Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis remains in jail for not doing her job as Republicans gleefully co-opt black civil rights history and compare her to every icon they can find.
Davis, the elected Rowan County clerk, was sent to jail in contempt of court on Thursday after openly defying multiple court orders to obey the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all U.S. states. Davis has maintained doing so is against her Christian beliefs.
This has prompted her attorneys and supporters to come up with some wildly fanciful comparisons.
“Kim joins a long list of people who were imprisoned for their conscience,” her Liberty Council attorney Mat Staver said. “People who today we admire, like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jan Huss, John Bunyan, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and more. Each had their own cause, but they all share the same resolve not to violate their conscience.”
Staver also said Davis is being persecuted the same way Jewish people were under Nazi Germany, while others have compared her to the “tank man,” an unnamed man who faced down Chinese military tanks during the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising.
According to a Twitter account that appears to be run by Davis’ husband Joe, Davis reportedly also wrote “a letter from a Carter County jail,” possibly mimicking Martin Luther King’s legendary and tide-turning Letter from Birmingham Jail.
“I have no doubt your opinion of me has been swayed by the liberal media gotchyas,” Davis allegedly wrote. “I am here because there is a war on Christians in America. This country was founded on the beliefs of Christianity. This is a fact.”
Davis also wrote in her letter that she believed Rosa Parks “had it easy.”
“The whole world is watching me,” the letter reads. “Under this microscope, I am now not only an example for my family but for the millions of Christians in America facing persecution and the loss of their fundamental right of Religious FREEDOM!!!”
Rep. King is apparently not a fan of honoring Supreme Court rulings he doesn’t agree with. The 1963 Abington Township School District v. Schempp King’s tweet refereed to didn’t ban prayer from schoools, according to the First Amendment Center. It enforced the Establishment Clause by making it illegal for public schools to force students to participate in prayer or promote religion. Students are free to express religion or pray on campus as long as it doesn’t interfere with lessons.
It’s unclear which “award” King believes Davis should receive, but some pointed out that Davis’ actions are more similar to the bus driver that had Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give her seat up to a white passenger.
I'm not at all surprised by this, Republicans, particularly evengelical Christians, love to believe themselves to be persecuted when other people get rights they've had for decades or even centuries. That's not persecution, of course. Nobody is say, burning a gay flag on Davis's lawn or you know, firebombing her church with little girls inside it at the time. Nobody is physically assaulting her, turning water cannons or dogs on her.
And again, I can't stress this enough: Kim Davis was arrested for refusing to do the job she swore an oath to, and refusing to serve the people in the office she was elected to serve in. Her reasons for doing so are irrelevant as to why she's in jail.
Same-sex marriage is not persecution of millions of Christians, no matter how badly you dislike it.
And co-opting the memory of civil rights leaders who fought for justice, not bigotry in the name of a God who hates, is really, really the most awful thing here.
But it continues.