Kim Davis files brief in contempt hearing arguing it’s “factually impossible” for her to comply with SCOTUS

Kim Davis will appear before U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning at 11:00 AM this morning to explain why she shouldn’t be held in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses despite Bunning’s previous order to do so starting this week. Davis appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay on Bunning’s ruling, which the Court declined to hear.

And when she appears before the court, she will make a boldly unusual defense.

In a brief filed yesterday, Davis’s lawyers cited precedent stating that: “The court’s power to impose coercive civil contempt is limited by an individual’s ability to comply with the court’s coercive order. A party may defend against a contempt by showing that his compliance is factually impossible.”

“…by showing that his compliance is factually impossible.”

“…factually impossible.”


Are Kim Davis’s hands broken? Is she allergic to paper? Is there some other physical impediment keeping her from signing a form indicating that two people are married? Of course not. By impossible, she means her inability to commit unforgivable sins in the eyes of God.

Which she’s had no problem doing in the past.

In order for the factual impossibility defense to work, as the motion notes, the defendant “must show categorically and in detail why he or she is unable to comply with the court’s order.” Kim Davis isn’t unable to comply; she’s unwilling. We’ve been over this quite a few times.

She might have better luck claiming it’s legally impossible for her to marry couples involving more or less than one woman, as a strictly literal reading of the Kentucky statute outlining the issuance of marriage licenses specifies that the license should be obtained in the county where “the female” resides.

On second thought, she probably doesn’t want to call too much attention to that passage, as it’s almost certainly illegal post-Obergefell.

According to Buzzfeed, Davis’s motion also calls for a jury trial. Since she is facing criminal charges of official misconduct, she argues, holding her in contempt for violating the court order without granting her due process for the official misconduct charges would be a violation of her rights. I’m a bit behind on Law & Order, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how contempt of court works.

In any case, if this is the best Kim Davis has got, she’s going to lose. Badly. While there already isn’t much hope for Davis, as the facts of her case haven’t changed since Bunning issued his original court order, her strategy has devolved into the legal equivalent of the Elephant Theorem:


Kim Davis claiming that she is incapable of putting pen to paper on a marriage license if the couple in question doesn’t contain exactly one woman because God says so makes exactly as much sense as drawing an elephant to get out of answering a physics question. It may make sense to you, but it won’t earn points with anyone else.

(h/t New Civil Rights Movement)

Edit: That’s a physics question, not a calculus question.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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129 Responses to “Kim Davis files brief in contempt hearing arguing it’s “factually impossible” for her to comply with SCOTUS”

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  2. PXLatin says:

    “God’s moral law conflicts with my job duties,” Kim Davis said. I agree with her. Now that she has discovered her conflict she ought to do what we require of a U.S. soldier to do in the event they feel God commands they not use a weapon: leave their government job.

  3. The_Fixer says:

    Sorry, but I still think you’re wrong in your interpretation of the facts.

    1) This is all religious talk that has nothing to do with what is legal and what is required of government employees. It is also a perfect example of why we do have a separation of church and state – one religious sect believes one thing, another believes another thing, and both think that they are right and operating with a divine mandate. You are doing no different.

    2) What would I do? I would quit. I realize that there are certain tasks I must perform if I am to keep a particular job. If I am unwilling to do these, based on my beliefs, then I can either quit or be fired. I would choose to quit after letting my employer know how I feel. Other than legal redress, which Ms. Davis has exercised, that is the extent of my rights in that situation. I am not afforded the right to refuse to do a particular job, get paid and keep my employment if I do not do the work. That is the way of the world, that is expected of everyone who has a job. No amount of religious theory or belief, no matter how sincere, will change that.

    3) Rather than our nation being founded on Christian principles, it was founded on an amalgam of principles from many faiths. The idea of a representative government borrowed heavily from Native Americans. The ideals of fairness, compassion and justice are common to many different sects and philosophies – they cannot be claimed exclusively by Christians.

    The country was settled by members of various religious sects. In fact, they had set up their own colonial governments with state religions. When the idea of forming a union was explored, it was quickly discovered that each future state could not maintain its own religion. It was impractical to implement federally; who is right when everyone thinks that they are right?

    Additionally, colonists had left Britain because they were mandated to practice the state religion, the Church of England. For these reasons, it was decided to show no preference toward any religion, or any of said religion’s sects. Thus, the concept of separating church and state was implemented.

    While it is true that the First Amendment to the Constitution does guarantee people a right to practice their religion, you are incorrect in thinking that it’s only purpose is to protect religion from the government. It’s also designed to prevent the government from imposing a religion on its people – to protect its people from an unwanted intrusion by religion.

    A government’s actions are carried out by its employees. This employee attempted to impose her religious belief on citizens on behalf of the government. The government has codified a form of religious neutrality into its operation.

    If she does not understand that, or feels that the government is “wrong” in its laws, then she can sue, which she did. Part of the compact that citizens have with government is that once the process of legal redress is complete, one has to comply with the ultimate decision that the Supreme Court renders – she did not. This is the government that we decided to create. This is what America is. If you think it should be different, then you have the option of finding a country that supports your viewpoint, or buy some real estate with self-government rights and start your own religiously-based society.

    Taking over this government one is not an option.

    Again, it’s fine to have beliefs and anyone is perfectly free to hold them, and gather with others who are like-minded. Your right to do so is constitutionally protected. But my right to live in a country that has a government that shows no favoritism toward a particular religious viewpoint is also constitutionally protected.

    That is the real issue – Ms. Davis is trying to use her government position to impose her religious belief on its citizens. That is intolerable.

    This is grade-school civics. Why this is not understood is a mystery to me.

  4. Amy says:

    The church I’m a member of now is non-denominational, it’s theology is similar to that of a Baptist church. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church.

