Actor George Takei shut down Kim Davis supporters on Facebook on Tuesday with a lesson on civics.
Following Kim Davis’ release from a Kentucky jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Takei wrote that the spectacle had become a “circus.”
“So let us be clear: This woman is no hero to be celebrated,” Takei explained, pointing to a video of Davis exiting the jail as ‘Eye of the Tiger’ played over loud speakers. “She broke her oath to uphold the Constitution and defied a court order so she could deny government services to couples who are legally entitled to be married.”
“She is entitled to hold her religious beliefs, but not to impose those beliefs on others,” he continued. “If she had denied marriage certificates to an interracial couple, would people cheer her? Would presidential candidates flock to her side?”
“In our society, we obey civil laws, not religious ones. To suggest otherwise is, simply put, entirely un-American.”
A Kim Davis supporter named Shawn replied: “George, learn the first amendment.”
Several hours later, Takei returned with a civics lesson that silenced Shawn.
The First Amendment has two clauses that are relevant here. One is the Establishment Clause, and the other is the Prohibition Clause. Congress may not prohibit free worship, and that is what so many claim, wrongly, is being violated. But it is also not empowered to establish any religion, nor to enact any laws favoring one religion over the other. Permitting a state employee to foist her religion upon others, denying them a fundamental right as articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell, would be to give government, through this agent, the power to impose religious doctrine and viewpoint. That it cannot do. Ms. Davis is in effect establishing religion by using her governmental powers to impose her religious views.
“I know the First Amendment, Shawn. Do you?” the actor concluded.