Kim Davis vs. the Real Lawbreakers

Kim DavisSo Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who doesn’t want to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is now in jail, put there by a federal judge who previously forced high school students into diversity training to try to convince them that opposing homosexuality is wrong.

This is all part and parcel of how our world has turned upside down.

Davis, a Christian who simply doesn’t want her name on the licenses as the government official authorizing same-sex marriages, is allowed no accommodation at this point. The radical agenda cannot brook any opposition, so it’s off to jail she goes.

This is the most egregious example of selective outrage and hypocritical use of penalty that I’ve witnessed in quite some time.

I do understand the argument that the rule of law must be obeyed. In fact, I’m one of the staunchest supporters of the rule of law that you can find. However, which law has been broken here? Has she gone against Kentucky law? Not at all. The voters in Kentucky, in a referendum, approved the traditional Christian concept of marriage by a majority of 75%.

You say she’s violating the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell? Yes, that is true, but is that really a federal law based on the Constitution?

I’ll come back to that.

First, though, let’s look at the way the Davis case is such a stunning example of selective outrage and punishment.

When Obama took office, he directed his attorney general, Eric Holder, to defy federal law when they colluded on not defending the Defense of Marriage Act, duly passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996.

What happened to Obama and Holder when they refused to uphold a federal law? Well, you know. Nothing. If justice had been carried out at that point, impeachment proceedings against the president would have begun immediately.

Defense of Gay Marriage Act

Do you realize that the harvesting of fetal body parts is prohibited by federal law? What’s being done about Planned Parenthood’s defiant actions in ignoring that law? President Obama has come out in favor of that organization’s continuance in its horrific practice. The Democrats in Congress have rushed to Planned Parenthood’s side in an attempt to silence the protests against its policy of infanticide [let’s call it what it really is].

Then there are those sanctuary cities, in which mayors, governors, and state attorneys general, openly flout federal laws. Has anyone called them to account for their lawlessness?

And we shouldn’t forget Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server that was against the rules for federal employees and that put national security at risk. The height of hypocrisy in that situation was her stern warning to everyone else in the State Department not to use private e-mails for public business. Does anyone think she is going to be held accountable for her lawlessness?

Yet Kim Davis is in jail for maintaining that she is supposed to carry out the laws of the state in which she lives.

Constitution BurningThe real lawlessness has been at the top of the federal government, both in the executive and judicial branches. The Obergefell decision, which said that the Constitution somehow provides for same-sex marriage, is simple judicial fiat. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote in his dissent, this decision really had nothing at all to do with the Constitution. What we have in Obergefell is five justices imposing their personal beliefs on the entire nation without any constitutional authority to do so.

Justice Scalia’s dissent in that same case drew attention to what he called “the Court’s threat to American democracy.” He went on to say, “Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans is a majority of the nine justices on the Supreme Court.”

Anyone who has ever read the Constitution with an open mind has to legitimately wonder where a Supreme Court justice could find a right to same-sex marriage within that document. It’s probably in the same place as the “right” to kill innocent unborn children.

Mike Huckabee has been the strongest of the Republican presidential candidates to speak out on the absurdity of thinking the Supreme Court is the final word on everything. As he so poignantly put it, the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being.

Does anyone remember the Dred Scott decision, which effectively ruled out any rights at all for a black person in America, whether slave or free? The Republican party at that time publicly repudiated that decision and stood firmly against it.

How about Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 case that declared separate-but-equal facilities was acceptable public policy? That pronouncement was later overturned by the Brown decision in 1954.

In both cases, the Supreme Court itself was the source of lawlessness, blatantly disregarding the Constitution. It has repeated that lawlessness with Obergefell, and action against that lawless decision is just as valid as action taken to overturn Dred Scott and Plessy.

It would be nice to think that all conservatives would unite in tackling this breach of the Constitution, but, sadly, that is far from the reality. I’m grieved over how many public conservatives either seem to support the same-sex marriage fantasy or pass the buck by simply saying this is now the law of the land, so leave it alone—it’s a done deal.

Some of the Republican presidential contenders have adopted the “done deal” approach. Those who have surrendered on this crucial issue have lost my support.

