to be debating the merits of free speech at a time when unarmed citizens are being shot, stripped, searched, choked, beaten and tasered by police for little more than daring to frown, smile, question, challenge an order, or just breathe.

However, while the First Amendment provides no tangible protection against a gun wielded by a government agent, nor will it save you from being wrongly arrested or illegally searched, or having your property seized in order to fatten the wallets of government agencies, without the First Amendment, we are utterly helpless.

It’s not just about the right to speak freely, or pray freely, or assemble freely, or petition the government for a redress of grievances, or have a free press. The unspoken freedom enshrined in the First Amendment is the right to think freely and openly debate issues without being muzzled or treated like a criminal.

Just as surveillance has been shown to “stifle and smother dissent, keeping a populace cowed by fear,” government censorship gives rise to self-censorship, breeds compliance and makes independent thought all but impossible.

In the end, censorship and political correctness not only produce people who cannot speak for themselves but also people who cannot think for themselves. And a citizenry that can’t think for itself is a citizenry that will neither rebel against the government’s dictates nor revolt against the government’s tyranny.

The end result: a nation of sheep who willingly line up for the slaughterhouse.

The cluttered cultural American landscape today is one in which people are so distracted by the military-surveillance-entertainment complex that critical thinkers are in the minority and frank, unfiltered, uncensored speech is considered uncivil, uncouth and unacceptable.

That’s the point, of course.

The architects, engineers and lever-pullers who run the American police state want us to remain deaf, dumb and silent. They want our children raised on a vapid diet of utter nonsense, where common sense is in short supply and the only viewpoint that matters is the government’s.

We are becoming a nation of idiots, encouraged to spout political drivel and little else.

In so doing, we have adopted the lexicon of Newspeak, the official language of George Orwell’s fictional Oceania, which was “designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought.” As Orwell explained in1984, “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc [the state ideology of Oceania], but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

If Orwell envisioned the future as a boot stamping on a human face, a fair representation of our present day might well be a muzzle on that same human face.

If we’re to have any hope for the future, it will rest with those ill-mannered, bad-tempered, uncivil, discourteous few who are disenchanted enough with the status quo to tell the government to go to hell using every nonviolent means available.

However, as Orwell warned, you cannot become conscious until you rebel.

 

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Why The Supreme Court Is Not Supreme

“Judicial activism occurs when judges write subjective policy preferences into the law rather than apply the law impartially according to its original meaning.”– The Heritage Foundation

To vocal opponents of judicial activism, this comes as little surprise. The U.S. Supreme Court has suffered a major credibility blow in the wake of its politically motivated 5-4 Obergefell v. Hodges “gay marriage” opinion. In it, they presumed to do the impossible – both redefine the age-old institution of natural marriage and to give this fictional definition precedence over freedoms actually enumerated in the Bill of Rights. According to Rasmussen, only “36 percent of Likely U.S. Voters still think the high court is doing a good or excellent job.”

Incredibly, even the Chicago Tribune had this scathing assessment of the high court:

We must confess we are shocked at the violence and servility of the Judicial Revolution caused by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. We scarcely know how to express our detestation of its inhuman dicta, or to fathom the wicked consequences which may flow from it. … This decision has sapped the constitution [sic] of its glorious and distinctive features, and seeks to pervert it into a barbarous and unchristian channel … Jefferson feared this Supreme Court, and foretold its usurpation of the legislative power of the Federal Government. His prophecy is now reality. The terrible evil he dreaded is upon us.

As many of us warned, this opinion is already being used to crush Americans’ constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. This was not lost on the Tribune, which added: “To say or suppose, that a Free People can respect or will obey a decision so fraught with disastrous consequences to the People and their Liberties, is to dream of impossibilities. No power can take away their rights. They will permit no power to abridge them.”

The New York Tribune was equally dismissive: “The decision, we need hardly say, is entitled to just as much moral weight as would be the majority of those congregated in any Washington bar-room.”