  5. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    What is your denomination?

  6. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    That’s a very crazy lady.

  7. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    We almost had that, but we used Lion’s syrup.

  8. Amy says:

    Okay, that sounds delicious! Where do you get such a thing?

  9. Amy says:

    I consider myself to be a mainstream Christian. I believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, and that includes the Book of Revelation. I believe that God, as the Creator of everything, is perfectly able to see to it that His Word is protected as it passes through human hands. As far as the “rapture” is concerned, I feel personally confident that something of that nature is going to happen. I do know that the term “rapture” itself does not appear in the Bible, and that some theology differs among Christians. Do I think people have to believe in the rapture to be saved? No, I don’t. Do I think you have to believe in the tribulation in order to be saved? No, I don’t. All that is required to be saved is a believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Period. The rest is details. And while I would stake my life on there being a tribulation, I understand that some people don’t. And that’s okay. Eventually one of us will be proven correct, and we can dish out “I told you so’s” in heaven one day. I just want people to get to heaven. That’s all the matters to me. It’s fun to see Biblical prophecy coming to pass. It’s comforting to know that my eternity is secure, and that what happens in this world is fleeting. I want as many people as possible to know that peace. It would be easy to shut up, keep my faith to myself, live out my life as a Christian, die and go to heaven. But my faith in God, my love for Jesus, and their love for me and the people of this world, compels me to share it! It’s too big to keep to myself! I love people. I love people who hate me, who hate Jesus. I don’t want to see one person lost. It makes my heart hurt. I am a mainstream Christian.

  10. Amy says:

    I obviously need to step up my grits game. I’ve always seen them as a breakfast food. I’m gonna branch out. =)

  11. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Again, many mainstream Christian religions don’t believe in the Tribulation or the Rapture. That’s placing a lot of faith in a book that almost didn’t make it into The Bible.

  12. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    That’s funny.

  13. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    There’s very little with which I haven’t had grits.

  14. The_Fixer says:

    That’s the cool thing about the guy that writes that comic – he can take some nerdy thing and make humor out of something technical, and one can get it even if they don’t know the science behind it. He appears to be some kind of multi-discipline genius, scientifically literate in a number of pursuits. And of course, human behavior, another topic of his strips.

    But that one, for obvious reasons, is one of my favorites.

  15. 2karmanot says:

    I grew up with fried grits and maple syrup.

  16. 2karmanot says:

    Love is always a good thing

  17. 2karmanot says:


  18. Amy says:

    I am ashamed to admit this, being Southern and all, but I’ve never had grits and chicken together. Chicken and waffles? Check. Just not grits.

  19. Amy says:

    I’m going to assume you’re being sincere, because it’s the nicest thing I’ve read all day, so thank you! I quite like you too. =)

  20. Amy says:

    I sincerely hope that isn’t the case. There are plenty of ways to be hurt by people that are not necessarily emotionally or physically traumatizing. In my own life I meet people on a too regular basis who have become angry at the church and believers for one reason or another. Most of the time their reasons are valid and completely understandable. Maybe that isn’t the case with you, if I was wrong, I apologize for making assumptions.

  21. Indigo says:

    I don’t know much about electronics beyond the 1954 Boy Scout manual but following lines is always fun and when one of them dead ends at a block with a Y on I-95, it’s hard to miss the humor.

  22. Amy says:

    No pressure, huh? For me all of creation testifies to intelligent design. In my life I have seen the tiniest of seeds grow into mighty oaks, with limbs and roots spread wide, soaking up nutrients from the soil and sun. Take away one of those nutrients from the soil and the seed withers and dies. The heat of a perfectly placed sun draws the moisture from the earth, collects it in clouds and releases it back to earth to replenish us, and all of nature. So many variations in nature! Frogs the size of a fingernail, and the odd creatures swimming in the depths of our oceans, insects who light up to the delight of children in the summertime. How could any of these things, and so many others be the work of anything less than an intelligent Creator? Atoms, electrons, DNA strands, the tiny beating hearts of humans in the earliest stages of development, spiders spinning webs of silk and designing intricate, almost perfect patterns. I could go on and on. It is unfathomable to me that some people believe that all of these things are a coincidence.

    Some people point out that carbon dating points to the earth being millions of years old. Christians recognized that the earth, formed by God in 6 days, was fully formed at the end of creation. Therefore, it would appear to be older than it really is. So if nothing else we can answer the question, which came first the chicken or the egg? The chicken.

    What about dinosaurs? They are mentioned in the Bible. Humans lived at the same time dinosaurs did.

    Even most non-believing scientist have come to agree that there was, at some point, a world wide flood. How else do you explain the fossils of fish on tops of the highest mountains?

    As to proving there was Jesus, is that really in dispute? I feel as though his existence is well established as historical fact. Now as to whether he was/is who he says he was/is, that can certainly be discussed. One thing I hear over and over from those who are not believers is that Jesus was just a good man, though misguided, and slightly delusional. Most believe that he meant well.
    And I am here to tell you that that isn’t true. Either Jesus was exactly who he said he was, the Son of God come to earth to freely offer salvation to all who would believe in Him. Or he was a fraud and a liar who perpetuated the greatest lie in all of history.
    Jesus could have avoided crucifixion. He could have revoked his claims of being the Son of God and most likely walked away from being severely beaten, tortured and tormented, prior to being forced to bear the weight of the cross he would eventually be hung on. No one chooses to die for nothing. No one willingly sacrifices themselves for something they know is a lie. Jesus would have known if he was a liar, that he was pulling a con on those who chose to follow him. Knowing that, there’s just no way would he have needlessly suffered what he suffered on the cross. There is plenty of evidence from non-Christian sources that testifies to Jesus’ crucifixion. According to Roman historian Tacitus, Nero, spoke of it when he blamed the burning of Rome on the followers of Christ in 64 AD.

    Bottom line, I am a believer. I believe on faith. Therefore, I am far from being an expert. But there are plenty of them out there. One of my personal favorites is Lee Strobel. Mr. Strobel was a devout atheist whose wife inexplicably (to his way of thinking) became a Christian. He was angered by her decision to follow Christ. So he, having a background in journalism, set out to prove to his wife that her new belief system was crazy and impossible. In the end, he proved only to himself that all the evidence did indeed point to the existence of Jesus Christ, and to Christ being exactly who he claimed to be. I urge you to consider reading Mr. Strobel’s findings in his book, “A Case for Christ.”

    My experiences with Christ are innumerable. Prayers answered. Things that I experienced in childhood (seemingly innocuous at the time) that eventually proved to help me face difficult times. God is good. He loves you, Mr. Robertson. He sent his Son to die for you, so that He might spend eternity with you. I know there is a God, just as I know that the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. My life is evidence of Him. May God bless you, and speak to you, that you may come to know Him who died for you.

  23. The_Fixer says:

    If you know electronics and can read a schematic diagram, the whole thing is a hilarious hoot. My favorite is the solder blob – anyone who has touched a soldering iron has encountered this (I use one on a daily basis). Of course it doesn’t take that to realize that this circuit couldn’t possibly do anything except emit smoke, if it did anything.

    Ah, nerd humor. I love it!

  24. 2karmanot says:

    I like my chicken with grits.

  25. 2karmanot says:

    You are very likable!

  26. 2karmanot says:

    Well thank you. And you are correct: ” I suspect it was someone who claimed to be a believer,” Father Finger Puppet did me a great service in boyhood.

  27. 2karmanot says:

    :-) She’s a ‘D’ list Sara Palin.

  28. Ron Robertson says:

    Prove there is a God. Prove there was Jesus. Prove your understanding of what they’re about is accurate. If you can’t, it’s just wishful thinking on your part.

  29. Amy says:

    Sometimes more than others… today is a slow work day. =)

  30. Indigo says:

    You have a lot of time on your hands.

  31. Amy says:

    Ra and the Sun Boat speak to the truth that people throughout history have sought after God. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that He placed eternity in our hearts, but even so we cannot fathom all of His works. Our spirits long for a connection to our Creator, even when we don’t know He is what we’re looking for. Freedom. Hope. Love. Redemption. All of these and so much more can be found in the context of a relationship with God.

  32. slavdude says:

    You have made my point. Thanks.

  33. Amy says:

    Romans 13:1-7 is hotly debated. It has to be read and interpreted in the context of who the letter was intended for and the circumstances the Christians in Rome were facing at that time.

    Acts 5:29 Warns against obeying human authority over that of God.

  34. Indigo says:

    Unless you become one with Osiris and sail in the Boat of a Million Years, there’s no future in those superstitions you mumble.

  35. Indigo says:

    I like the part where it comes to the Y in I-95.

  36. Indigo says:

    “Hillbilly grifter.” Yes, that’s the expression I’ve been fumbling after. Pardon me if I appropriate it.

  37. slavdude says:

    I don’t hate you. I pity you for your persecution complex.

  38. Amy says:

    The word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible. And I didn’t use that terminology. However, the Bible does speak of Christ returning for His Church, and I absolutely believe that He will, and I suspect it will be sooner rather than later, though no one but God Himself knows the exact time. If I’m wrong, then I lose nothing. I’ve lived a life of which I am mostly unashamed. If I’m right, then your fate (assuming you aren’t a Christian) is very dire. I have an obligation to warn you.

  39. Indigo says:

    Oh, hi! We have a regular troll-flow going, welcome. Go stand in the corner and put on your dunce cap.

  40. slavdude says:

    So I guess Romans 13:1-7 doesn’t apply, right? Of course, the texts in the Bible are such that just about anyone can quote them to support any position.

  41. slavdude says:

    2) Her job, when she took it, did not require her to issue marriage
    licenses to same sex couples.

    True. But the law has now changed.

    She has a right to take a stand for her
    beliefs, and have her day in court.

    True. As a private citizen, not as a public official.

    If you as an animal rights activist
    and vegetarian took a job working in a bakery making cakes and
    confections were suddenly told that the owner had decided to start a
    side business and turn half the bakery into a butcher shop, and you (who
    when you took the job in the bakery never dreamed that you’d one day be
    asked to slaughter animals) would either have to butcher animals or be
    fired, what would you do?

    Government service != employment in the private sector. In either case, I would quit if it did not accord with my values, and in fact I have turned down job opportunities in industries that do not accord with my values. It’s called *choice*. Davis has, whatever her claims to the contrary, *chosen* to be a government official.

    3) Our nation was founded on Christian principles.

    I didn’t realize that Jesus and his followers stood for a republican form of government where there are three distinct branches whose powers check and balance each other and whose members (except for the judiciary) are chosen by the consent of the governed.

    The Puritans and Pilgrims came here to be able to set up their own communities. If you are familiar with any actual history, you would know that these communities were very intolerant of Christians who did not follow their particular strains–see the Quakers, Baptists, etc.

    Also, what are “Christian principles”? Which version of Christianity is the correct one, out of the thousands of denominations practiced in America today?

    Religious freedom is included in the First Amendment. It is
    intended to protect those who practice religion from the government, not
    the other way around.

    Incorrect. It is intended to prevent government favoritism of any
    specific religion over any other. That implies that anyone who
    represents the government cannot choose to favor any particular
    individual over any other.

    Separation of church and state is not a law, but
    rather an idea put forth by Thomas Jefferson.

