Pope Francis meets with Kim Davis. The Left melts down.

The catholic Left are desperate to silence the so-called “culture warriors”, especially to squelch Catholics who uphold clear Catholic teaching in the public square.

You may have heard that during his visit to these USA Pope Francis is reported to have met privately with the “culture warrior” Kim Davis, the Christian, non-Catholic, county clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  She went to jail for a time rather than knuckle under.

We don’t know for sure what Pope Francis said in this private meeting, but Davis didn’t say that the Pope told her to stop fighting.  She wasn’t disappointed afterward.  Quite the opposite, it seems.

We also shouldn’t read too much into the meeting.  After all, Popes meet with people like Idi Amin Dada and Fidel Castro.  Those meetings don’t signal approval.  Popes meet with world leaders as well as long lines of unknown and then nearly instantly forgotten people all the time.

That said, someone inside the papal circle set up and approved the meeting with the non-Catholic Kim Davis. She wasn’t plucked at random out of the crowd.  Perhaps we can conclude that Pope Francis thinks we can’t cooperate or accept same-sex marriage and we must actively resist it.  That clearly is what some people are taking away from it.  Come to think of it, it is reasonable to believe that the Pope of Rome doesn’t not think that men should marry men and have sex with other.  Yes, that seems pretty reasonable.

Liberals are turning on Francis for this.

Take a look at the combox of the National Sodomitical Reporter (aka Fishwrap) which reprinted the ultra-liberal RNS David Gibson piece.  NSR is pro-sodomy (one of the peccata clamantia) a sin that crieth unto heaven for vengeance).  Therefore, they are pretty worked up over there about the meeting.

So far, no comment from the Wile E. Coyote of the liberal catholic media, although a combox under a recent posting is getting pretty shrill.

Not so, however, from another of the usual suspects, Jesuit James Martin at Amerika.  He protests muchly, in a loooong piece, that the meeting didn’t really mean very much at all.

It is clear that liberals didn’t like the meeting.

Meanwhile, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has this to say:

The Catholic and secular Left are beside themselves. They thought they owned the pope, and now they are in a state of disbelief. If they don’t get what they want at the Synod next month, watch for them to turn on him with a vengeance. [True.  Yet I think that the Synod may be so inconclusive and vague that they will claim it as a victory.]

Charles P. Pierce at Esquire is calling the Holy Father’s meeting with Kim Davis “a sin against charity,” and the “dumbest thing this Pope has ever done.” Nice to know he acknowledges the existence of sin. But to say that it was “dumb” of the pope to meet with this heroine, or to characterize it as a “hamhanded blunder,” is to seriously misread Pope Francis. He is, after all, a real Catholic, not a “pretend Catholic” (the pope used this term this week to describe the Mayor of Rome, a gay marriage enthusiast).

Pierce is so despondent with the pope that he said the Davis meeting “undermines his pastoral message, and it diminishes his stature by involving him in a petty American political dispute. A secret meeting with a nutball?” It would be more accurate to say that the meeting elevates the pope’s stature with real Catholics. Not surprisingly, Pierce does not see calling Davis a “nutball” as “a sin against charity.”

Gay activist Michelangelo Signorile is ripping the pope as “a more sinister kind of politician,” one who “secretly supports hate.” Signorile has a reputation of being quite open about his brand of hate speech, so that may account for his aversion to secrets. It is driving him mad that the pope broke bread with this courageous woman, which is why he said the meeting “is only encouraging the bigots.” By “bigots” he means practically every man and woman who ever walked the face of the earth, up until the day before yesterday.

Bless the Holy Father for being so inclusive that he reached out to Kim Davis. If the “pretend Catholics” who consider themselves his base get nasty, they will be answered by the Catholic League.

Any way, those are some different views of the Kim Davis meeting.


At WaPo fid this:

No more Mr. Cool Pope

By Alexandra Petri

Yes, the pope met with embattled anti-gay-marriage clerk Kim Davis.

She reported that he clasped her hands, asked her to pray for him and told her to “stay strong.” The Vatican confirmed that the meeting occurred but refused to comment on details.

So much for “he’s-not-a-regular-pope-he’s-a-cool-pope” mania.

What’s really surprising is that we’re surprised.

The fact that we were expecting something different from Pope Francis says what a remarkable job he’s doing of making us forget that he is, not to put too fine a point on it, the pope.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Geoffrey says:

    PBS’ Facebook page was littered with ridiculous comments this morning. Everything from “the Pope let me down” to only one sane comment that basically said the Pope was Catholic all along and shame on those who had been “duped” to think otherwise.

  2. acardnal says:

    Pope Francis had two unscheduled meetings – that we are aware – of that support the principle of religious liberty and were a clear slap in Obama’s face: he met with the Little Sisters of the Poor and he met with Kim Davis.

  3. cowboyengineer says:

    I was reading the comments on Yahoo this afternoon for this story. I am always amazed at the vitriolic hate the oh so tolerant left spew when their make believe slams into reality. Very glad the Pope met with her.

  4. donato2 says:

    There is no way to spin this as inconsequential. As everyone already knows, Pope Francis is the master of communication through gesture. The meeting was the result of the Vatican’s initiative, and was highly orchestrated: secret and then disclosed when Francis was safely back in Italy and just after the media had turned in rave reviews of the U.S. trip.

    John Allen wrote that this might be the unveiling of “Francis 2.0,” a version which is more traditionally Catholic. I have my doubts — another Francis technique is to throw the orthodox a bone after lavishing gifts on the liberals. Still this gesture was huge. Pope Francis will never be the same again in the eyes of the U.S. media and liberals.

  5. NBW says:

    YES!!!!! Prayers for the Holy Father. I can just see the liberals having a fit over the visit.

  6. iamlucky13 says:

    “She went to jail for a time rather than knuckle under.”

    This needs a lot more discussion.

    The most typical accusation of the left is that she refused to do her job as the citizens defined it for her. Specifically, she refused to sign papers that define a legal status with a few minor, civil implications. Nobody lost their personal freedom, possessions, right of association, freedom of expression, etc.

    For that, she was deprived of her personal freedom.

    And yet we are the ones supposedly violating rights?

  7. ChrisRawlings says:

    I tend to think that the most active progressives desire a definitive pronouncent of doctrinal change about as much as orthodox Catholics want a definitive pronouncent against it. Ambiguity and confusion at the end of the synod wouldn’t be a good thing, but if the hoped-for changes don’t happen–and they won’t–I don’t think liberals can honestly consider it a win. That would be like the Cubs throwing a victory parade for winning the NL Wild Card while still losing the NLDS.

    I have a (very small) hunch that both the synod and the Pope end up more clearly pronouncing Church teaching than perhaps most of us expect. We forget that however much pressure there is FOR dramatic and implausible reforms, there is also a strong movement for a more vigorous proclamation of the Gospel of the family, especially from the U.S., Africa, and Eastern Europe. Those voices can be marginalized by rigging procedures, but those voices will certainly be loud enough to hear. These are prelates who are committed to helping the synod bear positive fruits and I suspect that they will have their game faces on. Or maybe I am just giving myself a pep talk here.

  8. TheDude05 says:

    I was hoping Father Z would post about this. I saw it on Google news this morning and went to see if the NSR had anything on it and the combox made Chernobyl look like a Black Cat firework. The anger and then the sadness all emotion crazy stuff. What I’ve been telling people throughout this papacy is that Francis is influenced by his Argentine upbringing to despise crony capitalism, and to have seen first hand destruction of environment for greedy purposes, and that he is a Catholic trying to get everyone inside for some real Catholic truth and healing. I have had my doubts about this method if it is indeed what he is doing since people burned like that are more likely to reject and condemn than accept. My oft lament is in missing Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict is that at least when they spoke it was clear and eloquent and sound. Sounds like the Holy Father may be getting ready to come out of his cocoon and spring out into doctrinal orthodoxy.

  9. juergensen says:

    Would that all the bishops had half her courage.

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    No, no. Something is not right.
    Why was his visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor also so downplayed, virtually lost in the celebrations. Either one of these visits would be reasonable for a pope to have. Can he not meet with whom he wants and say what he wants? That the left is spinning in a frenzy because the pope met with the Little Sisters and Kim Davis tells us how bad this all is, but it may be even more than that.
    In the days when a “Mo Rocca” is an approved lector at a papal Mass in Madison Square Garden, with all the possible people who could have been chosen, considering everything else we know, it seems fair to ask, what is going on here?

  11. Jenson71 says:

    @iamlucky13 – she was jailed for contempt of a federal judge’s order; and jailed because the judge thought that a monetary fine would be of no concern to her because it would be paid, essentially, by the donations she has received. And, although you and millions of others may disagree, there is now a legal right in every state, even Kentucky, for two persons of the same sex to get married. So it’s false that no one lost their rights, because in fact, the gay couples who were refused the license were being denied that right.

    I don’t know why the Pope or anyone else for that matter would want to meet Kim Davis. I agree with her comment that it almost morally validates her actions, and that is slightly disappointing to me. I don’t think there’s anyway to sugarcoat the visit. I assume he knew of the details of the situation. It seems that Pope Francis felt as if she was wrongly prosecuted for her beliefs, and I strongly disagree with him; which I think is the first time I’ve ever disagreed with a Pope in my lifetime.

  12. Ms. Davis defied a lawless edict of a renegade Supreme Court; I say yea, Ms. Davis. In 1942, it was Korematsu v. U.S., the ruling that said it was OK to round up U.S. citizens and heard them into concentration camps. Sometimes the court is wrong, and ought to be defied.

  13. I confess some schadenfreude over the hysterics at the Fishwrap and Crux, although in some cases, I was sad for people who claimed this was a real crisis for them. All I can say about them is that they are (albeit willing) victims of those who worked so hard to create a narrative, now destroyed.

  14. Frank says:

    “In the days when a “Mo Rocca” is an approved lector at a papal Mass in Madison Square Garden, with all the possible people who could have been chosen, considering everything else we know, it seems fair to ask, what is going on here?”

    Indeed, it is most fair to ask that question. And something does indeed seem “not right.” But we are all so confused by this man and this papacy that even simple and entirely reasonable things one would expect any Pope to do, suddenly seem out of place, as does the secrecy surrounding them. Is he really an orthodox Catholic behind all the other signs and indications we’ve seen for the past 2 1/2 years? If so, why does he seem to work so hard to hide it?

    Maybe TheDude05 is right; it sure would be nice if the Holy Father did in fact drop all the “please the Fishwrap crowd” stuff in favor of good sound Church teaching on ALL topics. But I’m not holding my breath, and I think Father Z is probably right that not even the upcoming Synod will be as revelatory as some are hoping.

    Just going to keep praying and hoping for the best.

  15. markomalley says:

    Father Z,

    Here is an image to commemorate your post: http://i.imgur.com/sYL0spO.jpg

  16. Gerard Plourde says:

    I sincerely hope that her meeting with the Holy Father will bring her back to the Catholic Church in which she was born and raised. From what I’ve learned about the Pentacostal splinter group to which she currently belongs her soul is in danger. It rejects the Trinity, claiming instead that God revealed his name as Jesus, that Father is a role and Spirit refers to Jesus’ Spirit as God. Therefore they also bapitze solely in the Name of Jesus and reject the Trinitarian Formula explicity declared by Our Lord while on Earth.

  17. iamlucky13 says:

    @ Jenson71

    “@iamlucky13 – she was jailed for contempt of a federal judge’s order”

    You’re not addressing the problem. Even accepting all your other arguments, justice must be proportionate to the offense, or it is not justice. Declaring her refusal to issue pieces of paper declaring people to be married to be contempt was a pretense to gain a legal basis to deprive her of individual freedom, a right thousands of times more important than a piece of paper. That is not an exercise in justice.

  18. Panterina says:

    About Mo Rocca, I’ve been reminded by a Higher Authority of something about a speck and a beam, whatever that means ;-)

  19. xavier217 says:

    Much more of this, it might be time to reconvene the mafia.

  20. stephen c says:

    Let’s not forget that Popes are human, too. I have no difficulty believing that meeting with the Little Sisters of the Poor is Pope Francis’ fondest memory of America. If I were not American and had to visit this continent, I can think of no Americans I would prefer to spend time with than the Little Sisters of the Poor. Pope Francis, I believe, feels that the Little Sisters of the Poor were more gracious in meeting with him than he was in meeting with them, in that they gave their time to meet with someone who, probably, they will never meet again, and who did not need their love, and who took time away from the time they would have spent with the poor, who do need their love. But they are incomprehensibly and very generous people, the Little Sisters of the Poor. Mother Teresa, in perhaps the only time she is reported to have said something ungracious, complained about the hospitality she received from some rich powerful Catholics she met in America – their expensive and showy home made her nervous and unhappy. Similarly, say what you want about Kim Davis or about the poor sad federal judge who decided he had to play the role of the jailer in her salvific Christian drama, she is a Christian who went to jail for Christian beliefs. Meeting someone like that is “incredibly” pleasant.

  21. Alanmac says:

    The first person in the US to be jailed for being a Christian. It is only appropriate that Pope Francis would want to meet her. Despite Fr Martin’s expansive points in America magazine, the Holy Roman Catholic Church is opposed to same sex marriage.

  22. SaintJude6 says:

    I found a record of two priests being jailed for being Catholic in the Norfolk colony in 1687.

  23. Benedict Joseph says:

    That the Holy Father visited the Little Sisters of the Poor and received Mrs. Davis is wonderful and deserves our deep gratitude — it certainly has my gratitude — but why is it accompanied by surprise? That is the problem. Having to negotiate his ridiculous counter-intuitive maze is, without question, unproductive and does not reflect well on him. It has the character of manipulation, of being “jerked around.” Adults don’t like that — no matter what their perspective, people have enough to deal with without feeling manipulated or deceived, tricked. Not a good way to engage. Can you imagine anyone in your personal circle getting away with that more than once before they received a “wake up” announcement. Not good comportment.

  24. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Gerard Plourde,

    The only thing I had seen about this previously was Steven Greydanus in his 11 September Crux piece describing Kim Davis as “a convert to a sub-Christian Pentecostal sect. (Apostolic Pentecostals are non-Trinitarians and baptize in the name of Jesus only.)”

    When Terry Moran asked his first pair of questions on the plane, the second was, “Do you support those kinds of claims of religious liberty?” The Holy Father insistently answered in terms of “a human right.” When Terry Moran followed up (with no further reference to “claims of religious liberty”), about “government officials”, the Holy Father emphatically replied, “It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.” Whether deliberately or not, he has effectively prevented the question of whether Kim Davis is “sub-Christian” and a member of a “sect” or not overshadowing her conscientious human right in relation to natural law and justice. This is a welcome accent: there has (in my experience) not been enough attention to the fact that it is not only Christians qua Christians, and ‘sub-‘ or ‘non-Christian’ religious people as such, but all human beings, whether they know it or not, who are being abused with respect to “conscientious objection” by ‘healthcare mandate’ and Supreme Court ruling and other compulsive acts of governmental usurpation.

  25. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Venerator,

    I fully agree that claims of religious liberty are human rights. However, as Catholics we believe that the fullness of truth is revealed within the Catholic faith. Mrs. Davis was baptized and raised in our faith but has since fallen away. The group to which she belongs professes a belief that is heretical, i.e. the rejection of the mystery of the Trinity. Should we not be praying that she return to the fullness of truth in which she was baptized?

  26. pannw says:

    Jenson71, in all Christian charity, I must say you have bigger problems than ‘disagreeing with a Pope’ for the first time. Your disagreement appears to be with God and His Law, which will always override the immoral laws made up by man out of whole cloth, which this ‘right’ you are defending is. You disagree with the Pope for supporting a woman who rejects the made up laws of men that contradict the clear law of God. I wonder if you also disagree with the first Peter too, since he said, “We ought to obey God rather than men?”

    I hope you reconsider the side you have aligned with in this ‘battle’ and it is a battle. You are taking the losing one.

    SaintJude6, I think he meant the first US citizen, (post 1776) endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights guaranteed by our Constitution, the first of which is, of course, Freedom of Religion and the free exercise thereof.

    Basically, the Bill of Rights died when 5 black robed tyrants pulled a ‘right’ out of their you know whats. A sad, sad day…

    But nevertheless, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” I am glad the Pope met with Mrs. Davis to encourage her.

  27. frjim4321 says:

    These are all atmospherics.

    In three weeks the synod will be the big news.

    Who the pope did and did not meet with will be forgotten.

    It’s pretty well known that the nuncio is a cultural conservative and he invited who he invited, just like President Obama invited who he invited to the reception on Pennsylvania Avenue.

    This is such a non-story. Martin was right, point-for-point.

  28. Charlie says:

    I found Fr. Martin’s apologetics on behalf of the Holy Father’s decision to meet with Kim Davis disingenuous; every benign gesture of the Pope’s towards groups/people with agendas he approves of is taken as an fervent Papal endorsement, and yet this situation some how warrants a more measured response.
    Perhaps some of our fellow Catholics who are constantly banging on about not ‘boxing God in’ or chiding the orthodox to ‘not be afraid of new things’ should listen to their own advice.

  29. LeoXIII says:

    I have spent the last hour or so waging war over at NSR regarding the Pope’s visit to Kim Davis. As you have noted many times, Fr. Z, their vitriol is beyond comprehension, borderline diabolical. I realize that my words fall on deaf ears, but it’s a good way to get my blood pressure up since I don’t exercise much. :)

  30. majuscule says:


    Good for you! I used to engage those people but I realized the person I tangled with the most had serious mental problems. Posting there was becoming an occasion of sin for me, and I don’t need more of those. So I stopped.

    But I did become familiar with some of the regulars over there. So this evening I took a little peek at the activity. No surprises there. But more occasion of sin for me. I find myself gloating at their discomfort. Must stay away. Reminder to self: do not click on over there and do GO TO CONFESSION!

  31. Pingback: 'c'atholics Go Nuts Over Pope Francis-Kim Davis Meeting - BP

  32. Christ_opher says:

    Get ready for more surprises at the Synod.

    Pope Francis may be different in comparison to Pope Benedict (May God continue to bless him) and Pope Francis may have confused many of us (me included) but I cannot accept that anything will change within the truth of the church.

    I’m hoping that Pope Francis reconfirms the truth of what already exists within our faith and is using the synod to realign those that have their own crazy ideas that the truth is the truth.

    Dream of Saint John Bosco anyone?

  33. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Dear Gerard Plourde,

    And I fully agree (and cannot but suppose the Holy Father does, too) that it is grievously sad that Kim Davis as a (presumably) validly (and therewith Trinitarianly!) baptized Christian has, in responding (as it truly seems) to Our Lord the Incarnate Son, Jesus Christus Noster, drawing her back to Himself – that she has (so far) at the same time managed to deviate into what sounds like some kind of neo-Sabellianism, and we should indeed be praying that she return to the fullness of truth in which she was baptized.

    (Perhaps it is encouraging to think of examples of gradual (in the sense of step-by-step) return known from history.)

    It is also good that (as I have seen reported) the Holy Father since his return to Rome has stressed the Created character of natural law as historically recognized in America. All enjoy an endowment by their Creator whether they recognize that, or not.

  34. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    frjim4321 reminds me of David Jones’s poem, “The Fatigue”, where the important matter (as perceived by the Romans involved) is that Tiberius is finally moving against Sejanus, not some little almost invisible ‘side-show’ in Jerusalem.

  35. Mike says:

    Whom else has Martin ever called out for dissent from the Pope as haughtily as he does Mrs. Davis?

    Once again I am ashamed to admit having been educated by Jesuits.

  36. DonL says:

    “….because in fact, the gay couples who were refused the license were being denied that right….”

    Maybe a cursory look at the declaration of Independence might clear up this nonsense thinking–the part where it declares that all of men’s rights come only from “nature’s God.” (not from some handful of politically appointed robed lawyers)

  37. LeoXIII says:


    That is definitely good advice. Whenever I am commenting on that site I can’t help but think of a famous quote by Frederich Nietzsche: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” It is tempting at times to give into the same bitterness and hate as those poor people. I must to remember to pray for them.

  38. DonL says:

    “…My oft lament is in missing Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict is that at least when they spoke it was clear and eloquent and sound….”

    As my ever so wise, ever so orthodox, moral theology professor would say at least once a class; “No one follows an uncertain trumpet.”

  39. The Masked Chicken says:

    The technical term for this type of Pentecostalism is, “Oneness Pentecostalism.”. It developed, if memory serves, in the 1910 – 1920 period in America, and is the result of a misinterpretation (gotta love the Protestant principle of Private Interpretation) of the baptism command in one of the books of Scripture (too rushed to look it up) which said that people were baptized in the, “name of Jesus,” not realizing that this was shorthand for doing what Jesus said, which is Trinitarian baptism. Their baptisms are invalid, obviously. Both of Kim Davis’s parents are Catholic (the Pope gave Davis two rosaries) and it sounds like Kim Davis did not have enough understanding of Catholic doctrine to insulate her against the pull of this group. As Dorothy Sayers was fond of saying, “A stigmata beats a dogma, any day.”. Until there is a solid theology of the Holy Spirit and his connection (or lack, thereof) to quasi-Pentecostal phenomena, people will continue to be drawn to the theological fireworks (no pun intended) of such groups. At least they have retained something of the Christian faith, so Davis’s witness, however theologically muddled, is a true witness for both the Natural Law and the correct Christian disposition in the external forum.

    The Chicken

  40. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Venerator,

    I agree that the Pope’s discourse on the nature of natural law is excellent. Hopefully it will, like the seed in the parable, find fertile ground.

    Dear Chicken,

    I have thus far been unable to determine whether the group to which Ms. Davis belongs is one of the many Evangelical groups that also preach against the Holy Spirit by claiming that the Catholic Church is a tool of Satan. We must always be on our guard when dealing with such as these since their avowed purpose is to actively lead Catholics away from the One True Church.

  41. LarryW2LJ says:

    Since the election of Pope Francis, I feel like I’m watching a Papal Tennis Table match.

    One one hand, the exhortations of the importance of strengthening the family – on the other hand, “Don’t breed like rabbits.”

    One one hand, statements that all this gender wackiness are seeds sewn by the Devil – on the other hand, “Who am I to judge?”.

