September 30, 2015

The Vatican confirms Pope Francis held a secret meeting with anti-gay Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis.

According to reports, the Vatican reached out to Davis weeks before the pope’s visit to arrange the secret meeting, and show his support for the anti-gay county clerk who went to jail in a futile attempt to prevent same-sex marriage.

Davis and her husband Joe met with the pope at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24.

The New York Times reports:

Ms. Davis and her husband, Joe, were sneaked into the Vatican Embassy by car on Thursday afternoon. Francis gave her rosaries and told her to “stay strong” …

In an exclusive interview with ABC News Davis discussed the secret meeting with the Pope:

I was crying. I had tears coming out of my eyes. I’m just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me.

Earlier this week Pope Francis suggested that government officials like Kim Davis should be allowed to refuse to perform government tasks that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs, claiming that anyone who prevents others from exercising their religious freedom is denying them a “human right.”

Pope Francis told reporters aboard his flight from Philadelphia to Rome government officials have a “human right” to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses if it offends their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Francis is wrong. For the record: It is not a human right to refuse to do your job, and for Pope Francis to suggest otherwise is an obnoxious bit of sophistry that cheapens the notion of human rights.

Nobody is forcing Kim Davis, or any other government worker, to issue same-sex marriage licenses. If Kim Davis or any other government worker is unhappy with the conditions of their employment they are free to resign and find a more suitable occupation.

For the pope to suggest that government workers have a right to discriminate against same-sex couples is to pervert the notion of human rights in the service of ugly religious bigotry. In so doing Francis denies the very real human rights of the same-sex couple wishing to marry.

The fact that Pope Francis endorses bigotry and discrimination in the name of sincerely held religious beliefs should come as a surprise to no one. Francis is an extreme and unsavory social conservative with a pleasant smile, and an awesome public relations machine.

Yet beneath the telegenic superficialities, Francis is ugly: anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-birth control, anti-woman, and anti-free speech. He is, in essence, Mike Huckabee in a dress, just another obnoxious and dangerous religious extremists with a friendly smile and a warm handshake.

As Friendly Atheist notes:

When It Comes to Gay Rights, Pope Francis is No Different from Kim Davis

Make no mistake: Pope Francis is a man who holds views that should be repugnant to all reasonable people. Yet many reasonable people, including progressives, refuse to acknowledge these hard truths about Francis. The denial, and the excuse making, is depressing.

As for Kim Davis, Republicans cheered last weekend as the anti-gay county clerk was honored for “her determined resistance to same-sex marriage” at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C.

Bottom line: Pope Francis has bamboozled and hustled many progressives who continue to praise and make excuses for a man they should condemn. But, wait, oh look, Francis is kissing another baby, awww…

(Portions of this article were previously published here)

(Image via Wikimedia)
(Image via Wikimedia)
September 28, 2015

Pope Francis says government officials have a “human right” to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses if it offends their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Speaking aboard his flight from Philadelphia to Rome, Pope Francis suggested that government officials like Kim Davis should be allowed to refuse to perform government tasks that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs, claiming that anyone who prevents others from exercising their religious freedom is denying them a “human right.”

NBC reports:

The pontiff was asked: “Do you … support those individuals, including government officials, who say they cannot in good conscience, their own personal conscience, abide by some laws or discharge their duties as government officials, for example when issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples?”

He did not refer specifically to Davis in his reply, saying: “I can’t have in mind all the cases that can exist about conscientious objection … but yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.”

Francis added: “Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, ‘this right that has merit, this one does not.'”

Asked if this principle applied to government officials carrying out their duties, he replied: “It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.”

For the record: It is not a human right to refuse to do your job, and for Pope Francis to suggest otherwise is an obnoxious bit of sophistry that cheapens the notion of human rights.

Nobody is forcing Kim Davis, or any other government worker, to issue same-sex marriage licenses. If Kim Davis or any other government worker is unhappy with the conditions of their employment they are free to resign and find a more suitable occupation.

For the pope to suggest that government workers have a right to discriminate against same-sex couples is to pervert the notion of human rights in the service of ugly religious bigotry. In so doing Francis denies the very real human rights of the same-sex couple wishing to marry.

