Earlier this week, more than a few heads turned, and a few may have exploded, when it appeared that Kim Davis applauded President Obama’s last State of the Union address. Well, it turns out that the rogue clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky wasn’t nearly as pleased with the speech as we first thought. After the speech, she told a large cable audience that she really wasn’t that impressed.
While many outlets claimed that Davis said that the speech was good, in truth Davis merely said that “it was a speech.” Later that night, Davis sat down with Jason Calvi of Eternal Word Television Network, the large Catholic-oriented cable network, to discuss just what kind of speech she thought it was. Watch here.
Not surprisingly, Davis was none too pleased when Obama spoke about marriage equality–“the stand that I stood against.” She repeated her earlier claim that it was never “a gay or a lesbian issue” for her, but simply a matter of “standing up for the Word of God.”
Davis also felt considerable chagrin at Obama’s denunciation of Islamophobia.
“One of the things that he focused on was that we should not discriminate against Muslims or persecute them, but he never once said anything about the people of the Christian faith who are being so tried and tested and being mashed down, literally, with his agenda.”
What Davis doesn’t know–or, more likely, what she and her handlers at Liberty Counsel don’t want you to know–is that Obama has been very much involved in fighting for Christians who are experiencing persecution. For instance, early Saturday morning, the White House announced that Iran had freed four Iranian-Americans who were incarcerated in Iranian prisons. While most of the attention has been focused on Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, one of the other prisoners who was freed was Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor who has languished in prison since 2012.
Abedini had become the face of the persecuted church in recent years. My girlfriend is very involved in keeping an eye on the persecuted church, and told me that her church has been praying for him to be freed for four years. To give you an idea how high a priority Abedini’s plight was for the White House, John Kerry himself had repeatedly called for his release. It would be one thing for an ambassador to call for the release of an American who has been unjustly imprisoned. But the Secretary of State? That, ladies and gentlemen, is what they call a BFD. Doesn’t sound like Abedini was being “mashed down” by this president.
But then again, Davis is the last person who should be saying anything about persecution. This is a woman who told the right’s favorite cable network, Fox News, that Christians are the only ones who have any business calling for their beliefs to be respected by our government. And, of course, she has yet to offer any explanation why she didn’t simply resign her post when the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. After all, if this really was “a heaven or hell decision” for her, as she claimed, why didn’t she just step down? She would have looked a thousand times better had she said, “If I have to choose between my faith and my job, I choose my faith.”
We already knew that Davis is the poster child for the religious right’s warped idea of persecution. After all, last fall the Family Research Council had the gall to liken her to a Sudanese woman who was actually threatened with execution unless she renounced Christianity in favor of Islam. But after this dense cable appearance, I have to hope that Davis is in the 59th second of her 15th minute of fame.