So it comes down to this: it’s going to have to be the faithful Christians who still take God’s Word seriously who will make the stand. This is a battle that falls to those who are the remnant. We are reminded that Christ called us to be salt and light. We must now fulfill that calling.

The “Death to America” Deal

The Iran deal is now in Congress, open for debate. The Obama administration gave precedence to the United Nations, taking the deal there first for its approval—which it got, of course. They say it’s because other nations were involved as well, but how does that trump (excuse my use of that word) the Constitution’s specific requirement that all such deals should be subject to a 2/3 Senate approval?

This deal is just so good, we’re told, that we simply cannot pass it up.

Deal

Remind me never to have John Kerry negotiate anything on my behalf:

Good Deal

Iran Nuke Deal

What about all those demands and/or requirements we were told Iran would have to abide by? Now we find out there were a couple of “secret” deals on the side that weren’t supposed to be made public, like allowing Iran to provide the specimens to be tested to determine if they are keeping their word on nuclear development. Isn’t that somewhat like letting Hitler demonstrate how nicely he was treating the Jews?

Piece in Our Time

What’s even more revealing is that since this deal was reached, the rhetoric of the Iran regime hasn’t changed one bit, which a befuddled Kerry finds somewhat disturbing.

Compromise

Before & After

But don’t worry. If the Congress rejects this deal, our president will be right there to uphold it.

Veto Any Bill

He’s never met an Islamic terrorist he can identify:

It's a Duck

Iran is a terrorist regime. We have just concluded an agreement with that regime that will allow it to develop nuclear weapons. Congress has a responsibility to shoot it down, first with a vote to negate it, then with an override of a presidential veto. Will there be enough backbone to accomplish this? The jury is still out.

Rules for the Rule of Law

I am a firm believer in the concept of the rule of law. Most of my students seem ignorant of the concept, so I try to explain that if we don’t follow the law, we become a society that is ruled by the whims of whoever happens to be in charge at the moment.

Yet I am also a firm believer that there are times when we must obey God rather than men. How, then, do I reconcile this?

God & GovernmentI take my students to Romans 13 (which I can do because I teach in an evangelical university) and offer them a lesson in the rules for the rule of law.

The first part of the chapter makes a strong statement about obeying government:

Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

At first glance, this might seem to say that government must be obeyed at all times, without exception. I’ll come back to that.

It also has been interpreted by some to say that every person who is in authority is a God-picked person—that whoever is ruling is the one God has chosen.

Be careful here. Do you really want to find a rationale that makes Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mao God’s choices? Do you really want to say that all the millions they have murdered in the name of a godless ideology is what God wanted?

While there may be some who, in the light of their theology, are convinced that everything that happens is, in some mysterious way, God’s will, I am not one of that number.

While God may use evil rulers, they have chosen to be evil, and He does not approve of what they do. To believe otherwise would be to make God into someone who is in favor of sin. That is not the God of the Scriptures.

Gavel & ScaleWhat this Romans passage is saying, I think, is that God has established civil government and the positions in that government that people should obey, not every individual who holds one of those positions.

So this first part of Romans 13 makes it clear that government is to be obeyed—the rule of law is the norm.

Yet this first part is only that—the first part. There is a greater context. The apostle Paul continues:

For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.

Now we are given the mission of civil government: it is to be a minister of God, carrying out His will by punishing those who do evil. We are told that if we do good, we have nothing to fear from government.

That is true in normal circumstances. But what if the government is violating its God-given mission? What if a government is doing just the opposite of what God intended? What if it is, in effect, promoting evil and punishing those who do good?

Is that a government that is to be obeyed?

If we obey that kind of government, we have made this institution into “god.” We cannot do that. The government—i.e., those who are responsible for its actions—is also supposed to be under God, and it will be held accountable for what it has done that is contrary to His will.

Whenever civil government disobeys God, we are duty bound to resist that government action. When told to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, the apostles told the authorities that they had to obey God rather than man.

Let’s bring it up to our time.

When the government says it’s just fine to murder innocent children in the womb, are we to go along passively with this atrocity?

When the government says homosexuality is good and acceptable and then redefines marriage, are we to submit without a complaint?