The fact that Pope Francis endorses bigotry and discrimination in the name of sincerely held religious beliefs should come as a surprise to no one. Francis is an extreme and unsavory social conservative with a pleasant smile, a warm bedside manner, and an awesome public relations machine.

Beneath the telegenic superficialities, Francis is anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-birth control, anti-woman, and anti-free speech. He is, in essence, Mike Huckabee in a dress, just another obnoxious and dangerous religious extremists with a friendly smile and a warm handshake.

Make no mistake: Pope Francis is a man who holds views that should be repugnant to all reasonable people. Yet many reasonable people, including progressives, refuse to acknowledge these hard truths about Francis. The denial, and the excuse making, is depressing.

As for Kim Davis, Republicans cheered this weekend as the anti-gay county clerk was honored for “her determined resistance to same-sex marriage” at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C.

(Image via Wikipedia)
(Image via Wikipedia)
September 27, 2015

Republicans cheer as Kim Davis is honored for “her determined resistance to same-sex marriage” at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C.

The anti-gay county clerk from Kentucky who went to jail in a futile attempt to prevent same-sex marriage was honored with the 2015 “Cost of Discipleship Award” Saturday night at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C.

While presenting the award, Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, compared Davis to such historical figures as Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King. Perkins said:

Whether it was Abraham Lincoln asserting the Constitutionally unsettled nature of the Dred Scott decision; Rosa Parks refusing to sit at the back of a public bus or Martin Luther King risking the … call of police dogs to end legal segregation, our nation has been ennobled and enriched by historic citizens who declare their unwillingness to accept rulings and statutes that conflict with the laws of nature and with nature’s God.

Perkins also said:

Kim Davis should not be an outlier. Kim Davis should not be something that surprises America. There should be Kim Davises in every elected office, at every level, who say ‘No’ to judges who redefine the revealed truth of God.

Receiving the award, Davis was greeted with a long, standing ovation. Davis, shouting to be heard over the cheering crowd of Republicans, declared:

I am only one. But we are many.

The Hill reports that the award ceremony, held at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C.’s Omni Shoreham Hotel, followed a day of speeches by conservatives including Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson.

Just hours prior to appearing at the Values Voter Summit, Davis told the media that she had officially left the Democratic Party to become a Republican.

In a statement issued Saturday, her lawyer, Mat Staver, said:

She has come to the conclusion that the Democratic Party has left her. She has decided to switch her voter registration. However, the issue of religious freedom in this case is not a partisan issue. It is neither Republican nor Democrat. It is an inalienable right and what makes America the land of liberty.

Staver said Davis “has been a lifelong Democrat but has received no support from the Democratic Party or leaders.”

Davis deserves no support for her bigotry. The fact that the Democratic party refused to support Davis, while the GOP chooses to cheer and award her anti-gay bigotry, offers a stark and telling moral distinction between the two political parties.

Indeed, the fact that Republicans choose to celebrate and honor Davis indicates a profound moral failure, and is but one of many reasons why decent and reasonable people should not support the GOP.

Bottom line: Davis should not be honored for violating her oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and should not be honored for prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in repeated violation of court orders.

In addition, by celebrating Davis for her religious bigotry at the Values Voter Summit, Republicans fail to honor both human decency and the US Constitution.

(Image via Screen Gab)
(Image via Screen Gab)
September 21, 2015

A faux martyr shares her pain: Appearing on ABC News, anti-gay Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis cries and says she’s been called a hypocrite and a homophobe.

Speaking with ABC News’ Paula Faris today in an interview in Morehead, Kentucky, a tearful Davis broke down when asked “What’s hurt you most?”

Davis replied:

What people say about me does not define who I am. That’s everybody’s opinion and that’s everybody’s right.

I’ve been called Hitler, I’ve been called hypocrite, I’ve been called a homophobe.

I’ve been called things and names that I didn’t even say when I was in the world. Those names don’t hurt me. What probably hurt me the worst is when someone tells me that my God does not love me or that my God is not happy with me, that I am a hypocrite of a Christian.

