Monday, September 14, 2015


When I first heard about a recent Quinnipiac poll, the inflammatory headline announced that 71% of Americans are angry. My reaction was to write a joke:

“A poll says 71% of Americana are angry. That makes me angry.”

A spot of research revealed the poll actually found that 71% of the voters polled in the survey were dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States with about 27 of those being classified as angry. My next attempt at a joke:

“A poll says 71% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States. The other 29% spend all day viewing cat videos.”

When I found an editorial cartoon on the poll, I posted a link to the cartoon on my Facebook page and wrote:

“I am angry much of the time. I would like not to be angry much of the time. Of course, for that to happen, people have to stop saying and doing terrible things. I'm not holding my breath waiting for that, even though, ironically, that would eventually result in my being much less angry.”

A great many things make me angry. If I started listing them all, today’s bloggy thing would go on and on, costing all of us valuable cat video-viewing time. On my Facebook page, I often post links to articles on a great many things that make me angry. I’ve decided to continue posting such links. However, for the most part, I will not comment on them. I wrote:

“I’ll not be commenting on stories like this while I work on other things. When I comment, it will generally be in my bloggy thing after my initial anger has subsided.”

Though I think of myself as a cheerful and happy person, blessed as I am with a loving wife and children, devoted friends and readers, steady employment and a comfortable lifestyle, there is always an anger hiding just behind all those good things. It would take the Grand Comics Database to record all my anger issues.

A little anger is healthy. A lot of anger is not. I’m working hard to change “a lot” to “a little” in my life and thereby insure I’ll be here to make some of you angry for decades to come.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis makes me angry. Bigotry is one of my anger triggers and this arrogant woman holds on to her bigotry with so much pseudo-Christian zealotry that it’s a wonder she does not explode. You all know the ongoing story, but I want to see if I can summarize it in a paragraph or two.

Davis is currently on her fourth marriage. She cheated on her first husband and had kids with her third husband. She married her second husband and then divorced him to marry her third husband. When she dumped her third husband, she remarried her second husband. At some point, she became a born-again Christian.

As a born-again Christian, or, at least, in her interpretation of what that means, she decided she could not carry out the duties of her office or follow the law by issuing marriage license to same-sex couple. Faced with this conflict between her conscience and her job, she, of course, resigned from her job.

Just kidding.

She refused to issue any marriage licenses to same-sex couples and then to any couples whatsoever, though she did, at one point, issue a license to a couple she thought was opposite-sex, not realizing one of them was transgender. She also refused to allow any of the clerks working under her to issue marriage licenses.

Couples who were denied marriage licenses sued her and won over and over again.  Federal district judge David L. Bunning ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses. Represented by the Liberty Counsel,  which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Davis kept appealing the order and kept losing. She left the judge with no choice. Changed with contempt of court, Davis was sent to  the Carter County Detention Center

Which is when the hate hullabaloo really start jumping.

Mike Huckabee leaped into the fray with his usual mix of bigotry and misinformation. Ted Cruz tried to get a piece of that action, but Huckabee cock-blocked him from getting into the key photo op when Davis was released from prison. Liberty Counsel went on and on with legal opinions derived from their asses. Even Fox News called them on that bullshit.

With Davis in jail, her office started doing the people’s business again. Five of the six clerks agreed to issue marriage licenses to all couples who met the state of Kentucky’s requirements for same.  The notable exception was Davis’ son because nepotism runs as deep as bigotry in that Davis family.

Since the Rowan County Clerk’s office was now doing its job, Judge Bunning released Davis from prison last week. She is under a court order not to interfere with her clerks issuing marriage licenses. She returns to work today, My prediction is she’ll be back in prison by the end of the week.

Judge Bunning gave Davis every chance to avoid jail. She refused to honor her oath of office. There was a compelling need to put an end to her denying the rights of people, gay and straight, to obtain a marriage license in Rowan Country. Davis’ too-short stay in custody accomplished that.

