Needed: A Million More Like Kim Davis

Matt Barber
Matt Barber

Exclusive: Matt Barber tells Christians to get used to ‘contempt of court’ phrase

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or the first time in American history a woman has been imprisoned by the government for merely exercising her Christian faith. War has been declared on Christ and His followers.

And there’s no turning back.

Anti-Christian persecution is the civil rights cause of our time. The cultural Marxists in power have seceded from our constitutional republican form of government, with its Judeo-Christian moorings, and have supplanted, in its place, a secular-socialist oligarchy. Like Union troops hunkered at Fort Sumter, faithful Christians are now exiles in our own land. Anti-Christian “progressives” have demanded unconditional surrender, and federal Judge David Bunning has fired the first mortar.

Even as I write, a kind, soft-spoken and well respected civil servant of 27 years sits languishing, like some violent criminal, in a Kentucky prison. She is confined, indefinitely and without benefit of a trial, to a tiny cell. She is a political prisoner in a spiritual war.

Like so many accidental civil-rights heroes that came before her, Davis, a Democrat who was overwhelmingly elected as Rowan County clerk, has peacefully and graciously refused to violate her Christian conscience. She has declined to sign her name to marriage certificates that defy God’s natural design for the timeless institution and has requested, as a simple accommodation, that either her name be removed from the marriage licenses, thus eliminating her personalized acquiescence to the Supreme Court’s novel attempt to usurp God’s authority and redefine this cornerstone institution, or, alternatively, “to allow licenses to be issued by the chief executive of Rowan County or [by] developing a statewide, online marriage license process.”

That’s it. Simple, reasonable and fair. Our nation has a rich history of respecting the rights of conscientious objectors, and Kim Davis, like tens-of-millions of her brothers and sisters in Christ, is exactly that.

“There is absolutely no reason that this case has gone so far without reasonable people respecting and accommodating Kim Davis’ First Amendment rights,” said Mat Staver, Davis’ attorney and head of Liberty Counsel, a Christian civil rights organization.

“This is a heaven or hell issue for me and for every other Christian that believes,” Davis said on Thursday. “This is a fight worth fighting. … I’ve weighed the cost and I’m prepared to go to jail.”

And so she has.

Reasonable people can disagree on the propriety of Kim’s actions. Some say that she was right in refusing to violate her conscience by signing her name to a legal document that presumes to solemnize that which God condemns. Still others say that she needs to either “do her job” or resign – that she took an oath and is violating that oath.

Nevertheless, all reasonable people must agree that imprisoning this innocent woman for her conscience is both an absolute outrage and gross violation of her constitutional liberties. Even the ACLU thought it was a bridge too far. The fact remains that people don’t shed their First Amendment rights when they become government employees. Kim Davis swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution, the Kentucky Constitution and the laws of the Bluegrass state. When she took her oath, United States law, the Kentucky Constitution and the Kentucky Revised Statutes all reflected the millennia-old definition of natural marriage: “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky.”

The Kentucky Legislature has yet to change this law one jot or tittle. Instead, five left-wing extremist lawyers in Washington, D.C., issued an opinion presuming to move the goalposts mid-game. Court opinions are not “the law of the land.” Judges don’t make laws – only the legislature can do that. Kim Davis is not defying the law; she is upholding it as codified.

Accordingly, she has repeatedly asked, “Under what law am I authorized to issue homosexual couples a marriage license?”

Neither Judge Bunning nor anyone else can answer.

Because no such law exists.

In a statement on Friday, Mat Staver made the same point: “Not long ago 75 percent of Kentuckians passed the state’s marriage amendment. Today a Christian is imprisoned for believing what the voters affirmed: marriage is between a man and a woman. Five people on the Supreme Court imposed their will on 320 million Americans and unleashed a torrent of assaults against people of faith. Kim Davis is the first victim of this tragedy.”

Indeed, many scoffed at our warnings that Christians will someday be forced to either endorse “gay marriage” or go to jail. Well, scoff no more. That day has arrived. In just two months since the high court’s disgraceful Obergefell v. Hodges opinion, the full-on criminalization of Christianity has begun. You must either bow a knee before the false gods of same-sex “marriage” and “gay rights,” or face the fiery “contempt of court” furnace. We have moved from anecdotal instances of anti-Christian discrimination to systemic religious persecution.

Here’s the formula: 1) Force affirmation of homosexual behavior, abortion or some other institutionalized sin via judicial fiat; 2) Christian objects, refuses to disobey God and requests a reasonable religious accommodation; 3) Accommodation is denied and Christian is jailed for “contempt of court.”

You’re going to hear that term a lot in coming days, weeks, months and years – “contempt of court.” It’s the straw man charge that will be utilized to imprison not just Christian public officials, but others as well. Christian business owners, lawyers, private sector employees, parents of school-age children who don’t want their children indoctrinated by sexual anarchist propaganda and many others will be held in contempt of court, denied due process and incarcerated indefinitely.

The persecution isn’t coming.

The persecution has arrived.

And that’s what it means to be a Christ follower.

So pray for a million more like Kim Davis.

Become like Kim Davis.

Is she perfect? Certainly not. None of us is. Indeed, before Kim’s transformational Christian re-birth four years ago, she was thrice divorced and “played in the devil’s playground” for much of her life.

She was lost.

But now she’s found.

God has an amazing way of taking empty, broken vessels, rebuilding their lives and then using them mightily for His glory and honor.

Stand, like Kim, fearlessly, lovingly and boldly for Christ, declaring, as did the apostles when faced with a similar decision, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (see Acts 5:29).

Indeed, as the Bible’s Daniel, a “public official,” boldly refused to disobey God and commit sin by worshiping a pagan king, so too has Kim Davis honored our Lord by refusing to bow before a pagan court – by refusing to call evil good and good evil.

They wanted to make an example of her.

Instead, they made a martyr of her.


  1. Perhaps the single most important issue in the Kim Davis situation (the County Clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses) — an issue about which most observers and commentators have been completely silent — is the flagrant violation of the constitutionally-mandated separation of powers.
    By way of background, Federal Judge David Bunning ruled that Davis was in contempt of court, which a court can legitimately do. But he then ordered federal marshals enforce his decision and take her into custody, which he cannot do. Federal marshals are part of the Executive Branch, not the Judicial Branch; he has absolutely no authority to order any federal marshal to do anything.
    Significantly, the Founders — and thus the Constitution — did not give power to the Judiciary to enforce any of its decisions — they deliberately made it powerless in this regards. They made the Executive Branch alone responsible for enforcement.
    So while Judge Bunning can (and did) issue his personal opinion regarding Kim Davis, his personal opinion does not have the force of law. (By the way, check any civics book: a law must originate as a measure proposed in the House or Senate, be passed by both, and then signed by the president. Only then and by this means does anything become law.) Bunning must thus ask (not order) the Executive Branch to enforce his opinion, and if it agrees, it can order its marshals to do so, but the Judicial Branch may order no such thing.
    Sadly, not only did the Judicial Branch first take on itself the role of the Legislative Branch by issuing its ruling in the homosexual-marriage decision, but now it has assumed the role of the Executive Branch by attempting to enforce its own opinion. The Founding Fathers vehemently objected to this practice. As George Washington warned:
    “[T]hose entrusted with its [the nation’s] administration [must] confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.”
    James Madison similarly charged:
    “The preservation of a free government requires not merely that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be universally maintained but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overleap the great barrier which defends the rights of the people. The rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment exceed the commission from which they derive their authority and are tyrants. The people who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them and are slaves.”
    Samuel Adams agreed:
    “In all good governments, the Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary powers are confined within the limits of their respective departments. If therefore it should be found that . . . either of the departments aforesaid should interfere with another, it will, if continued, essentially alter the Constitution, and may, in time, . . . be productive of such convulsions as may shake the political ground upon which we now happily stand.”
    Thomas Jefferson thus admonished that we must “cleave to the salutary distribution of powers which that [i.e., the Constitution] has established” and that if we ever move away from its separation of powers that “we shall be in danger of foundering.”
    Perhaps political philosopher Charles de Montesquieu — a favorite of the Founders, and the most-cited human source in the political writings of the Founding Era — said it best when he declared:
    “There is no liberty if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.”
    So while the Kim Davis travesty continues, perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the entire controversy is that Judge Bunning personally ordered her to jail, thus blatantly violating one of the Constitution’s most important provisions for securing the liberty of the entire people.
    Dave Barton

  2. Kim is what is wrong with a society that is changing….Manifest Destiny was but a temporary era that has proven to be the work of the devil himself.

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