For the record, Davis is a hypocrite and a homophobe. And if a god did exist, that god would no doubt reject her bigotry and prejudice.

Earlier this month Davis spent five days behind bars for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses — something she is legally obligated to do under state and federal law.

After returning to work last week, Davis said she would continue to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses, while also claiming that any same-sex marriage licenses issued by her deputy clerks would be “unauthorized.”

And late last week multiple media outlets reported that Davis violated a federal judge’s order against interfering with the issuance of marriage licenses by altering license forms to remove her name.

More of Paula Faris’ interview with Davis for ABC will air tomorrow on “Good Morning America” and “The View.” Davis is scheduled to also appear with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on The Kelly File on Sept. 23.

Watch the video below:


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
September 18, 2015

Busted: Reports indicate anti-gay Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis violated a federal judge’s order against interfering with the issuance of marriage licenses by altering license forms to remove her name.

The Associated Press is reporting that lawyers for Rowan County Deputy Clerk Brian Mason are arguing that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis disobeyed a federal judge’s order by removing her name from the county’s marriage license forms.

On Friday, Mason’s attorney told the judge that when Davis returned to work Monday she “confiscated all the original forms” and replaced them with forms that deleted her name, the name of the county and all references to the deputy clerks.

Richard Hughes, the attorney for deputy clerk Brian Mason, said:

It also appears to this counsel those changes were made in some attempt to circumvent the court’s orders and may have raised to the level of interference against the court’s orders.

Mr. Mason is concerned because he is in a difficult position that he continues to issue the licenses per the court’s order, which had some remote questionable validity. But now with these changes may in fact have some substantial questions about validity.

The new form has Mason’s name and a place for him to write his initials but not his signature.

In addition, in a separate filing, attorneys for the gay couples who initially sued Davis said the alterations “do not comply” with the court’s order to not interfere with her employees who issue the licenses.

When Davis returned to work last Monday after being released from jail she said she would continue to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses while also claiming that any same-sex marriage licenses issued by her deputy clerks would be “unauthorized.”

Earlier this month Davis spent five days in jail for refusing to obey a federal judge’s ruling that she issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, believes same-sex marriage is a sin and cited “God’s authority” in refusing to issue the same-sex marriage licenses.

Mat Staver, the attorney who is representing Kim Davis, claims a same-sex marriage licenses is like a license to “sodomize children.”

Kentucky law specifies the rules for the form that county clerks must use, and the changes made by Davis appear to be at odds with many of them. 

As for Davis, her release was conditional on her not interfering with the issuance of the marriage licenses. By altering the forms, she seems to have violated the conditions of her release.

(Image via Twitter)
Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis (Image via Twitter)

 

September 14, 2015

A gay rights group erects a powerful billboard mocking the hypocrisy of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and other Christian conservatives opposed to marriage equality.

The billboard, which appeared in Davis’ hometown of Morehead, Kentucky,  last weekend, reads:

Dear Kim Davis, the fact that you can’t sell your daughter for three goats and a cow means we’ve already redefined marriage

The billboard is a reference to biblical verses that permit the selling of women, and alludes to the fact that “traditional Christian values” are in reality often immoral and misogynistic, values that treat women and children as property to be beaten, sold, or even killed at the whim of the patriarch.

Paid for by the gay rights and humanitarian group Planting Peace, the billboard takes direct aim at Rowan County clerk Kim Davis’ continued refusal to issue same-sex wedding licenses.

Aaron Jackson, president of Planting Peace, said the intent of the billboard is to “expose how the anti-LGBT movement is selective in what rules to follow and how they choose to define ‘traditional’ institutions or values.”

On their website the group notes:

As has been painstakingly observed time and time again, the anti-LGBTQ movement is comprised of a substantial number of zealots who unfailingly refer to their rigid interpretation of religious text to narrowly define “traditional” institutions and values. They pick and choose what they wish to convey as immoral and unacceptable, while seemingly sweeping lines of scripture just a few letters away completely under the rug.

In response, Planting Peace has constructed a message for Kim Davis and the anti-LGBTQ movement. The intent of the billboard is to expose this narrow interpretation by Davis and others that they use to defend their discrimination against the LGBTQ community. It is important and relevant to call this out, because these messages and actions are not simply about a political or religious debate. There are LGBTQ youth across the world who are taking their lives at an alarming rate because of these messages from society that make them feel broken or less than. We have to meet hate with love…intolerance with compassion.

Our message to our LGBTQ youth is simple: You are loved, valued, supported, and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you, and we will stand by you. You are not alone.

Planting Peace is the same group that launched the Equality House in 2013, a rainbow-painted house across from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
September 14, 2015

A tearful but defiant Kim Davis returned to work Monday, saying she would continue to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses, while also claiming that any same-sex marriage licenses issued by her deputy clerks would be “unauthorized.”

Speaking outside the Rowan County Courthouse, Davis said she is being “forced to disobey her God” by allowing her office to issue licenses to gay couples. The following is an excerpt from her statement:

Effective immediately, and until an accommodation is provided by those with the authority to provide it, any marriage license issued by my office will not be issued or authorized by me.

Whether I personally issue the license or whether one of my deputies issues it, the result is the same. The license is issued under the authority of Kim Davis, County Clerk of Rowan County.

I don’t want to have this conflict. I don’t want to be in the spotlight, and I certainly don’t want to be a whipping post; I am no hero. I just want to serve my neighbors quietly without violating my conscience. And so this morning, I am forced to fashion a remedy that reconciles my conscience with Judge Bunning’s orders. Effective immediately and until an accommodation is provided by those with the authority to provide it, any marriage license issued by my office will not be issued or authorized by me.

I want the whole world to know … If any [deputy clerk] feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice, and I will take no action against them. However, any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order.

Despite the grandstanding and protests by Davis, Rowan County Deputy Clerk Brian Mason  issued a marriage license to same-sex couple Shannon and Carmine Wampler-Collins almost immediately after Davis made her self-serving statement.

Joe. My. God. reports that inside the clerk’s office some Christians shouted abuse about eternal damnation and “homosexual sodomy” as Mason filled out the paperwork granting a marriage license to the lesbian couple. However, it should also be noted that marriage equality supporters cheered as Mason processed the license, chanting “Love wins!”

Earlier this month Davis spent five days behind bars for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses — something she is legally obligated to do under state and federal law.

It now seems apparent that Davis will continue to refuse to do her job, and continue to collect her paycheck, all the while claiming she is the victim of Christian persecution.

(Image via WWJTD)
(Image via WWJTD)

 

 

September 12, 2015

Bill Maher says Christian extremists like anti-gay Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis and her supporters are no different than Muslims who use Sharia law to promote discrimination and bigotry.

On his Real Time show Friday night, Maher said:

If you say, as Kim Davis and her ilk, and Ted Cruz and all those people say that actually ‘I can ignore the rule of man because the rule book of God said’ —  then you are Iran. Then you are Saudi Arabia. Then you are Sharia law.

At one point Center for Equal Opportunity Chairwoman and conservative commentator Linda Chavez agreed that Davis was wrong, while pointing out that there are many religious people in the U.S. and “you are going to have to bring them along ” slowly.

Mocking Davis and her conservative Christian supporters, Daily Beast columnist Michael Moynihan, who was one of three panelists along with author Salman Rushdie and Chavez, replied:

I don’t think that’s her intention here, to sort of slowly bring people along to this idea of gay marriage. She comes out of jail. Every Republican is waiting to have his photo taken with her. They have a shout-and-holler Cletus ceremony, everyone is holding up crosses, and Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger‘ is playing… well, I’m glad we’re all coming along very slowly.

Rushdie explained that the delusional martyr complex of Davis and her supporters is a “classic trope of the religious bigot,” noting:

While they are denying people their rights, they claim their rights are being denied. While they are persecuting people, they claim to be persecuted. While they’re behaving colossally offensively, they claim to be the offended party.

Maher added:

Especially Christians. I mean, the whole thing is based on a persecution complex. So when they say things like they’re criminalizing Christianity—really? You’re 70 percent of the population.

