Less than 24 hours after her train-wreck interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Kim Davis sat down for what should have been a friendlier interview with Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly. After all, the fair and balanced network has been pounding the drum that the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk is just a sweet Christian lady who wants her opposition to marriage equality respected. In the process, though, we got a rare treat–a conservative darling being made to look like a liar and dissembler on the conservatives’ favorite network.
Kelly pointed out that Davis’ critics believe that her demand to opt out of granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples were granted, eventually you’d end up giving similar accommodations to “an untold number of people”–such as Catholics who will not grant a license to a Catholic who has been divorced and is trying to remarry.” Davis’ reply is simply breathtaking:
“I could, if I thought it was a valid argument. Simply, the fact is that marriage is defined as one man and one woman.”
So riddle me this, Kim. If a Hindu city official were to suddenly stop granting licenses for any restaurants at all because he didn’t want steakhouses and burger joints in his city, are you saying you wouldn’t consider his claim to be valid? How’s that any different from your refusal to issue any marriage licenses at all rather than let LGBT couples get one? Maybe Fox News’ constituency thinks there’s a difference, but I sure don’t see one.
I wondered–how in the world could Davis say this with a straight face? Then I remembered–a significant sector of Fox News’ viewership buys into the religious right shibboleth that the First Amendment was only intended to protect Christians. Plus, you have to consider that Davis’ legal team comes from one of the purveyors of this myth, Liberty Counsel.
Davis gave what may have been an even more revealing glimpse into her character earlier in the interview, when Kelly asked her what she would say to those who are wondering why she didn’t resign. Davis’ reply? “If I resign, I lose my voice.” She then whined that there was no reason for her to leave her post, especially since she’d served as a deputy clerk for 26 years before her election last year. Watch here.
From where I’m sitting, Davis would have looked a thousand times better if she’d resigned. Imagine if Davis had resigned just months after taking office–in the process, saying goodbye to more money than she’d ever earn anywhere else with just a high school education. She could have said, “If I have to choose between my faith and my paycheck, I choose my faith.” But instead, she uses her “voice” to hold all couples in her county hostage rather than grant marriage licenses to LGBT couples.
We already knew that Davis was a self-absorbed woman. Remember, she turned away anyone who wanted a marriage license, regardless of orientation, for two months. She then claimed–with a straight face–that she would be the one to suffer “irreparable injury” to her own First Amendment rights. And now she not only declares that she doesn’t want to “lose my voice” by not resigning, but that non-Christians don’t have a “valid” right to ask for an accommodation for their beliefs.
Fox News’ audience may see Davis as a victim of persecution. But if being called out for willfully use the power of government to put innocent people in harm’s way amounts to persecution, then Fox News promotes an even more warped view of the world than I first suspected.