In both of these cases, government has overstepped its boundaries and violated its God-given mission. We can use whatever legal means are available to us to challenge these decisions, and we can raise our voices in the public square to convince others to join with us to overturn unjust laws.

Any man-made law that conflicts with God’s eternal law in inherently invalid.

What about other types of laws with which we disagree? Must we always be quiet about them and simply obey?

Christians & PoliticsWe have another recourse. Take Obamacare, for instance. There certainly is nothing in Scripture that tells us directly that this is an evil, sinful law. However, we do still have a Constitution, which is supposed to be the standard for our rule of law.

Any law, whether passed by Congress or decreed by the Supreme Court, that violates the authority given to the federal government in that Constitution is fair game for dissent on our part, and for public argument against it, alongside active measures that can be taken to overturn such a law.

So, as Christians, we have both God’s law and the Constitution as our guidelines for when we obey the government and when we do not.

I believe in the rule of law, but there are rules for when something is a legitimate law that we should obey. When a law is illegitimate, we have a Christian duty to do whatever we can—in the proper Christian spirit—to undo that law.

God’s law is paramount. Constitutional boundaries come next. We must always make those our priority.

The New Munich & Yalta–Only Worse

Although the details of the new “agreement” with Iran have not been fully released, enough of them have become public to make it clear this is one of the all-time great sellouts in American history, going beyond even the Yalta Conference at the end of WWII when the store was given away to the Soviets.

Nearly every Republican lawmaker and presidential candidate have already come out against it. The comparisons to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who infamously sold out Czechoslovakia to Hitler at the Munich Conference in 1938 have begun to proliferate—and rightly so.

Chamberlain-Obama

What do we already know about this agreement? Only that the negotiators on the American side, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, backed down on every point that they had told us they would not compromise.

Despite Obama’s rhetoric yesterday in his announcement, the agreement gives the green light to Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Oh, they are supposed to put it on hold for now, but in about a decade, all constraints are lifted.

What else was dropped from the discussions? They don’t have to be held to immediate inspections to be sure they are keeping their word. Any request to carry out an inspection must first come to a committee—on which Iran is a member—for a decision. And that committee has up to 24 days to make the decision. So much for “snap” inspections.

But that doesn’t bother our president or secretary of state. They have Iran’s word, and that is sufficient for them.

Got Nukes

All economic sanctions against Iran are now dropped, and the result will be billions of dollars that this terrorist nation can now devote to more terrorism. They can even obtain ballistic missiles.

What a great deal—for Iran.

It's a Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, clear-headed as always, immediately denounced this deal, knowing full well that Israel is now more threatened than ever, given that Iran has never walked back its promise to wipe that nation off the map. Netanyahu put the world on notice that the deal will not be recognized as legitimate by Israel; they will defend themselves as necessary.

This comes down to the biggest problem of all: Obama’s naïve and foolish belief that once Iran is welcomed into the so-called community of nations, it will magically become civilized and change its very nature. He continues to see the U.S. as the problem in the world; if we are just “nice” enough, all evil will drain out of terrorists.

The academic word for that is “baloney.” Even while these negotiations were ongoing, Iran’s leaders were publicly giving voice to their true intentions:

Famous Last Words

Then there’s the constitutional issue. Article II, section 2, of the Constitution states, rather clearly, “He [the president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.” Notice the 2/3 requirement. Any treaty negotiated with foreign nations must come before the Senate and get the approval of 2/3 of that body.

That’s not happening in this instance.

Verbal slight of hand is being used to say this is not a treaty, but merely an “executive agreement,” an entity that doesn’t exist in the Constitution. So the administration argues that it can go into effect without the 2/3 concurrence of the Senate.

Instead, it will go to the Senate for a vote, and if 3/5 of the senators (60 of them) disapprove, it will be rejected but subject to the president’s veto. Should that occur, the Senate will then have to come up with a 2/3 vote to override the veto.

Notice that the entire approval process has been reversed. Rather than a 2/3 approval up front (67 senators in favor), this agreement could go into effect provided only 51 approve of it. The burden will be on those who disapprove to get to 60 votes. And then they will have to round up 67 to override a veto.

This is blatantly unconstitutional. But what else is new in a Barack Obama presidency?

