By Robert (Bob) Bianchi, Esq.:
I debated this topic on Fox News with host Molly Line and guest Kirsten Wilson, Esq.
This case illustrates to me a strange time in our Country’s history where both “conservatives” and “liberals” feel that if they dislike something that government authorities do, that they should be able to exercise their “freedoms” by simply not enforcing the law.
It is odd to me how each side has confused (although I suspect they know well and do it only for political gain) how our government and legal system work, in my mind to score political points. These politicians that are allowing this from both sides of the political spectrum are destroying this Country by their divisiveness and advocating of what amounts to anarchy. Many now suggest that we simply do not have to follow laws we disagree with.
This breakdown is evident in the case of Kim Davis. While no one would argue that Ms. Davis is not entitled to her personal religious views on gay marriage, it is also clear that when oaths are taken it is done with the presumption that you are honestly swearing to uphold the law and “…the constitution of the United States…”. If she cannot, or will not, fulfill that oath, she can choose to leave her position, or delegate that which she finds objectionable to others. She refused either recourse. So, she wanted to maintain her personal religious interpretation of gay marriage (which she has a right to do), but wanted to abdicate her oath of office by doing so (which she does not have a right, constitutional or otherwise, to do.)
These oaths of office are not ceremonial. They have meaning. They are to ensure that government officials do not do exactly with Ms. Davis did, place her personal views above the law of the land, in the event, they are in conflict with one another.
Those that decry that the judge was wrong to impose a jail sentence also do not know (or care to honestly reconcile) that this is what judge’s do when a person violates court orders- – in this case his order that she issue the marriage licenses. Judges typically jail the person until they agree to follow the court order, which is how and why Ms. Davis was eventually allowed out of jail- – her agreement not to interfere with the process any longer. Some claim that by her release she somehow won the “fight.” But, this is merely political spin. What she did was agree to follow the law, which was all she had to do in the first place. When she agreed to follow the law, the judge agreed to release her.
I enjoyed debating this topic, but would have also loved to debate the issue of civil disobedience with what is taught in the Bible. Any Christian should know that there are numerous teachings from Jesus as to this “conflict” between the civil laws and authorities versus the laws of God. It might surprise some that Jesus did not teach others to disregard or disobey civil authorities. Quite to the contrary, there are examples of His submission to the authorities that were doing some pretty bad things, like falsely accusing him and putting him to death.
I would have enjoyed debating those well meaning Christians that were claiming that our government was persecuting Christians by jailing Ms. Davis. The argument to me is both legally and theologically very flawed.
Thanks for watching.