Usually, the daytime hours at Fox News are reserved for the hosts reporting on the news; during the prime time hours, the hosts engage in commentary. However, Shepherd Smith decided to go on an anti-religious liberty rant during his network’s live coverage of a Kim Davis rally, concluding: “Haters gonna hate.”
As Davis’ attorney began to address the crowd, Smith spoke over him. “They set this up as a religious play again,” he said. “This is the same crowd that says, ‘We don’t want Sharia law, don’t let them tell us what to do, keep their religion out of our lives and out of our government.’ Well, here we go again.”
Smith continued: “When this started, this lawyer said he needed an accommodation for a woman who wanted one. She said she didn’t want her name on a license for gay people.” He went on: “Now they’ve come up with one, they’ve let her out of jail… But it’s not what they want.”
What Smith is referring to is not clear. Davis is not seeking to impose her views on others, and the federal court has not granted her accommodation request yet; her appeal is pending at the 6th Circuit. Mat Staver, her attorney, explained on Tuesday: “We’ve asked for a simple solution — get her name and authority off the [marriage] certificate. The judge could order that.”
Davis’ co-counsel, Roger Gannan, also pointed out that Kentucky Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear has the authority and the legal duty to accommodate Davis’ religious beliefs under the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The “law prohibits the state government from substantially burdening a person’s freedom of religion unless the government both proves it has a compelling interest in doing so and has used the least restrictive means to do it,” according to CNN.
Smith appeared to have his mind made up concerning the matter. “This is what they want, what you’re hearing now and this what they’re going to get: stirred up argument and a couple of days in the news cycle, and they’re going to be able to make these claims,” he said.
Smith compared the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding same-sex marriage to its decision in the 1960s that people of different races have the right to marry. “This is not unprecedented,” he said. “They did it when they said black and white people couldn’t marry.”
The court, in reaching its unanimous decision in favor of interracial couples’ right to marry, clearly had the weight of the post Civil War 14th Amendment behind it, which was passed specifically to address racial equality in the United States.
Its applicability to the right of same-sex couples to marry under the Amendment was not nearly as clear, as evidenced by the court’s 5-4 ruling.
Nonetheless, the matter was clear for Shepherd Smith. “Haters are going to hate. We thought what this woman wanted was an accommodation, which they’ve granted her, something that worked for everybody. But it’s not what they want,” he concluded
Smith’s comments leave one wondering who “they” are and what “they want.”
What do you think of Shepherd Smith’s remarks? Please share your thoughts below.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth