Ben Shapiro makes the best case yet for why Americans should support Kim Davis who’s in jail for refusing to give out same-sex marriage licenses: “Her arrest represents tyranny – not because there is no legal authority to arrest, or because freedom of religion trumps rule of law, but because selective use of legal authority is tyranny.”
As of Friday morning, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis sits in jail for her refusal to hand out state licenses for same-sex marriages. She cited her First Amendment religious liberty in her defense. She was arrested after being held in contempt by a federal judge, District Judge David L. Bunning.
Her arrest represents tyranny – not because there is no legal authority to arrest, or because freedom of religion trumps rule of law, but because selective use of legal authority is tyranny. And Kim Davis is right to risk jail in defiance of federal lawlessness. God bless her for that bravery.
There are three issues to contemplate here. First, legally, does the government have the authority to jail Davis? Second, morally, does the government have the authority to put Davis in jail? Third, morally, should Davis have gone to jail rather than quitting?
Legal Authority. The government has the legal authority to put Davis in jail. The First Amendment does not protect the employment of people who violate their job descriptions as a general rule; when it comes to government jobs, the First Amendment does not protect your ability to disobey the law. Of course, the government also had the authority to put Martin Luther King Jr. in jail for unlicensed protests. That didn’t make the jailing or the underlying law being protested morally right.
Moral Authority. The government may have legal authority to jail Davis, but it has no moral authority. This government has become an immoral force, a club wielded against people of certain political and religious perspectives. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy defied the Constitution of the United States to unilaterally impose his political will on the people of the United States, and he does not sit in jail; instead, the president of the United States shined rainbow lights on the White House to signify his celebration of such a Constitutional perversion. But Kim Davis, who refused to abide by that Constitutional perversion, sits in jail for defying Anthony Kennedy and Barack Obama.
Kim Davis sits in jail, but not the president of the United States who has illegally suspended deportations and sanctions against Iran; a former IRS executive who deliberately targeted conservative nonprofit groups; mayors of major cities around the United States who actively defy federal immigration law; a former attorney general of the United States held in contempt by Congress; Washington D.C. clerks who buck court orders to hand out concealed carry permits; and the current leading Democratic Senate candidate in California, who as attorney general refused outright to defend a popularly-passed proposition in favor of traditional marriage, among others.
If absence of law is anarchy, selective enforcement is tyranny. As John Adams wrote, civilization requires a “government of laws, and not of men.” Selective enforcement of the law – and in this case, selective enforcement of the law against those who stand with natural law – perverts law into a club to be wielded by the powerful against the powerless.
Did Davis Act Immorally? Of course not. Davis’ goal is to stand up against the injustice of the law itself. The fact that the government has transformed rule of law into rule of leftist Democrats means that Davis’ decision to go to jail rather than quitting is actually heroic. She didn’t need to object to handing out same-sex marriage certificates on religious grounds; she could have done so on purely Constitutional, rule of law grounds. Lawless orders should not be followed, and the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell is lawless in the extreme. The Nuremberg Defense – the idea that superior orders must be followed – was rejected in the Nuremberg Principles:
The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.
Read more: Breitbart