Friday, September 04, 2015

It’s simple and clear

It’s simple and clear: That Kentucky county clerk is in jail for one thing and one thing only: She defied a court order. The rule of law matters, no one is above the law, and no one gets to pick and choose what laws to obey. That’s it—there is NO other issue—absolutely none.

It’s important to get that clear up front because the professional activists in the radical right anti-gay industry are trying to spin this as being about “religious freedom”, which is a cynical and deliberate lie. The woman can believe whatever she wants to, but she cannot—ever—defy a court order. She’s now paying the lawful consequences of defying the rule of law, which is the right and proper result of her actions.

However, it’s also true that the woman openly refused to do the job she’s paid to do—by some of the very taxpayers to whom she defiantly refused to provide lawful government services. She cannot pick and choose what laws to obey, and she cannot pick and choose which citizens she will provide with a lawful government service she is required by law to provide to all citizens.

All of this matters because, as the graphic above from People for the American Way sums up, her religious beliefs have never—ever—been infringed. She’s free to believe whatever she wants to. She can tell the TV cameras how much she hates gay people if she wants to (as long as it’s on her own off-duty time). She can spend every waking moment of her free time in her church, she can use her free time to picket funerals if she wants to—all of that and more—but she is lawfully required to do her job, and she cannot under any circumstances defy a court order.

And that’s that. The radical right claiming she’s somehow oppressed for her religious beliefs is absolute nonsense. Some rightwing Americans have been duped by radical right politicians into believing that there’s “religious persecution” going on, but the radical right establishment is lying. On Purpose. To score partisan political points. And to make lots of money.

That Kentucky woman is in jail only because she defied a court order and declared she was above the law. She got the punishment she deserved under the law, and she also got exactly what she wanted.

And that’s all there is to this story. It’s simple and clear.

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