    There are other examples that can be posted, but I think you get the gist of what I’m trying to say. Is anyone else other than me, also experiencing Papal whiplash?

  42. Praynfast says:

    “Yet I think that the Synod may be so inconclusive and vague that they will claim it as a victory.”

    I agree, but I think you also have to use the word “ambiguous.” Pope Benedict XVI wrote about “studied ambiguity”, as you likely know:

    “With this in mind, this Congregation wishes to ask the Bishops to be especially cautious of any programmes which may seek to pressure the Church to change her teaching, even while claiming not to do so. A careful examination of their public statements and the activities they promote reveals a studied ambiguity by which they attempt to mislead the pastors and the faithful. For example, they may present the teaching of the Magisterium, but only as if it were an optional source for the formation of one’s conscience.”

  43. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    To borrow a line from “Scarface” (1983), another Quaalude, and the Left will love the Pope again.

  44. benedetta says:

    Such a simple takeaway from that meeting, bizarre that people miss it! Amazing that people will not listen to what the Pope himself said! Why do we not want to listen? Oh, it’s all just a culture war and atmospherics. It doesn’t exist. None of us are real . No one matters. OK, let me assist here:

    1.) It is never ok for people, whether acting under color of government, or privately, or some strange combo of both or none, to jail, harass, threaten, or fine out of oblivion, a citizen of this country for acting upon their religious beliefs, cf. The United States Constitution and numerous interpretations of laws found in legal precedent and world and universal recognition of basic civil liberties and human rights. Period. A nation where this is going on, with bigoted shaming of Christians, has more than just bad atmospherics and a desiccated culture.

    2.) People who do things consistent with their religious conscience are, in our very own land, and in other places around the world, right now, today, in real time, despite “atmospherics” and “cultural warriors”, and despite all the above columnists’ desperate attempt to stamp out the reality , the lived reality of these horrible situations affecting real human beings, often our brothers and sisters in Christ, for no other reason that they are Christians, these actual human beings need support — spiritual, and other support. The bullying of this gesture of the pope is there by these columnists in order to attempt to shame and discourage anyone from extending solidarity consistent with the Holy Father’s gestures on the ground among Christians where they are. To that I say:defy the columnists all the way! Live Christian solidarity! I am a Nasorean!

    3.) The Pope’s take away: religious liberty is a fundamental right whether one, private or public, has targeted a Little Sister of the Poor or a municipal worker. If someone is being harshed on, fined, or jailed where you are for being a Christian, fight the power. Be in solidarity. Be on the side of the fined, jailed, shamed, harshed on.

    Peace out.

  45. Kathleen10 says:

    LarryW2LJ…yes. There is a continuity of discontinuity, in this papacy. As a layperson, my head spins. I can’t imagine what faithful clergy, religious, and theologians are experiencing.

    Kim Davis resisted, at great personal cost, the illegitimate findings of the US Supreme Court, who has gotten it decidedly wrong before, as in Roe v Wade, where the court found that a suddenly discovered “right to privacy” in the Constitution meant children in the womb could be legally dismembered.
    Americans have rejected God but continue to need a moral authority, and we have foolishly put that confidence in the nine very human beings on the Supreme Court. The court has no authority to redefine marriage for anybody. We are called to resist this wrong finding just as Kim Davis has done.
    Whatever Kim Davis’ religious inclinations, she has put it all on the line for Jesus Christ, as she herself put it. She is willing to suffer for her faith and has. I admire her very much because she took this stand not at all knowing what would happen. I want that kind of courage in the face of tyranny.
    We have ISIS in the world, and a very real threat is brewing in America and Europe in the form of open borders and whatever our political leaders are importing into our countries via “immigration”.
    So anybody who professes the name of Jesus and has proven they will suffer for him is a friend of mine.

  46. Grabski says:

    Jenson71 is incorrect on a couple of points. Ms Davis quit handing out liscences to anyone. The KY constitution limits marriage to a man and woman, and enabling legislation specifies man/woman marriage. That law has been invalidated, and a new law needs to be passed. For now, there actually is no marriage law, given that SCOTUS can not change laws only strike them down.

    In other words, SCOTUS ruled there can not be laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman. They have no power, however, to say anything else is legal. That is the KY legislation’s role.

    Think of the Volstead Act, necessary to implement the Prohibition Amendment.

    She was jailed until she submits. The judges opinion of her fund raising ability means she is being jailed for having community support. That means she was a prisoner of conscience who has wide spread support in the community.

    Can’t have that, right. Tsar nave gets bail but not Davis?

  47. The Masked Chicken says:

    “We must always be on our guard when dealing with such as these since their avowed purpose is to actively lead Catholics away from the One True Church.”

    Yes and no. Most Protestants believe that the Church is in error about something. That doesn’t mean that they do not still have at least an obscure relationship with the Church, since most of their members form these erroneous opinions without actually doing research – in other words, some of them might be invincibly ignorant. Also, their baptism is, necessarily, when valid, a Catholic baptism. Consider the case of the Pentecostal pastor in Michigan, Alex Jones, who sought to turn his congregation away from the Catholic Church, so he started by looking for evidence in the Church Fathers that would support his claims, but wound up, instead, not only becoming a Catholic, but leading his entire congregation to convert.

    The Chicken

  48. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Kathleen 10,

    While it it undeniably true that we should support expressions of religious liberty we must recognize that this support in our nation whose pluralist and secular identity stems from its founding documents carries with it the express notion that it will not judge to determine which religious belief holds the fullness of truth. The test for the Founding Fathers was was whether a belief was sincerely held by a person. So long as that condition was met and its expression did not infringe upon the rights of another it passed muster. This indifferentism to determine and support absolute truth is one reason that the Church in the 19th century had serious reservations concerning compatibility of the American system of government with Catholic belief.

    On that account, we should be very cautious (as the American Catholic hierarchy was prior to Vatican II) in aligning ourselves with groups which, while sharing some moral values, at the same time preach heresy concerning core Catholic beliefs. It is of little value in the long run if in protecting human life, we are silent when beliefs like the Trinity, the Real Presence, the Primacy of the Pope, the salvific nature of the Church and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are denied and/or ridiculed by Evangelical and Fundamentalist groups.

  49. Scott W. says:

    The Five Stages of Kim Davis Derangement Grief:

    Five Stages of Kim Davis Derangement Grief:

    1. Denial “Except I shall see the pictures of the Pope and Davis holding hands, I will not believe.”
    2. Anger “Why would anyone take time to visit this cishet bigot!”
    3. Bargaining “Ok, he saw her, but he must have been duped! Yeah. That’s it!”
    4. Depression “I don’t understand. We won with Obergefell. Why am I still unhappy?”
    5. Acceptance “Oh well. Maybe she has a point and she really is a victim of a fascist movement putting the boot on the throats of dissenters. Maybe not voting for enthusiastic abortionists will be a fresh start.”

  50. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Chicken,

    The case you cite gives hope. I sincerely wish it represented the rule rather than the exception.

  51. danielinnola says:

    Maybe Pope Francis was inviting her to the Synod? OTOH my mothers Family all belonged to the same sect “oneness Pentecostal” that Ms Davis adheres too. I was involved myself until
    Early 20’s but subsequently returned to my Fathers faith, and was baptized in the Trinitarian formula.. Im good, ive had both baptisms! Lol JK My experience with this group is this; thry have a strict moral code.. Some are even close to the Amish in their rejection of the “world” my maternal grandmother never ever wore pants, slacks, make up, or ever cut her hair. Long dresses only, no TV no wordly entertainments.. They are a wonderful group of folks, and a lot f my family still belong, they just have invalid baptisms. There heresy is known as Sabellianism, or “Modalism” never heard any Catholic bashing with them. Just fervent preaching on the 4 last things.

  52. The Masked Chicken says:

    “The case you cite gives hope. I sincerely wish it represented the rule rather than the exception.”

    Give it time. According to Saint Pope John Paul II, this millennium will see the reunification of the Protestant and catholic Churches. Only 985 years to go :)

    The Chicken

  53. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Chicken,

    You’re right. And, God willing, we will witness it as members of the Church Triumphant.

  54. benedetta says:

    You know, it’s just so incredibly easy, like no brainer easy, and too compelling to resist really, for Media Elites Wherever Situated in The Culture and The Atmosphere to swat at a Kim Davis. Really. What is hard for them, to acknowledge that religious liberty is an actual thing, they can never do. Look the O Admin just this week acknowledged what ISIS is up to. But really, there is simply zero fortitude in commending all at the Cool Kids’ Table for fear of receiving more of the same you smell treatment, or worse…and it is worse actually, much. Not upstanders these. Yes men and women, for the status quo of the Atmosphere and Culture.

  55. Sonshine135 says:

    There is a good reason why I do not look down at the combo boxes of these articles. I need to avoid sin and the near occasion of sin.

  56. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Benedetta,

    Sadly, we have to recognize that the attitude you speak of is no new thing. Its roots can be found in the denial of Papal Primacy that led to the schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and blossomed in the heresy of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide that sparked the Protestant heresies. It manifests itself now in the fruit of extreme individualism that erroneously preaches that the right of the Self is paramount but disconnected from the common good, ignores the existence of absolute truth, and holds contempt for societal structures. It can even cloak itself in the guise of religious liberty to justify objectively immoral behavior (as an example consider Mormon fundamentalists who claim that they have a religious right to practice polygamy).

  57. acricketchirps says:

    Wow! disqus_9jZeCkCDp3 at NSodR comment box is one of the bravest and certainly the most patient and unflappable comment boxer I’ve ever encountered. Prayers for him or her.

  58. The Masked Chicken says:

    “There is a good reason why I do not look down at the combo boxes of these articles. I need to avoid sin and the near occasion of sin.”

    I, for one, do not want to be guilty of scandalizing anyone, but in all honesty, it is hard to find more civilized Catholic discussions in comboxes than at this site. I have looked at many sites and participated in a few and although the sentiment, here, tends to very conservative, I rarely see any invectives or ad hominems being thrown around.

    The Chicken

  59. Christ_opher says:

    For the critics of Pope Francis, I hope that he surprises us all and stands firm in the truth of the church as she is, in the up coming Synod.

    It was a clever move not to promote the Little Sister’s meeting or the meeting with Kim Davies as it gave the left leaning media zero opportunity to try and spin the article.

    Sadly, Pope Francis seems to have been misquoted so many times in the past it’s great to see a new strategy that hopefully shows that he is not the champion of liberal Catholicism.

  60. Jenson71 says:

    @Grabski – that is similar to saying that after Brown v. Board of Education, Kansas needed to pass a law stating blacks and whites must go to school together. That’s just not reality.

    @pannw – I don’t think I have a disagreement with God’s law relating to marriage, and that is because I agree that marriage, in its true sense, is a Catholic sacrament, a vocation, between a man and a woman. I also happen to agree that our constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, is quite a bit broader than God’s law, and that that’s an acceptable way to structure a society that is intent on protecting individual liberties.

    If Kim Davis can not uphold the law of the land regarding marriage, then she should resign from her job. Her position does not differentiate between opposite-sex and same-sex marriage. Her position, in fact, is now to not differentiate between them. And just as problematic, she stated that she would interfere with her deputies to also not do their job (a position she has since changed her mind on due to the removal of her name).

    Kim Davis’ conscientious objection to a duty of her job is not a legitimate reason to refuse and interfere with the recognized rights of other persons in our country when she has the monopoly of enforcing those rights to applicants in her jurisdiction.

    She wanted to refuse a marriage license to same-sex applicants. She wanted her salary and benefits. Her wants have consequences, and contempt appears to be a justified outcome.

  61. Jenson71 says:

    @DonL – You suggest that rights only come from “nature’s God,” and I take that to be true with natural rights; but we live in a society where legal rights have been conferred and recognized not by nature’s God, but by people. I could agree with you that people of the same sex do not necessarily have a natural right to marriage; but I am not convinced that is relevant to the issue of whether under the Constitution, states can prohibit same-sex marriage.

  62. Grabski says:

    Sorry JENSON71, but you are wrong. Segregated school systems could not be operated. The options were closing all schools or desegregation.

    Courts CANNOT rewrite laws. Full stop. They are not a legislator.

    In fact school funding laws are passed annually. Race based financing was disallowed.

    Again, think Volstead Act.

    In the case of abortion, laws banning it were nullified by the courts. Hence, in our system, what is not banned is allowed.

  63. Grabski says:

    Jenson71 Ms. Davis IS following the law which requires her signature and is limited to man/woman.

    As an elected official, it is her obligation to follow the law. And she promptly stopped issuing ANY licenses until legislation matching the illegitimate but licit SCOTUS decision is passed/signed.

    And it is up to her voters or the Assembly – not you – to determine how well she is doing her job. And I note there is no impeachment bill being drawn up, nor recall petitions.

  64. MikeM says:

    Even beyond the Kim Davis meeting, it seemed to me that Pope Francis was, throughout his US trip, advocating a social vision with a much more confined role for the state than I would previously have thought he supported.

    I had previously written off Francis’ social teaching as something not requiring much consideration, probably because of his often sloppy style of writing and arguing. But, I flipped on that while listening to him at Independence Hall. It’s still hard to figure out exactly what he means by anything he says, but I’ve started to see something fascinating there.

  65. Jenson71 says:

    Grabski, your logic is difficult to follow. Is it your view that in order for same-sex marriage licenses to be issued in Kentucky, the Kentucky legislature must pass a law stating so?

  66. Grabski says:

    Current KY law states marriage is between a man and woman, explicitly says that. Hence the law has been struck down. There is no valid KY law on marriage. Courts can not change the wording of laws.

    Hence the legislature now must devise a law that is Constitutionally kosher as it were.

    Until then, KY doesn’t have a law on marriage. She has decided in her capacity as the person vested with that power that no one can have a marriage license. Other clerks have decided differently, but they are not acting in accord with KY law.

    SCOTUS is a court, not an overlord.

  67. Jenson:

    Are you familiar with Korematsu v. U.S.? That was the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote, that said it was legal to round up American citizens (of Japanese descent), and herd them into concentration camps.

    Is it your position that when that order was handed down, all those who held served in the government, and who were obliged to help carry out the order, should have either obeyed, or resigned? No resistance whatsoever?

  68. danielinnola says:

    Hasnt she been married like 4 times? Is this true? Or is it media spin?

  69. Jenson71 says:

    Fr. Martin Fox, although I do find a significant difference between putting people in internment camps and giving consenting adults a marriage license, I think your question is fair and important. I am aware of the case from U.S. history courses and law school, and after a refresher of who was involved, I see that U.S. Census Bureau agents were involved in the identification of Japanese-Americans, and U.S. Border Patrol agents were involved in the security of the camps.

    Although the internment camp policy initiated by FDR is one of the historically worst decisions in 20th century U.S. domestic policy, it is my position that if a U.S. Border Patrol or Census Bureau agent was told to do something that would further the internment, and they had a moral dilemma against doing so, they should either quit or obeyed.