Rushdie countered:

But everybody does this. In India right now, [which has] a 85 percent Hindu majority, leaders are saying Hinduism is being threatened. In the Islamic world, the paranoia is routine: ‘The world is anti-Muslim.’ And so this is just a trope that they’re stealing from other bigots.

Watch the video below:

(H/T Daily Beast, Raw Story

(Image via Facebook)
(Image via Facebook)
September 11, 2015

Boots on the ground: The Oath Keepers, a heavily armed and self-described “Christian militia,” are on their way to Kentucky to prevent the arrest of Kim Davis if she continues to defy the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.

Right Wing Watch reports that Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes claims he has already contacted  Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel to offer the protection of his group, which he says is already forming a presence in Rowan County, Kentucky, where Davis was recently released from jail after prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses.

Raw Story reports that the Oath Keepers claim Davis, the elected clerk of Rowan County, was denied her right to a jury trial, a claim which is false. Davis was not entitled to a jury trial, and the judge who placed her in custody was merely enforcing the law.

Posting on the organization’s website, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes said in part:

We believe Federal District Court Judge David Bunning grossly overstepped his bounds and violated Mrs Davis’ due process rights, and in particular her right to a jury trial.  This judge has assumed unto himself not just the powers of all three branches of government, but has also taken on the powers of judge, jury, and “executioner.”  What matters to us is not whether you agree with her position on gay marriage or her decision to not issue marriage licenses.  What matters is that the judge is violating the Constitution in his anger and desire to punish her for going against his will.

Right Wing Watch reports Rhodes said that the Rowan County sheriff should have blocked U.S. Marshals from detaining Davis, but since neither the sheriff nor the state’s governor will do their “job” and “intercede” on behalf of Davis, the Oath Keepers will have to do it instead. Rhodes said:

As far as we’re concerned, this is not over, and this judge needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted and we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to. If the sheriff, who should be interceding, is not going to do his job and the governor is not going to do the governor’s job of interceding, then we’ll do it.

The Oath Keepers are dangerous vigilantes with no respect for the U.S. Constitution or the rule of law. Their desire to defend an elected official who abandoned the U.S. Constitution and her sworn oath as an elected official makes a mockery of their stated cause, and shows them for what they truly are: un-American imbeciles.

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
September 9, 2015

Calling out Christian hate: Conservative heads explode after Fox News anchor Shep Smith dismisses supporters of Kim Davis as “haters.”

Conservatives are angry after Fox News host Shepard Smith called out Christian hypocrisy and hatred during the broadcast of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ release from jail Tuesday.

Smith, commenting on the deplorable anti-gay celebration, declared:

Well, they set this up as a religious play again. This is the same crowd that says, “We don’t want Sharia law, don’t let them come in here and start telling us what to do, keep their religion out of our lives and out of our government.” Well, here we go again.

In his commentary, Smith noted the Supreme Court had already ruled on the issue of gay marriage, and the issue was settled, noting:

This is not unprecedented. They did it when they said black and white people couldn’t marry.

Smith concluded:

Haters are going to hate.

Writing for GOPUSA, Cliff Kincaid made the absurd claim that Smith’s comments were evidence of “anti-Christian bias that has been rearing its ugly head” on Fox News.

Claiming Smith doesn’t know the difference between Christianity and Islam, Kincaid said:

Smith seems not to understand the difference between Christianity, a foundation of the American system that protects religious rights and liberty, and Islam, an authoritarian religion which wants to impose its values on others.

Kincaid was also angry that Smith had previously pointed out the hypocrisy of Kim Davis denying same-sex marriage licenses because of her sincere religious beliefs despite the fact that Davis had been married several times before and had children out of wedlock.

On his show last week Smith said:

Ms. Davis apparently believes in the sanctity of marriage to the degree that she’s been married a total of four times. In fact, she got pregnant with her third husband’s children while married to her first husband. But fear not: her second husband adopted them.

Smith is right: Davis and her supporters are religious hypocrites. And it is a refreshing and welcome change to hear a Fox News host speak the truth.

Bottom line: Haters are going to hate.

(H/T Mediaite)

https://youtu.be/ilJ0rDw4dxY
(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)



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