Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis appears to be a “smorgasbord” Christian. She picks and chooses the beliefs she wants to follow and apparently ignores others. She seems to be fine with divorce, for example, having gone through three of them. But she’s not so big on same-sex marriage, even though her hero Jesus, condemned divorce, but never mentioned homosexuality.
After a judge threw Davis in jail for contempt of court for refusing to do her job according to the law, some heavy hitters on the religious right have jumped to her defense. The most prominent of those is presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who is throwing a full-fledged hissy fit over Davis’s incarceration. Huckabee showed up on Fox News to cry about Davis being held without bail, which was granted to even some serial killers. But what Huckabee ignores is that contempt is treated differently from other offenses. FindLaw has this to say about contempt charges:
[I]ncarceration for contempt may begin immediately, before the contempt charge is adjudicated and the sentence decided.
In other words, when you are charged with contempt, a judge can and probably will, sentence you to jail immediately. Kim Davis is far from the first person who has been placed in custody for contempt. As The Wall Street Journal reported in 2009, some who have been charged with contempt have spent years in jail, without ever being tried or convicted.
The Liberty Council has also taken an interest in Davis’s case. That organization identifies its mission as “restoring the culture by advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the family.” On September 4, Davis’s lawyer, Mat Staver from the Liberty Council, sat down to talk to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. It did not go well for him.
Hayes picks apart every argument that Staver offers in Davis’s defense, often leaving Staver speechless. He takes Staver back to the days when interracial marriages were banned, and asks about what should have happened with someone who refused to marry an interracial couple. Staver completely distorts the sequence of events which led to the legalization of interracial marriage in all states, which was very similar to the way the ruling on same-sex marriage came about. Hayes calls him on it, and of course Staver has no coherent response.
But perhaps the best moment comes near the end of the interview, when Hayes asks Staver how much fundraising money the Liberty Council is bringing in thanks to Davis. “Why don’t you ask that question of the ACLU?” a clearly irritated Staver replies. “Well, they’re not standing in front of me, but I’d be happy to,” Hayes shoots back.
This is six minutes of the best television you’ll watch this week. If you’re not a Kim Davis fan, that is.
Here’s the video, via MSNBC:
Featured image via MSNBC screen capture