    “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from
    these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in
    blood for centuries.

    [Letter objecting to the use of government land for churches, 1803]”

    James Madison

  42. Amy says:

    How right you are! I don’t know about Lawernce Welk, personally I prefer Skillet, or Red, or Thousand Foot Krutch, and I like my potatoes creamed and my chicken fried (read Southern girl), but I do know that all the best people will not go to heaven. The Bible says we will be surprised by who we see there, and who we don’t see there. That’s because it doesn’t matter how good you are, the only way in is through belief in Jesus Christ.

  43. Paul Kidd says:

    Good for you Lady! Stand on your Christian beliefs, but expect to be HATED for it! I have 100,000 social media friends and followers and I get HATED all the time by the likes of the mindless young man who wrote this article, and his peanut gallery who comment below. A time is RAPIDLY approaching when the Christians left behind will have much bigger worries than going to jail for their faith. They will forfeit their lives! Stand on God’s Word and just pray for the clueless heathen who hate you. That’s what Jesus would do!

  44. nicho says:

    I hope you’re just funning with us. I hope you don’t really and truly believe this absolute made-up nonsense. This whole “rapture” crap isn’t in the bible. It was made up by some psychotic in, I believe, Scotland.

  45. Amy says:

    What makes you think I don’t support civil rights? I do. God is all about freedom. He wants to free us from our burdens, and our regrets. It’s my duty, and my honor as a believer in Christ to spread that message of Hope. The church I attend, and support financially, literally sends millions of dollars around the world every year to be the hands and feet of Christ here on earth. Children are fed, health care needs are met, women and girls around the world are rescued out of sexual slavery. And that doesn’t include what I do on my own time and the resources God provides. I am far from perfect. I mess up daily. But then I get up and strive to do better. To make a bigger impact for the kingdom of God. To reach people like you. Someone in your life, and I suspect it was someone who claimed to be a believer, did you an enormous disservice. I am so sorry for that. I wish I could throttle them. You are obviously a passionate person. I would love to see what you were capable of if you put yourself in God’s hands. Man, my heart aches for you right now. I can feel how much God loves you, and wants a relationship with you. I pray one day you will open your heart to Him, you won’t regret it.

  46. nicho says:

    So many asterisks in “God’s immutable word.” Amazing how Christians can weasel their way out of just about anything they don’t like.

  47. nicho says:

    Apparently, they want to issue the licenses, but they are afraid of her.

  48. 2karmanot says:

    Thank you my dear and best wishes for you too, but all the best people do not go to heaven, which I hear is very much a whites only Republican Country Club that serves creamed chicken for lunch every day with Lawrence Welk playing in the background for all eternity.

  49. 2karmanot says:

    If you really loved me you would send a big fat check to LAMBDA to support civil rights, or baring that take in some Syrian refugees. When you walk the talk, get back to me.

  50. Amy says:

    Everything I said to Nicho, goes for you too, Karmanot. Best of luck during the tribulation, remember, it is better to starve than take the mark. I hope I see you in heaven one day and we can laugh about this together.

  51. Amy says:

    But Jesus STILL loves you, imagine that.

  52. Amy says:

    You’re reply made me laugh out loud. Two of my kids are named Wil and Grace, it took me a second to figure out you were talking about the TV show, though the relevance of that to my comment eludes me. #Savedbytheblood

  53. Amy says:

    And yet the Lamb willingly sacrificed Himself for you, even knowing you would’t accept Him. Jesus loves you with a passion you will never comprehend, and because He loves you, I love you too.

  54. Amy says:

    Mr. Fixer, I am not in search in gold stars, but I will address your points to the best of my ability.
    1) Christians are not perfect. We do not claim to be perfect, or live perfect lives. We are forgiven our imperfections, and that is what separates us from non-believers. It is true that some believers have embraced the “God is love and love wins” train of thought when it come to the marriage equality issue. However, despite what you seem to think, that “sect” does not come as a surprise to the rest of us. In Matthew 25 Jesus Himself addressed this issue in the parable of the Ten Virgins. Christians inherently love people. We were commanded by God to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” It’s our most important commandment. And some of us have misconstrued “love” with no-holds-barred acceptance of things God warned us against. I can love the sinner, and accept the sinner, without embracing their sin. Jesus did the same for me. Am I willing to change my fundamental belief system because all of the sudden it’s not politically correct? No. I’m not, and I won’t.

    2) Her job, when she took it, did not require her to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. She has a right to take a stand for her beliefs, and have her day in court. If you as an animal rights activist and vegetarian took a job working in a bakery making cakes and confections were suddenly told that the owner had decided to start a side business and turn half the bakery into a butcher shop, and you (who when you took the job in the bakery never dreamed that you’d one day be asked to slaughter animals) would either have to butcher animals or be fired, what would you do?

    3) Our nation was founded on Christian principles. Religious freedom is included in the First Amendment. It is intended to protect those who practice religion from the government, not the other way around. Separation of church and state is not a law, but rather an idea put forth by Thomas Jefferson.

  55. 2karmanot says:

    Don’t worry sweet pea. Nicho and a small consortium of investors have salvation rights for the End Times Rapture. Titanium still has a high market share and all those old hips and knee joints will bring a big profit. And, since gawd approves of the RAPTURE he will also approve of industrious activities that occur because of his divine blessings. Oh and just for you:

  56. 2karmanot says:

    I believe, because of prophesy, that more than 30% of the Babble is pathetic.

  57. 2karmanot says:


  58. 2karmanot says:

    ROTFL Oh, honey Will and Grace will never marry. Don’t ya worry. God bless your little pea picken heart. #contempt.

  59. 2karmanot says:

    I think Kim’s sister wife has the answer:

  60. 2karmanot says:

    urrrp I simply can’t digest that blood of the lamb. It gives me heartburn. I do like the mint jelly though.

  61. 2karmanot says:

    ” I wasn’t thinking outside of the box at all.” If that box is filled with rocks, I’m game. You bring the popcorn.

  62. 2karmanot says:

    Oh, how nice…a rare visit by a concern troll.

  63. 2karmanot says:

    ” she’s facing jail, fines, the loss of her cushy job, and public humiliation”—-works for me.

  64. 2karmanot says:

    Not to mention Snakes who speak for the holy poltergeist.

  65. 2karmanot says:

    “Is there some other physical impediment” Mental illness comes to mind, bubba brain. Liberty Counsel is playing this entitled hillbilly grifter like a yo-yo

  66. Amy says:

    I also know that he, like the rest of us, is not infallible. As believers we are ultimately responsible for our relationship with God. It is not enough to accept what our pastor’s tell us blindly. We need to read, study and know the Word of God. If what our pastor says does not go along with the Bible at every single point, then that pastor is doing more harm than good. The Word of God does not change with popular opinion. We cannot make the mistake of changing the Bible to suit our purposes.

  67. Ms. Opinion says:

    Or you’re just a douche that takes credit for other people’s intellectual property. Either way. Good day to ya.

  68. Amy says:

    Nicho, if you live (and if you aren’t a Christian, I pray you do) to see the day when millions of people vanish without a trace I want you to remember my “witnessing.” I want you to realize that Jesus came back and those who believed in Him went to heaven, and in the days that follow I hope you will become a Believer, because it won’t yet be too late. Feel free to go ahead a mock me, just don’t forget. I love you, because Jesus loves you.

  69. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Thank you very much, but my ELCA pastor can handle such a discussion. He must have picked up a thing or two in seminary.

  70. Don Chandler says:

    About 2 years ago, I was reading some science blog or site and there was an article titled: Physics: What We Do and Don’t Know. I read it all. Thought it was an excellent piece by a science writer. In fact, so good was it, that I thought I’d even read some other things by the author and there it was, Steven Weinberg ;)

  71. nicho says:

    OK, you’ve earned your “witnessing” brownie points for today. You’d better save some for tomorrow. You’ll wear yourself out.

  72. nicho says:

    I’m pretty sure her failing to do her sworn duty and taking money under false pretenses doesn’t please god. If it does, may you need to rethink this god thing.

  73. nicho says:

    If this were an academic paper, I would. But since it’s not, I didn’t. I don’t footnote responses to blog posts. But pedantry is always appreciated.

  74. Amy says:

    Point 1) Prior to 1948 non believers claimed Bible prophecy could not be true because it speaks of the nation of Israel, and Israel no longer existed.

    Then they pointed out the impossibility of the entire world witnessing the slaying of the “two witnesses” in the streets (spoken of in chapter 11 of the book of Revelation). How could the whole world see the same thing at the same time? Impossible! They screamed. Not so impossible anymore, is it?

    Point 2) If a Christian speaks to you of their faith, they are not trying to bully you. We believe in a literal heaven and a literal hell. We believe that only a personal relationship with Jesus can prevent a person from going to hell. Therefore, we talk about our faith in Jesus Christ, because we love you. We don’t want you to go to hell when you don’t have to. That’s not an act of intolerance, or bigotry, or hypocrisy. It’s an act of love. I’m sorry you don’t see it that way.

    Point 3) King David, in the Old Testament was call “a man after my own heart,” by God. David loved God. God loved David. David loved another man’s wife, and plotted to have her husband killed just so he could marry her himself. God doesn’t expect the people He loves to be perfect. He knows we’re going to mess up and make mistakes. He sent His only Son (the only perfect sacrifice) to die on a cross, so those who believed in Him would be saved. Our sins are forgiven. That is the only thing that separates us from non-believers.

    Point 4) Her salvation is between her and God. The only person I can worry about is me. Am I living a life that pleases my God?

  75. The_Fixer says:

    Then there’s the “Magic Smoke”.

  76. Amy says:

    The only thing that gets us (her, me, or you) in to heaven is: the Acknowledgement that we are sinners, and unable to save ourselves. Belief that salvation was brought to us by the death of Jesus, God’s only Son. And a confession that we are saved by the blood of Jesus, who rose from the dead three days after His Crucifixion.

    No one is good enough to get to heaven on their own, and no one is so bad that Jesus’ sacrifice can’t cover their sin. That’s why we say we are saved by Grace.

  77. Don Chandler says:

    We’re fucked! I forgot about holy water.

  78. Andy says:


  79. Amy says:

    Which part? Specifically?

  80. Amy says:

    I suspect that when she took those vows, the laws she promised to uphold were not in direct conflict with the Bible. Now they are. As Christians we are called to respect those in authority over us, unless that authority demands we go against the Laws of God, then we are to obey God’s Word. Also, Numbers and Deuteronomy are both books in the Old Testament. Christians live under the New Testament laws. If we followed Old Testament laws we’d be sacrificing animals right and left…

  81. The_Fixer says:

    Here’s one for ya:

  82. SocraticGadfly says:

    Also, per my link, sinning all the more to try to make grace abound is ixnay, per Paul.

  83. Amy says:

    1. Honestly, I sort of agree with you, but since I am not in her shoes, I cannot speak for her decisions. Maybe the Lord is leading her not to quit, but to stand up for what she believes in.

    2. Mike! Do you even know that in this point you actually touched on Biblical prophecy? One of the most unique things about the Christian Bible is that 30% of it is prophetic. And your point about mainstream Christian denominations changing their belief system is actually addressed (by Jesus himself) in the New Testament book of Matthew chapter 25. It is the parable of The Ten Virgins. I wish I could sit down with you one on one and discuss it with you.

  84. Ms. Opinion says:

    You really should cite the author of your quote, it’s just good form yo’.

  85. The_Fixer says:

    Sorry, you do not get a gold star for your comment. Let’s just look at the crux of your argument and put aside your proselytizing:

    Here’s what you fail to understand, as a Christian her faith cannot be relegated to her “personal time.” She is a Christian at work and at leisure.

    OK, then. I get it, she is a full-time Christian of a certain denomination (we’ll ignore the other, equally devout Christian sects who hold opposing views, I guess – it’s awfully inconvenient to drag them into this, no?). But that still doesn’t explain why she doesn’t quit and end her employment. If I were a vegetarian animal rights activist, would I willingly work in a butcher shop? If I was unwillingly working there for some reason, would I be required to prepare animals for food? You betcha, otherwise I’d get fired.

    Ms. Davis belongs to a Christian sect that believes same-sex marriage is sinful. As part of her job, she is suppose to facilitate those marriages through the issuance of marriage licenses. This is at odds with her belief system. So then, she has the option of terminating her employment. She chooses not to. So, it is logical that she would and should be fired.

    She is not entitled to that job, her claim of this being a family tradition notwithstanding. That job is a governmental administrative job, not a birthright. If her duties are at odds with her belief system, she has the option – or if biblically directed, the obligation of quitting.

    To remain on the job would be disingenuous, and would be an attempt to force her beliefs on the rest of the public. That’s not how our country works. You should know that. This country is not a “Christian Nation” any more than it is a Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or even Satanist nation.

    If you and Ms. Davis don’t understand that, then you need to go back to grade school and re-take civics.

    And no, I am not trying to make fun of your reply. In fact, I am a little annoyed at people who claim to be American and have made it into adulthood without the benefit of understanding a key component of our governmental philosophy (and laws, by the way) – the separation of church and state.

  86. Ms. Opinion says:

    Roooth wins the internet on this one. Everybody else can go home now.

  87. Don Chandler says:

    Kim Davis power to shuffle records is derived from laws. But if she breaks the law, so does she destroy her source of power. Any previous orders by Kim can and should be ignored. Jon needs a physic problem with circuitry and a power source and a wire cutter.

  88. Andy says:

    I love you too :)

  89. Ms. Opinion says:

    I think I love you (or maybe just your comment, but, whatevs ?), thanks for sharing. Made me lol.

  90. Andy says:

    You know what they say about assumptions. :)

  91. Andy says:

    Oh, okay. I’ve recited the Confession of Sin many times in my life, but I don’t think I ever considered what might happen if a divorced person went back to their first spouse and confessed the sin of adultery. Man, I wasn’t thinking outside of the box at all.

  92. Amy says:

    I will address your statements and questions one by one. Obviously, I can’t know Mrs. Davis’ heart, but I can make assertions based on a shared belief system.
    Martyrdom: There are Christians being brutally murdered around the world, and we are under a certain pressure here in the United States. Would you consider a Christian who refuses to deny his or her beliefs to save their life brave? Or foolish? I admire them. I wish I could confidently say that I would die for my Christian faith. I believe I would. I hope I would, but I will not be certain unless I face that circumstance. We don’t consider martyrdom big business. We don’t look for ways to cause controversy. Sometimes we just fall in to it, and when that happens we have to stand by what we believe, no matter what comes against us.
    Public employment: Christians don’t believe in coincidence. We believe in God. We believe God puts us where He wants us to be, in the time He wants us to be there, for His purpose. How we respond to our placement and circumstances is up to us. One day Mrs. Davis will stand before God, and answer for her life choices. She knows that is a much more important day in court than the one she faces today.

    Jews: Christians love Jews. Our Savior, is a Jew. A Jew paid the price for my sin so that I may spend all of eternity with Him. True Christians do not discriminate against Jewish people. Quite the opposite, actually.
    Muslims: Muslims hate Christians and Jews. They actively seek to destroy us. Christians do not hate Muslims. We do not discriminate against them. Jesus loves them, therefore we are called to love them, and pray for them.
    Atheists: There are different categories of atheist. There are passive atheists, those who simply don’t believe, but go on about their lives without much of a fuss. Then there are militant Atheists who seek to remove all traces of Christianity from the face of the earth. However, Christians don’t hate atheists. Jesus loves them, therefore we are called to love them too.
    Marriage equality: God ordained marriage as being between one woman and one man. Period. God’s Word doesn’t change just because popular opinion does. It is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. As Christians we are told to obey the laws of the land we live in, unless those laws go against God’s Word. Then we are subject to God’s law. SCOTUS’s rulings do not supersede God’s authority. You’re right. It’s not Mrs. Davis’ decision to make, her faith dictates her behavior.
    Her three year belief system: That’s the best part of Christianity. There’s no working for salvation. It’s a gift, and it’s instantaneous. Paul, considered by Christian’s the world over to be the foremost Christian in history, was on his way to hunt down Believers and bring them to justice. He despised Jesus and all who followed Him. So much so that he watched as the first Christian martyr (Stephen) was stoned in the street. He may have even thrown a stone or two. What we do know is that stoning fired his blood with hatred. While he was on his way to round up the followers of Jesus and see to it that they met a similar fate as Stephen, he had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Instantly Paul realized that Jesus is exactly who He claims to be, turned his life around, and then went on to write the majority of the letters that comprise the New Testament of the Bible. God doesn’t call the qualified to do His work, He qualifies those He calls.
    God knows that Mrs. Davis isn’t perfect. Her life, like mine, and yours, is riddled with bad choices, and falls so short of perfection that she couldn’t possibly save herself. That’s why God sent his only Son to die on a cross and pay the price for her (and mine, and your) bad choices. Her sins, as ugly as they were/are, are washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ. Three divorces? Forgiven. Affairs? Forgiven. Children born out of wedlock? Forgiven. Done. No longer counted against her.
    So don’t ask me, someone who’s sins are also forgiven, to pass judgement on Mrs. Davis. I can’t. It’s not my place. That would make me a hypocrite.
    God’s Tolerance: God is tolerant. He is loving, and forgiving. But He does not look on sin and call it good. His Word stands. And Mrs. Davis is standing on The Word of God, and standing up for what she knows is right under God’s law. She may very well lose her job. And if she does, that’s okay. She can walk away knowing that she fought the good fight, and refused to compromise her convictions.

