The past 48 hours have been a whirlwind for activists and fake Christians around America as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has defied federal law by not issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in her district.
An elected official, Davis told prospective couples she would not issue any marriage licenses to LGBT couples because it went against her beliefs as a Christian. Even though she is paid by the taxpayers to do her job, she insists that God is her authority, not the laws of the United States.
Much to her chagrin, I am sure, is Davis’ own marriage history — four of them — and apparent adultery, plus a confusing back-and-forth of which husband she was sleeping with, when, and who was impregnating her at the time. While this all makes for great fodder in the online gossip-sphere, none of her sexual history has anything to do with the fact that Davis is an elected official, who is refusing to do her job and is violating the civil rights of citizens in her district, while pulling an annual salary of $80,000.
Having seen the news clips of Davis defending her repulsion of gay marriage, she is a “true believer”, and nothing anyone can say will convince her that LGBT are people, too, with the same civil rights as all other Americans. She has that crazed look in her eyes when she talks about Jesus and God, and she seems like the kind of zealot that will relish being a martyr for her beliefs. (I’m from the South. I know ’em when I see ’em.) And by the way, she has a First Amendment right to be as right-wing, Jesus-obsessed as she wants to be … on her own time.
The First Amendment prohibits the government from establishing any religion, so her failure to carry out her job as a civil servant is not protected by the First Amendment. We also have the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson’s view on the Separation of Church and State, which has been quoted numerous times by the United States Supreme Court, and then there’s Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, which says very plainly, “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion….” This treaty was ratified unanimously by the Senate, so I guess they really meant it — the United States is not a Christian country. The government of the United States is, in fact, secular. Therefore, a secular employee’s personal religious beliefs are irrelevant in regard to her duty to abide by and uphold the laws of the land. If she doesn’t like the laws, that’s what the justice and legislative branches of the government are for.
But let’s focus on the issue before us: Davis is being paid by the taxpayers while she is violating citizens’ civil rights. She needs to follow the law or leave the job, but slut-shaming her has taken over the conversation.
If this were a rape case at trial or a sexual harassment claim, a woman’s prior sexual history would not be allowed because it has no bearing on the incident at hand. And I’d be willing to bet that if this were a man who had had four marriages, no one would call him a “slut”.
Slut-shaming is a patriarchal tactic of humiliating and ostracizing women, to keep women in line and to control women’s sexuality.
As activists, we cannot get sidetracked. Focus on the issue in front of us, and address it head-on. For now, Kim Davis has two choices: do the job she was elected and is being paid to do; or quit. We will not allow Americans’ rights to be violated just so one woman can feel like a martyr in her own mind.
In yet another bout of politics-of-the-absurd by the leaders of the Congressional OB-GYN (Obnoxious Biblical Gynoticians), Ted Cruz and 18 other GOP Congressional fascists had threatened to shut down the federal government if Planned Parenthood were not defunded. The main reason for attacking Planned Parenthood — and simultaneously, the entire federal government, is because Planned Parenthood carries out abortions, a medical procedure which happens to be legal in the United States.
Thankfully, the Democrats earned their paychecks on August 3, 2015, and were able to ensure that the misinformed and misguided Republicans did not get the 60 votes needed to further the bill.
The scope to which the Republicans are willing to hurt and even endanger Americans for the sake of their Bible-thumping propaganda is practically Orwellian. Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, actually helps Americans: 2.7 million Americans every year.
The services Planned Parenthood provides helps women and men. I am sure many of these women could not afford insurance prior to Obamacare, another program the GOP has worked tirelessly to destroy. And perhaps many of them still cannot afford insurance even with Obamacare creating a more fair marketplace; women such as myself still cannot afford monthly premiums. Some women still cannot get birth control through their employer. Some teenage girls and women may need access to information on family planning because they went to high schools that taught abstinence-only Sex Education. Or maybe a scared 18 year-old girl doesn’t want a pregnancy test logged on her parents’ insurance file, so she goes to Planned Parenthood instead in order to have true confidentiality.
Women turn to Planned Parenthood to have various health screenings for their sexual and/or overall health, with only three per cent of procedures being abortions — and none of the abortions is paid for with taxpayer money. However, the GOP is more concerned with fact-twisting and political grandstanding in order to maintain its religious pandering and gain campaign dollars from its misogynist party-base. The Republicans spend as much time trying to turn the clock back 100 years on women’s autonomy and women’s rights as they do obstructing Obama and much-needed legislation that actually helps the country.
The irony is not lost that these men are obstructing women’s basic human right to choose the course of our lives. If it were men’s sexual health that were affected and if it were primarily men who needed Planned Parenthood’s services, NONE of this would be an issue in our society. Congress would never come between a man and his right to do what he wants with his reproductive organs … just as there are no all-female Congressional committees that determine if men can have access to condoms or whether vasectomies should be legal or not.
Another irony, for me, is that I began ArousedWoman three years ago because of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and the Susan G. Komen fiasco of pulling funding from Planned Parenthood, while during the same timeframe Congress embarrassed itself with yet another display of its #WarOnWomen to deny us our right to birth control and our right to be heard on matters that concern our autonomy of our bodies and sexual health.
Back to the present, here we are again with another session of Congress wasting time and resources to make women slaves to male, Christian authoritarians — a process that actually does use up taxpayers’ dollars. We won this round, but the GOP continues to ramp up its efforts at the national and state levels to undo women’s right to body autonomy.
These misogynist, patriarchal gynoticians MUST be voted out of power.
With the landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States legalizing gay marriage last Friday, June 26, 2015, one would think only celebrating and rejoicing would be heard throughout these 50 states, which are founded upon the principles of “liberty and justice for all”. However, one does not have to look far to see the glaring reminder of the right-wing religiosity that plagues American culture and politics.
The vile response by evangelicals and fundamentalists has been most prevalent on social media with an extra helping of crazy being bandied about in the news media. The past seven days have offered a shocking reminder at just how deep the fundies’ misguided hate runs in this country. Lifelong friends have been unfriending and blocking each other. Preachers have threatened to light themselves on fire. Businesses have posted “No Gays Allowed” signs on their doors. Narrow-minded troglodytes everywhere have shown their true colors amidst the “rainbowification” of the United States.
The one thing that has not happened is the earth imploding, or falling out of the sky, or hell freezing over, or some other catastrophic calamity causing the end of life as we know it — even with the religious right prognosticating that marriage equality would end life as we know it. In fact, everything looks pretty normal from here … and I’m in the Red State of Mississippi. The marriage equality ruling was blocked by Governor Bryant — whose son is gay! — and Attorney General Jim Hood, but the people demanded their equality — backed by the Supreme Court, and won. Things are looking good here as gay and lesbian couples have been getting their marriage licenses around the state.
Amazingly, the LGBT community and allies have taken the high-road amidst all the vehemence spewed by so-called Christians. Yet, real Christians, who actually live by Jesus’ teachings of love and tolerance, do count themselves amongst the allies, and hopefully, they will drown out the cacophony of the religious nuts’ anti-gay and anti-equality rhetoric that has filled the media since Friday.
Sure, it’s a balmy summer’s day, but not because of the predicted fire and brimstone.
Apocalypse, anyone? Not today.