OK, I’ll come clean. The above quotes are not in reference to Obergefell. But they might as well have been. These quotes addressed the Supreme Court’s equally illegitimate 1857 Dred Scott decision. Whereas, in Dred Scott, the justices defied natural law and presumed a “right” for whites to own blacks, the court’s 2015 Obergefell decision likewise defied natural law and presumed to deconstruct and redefine the institution of marriage.

Both decisions are illegitimate, and here’s why. For the U.S. Supreme Court to justifiably overturn some law duly passed by the United States Congress, its opinion must be deeply rooted in one or more of the following:

  1. A clear reading of the U.S. Constitution;
  2. Some prior court precedent;
  3. History and the Common Law;
  4. Our cultural customs or traditions;
  5. Some other law enacted by Congress.

As the high court’s four dissenting justices rightly observed in Obergefell, the “five attorneys” who invented this newfangled “right” to “gay marriage” failed, abysmally, on each and every requirement.

The same was true of Dred Scott.

And so both opinions should be summarily ignored.

As President Andrew Jackson famously quipped of a Supreme Court opinion he thought usurped his executive authority, “[Chief Justice] John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”

After the Dred Scott decision was released, Sen. William Pitt Fessenden, R-Maine, who later served as Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of treasury, said this: “[It is charged] that I am undermining the institutions of the country by attacking the Supreme Court of the United States! I attack not their decision, for they have made none; it is their opinion.”

Over the last few decades, the other two branches of government, the legislative and the executive, have, for some inexplicable reason, acquiesced to the notion of judicial supremacy – a dangerously dominant concept that erroneously regards the United States Supreme Court as the final arbiter of all things public policy. If this is so, then these nine unelected lawyers are ultimately unaccountable to anyone or anything; and the other two branches of government are but toothless figurehead bodies merely spinning their wheels while spending our dollars.

This flies in the face of the framers’ intent. It’s also the very unfortunate reality under which we live. It is fully within the constitutional authority of the other two branches of government to rein in these judges gone wild.

Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the authority to “check” judicial activism, up to and including when justices illegitimately legislate from the bench: “[T]he Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.”

Our Republican-led Congress, from a regulatory standpoint, has the absolute constitutional authority to smack down this rogue Supreme Court. Unfortunately, to date, it has either been unwilling or unable to do so.

Still, it’s not Republicans alone who must halt this judicial imperialism. Freedom-loving Democrats, to the extent that such an animal yet exists, must also join the fight. After the Dred Scott opinion, they did.

“[F]orthwith we are told that the Supreme Court of the United States has become the appointed expounder of Democratic principles. Since when?” asked Sen. George Pugh, D-Ohio. “Who constituted the judges of the Supreme Court the makers or expounders of Democratic principle? Certainly not Thomas Jefferson, who pronounced them the sappers and miners of the Constitution; certainly not Andrew Jackson, who told them he would interpret his own oath, as well as his own principles, according to his views of the Constitution. … When we get to going by courts, it seems to me we have departed from the whole spirit and principle of the Democratic Party.”

My, how the Democratic Party has changed.

In the vast majority of their writings, the Founding Fathers were explicit that the judicial branch of government is effectively the weakest of the three. Regrettably, such is not the case with today’s modern misapplication. Americans currently live under what is, for all intents and purposes, a counter-constitutional judiciocracy led by nine unelected, unaccountable, black-robed autocrats.

No, five extremist lawyers don’t get to decide “the law of the land.” Only the legislature can do that. The high court merely issues opinions.

And then the other two branches decide what, if anything, to do with them.

The Declaration of Independence acknowledges that true rights are God-given and unalienable.

Religious free exercise is sacrosanct.

“Gay marriage” is pretend.

And the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being.

(Note: Dred Scott quotes from Kutler, Stanley I., ed., “The Dred Scott Decision: Law or Politics” (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1967), 59.)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth