Friday, September 4, 2015

The Government as Sovereign

The Truth About Guns yesterday raised the issue of the jailing of Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue any marriage licenses in order to avoid issuing said licenses to gay couples. Rather than seek their licenses from other counties in Kentucky, the social justice warriors decided to make an example of Mrs. Davis, resulting in her being jailed for contempt of court. And even though the licenses are now being issued, Mrs. Davis remains in jail.

The TTAG post wanted to gather comments from readers of whether what happened to Davis would have any impact on gun freedom or gun control. Some of the comments, when I read the story yesterday, suggested that perhaps it would set a precedent for forcing recalcitrant politicians and officials in issuing gun permits. How spectacularly naive. Government officials regularly flout court orders and laws without repercussion. Court's are selective in applying the contempt sanction, and it was only used here where Davis obviously was an easy victim for the judge and SJWs. If this is warning, it should be a warning to those sheriffs and police officials that refuse to enforce New York's SAFE Act or similar restrictions in other states.

What was more disturbing was the number of comments that essentially argued that Davis was obligated to issue the licenses because the Supreme Court had made withholding them against the law. That is, Davis' religious duties are secondary to her duties under the law. The judge in the matter employed essentially the same reasoning. From the New York Post:
US District Judge David Bunning said he had no choice but to have Kim Davis hauled off to the slammer for contempt of court after she claimed that “God’s moral law” prevented her from abiding by the Supreme Court’s June decision legalizing same-sex marriage. 
... the 49-year-old Rowan County clerk insisted she answers to a higher authority. “I promised to love Him with all my heart, mind and soul because I wanted to make heaven my home,” she told the judge, before breaking down in tears as a federal marshal escorted her, uncuffed, out of the courtroom. 
Individual beliefs do not override a Supreme Court decision, Bunning said. 
“I myself have genuinely held religious beliefs,” the judge said, but, he added, “I took an oath. Mrs. Davis took an oath. Oaths mean things.”
Yes, oaths mean something. At his trial for his actions in assisting to kill Jews in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, Adolph Eichmann proclaimed:
I cannot recognize the verdict of guilty. . . . It was my misfortune to become entangled in these atrocities. But these misdeeds did not happen according to my wishes. It was not my wish to slay people. . . . Once again I would stress that I am guilty of having been obedient, having subordinated myself to my official duties and the obligations of war service and my oath of allegiance and my oath of office, and in addition, once the war started, there was also martial law. . . . I did not persecute Jews with avidity and passion. That is what the government did. . . . At that time obedience was demanded, just as in the future it will also be demanded of the subordinate.
He was not the only Nazi to use this excuse--it was frequently advanced as part of the Nuremberg trials. To combat this defense, the war crime tribunals were forced to resort to a principle from which international law has been attempting to separate itself ever since: that certain moral duties may override orders and national laws.

And yet another example that you might remember from Sunday School:
4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

8 ¶Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.

9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.

10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:

11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

13 ¶Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king.

14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

19 ¶Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
Dan. 3:4-20.

To Judge Bunning and Adolf Eichmann, the State is/was their ultimate sovereign. To Davis and the three young men in Nebuchadnezzar's court, there is a higher sovereign. 

Make no mistake about this: governments hate competition, especially when it comes to the loyalty of the people. The issue concerning Davis has nothing to do with whether she performed a ministerial duty as an elected official, and everything  to do with the government forcing her to bow to the proclamations of the Judiciary as part of the Federal government as her ultimate sovereign. 

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