  93. joshuaism says:

    If we assume an elastic collision, shouldn’t we expect that the elephant can be ignored as any momentum imparted to the elephant will be returned to the block after the elephant springs back into it?

  94. joshuaism says:

    She can if she asks for forgiveness, but you cannot be forgiven for a sin you continue to participate in.

  95. Andy says:

    Wait, if she goes back to her first husband, is she pardoned from the sin of adultery? Hmm, I didn’t know you could just pretend it never happened.

  96. Andy says:

    [Insert video of Jed Bartlet embarrassing a gay-bashing Frasier Crane-wannabe that didn’t stand when he entered the room]

  97. Tom says:

    Is it “factually impossible” for a deputy clerk to issue a marriage license, too? She has instructed her office not to issue licenses. What about the religious freedom of her employees? Do they get to issue licenses according to their own religious beliefs, or do they have to follow Kim Davis’s orders?

  98. joshuaism says:

    Until she gets back with hubby #1 she is continuing to live in sin.

  99. gratuitous says:

    Judge Bunning should take a little time during the hearing for a basic lesson in civics, pointing out chapter and verse (you should pardon the expression) exactly why an elected official doesn’t get to use his or her religious beliefs as a justification for failing to carry out the duties of office.

    It will be tedious, anyone with half a brain will know this stuff already, but it will be quite useful in framing the issue properly and leaving Mrs. Davis with no legal standing to continue her martyr’s crusade. Any consequences she endures will be due solely to her own behavior and choices.

  100. Andy says:

    Steven Weinberg had a very good point there.

  101. Andy says:

    I like that elephant interjection. There’s probably no such thing as a frictionless ramp on earth, so if you can take the liberty of assuming there is, why can’t you assume there’s an elephant on the ramp?

    Also, fuck this lady, but that goes without saying so much that I’d rather talk about the unrealistic physics problem.

  102. roooth says:

    You hypocrites love to pick and choose which parts of the Bible you will use to justify whatever bad behavior you want to engage in.

    She took an oath, and the Bible is quite clear about fulfilling any oaths taken in His name.

    Here it is.

    “I, ….., do swear that I will well and truly discharge the duties of the
    office of ………….. County Circuit Court clerk, according to the
    best of my skill and judgment, making the due entries and records of all
    orders, judgments, decrees, opinions and proceedings of the court, and
    carefully filing and preserving in my office all books and papers which
    come to my possession by virtue of my office; and that I will not
    knowingly or willingly commit any malfeasance of office, and will
    faithfully execute the duties of my office without favor, affection or
    partiality, so help me God.”

    That last line seems pretty clear to me. But, just to be sure, let’s check with Deuteronomy.

    When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay
    it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. (23:21-23).

    Or Numbers.

    If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a
    bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that
    proceedeth out of his mouth. (30:2).

    She’s abiding by the oath she freely took about as faithfully as she did her multiple marriage vows. She’s a religious POSER, who is no more “saved” now than she was when she was committing adultery over and over and over.

    She needs to quit – but, she won’t, because she is enjoying this – probably almost as much as she enjoyed cheating on the men she took an oath with.

  103. W Parker says:

    Excellent comment. Well done. Very well done. thanks.

  104. donna says:

    Ohhhhh. So her family owns Rowan County and has a RIGHT to control the people who live there. Got it!

  105. nicho says:

    With or without religion, good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things. But to get good people to do bad things, you need religion.

  106. Ron Robertson says:

    Prove it.

  107. Binedra says:

    Jesus did say he did not come to change the Law and Paul did say all scriptures are useful for instruction.
    But I do agree with your stance. I simply dismiss religion all together.

  108. nicho says:

    If she can’t do her job, which is to issue marriage licenses, she should quit her job. Anything else is dishonest and taking money under false pretenses. If that’s what gets you into heaven with Jeebus, it’s a fucked up religion you got there.

  109. roooth says:

    “One day (I suspect sooner rather than later) you’re going to understand.
    One day “every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess” that God
    is Lord.”

    You religious freaks have been using that threat on the rest of us since about 5 minutes after Jesus left the building. And it’s a BS lie. You cannot prove that it will happen, all you can do is say that since YOU believe it, it must be true.

    That’s fine, if you want to believe vague, unprovable threats, knock your socks off. But the minute you try to use that crap as the basis for why you can be a legal bigot, it becomes unacceptable, irrational, illegal discrimination.

    And its no more true now than it was when religious bigots used that excuse as a reason to discriminate against interfaith marriage and interracial marriage.

    You bullies love to pretend that you are superior because you have been saved and therefore you can force your wacky, irrational beliefs on everyone else.

    Kim Davis is a lying, hypocritical serial adulterer who now feels embodlened to use her screwy beliefs as a way to deny others the same rights she has used repeatedly and in defiance of the religion she now claims.

    You cannot prove she has repented, accepted Jesus, and will be saved for eternity in heaven any more than you can prove YOU have.

    You just desperately need to believe it.

  110. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    1. If she believes so strongly, she should quit her job instead of taking money for not doing her work.