This deal is worse than Munich or Yalta because neither of them allowed the development of nuclear weapons in a terrorist state. Republicans need to stand firm. Democrats who say they are opposed to terrorism and are in favor of remaining a strong ally of Israel need to find a backbone somewhere. That’s the only way this abomination will be defeated.

Constitution? What Constitution?

A week and a half ago, the Supreme Court of the United States took control of the United States. Not that this is anything new, but this time it was a giant leap forward (backward?). The Court’s decisions on Obamacare and same-sex marriage make a mockery of the whole concept of the rule of law. Why do we even have a Constitution?

Constitution Revision

In the Obamacare case, Chief Justice Roberts spoke for the majority when he said that the word “states” in the law could mean the federal government when it came to setting up Obamacare exchanges. Since when is the federal government one of the states? The Court seems to have a problem with understanding words.

Plain Text

Ah, intention. Pay no attention to what the law actually says, but go with what you think it intended to say. How would that work in other circumstances?

Home Run

Perhaps the Founders just got it wrong as well:

Typo

Then came the crushing blow, declaring that the Constitution requires recognition of same-sex marriage. Supposedly, this has to do with equal justice and fair treatment, but is this equal justice under law or something else?

Equal Justice Under Polls

Prior to both of these decisions, the Obama administration did its best to put pressure on the Court, which was as unprecedented as the Court’s decisions themselves:

Nice Little Court

To be fair, though, it didn’t take much pressure to get what Obama wanted. Four of the justices, two of whom he appointed, are lockstep progressives who have a different vision of America in the first place. All that was necessary was to get just one of the others to come over to the Dark Side.

Let’s be real. This is what we now have:

Three Branches

It doesn’t have to be this way. Congress could step up and be the Congress it was elected to be. But that takes leadership with principles, a trait that is sadly lacking.

On Flags, Confederate & American

On the Confederate flag flap, I’m going to probably confound some people with my comments. I am in complete agreement with removing the flag wherever it is an official symbol of a state government. At the same time, I’m profoundly concerned about the precedent this will set as the more radical portion of our political class attempts to extend their reach into other areas. Those views may sound contradictory initially, but if you stay with me, you’ll understand why I take the position I do.

I must deal first with the history and the constitutional issues. When the Southern states seceded from the Union, they did so on the basis of believing that the nation was merely a compact agreed upon by the states, and that any state was free to leave at any time for whatever reason.

That view, while earnestly held by Southerners at the time, is not accurate historically. The switch from the Articles of Confederation—which was in the nature of a treaty-like compact—to the Constitution was also a switch in the status of the nation-state relationship.

ConstitutionThe Constitution begins with the words “We the People,” not “We the States.” In fact, that is one big reason why Patrick Henry and other opponents of ratification argued against its adoption. They realized it was a change in status. State governments did not create this nation; rather, state conventions called particularly for the purpose of considering ratification made that decision.

As Lincoln observed later, the only way for a state to secede constitutionally was to once again become part of a convention that then sent out to the states a proposal for a state or states to withdraw from the Union. If ratified by conventions of the people in the various states, then they could leave peacefully.

That’s not what the Southern states did. They simply declared they were out.

As for the reasons for secession, those can be found very easily in the written declarations made by a number of those states. If you read them carefully, you will find that the overwhelming reason was concern over whether the federal government would end slavery.

What about states’ rights? Wasn’t that the key issue? Again, if you read those declarations, you will see that states’ rights was invoked for one purpose and one purpose only: to protect and propagate slavery.

Alexander StephensFurther proof is found in the famous/infamous “Cornerstone” speech by Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the Confederacy, in which he says the Founders were wrong about one major point: the equality of the races. Stephens makes it clear in this speech that the Confederacy was founded on a different idea: the inferiority of Africans, their God-given place in society as slaves, and the superiority of the white race.

Again, if you doubt this, check it out for yourself.

Slavery, then, is at the root of the secession and the setting up of the Confederate government.

The Southerners also used the example of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 as the precedent for what they were doing. However, there are huge differences in the historical context of that document and what was transpiring in America in 1860-1861.