    Here’s a similar question for you: if a person felt that, since God created separate races with separate cultures on separate continents, God intended marriage to be only between persons of the same tone of skin color, do you think that person would be justified with their religious belief to deny an interracial couple a marriage license?

  70. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    If marriage is now a “right,” then why does it need to be licensed? (Do states still have the old blood test requirement? What purpose does it serve? No state would deny a marriage license to an HIV-positive person.)

  71. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Here’s the most detailed article I’ve seen about the matter:


  72. Jenson71 says:

    Dimitri_Cavalli, the right to bear arms is also enshrined with a license. There must be a few good reasons why not every person can marry (or own a firearm), such as age, mental capacity, or lack of consent, that are protected by the license-system. Also, the Courthouse needs to pay the heat bill and every $35.95 helps.

  73. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Two related subjects which have not been noted sufficiently in the comments (is that litotes?) with respect to Kim Davis are those of willingness to compromise and the seeking of (by no means unusual) accommodation. Terry Mattingly has been repeatedly attentive to the levels of journalistic detail on these matters, for example:


  74. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    When Jenson71 says “contempt appears to be a justified outcome” it is not clear to me how much that indirect article – “a” – might allow of other, equally or more justified outcomes.

    An interesting consideration of apparently analogous cases by someone who both thinks “She should have honored her principles by resigning” and “When she refused to do so, a solution that didn’t involve putting her in jail should have been worked out”:


  75. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “indefinite”! (time for coffee or a nap…)

  76. WYMiriam says:

    Fr. Z:

    Come to think of it, it is reasonable to believe that the Pope of Rome doesn’t not think that men should marry men and have sex with other. Yes, that seems pretty reasonable.

    Forgive me, Father, but what you say here does not seem reasonable to me. But it doesn’t NOT seem reasonable to me. Would you please explain how “the Pope of Rome doesn’t not think that men should marry men”?

    Thank you very much.

  77. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Well spotted! I think there’s a technical term for when that happens in speech or print – when a sentence is revised in mid-course, with strictly erroneous result (but I don’t know the term).

    My conjectural reconstruction is that Fr. Z began with “doesn’t think that men should marry men”, thought “doesn’t” sounded a bit too informal, began to revise to “does not think that men should marry men” and somehow got distracted and did not delete the “n’t”.

    I think I read right over it myself, mentally supplying the correct reading and not even seeing the editorially residual double negative.

  78. Jenson said:

    Although the internment camp policy initiated by FDR is one of the historically worst decisions in 20th century U.S. domestic policy, it is my position that if a U.S. Border Patrol or Census Bureau agent was told to do something that would further the internment, and they had a moral dilemma against doing so, they should either quit or obeyed.

    First, thanks for answering my question. And I will concede that there are differences between the situation of the Korematsu case and the Obergefell case; but that doesn’t invalidate the comparison, because in both (as well as many other cases), the question comes up: can it be proper for someone otherwise obliged to obey a law, to disobey it in some cases?

    While I appreciate your consistency, I am rather shocked by it — when you say that even in the aftermath of the Korematsu decision, the only proper options were to obey the order, or resign. That really is a shocking, and may I say, shortsighted approach, which I can only hope you will, on your own, come to disown yourself.

    I say that because think of the implication of your approach: government acts in a tyrannical fashion, and your recommendation is either compliance, or meek non-resistance (“resign”) — the effect of which is to smooth the way for the evil actions of government. Surely you know that among all those who actually did help herd those people into camps, there were lots of people who knew it was wrong, but for various reasons, lacked the courage…to do something. Just as, in all the years of Jim Crow, there were lots of people, black and white, who knew it was wrong, but lacked the courage to do something. History records that someone has to be very brave, and RESIST. Rosa Parks broke the law. Martin Luther King Jr. and others broke the law. They didn’t just decline to help, and get out of the way. They RESISTED.

    I honestly do not believe you are the sort of person who would carry your own advice forward as far as it might go — that no matter what, no one holding public office should ever do else but “quit or obey.” At least, I hope so. It is disheartening to think that a nation founded by resisting tyranny should come to such a pass as this.

    Here’s a similar question for you: if a person felt that, since God created separate races with separate cultures on separate continents, God intended marriage to be only between persons of the same tone of skin color, do you think that person would be justified with their religious belief to deny an interracial couple a marriage license?

    No, because the Kim Davis case isn’t merely about her personal “religious belief.” If it were, then I’d be in favor of the accommodation that routinely gets worked out in these cases, in which the one with an objection steps away from the desk, and someone else does it. (And that’s, effectively, what happened in Rowan County.) This is about refusing to obey a lawless, morally invalid law — the Obergefell ruling, which even it’s supporters admitted, at the time the decision was handed down, was extremely weak in terms of actual law.

  79. Jenson71 says:

    Fr. Fox, I’m not suggesting that civil disobedience is not sometimes an appropriate, and even morally righteous, decision to make. Rosa Parks and MLK Jr. are great examples of people who stood up for good and were jailed for it. Gandhi also comes to immediate mind, as do the martyred clergy of the Mexican Revolution. But they were not people who also took an oath to uphold the laws of the land in the performance of their duties. There would be a big difference in my opinion of Ms. Davis if quit her job and resisted, in some peaceful way, the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples (although I still wouldn’t have a high opinion of her just based on that). But no — she had used her position to obstruct the law and deny people their recognized right to marry.

    A tougher comparison is the Nazi authorities who reflected upon their role in the Holocaust as “just doing their job and following orders.” The evils that took place as men simply followed orders cements in my mind that there must be a higher authority of morality than human power. And no, I don’t equate the murder of human life with the recognition of same-sex marriage and hope no one else does either. But my position is still consistent: the Nazi soldier who loaded trains or guarded the camp should have resigned.

    And I don’t understand the distinction you make in your last paragraph, Father. It does seem to be about her personal religious belief, and I am in favor of the accommodation that allows some other official in the office to sign or stamp the marriage license. My hypothetical comes from the justifications that were around as recently as the 1960s with the Virginia v. Loving case. Some people actually believed that God intended to keep separate races pure and rejected interracial marriage with a religious foundation. They could have seen Virginia v. Loving as a “lawless, morally invalid law” as well, and had they been the clerk in a Virginia county and refused to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples, my position would remain consistent: resign, obey, or have someone else in the office issue the marriage licenses if you can’t. But don’t use your position to obstruct.

  80. Grabski says:

    Jenson71. You keep avoiding the issue and demanding this elected official – who is not facing impeachment nor recall but will face the voters to resign.

    We agree that the KY marriage law has been struck down. We both agree judges can not write new laws.

    So what law is she not implementing? I agree if she gave opposite sex couples licenses it would be against the law.

  81. Jenson:

    Thanks for your further response.

    I simply don’t understand, or accept, the notion that once someone swears an oath, there is something improper or immoral about resistance. Resigning from office is a perfectly honorable choice, but I don’t accept your notion that someone who resists must resign his or her office. It should be quite obvious that resigning likely will make the evil being opposed even more successful; and you haven’t really rebutted that point.

    As far as my point about the lawlessness and invalidity of Obergefell versus Loving, I readily believe you don’t accept the distinction, but I honestly find it hard to believe you cannot see where it comes from. First, there is a vast difference in the underlying facts. At issue in Obergefell was whether it is true, and hence, reasonable, to base marriage on the complementarity of the sexes. In short, at issue was what marriage is. Note well: Loving was NOT about the nature of marriage! No one, neither those who supported the anti-race-mixing laws, nor those who opposed them, disagreed about the question of what marriage was; the anti-race-mixing laws did not term a marriage between people of different races to be invalid, or not-marriages; they knew that they were real marriages. No one disputed it. At issue was race-mixing.

    So, second, there is a vast difference in the law at issue. The Constitution says absolutely nothing about what marriage is, or about who determines that. But the Constitution absolutely does say something about discrimination on the basis of race.

    Do you think it’s true that the law is whatever the U.S. Supreme Court says it is? I certainly don’t, and I hope you don’t, either. Do you deny that the U.S. Supreme Court can act unlawfully? Again, I can’t see how you can. So while you may not believe the court acted unlawfully in this case, you must concede it could have; and then the question is, what resistance is reasonable to allow for? I might call to mind that as a nation, we were founded by resistance to “lawful authority.”

  82. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Jenson71,

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say about morally wrong laws:

    1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, “authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.”23

    Clearly, same-sex, “marriages,” are contrary to the moral order and any such laws recognizing something that is an oxymoron (SSM, since it violates the logical and divine definition of what constitutes marriage) are, likewise, clearly vacuous. Now, a man may tolerate an evil for a time, if there is a possibility that good (repentance) may come about through patience, but the first rule of moral theology is that one may not do evil that good may come from it. Sure, one might resign from such a situation, if possible, but this is a tacit allowance of a moral evil. I am sure that you have heard the quote of Edmond Burke’s, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    More than that, obedience, even taking a vow of obedience, does not envision following an immoral order. To do so is an implicit form of blasphemy, because by swearing to God to perform the evil act, one is making God the author or at least the acceptor of the evil. In fact, St. Thomas Aquinas has a section in the Summa Theologica on this (II.II Q 105 Art. 5):

    Article 5. Whether subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things?

    …On the contrary, It is written (Acts 5:29): “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.

    I answer that, As stated above (A1,4), he who obeys is moved at the bidding of the person who commands him, by a certain necessity of justice, even as a natural thing is moved through the power of its mover by a natural necessity. That a natural thing be not moved by its mover, may happen in two ways. First, on account of a hindrance arising from the stronger power of some other mover; thus wood is not burnt by fire if a stronger force of water intervene. Secondly, through lack of order in the movable with regard to its mover, since, though it is subject to the latter’s action in one respect, yet it is not subject thereto in every respect. Thus, a humor is sometimes subject to the action of heat, as regards being heated, but not as regards being dried up or consumed. On like manner there are two reasons, for which a subject may not be bound to obey his superior in all things. First on account of the command of a higher power. For as a gloss says on Romans 13:2, “They that resist [Vulgate: ‘He that resisteth’] the power, resist the ordinance of God” (cf. St. Augustine, De Verb. Dom. viii). “If a commissioner issue an order, are you to comply, if it is contrary to the bidding of the proconsul? Again if the proconsul command one thing, and the emperor another, will you hesitate, to disregard the former and serve the latter? Therefore if the emperor commands one thing and God another, you must disregard the former and obey God.” Secondly, a subject is not bound to obey his superior if the latter command him to do something wherein he is not subject to him. For Seneca says (De Beneficiis iii): “It is wrong to suppose that slavery falls upon the whole man: for the better part of him is excepted.” His body is subjected and assigned to his master but his soul is his own. Consequently in matters touching the internal movement of the will man is not bound to obey his fellow-man, but God alone.

    In fact, resisting the evil order is a moral requirement, if one wishes to avoid sin (except insofar as tolerance may be temporarily applied). Now, Kim Davis’s stance is not merely a personal one. You are confusing race relations(Loving), which is not a part of the Natural Law (or Divine Law), with marriage relations (Obergefell), which is. There are three hierarchies of laws: Divine, then Natural, then Positive (man-made). Clearly, at best, Obergefell is positive law – bad positive law, but positive law. In fact, it does not define marriage, but in spirit, it does, by the mere acceptance of the fact that it recognizes an entity called Same Sex Marriage as something that can have aspects of it ruled on. Now, there must be logical consistency within the hierarchy of laws, such that a lower level cannot, in fact, contradict a higher level or else the Law of Non-Contradiction is activated. Both Divine and Natural Law recognize no such thing as Same Sex Marriage, so, in principle, neither can Positive Law. Now, any such logically contradictory law must be void on the face of it, since no man can be given the right to rule illogically, much less on Divine things and, certainly, not to contradict Divine or Natural things. Just as the Supreme Court cannot rule that the gravitational constant should be 10 or that Pi should be 3, just so it is not authorized BY THE VERY GOD to whom they swore their oath of office, to legislate against the Divine Law. No man, who rightly knows the Divine Law, is require to even recognize the attempt, much less obey any such law. They are even morally free and, indeed, encouraged, to resist such actions, because they are illogical phantasms manifesting as laws. Kim Davis’s stance is not personal, only, but it is a proper reflection of logic and the properly understood Divine order.

    You are free to argue with this, but not except at the risk of defining God arbitrarily, which is, in a subtle fashion, exactly what the Supreme Court has done. Well, they will find out, soon enough, that there is One more Supreme than they: Luke 12:

    “[3] Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
    [4] “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
    [5] But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him!”

    Not all conscientious objection is equal – the conscience must be properly formed. It just so happens, in this case, that Kim Davis’s conscience is well-formed as to one of the conditions necessary for what is marriage in God’s sight. Thus, she enjoys the favor of reason. She is not, in fact, resisting the law. She is resisting a simulacrum of law, since, as I showed, above, an illogical law is no law. That men have deluded themselves into thinking something is a law when it is not is not her problem.

    There can be defective, but morally acceptable laws, where prudential judgment between men of good will vary, that should be obeyed, but laws contrary to the moral order are binding on no one. Kim Davis is very much in the right. I am sorry for her Cross, but such it was with Christ, who also spoke truth to power. The doesn’t mean that Pilate was justified by his office nor were the Roman soldiers following his order. Pilate had authority. He misused it. Innocence suffered. Original Sin is hard to reason with (I was going to use a more colloquial expression, but, for the sake of decorum, I will refrain).

    The Chicken

  83. Jenson71 says:

    First, I’ve enjoyed this discussion quite a bit, like I enjoy this blog as a whole. I learn a lot from it and from my fellow commentators here. I thank Father Z. for his willingness to let me post here and converse with you all.

    @grabski – To be clear, I don’t think Ms. Davis must resign if she allows one of her deputies to authorize the license (and that that would still constitute a valid license). The http://www.getreligion.org article that Venerator Sti Lot posted has four fair characterizations of positions, and I am comfortable with the #2 option. This appears to be where things are currently at (notwithstanding Ms. Davis’ appeals) in the county.

    @Fr. Martin Fox – I do think there is a problem with the resistance of enforcing a recognized right. That can rise to the level of a procedural violation of due process (which is what the original same-sex couples who were denied their license claimed). But Ms. Davis did not just resist – she commanded her entire office to resist. She was very active in the continued obstruction.

    As for the interracial marriage case, I don’t think it’s accurate to say that the marriage was viewed as valid by opponents. In fact, any action that would arise to marriage between interracial couples in the state was voided, without judicial proceeding. And even getting married out of state, and coming back into the state and living together, was met with a felony charge. It did not matter whether the persons could have children or not. It was about marriage being between people of the same race. Unmarried people of the same race living together was a separate issue — which the Supreme Court dealt with several years before Loving v. Virginia (McLaughlin v. Florida).

    There could be a moment when the Supreme Court acts unlawfully, but I’m not aware of when, if ever, that has been. Samuel Chase was impeached, but I don’t know the details enough to say if that was justified or not. I know he was not removed, like President Clinton, but he could have been.