Judge Bunning showed great compassion in releasing Davis from jail.  If I were he and if the law allowed such a condition, I would have left her there until she resigned her office. Because her conduct and that of her lawyers gives us no reasonable assurance that Davis will not resume her illegal obstruction.

At one point, the lawyers said all Davis wanted was for the license form to be changed to remove her name. At the same time, from her cell, Davis was saying marriage licenses without her signature were not valid. Her supporters have also claimed it is no inconvenience for those seeking marriage licenses to go to another county to do that. Those arguments carry no legal weight.

People who want to obtain a marriage license in Rowan County have the legal right to obtain those licenses. They have the right for those licenses to bear the name and signature of legal authority. Even the smallest inconvenience to obtain a signed license is more than those people should have to bear.

Deceit has been the demeanor of Davis, her lawyers and her “fans” all along. There is no war on Christianity; there never has been. There is a woman and an organization who, under the guise of their pseudo-Christianity, are attempting to deny basic human rights to those they deem unworthy of such rights.

Davis is no Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. She is not a freedom fighter. She is a freedom-denier.

Davis has not been denied the freedom to practice her religion. She wants far more than that. She wants the right to force other people to abide by her beliefs. That is not her constitutional right, nor is it her moral right. Her religious freedom legally and morally stops at precisely that point where it encumbers the legal freedoms of others. Every statement Davis made before, during and since her release from prison indicates she has no intention of obeying the law and fulfilling her oath of office.

At least one of Davis’ clerks is on the record saying that he will continue to issue marriage licenses despite his boss’ objections to same. The clerk has indicated he will inform Judge Bunning if Davis attempts to interfere with his issuing marriage licenses. Given the media fascination with this situation, I don’t think the clerk will actually need to inform the judge of any Davis interference. That  interference will doubtless be captured on camera.

If Davis interferes with the legal rights of those who come to the clerk’s office seeking marriage license, she should be sent back to prison immediately. She should remain in prison until she resigns from the office whose duties she is unwilling to fulfill. If Davis refuses to resign, Kentucky’s legislators should come back to work  and remove her from office. As an elected official, Davis can not be fired. She must be impeached.

Davis, the Liberty Counsel, Huckabee and all the other haters who have flocked to the clerk’s side are on the wrong side of history and the law. Their lies do not change the essential wrongness of their actions and positions.

In the end, love will win.

As it always does.

Love will win. 

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2015 Tony Isabella


  1. Very well said, Tony. If it were truly about her just having no desire to issue the licenses herself, she could either resign or simply step out of the way and let the deputy clerks do it. Her refusal to do either one means that she thinks it's her right to tell everyone in her county what they can do or what they can't, and she needs to be made to understand that she can't do that.

    David Peattie

  2. I'll believe there's a war on Christianity when atheists have their own version of Torquemada, or the Crusades, and start converting Christians to atheism by force. What the war on Christianity actually translates to is fear of change. The Christians who believe that it's not enough for they themselves to be faithful, and that all others must follow their faith too, are terrified because large segments of the population that were formerly condemned and disenfranchised and controlled by their religion are finding a voice, and are demanding what the Constitution guaranteed. People who compare Davis to Parks infuriate me, because they can't grasp the fundamental difference between the two; Parks made a stand FOR a segment of society, and Davis is making a stand to take basic human rights AWAY from a segment of society. Davis loses nothing by gay people getting married, because she can still follow her own faith and no one is stopping her. If your actions are designed to take away a basic human right, then you're a douchebag, no matter how many "hallelujahs" you dress up your bias with.

  3. I liked that the band Survivor said they would sue if they continued to play Eye of the Tiger at any more rallies for Kim.

    Good on them for speaking out against hate.

    Dan Lorenzen

  4. It's a sad spectacle all around in the Davis story. I have found that those who suddenly 'find' Jesus are like those who go on some fad diet or give up smoking, etc. Suddenly everyone else must follow their example, excusing any past behavior on their part. They now know the answers and we are supposed to accept their judgment.

    I think the judge should have kept Davis in prison. I also think that both she and her son should be removed from the office, unless they follow the law.