If the South could prove they were denied basic rights, as the colonies explained in 1776, no problem. However, let’s consider the following questions:

  • First, did the Southern states lose representation in Congress? Answer: not at all. In fact, if they had not seceded, they still would have had a majority in the Congress. The only thing going against them was a Republican president, but he could not rule arbitrarily without Congress.
  • Second, did the Southern states lose self-government within their own states? Again, not at all. They maintained their own legislatures and could make their own laws.
  • Third, was any federal law passed that interfered with slavery in the states? Hardly. The entire history of the 1850s—from the Kansas-Nebraska Act to the Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court—had favored the Southern view.
  • Fourth, did federal armed forces invade any state? What armed forces? The federal government had very little in the way of an armed force. The small contingent at Ft. Sumter in Charleston harbor was no threat. By the way, that fort had been ceded to the federal government by South Carolina. To suddenly declare that it was the state’s fort was more than dubious.

Therefore, I see no constitutional basis for the secession. I view it as a revolt against the legitimate authority of the United States government, one that Lincoln, as president, had every right to put down.

Consequently, I have no love for a symbol of a government that illegitimately rebelled against proper authority. Remove the flag, by all means.

Stars & StripesYet there are those concerns I mentioned at the beginning. Where will this lead? Already we are hearing voices saying all monuments from that era should be destroyed. One voice even questioned whether the Jefferson Memorial should be torn down. Another has concluded that the American flag itself should be shunned because America is the land of the “oppressor.”

That conveniently ignores that human societies throughout history have had slavery and that we, as a counterpoint to all that history, dared to challenge it—in a government symbolized by the Stars and Stripes. Thousands died en route to outlawing slavery. The government system that was established also eventually led to the elimination of segregation, that odious holdover from slavery days.

America is not the oppressor the radical Left seeks to portray. It is a nation that has had to struggle with the missteps and sins of the past and has overcome them (despite silly charges today of “white privilege” and “microaggressions”).

It is a nation that was born in the hope of justice for all, and which has achieved it to a greater degree than most others. The Left has an insatiable desire to destroy the good that has come down to us from the Founders, and it has an agenda to wipe out all trace of our heritage, based as it was on Biblical concepts of law and a Biblical view of morality.

So, yes, I applaud efforts to relegate the Confederate flag to museums, but not for the reasons some do. The South today is not overwhelmingly racist. Southerners who are nostalgic about their heritage are not full of hate. I see far more hatred and intolerance emanating from the Left than from any other source.

Obama vs. the Founding Fathers

On President Obama’s favorite “news” station, MSNBC, over a week ago, he was interviewed by Chris Matthews on Hardball. Matthews, you might remember, is the one for whom Obama’s election sent a thrill up his leg, which means he is of course a serious, non-biased interviewer who won’t let anyone get away with silly comments. Well, you judge.

In the course of that interview, Obama declared, “There actually is probably less war and less violence around the world today than there might have been 30-40 years ago.” Does that strike you as an intelligent, discerning statement? Or does it lend itself to the diminution of an already diminished presidency?

Less Violence

Respect for this kind of “leadership” is hard to come by. That statement is from the man who still refuses to identify the victims of terrorism as Christians and the perpetrators as Muslims. This is the man who has sidelined the war on terror because he doesn’t think it exists. The facts just don’t back him up:

Never Say Never

This is also the man who thinks that Iran will join the civilized world if only we give them what they want. He perhaps views himself in the Reagan mold when he reached agreement with the Soviets. Reagan, though, had a guiding principle for those negotiations: trust but verify. Obama has modified that somewhat:

Trust

He also seeks to do what Reagan did not do: carry on this negotiation and “deal” with Iran unilaterally, without any congressional oversight or approval. The Constitution clearly says that all treaties must be ratified by a 2/3 vote of the Senate. The way around this is to say this is not a treaty, just an agreement. Yeah, that’s a big difference. Whom is he kidding? His concept of an ideal government is slightly different than that of the Founding Fathers:

Branches of Govt

I’ve studied the Founding Fathers. I believe I know what they thought, and why they thought it. This much I do know: they had far more knowledge of the operation of government and far more wisdom as to what makes for a balanced government than Barack Obama will ever have. I trust their judgment above his any day.