    @The Masked Chicken – I can assure you that you’ve forgotten more about natural law and divine law than I’ll probably ever know, and so I’m not able to discuss with much productivity how this may or may not contradict higher levels of law. So I’ll just say that Ms. Davis’ conscience can still be protected in a way that does not obstruct this “positive law” from being bestowed upon those who, in the wisdom of our legal system, have a right to it.

  84. Grabski says:

    Jenson71. Fortunately, her resignation is up to her. I’ll note that you evade the question of what law she has violated.

  85. Jenson said:

    As for the interracial marriage case, I don’t think it’s accurate to say that the marriage was viewed as valid by opponents.

    Well, yes, I think it is accurate. The defenders of the anti-race-mixing laws never denied that a man-woman couple of mixed race were entering into marriage, as everyone understood marriage; at issue was simply this: they didn’t want that to happen. It was clearly an extension of segregation. I think you’ll find that they didn’t challenge the conventional definition marriage as being man+woman; they didn’t counter, marriage is only marriage when it’s between people of the same race; they sought to outlaw what were conceded to be real marriages.

    Further, the whole scheme of regulating “race-mixing” is fraught with obvious problems that expose the whole matter is hopelessly arbitrary.

    As I said, even if you don’t agree with the distinction between the reasoning at issue in Obergefell, versus that involved in Loving, I think you can see exactly where that distinction comes from. It’s not an arbitrary, reason-free distinction.

  86. Jenson71 says:

    Even conceding that Loving didn’t seek to change the traditional understanding of marriage between a man and a woman (I think we all recognize that issue only came up in Obergefell), that’s not what my original point was. Rather, it was that some people had a religious belief that interracial marriage was against God’s law. Would you find it acceptable for a Virginian clerk to not only refuse interracial couples a marriage license, but also demand that her deputies not issue it as well? And if not, what is the principle that distinguishes the Virginian clerk’s case with Ms. Davis’s?

  87. Jenson:

    Several points in response:

    – Ms. Davis only blocked all her office’s work because of the issue of her name being attached to the licenses. That is easily solved, avoiding the dilemma you raise. With that problem solved, I would favor letting the objector you refer to be able to step back when someone else can fulfill the order. As a historic matter, this was not a major problem.

    – Once again, I highlight thedifference between the legitimacy of Loving versus that of Obergefell. The former was well grounded in the text of the Constitution.

    – In theory, your choice really could be insoluble on secular principles. If so, all that does is expose the weakness of a society so founded. I have been content to live under our secular constitution as long as such dilemmas do not arise. But if/when they do, then it may be time to give up on secularism. It’s not a flag I’ll die for.

  88. robtbrown says:


    What we have now is a clash of rights. The Obergefell decision didn’t delete the Free Exercise clause from the 1st Amendment–despite what the Equal Protection Freaks think.

    That the argument that Freedom of Religion could be used to forbid interracial marriage (or for that matter any work obligation) seems to be a common refrain. That’s not a bad argument, but of course, it could be used to deny all claims of interference in the practice of religion. Those joining in the chorus never get around to saying where Free Exercise actually does apply.

  89. robtbrown says:

    It’s also worth noting that the nature of the clerk’s job changed with the SCOTUS decision.

  90. robtbrown says:

    Fr Martin Fox says,

    In theory, your choice really could be insoluble on secular principles. If so, all that does is expose the weakness of a society so founded. I have been content to live under our secular constitution as long as such dilemmas do not arise. But if/when they do, then it may be time to give up on secularism. It’s not a flag I’ll die for.

    You’re onto the weakness of the thesis of John Courtney Murray: He assumed that secular government would be neutral, presumably because he thought the various anti-Catholic revolutions in Europe were just a reaction against Catholic political control. He thought democracy would keep anti-Catholicism under control.

    In fact, it’s not even a matter of intrinsic opposition of democracy to the Church, while monarchies supposedly preserve the faith. Emperor Joseph II suppressed the monasteries in the late 18th century.

  91. Robtbrown, Jenson:

    It occurred to me that without intending it, I hit on a danger that not enough people, I think, are considering, when I said:

    In theory, your choice really could be insoluble on secular principles. If so, all that does is expose the weakness of a society so founded. I have been content to live under our secular constitution as long as such dilemmas do not arise. But if/when they do, then it may be time to give up on secularism. It’s not a flag I’ll die for.

    Secularists might do well to wake up to a reality: Christians have it baked in their theological DNA that sooner or later, there will be a conflict between their faith and “the world,” and they have been prepared, from the beginning, for that confrontation. I’m not saying there won’t be plenty of Christians who will buckle; but there will be plenty who wont; and who, like me, will say, if that’s what the flag now stands for, I’m not saluting it anymore.

    America has “worked” all these centuries as an implicitly Christian nation; will it work when it is an aggressively secular one? It’s an untested hypothesis, and a pretty big gamble. For example, the trends in the military are worrisome; if the military becomes an uncongenial place for devout Christians, God help us; because devout Christians have been a backbone of our military so far. And something similar may happen in our society at large. Of course, it won’t happen all at once. Nevertheless…

    I think aggressive secularists are playing with fire. Look at a map showing how every county and municipality in the nation voted in 2012. It’s a vast sea of red with islands of blue. Not the same thing as showing where the Christians and neo-pagans are, but probably not so far off. If faithful Christians in this land decide they’ve had enough of the secularists holding the whip-hand, it’s going to get very ugly very fast.

  92. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Jenson71,

    You wrote:

    “So I’ll just say that Ms. Davis’ conscience can still be protected in a way that does not obstruct this “positive law” from being bestowed upon those who, in the wisdom of our legal system, have a right to it.”

    No one has a, “right,” to error. No one has a right to sin. No legal system considering the common good can confer such rights, since the common good is determined by reason and submission to God. Wisdom means knowing (I am cribbing this from an article on St. Thomas and wisdom, online):

    (a) God in Himself (first principle of being in itself)
    (b) creatures insofar as they come from God (origin of all beings, including human beings)
    (c) creatures insofar as they are ordered to God as their end (destiny of all beings, including human beings)

    Since homosexual acts and Same Sex Marriage are intrinsically disorder in the moral realm, they abandon wisdom. This ,”wisdom,” of our legal system is not wisdom at all, but licentiousness. It is an act of power dominating prudence, nothing more. We might defeat it with power, but conversion of heart is a better goal, if possible. Hiding behind this travesty of justice is the idea that man is the law-giver supreme. When good theology is abandoned (by that I mean Catholic theology), this is what happens.

    The Chicken

  93. I don’t believe that the Supreme Court has the authority to interpret laws to mean the opposite of what they meant when they were enacted. It doesn’t have that authority even if it unanimously says that it does. That’s called “legislation.” As an equal branch of government, it is not the supreme authority period. It is simply the supreme court, and when it oversteps its authority people may well have a duty to resist it. It would be better if the legislative and executive branches of government were to exercise their lawful responsibilities and tend to this in ordinary ways so that civil disobedience were not necessary, but today we have craven cowards as executives and legislators, so the people, such as Kim Davis, have a choice either to resign, which basically leaves the floor open to the bad guys, or fight in whatever way is possible. One of the reasons that the liturgy and the Church have become what they are is that all the sensible, principled people chose to back off instead of fight. Now the cancer is out in the open in society at large. Eventually, they come to your door and drag you out in the street and there is no resigning.

    The abortionists never compromised, and the gays and lesbians will never compromise either. It’s going to take a lot of people going to jail to make a difference here.

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