    2. There’s a lot of hubris in your statement. I can understand your belief that your God is the only God. That seems normal. I suppose all religions believe they worship the only God. What I can’t understand is your belief that your denomination of Christianity is the only correct one. There are many mainstream Christian denominations that believe there is nothing wrong with same gender marriage.

  111. nicho says:

    Part of me feels a little bit sorry for her. This isn’t her doing. She’s just a useful idiot. She’s a new convert to Jeebus. The Blood of the Lamb, in which she was “washed,” is still wet behind her ears. I’m guessing she hasn’t read the bible she quotes. Most of these people don’t, at least not in any meaningful or useful way. She’s glanced at passages here and there in “bible study” while being directed by some minister — I’m guessing some guy who got his divinity degree in a strip-mall college and was ordained by a rodeo clown.

    There is no place in the NT that states the position she’s taking. You have to torture it out of some very dubious texts in both the NT and OT. She’s glanced at those texts, but the interpretation came from someone else.

    I’ll give her that she’s probably a true believer, which is true of most new converts — especially those with a shady past — but is being cruelly used by some douchebag minister, who has absolutely nothing to lose — while she’s facing jail, fines, the loss of her cushy job, and public humiliation. Once she’s beaten down, the people egging her on will move on to someone else. She’ll be kicked to the side of the road – and won’t be even important enough to be the answer to a trivia question.

  112. Sally says:

    Yes, can’t we all just use American numbers in America?

  113. Sally says:

    She’s looking to eternity? No, she’s looking to cash in. Martyrdom is big business with evangelicals. She is a PUBLIC employee. What if two Jews came in for a license? Would she deny them because they are not Christian, and are you fine with that? Two Muslims? A Muslim and an atheist? Two black Baptists? Do you not see that discrimination is wrong? It is not her decision to make. The law is the law, and if she cannot do her job due to her three year old belief system, she needs to find another job. You do know that this is her fourth marriage, and that she was pregnant by husband #3 while still married to husband number two, who adopted the kids? Yet, she is suddenly concerned about the hereafter? Right. And since “once you accept His freely offered gift of salvation and eternal life, nothing you do can ever separate you from Him, ” what’s the problem? She is not condoning anything. She is doing a job. On Earth. For people who were also created by God. I do believe God is far more tolerant than this woman.

  114. Amy says:

    Here’s what you fail to understand, as a Christian her faith cannot be relegated to her “personal time.” She is a Christian at work and at leisure. I can promise you that she wishes she could just issue the marriage license and be done with it. No one wants to face the backlash she’s getting. However, she is well within her rights, under the Constitution, to refuse to go against her religious beliefs.

    One day (I suspect sooner rather than later) you’re going to understand. One day “every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess” that God is Lord. And though I know you’ll make fun of this reply, and you’ll bemoan my ignorance, and seeming intolerance, I still want you to know that Jesus loves you. He died for you. He wants to spend eternity with you. And once you accept His freely offered gift of salvation and eternal life, nothing you do can ever separate you from Him. Kim Davis is looking to eternity. This life is just a tiny little blip on the eternal time line, but what we do here determines how we spend eternity. Kim Davis chooses eternity with her Savior. So do I. I hope you will also.

  115. SocraticGadfly says:

    Quoting the Bible against Davis, and against those who try to say that her now being “saved” means her three divorces are out of bounds:

  116. Connie Jennings says:

    Using Arabic Numerals!!

  117. Jason Cornwell says:

    “unless the female is over eighteen (18) years of age, or a widow” – and
    someone is claiming morality issues because two ADULTS wish to me
    legally bound?

  118. No livestreaming. No electronics of any kind allowed in that courtroom. You can’t even use your phone to Tweet.

  119. RainbowGurl44 says:

    That’s sort-of my point… she can’t claim that it’s factually impossible to obey the court order because resignation would satisfy the requirements, but she just doesn’t want to resign.

  120. Karl Hutchense says:

    I want to watch this! Who’s going to carry a livestream???

  121. Karl Hutchense says:

    She won’t resign. That’s the only job she’s ever had, and she got it through nepotism. She worked under her mommy for 30 years, and then took over. She also hired her ginormous son as a deputy clerk. If she quit, he would have to leave too. I wonder how qualified he is for the position and if other candidates were snubbed due to her blatant nepotism.

  122. RainbowGurl44 says:

    Here’s the thing. No one is forcing her to sign anything. She has the option to resign. She’s never even made a claim (that I’ve seen) that resignation is against her religion. She just plain wants to have her cake and eat it too. She’s had months to find a new job. Has she sent out even one resume? Doubtful.

  123. MoonDragon says:

    Actually, I think the elephant is part of a general physics problem. Algebra and arithmetic are involved in the solution, no calculus need be applied.

  124. Benny says:

    She has more in common with IS than the US

  125. The taxpayers who provide Kim Davis’ $80,000 per year salary do NOT pay her to be “God’s Enforcer.” They pay her to fulfill her duties as a county clerk, and part of that job description is providing marriage licenses to couples who are legally eligible to marry. While she is free to practice her personal religious faith on her own time, she does NOT have the right to coerce others to abide by her beliefs on the taxpayer’s dime.

    But since she obviously has so many supporters who have worked themselves into a lather over this, she should simply quit her job, and start her own megachurch. People who believe that the “End Times” are at hand will flock from far and wide to throw money at her, and she’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

  126. Indigo says:

    Whereby she brings us to new question, How can she be an American citizen while refusing to be ruled by the Constitution?

  127. Benny says:

    She’s gonna get reamed.

  128. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    That’s not even a calculus question. Purely algebra. OH WAIT: Al-gebra! SCARY ISLAMIC MATH! SCREEEEECH!

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