Kim Davis, Religious Liberty, and Polygamy – Part 2
This is the second part of a series of posts pertaining to the County Clerk in Kentucky, named Kim Davis, who refused to do her $80,000 a year government job to issue marriage control licenses after the Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges (June 26, 2015) legalized same sex marriage in all States.
Supporters of OMOW (one man one woman) sometimes claim that they stand for “religious liberty” – except when they don’t. To test the validity of that claim, just ask any supporter of UCAP (unrelated consenting adult polygamy) how sincerely that OMOWs supposedly “believe” in religious liberty for everyone. The doubting response will be, “Yeah, right. If only.”
If only, indeed.
When 3-time-divorced, Democrat Kim Davis was sent to jail for being “in contempt of court” for not doing her job of issuing big government marriage licenses for SSM (same sex marriage), numerous Republican, supposedly-conservative, and self-professed Christian supporters of OMOW (one man one woman) rallied to her defense. They all said that she had the “religious liberty” to not do the job for which she freely campaigned and was elected to perform. When she was sent to jail for not doing her job, her defenders considered her as a would-be heroine and martyr for “religious liberty.”
“judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny.”
Supporters of UCAP (unrelated consenting adult polygamy) quickly point out that that is what polygamists have been saying for over a century about big government marriage control of anti-polygamy laws and Supreme Court precedent. For every so-called “conservative” who believes that Kim Davis’ religious liberties were being denied, all that much more must such Kim Davis defenders now also support the religious liberties of UCAPs.
You cannot have your cake and eat it too.
In Reynolds v. United States, the “liberal activist judges” of that 1878 Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) determined that
A party’s religious belief cannot be accepted as a justification for his committing an overt act…
Ever since, big government supporters of the unbiblical manmade socialism of OMOW (one man one woman) have relied upon that “activist” SCOTUS decision to oppress and to deny the religious liberty of UCAPs (unrelated consenting adult polygamists). Essentially, Reynolds v. United States unconstitutionally set the precedent that, while Individuals have the right to believe in their religious systems, they supposedly have no right to practice or to act upon those beliefs.
Indeed, Reynolds set the erroneous absurdity of only a religious liberty to believe but not to practice. With that totalitarian absurdity, big government has absolutely no limit to decide what religious practices it chooses to prohibit.
To be clear, the politicians of the 1800s knew that the US Constitution prohibited all federal marriage control in the States – because of the Tenth Amendment. Constitutionally, the federal government only had jurisdictional management authority of non-State Territories because of Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the US Constitution. Knowing that, they purposely limited their anti-polygamy laws only to the Territories.
To wit, it was limited to only the Territories in every way.
1856 Republican Party plank only called for banning polygamy in the Territories.
1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act only banned polygamy in the Territories.
1878 Reynolds v. United States only re-affirmed the 1862 law banning polygamy only in the Territories.
1882 Edmunds Act only banned polygamy in the Territories.
This embedded video (of a speech I presented a few years ago) goes through the history and the texts of the law and case, revealing the intentional anti-constitutional subterfuge that the 1800s OMOWs used in order to get around the Constitutional prohibition against federal marriage control. As readers here likely would have guessed by now, it is titled, “In the Territories…”
In that era, a Mormon polygamist named George Reynolds lived in the Utah Territory – before it was a State. He was found breaking the territorial jurisdictional-management law, the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act of 1862.
Because the Utah Territory was not yet a State, because he was a resident of that non-State Territory, and because the law that his polygamy allegedly “broke” had only applied to non-State Territories, the subterfuge denied him the ability to use a Tenth Amendment defense in court to prove that such marriage control was unconstitutional.
In what can only be described as a “kangaroo court” when he was brought to trial for bigamy, Reynolds was not even allowed to have any unbiased jurors who were not hostile to polygamy. Anyone who was even remotely pro-polygamist was immediately prevented and turned away from being a juror.
So when his case reached the Supreme Court, Reynolds faced a stacked deck against him, only permitting him to make a First Amendment (“freedom of religion”) defense. But even that was not enough to overcome the actual judicial tyranny that he encountered.
When the SCOTUS ruling of Reynolds v. United States came down in 1878, it anti-constitutionally established that federal anti-polygamy laws in the Territories are supposedly “constitutional.” But not stopping in the Territories, the “liberal activist judges” (as modern conservatives would label such judicial activism) cleverly exploited the “freedom of religion” aspect of the defense to actually concoct a nationwide precedent out of both the case and law even though it did not apply to the States whatsoever.
Compounding it worse, the OMOW politicians of both that era and ever since have continued that concoction of subterfuge as if it supposedly does apply to the States – even though it does not.
Consequently, UCAPs (unrelated consenting adult polygamy supporters) have perpetually been oppressed by the unconstitutional marriage control of the OMOWs’ anti-polygamy laws.
When UCAPs plead with OMOWs (one man one woman supporters) to remember that the “freedom of religion” clause of the First Amendment does not permit such marriage control tyranny, OMOWs respond by repeating the words from the Reynolds decision that “religious liberty” is supposedly no excuse for disobeying law. To wit, when it comes to law:
Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief?
To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and, in effect, to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances.
That very assertion from the Reynolds “religious liberty” precedent has been the big government go-to response by OMOW “conservatives” in almost every discussion about the anti-constitutional tyranny of anti-polygamy marriage control.
OMOWs have transferred themselves from being the persecutors against UCAP “religious liberty” to now claiming that their own “religious liberties” are being persecuted by SSMs (same sex marriage supporters).
But what is the biggest difference between the cry for “religious liberty” from UCAPs (unrelated consenting adult polygamy supporters) and Kim Davis? UCAPs are simply fighting for the freedom to be free of big government tyranny without affecting anyone else under the law. But Kim Davis is fighting for the freedom to use her $80,000 a year big government job to prevent other people from having what the big government she serves has allowed them to have by law.
And now SSMs respond to Kim Davis’ OMOW defenders with the same totalitarian absurdity of the Reynolds “religious liberty” assertion that OMOWs say to UCAPs! What goes around comes around, it would seem.
In a pure hypocrisy that says SCOTUS’ Reynolds decision (disallowing UCAP) is somehow constitutionally valid out of one side of their mouth, OMOWs now say that SCOTUS’ Obergefell decision (allowing SSM) is “judicial tyannny” (as Ted Cruz put it) out of the other side of their mouth. Do OMOWs believe in the authority of SCOTUS to decide anti-constitutional marriage control or not?
There is more to point out here, but I will save that for yet another post in this series. No doubt, UCAPs would welcome OMOWs’ “Damascus road conversion” to finally defending “religious liberty” and to recognizing that SCOTUS does not get it right when addressing anti-constitutional big government marriage control. Alas, OMOWs’ outright liberal worship of the false god of big socialist government causes great skepticism that a genuine conversion has occurred.
Ultimately, the sharpest clarity of this new socialist hypocrisy of big government OMOWs (one man one woman supporters) supporting Kim Davis can be most easily perceived by the following two statements.
OMOWs say to UCAPs: “Obey the law because you have no religious liberty/right to practice what you believe.”
OMOWs say to SSMs: “We will disobey the law because we have a religious liberty/right to practice what we believe.”
But OMOWs, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.