Author Topic: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?  (Read 5141 times)

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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2015, 04:36:19 PM »
I don't have as big if a problem as her not doing her job as a way of protest as I do with her being the only person in the county being able to issue a marriage license, and earning a $80k paycheck to do so. How is this an elected position anyway?

You seem to be claiming that governmental authority should be final and absolute regardless of the individual.   

Not to speak for anyone else, but I think this goes along with my thought. Her not being able to issue a marriage license isn't the same as people not being able to get a marriage license. If someone meets the legal requirements, they should be able to receive a license. Her being the sole gatekeeper to their receiving their lawful rights is the problem.
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Offline portnoy311

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2015, 04:36:42 PM »
I'm saying one's personal religious beliefs have absolutely no place in the public arena, especially when it comes to impacting others.

Offline Chino

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2015, 04:38:13 PM »
So am I understanding you correctly?   You seem to be claiming that governmental authority should be final and absolute regardless of the individual.   

When it comes to a government job, one which is paid for with tax payer money, yes.

Offline jammindude

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2015, 04:46:25 PM »
And we're getting back into my belief that any Christian claiming to follow the Bible really shouldn't hold any public office of any kind in the first place.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2015, 04:51:26 PM »
Could everyone read Chino's last post again, please?

There are really two arguments here, and they are not the same.   This isn't about "standing up for what you believe in".  She can - and should - do that by stepping down from her post.   This is NOT a case of her being forced against her principles to do something she doesn't want to do.  This is her not fulfilling the duties of her job BY CHOICE. That is a HUGE distinction.

Jammin, you are usually spot on on these issues, but the notion that this is a case of "government authority" being "final and absolute".  Let's not make this any more than it is.  If I'm a janitor, and my job is to sweep and mop all the floors, and I sweep, but don't mop, and my boss comes in and finds me playing Angry Birds on my phone, I should be fired.  Notwithstanding the elected nature of her position, that's the case here.  I understand that someone might not be able to get a marriage license immediately, but that isn't a permanent harm, and it isn't a harm that can't be compensated for.   Generally you can't sue elected officials (sovereign immunity) but who knows; if you can show an aspect of willful misconduct, or negligence, perhaps there is a claim there.

Online El Barto

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2015, 05:02:26 PM »
I don't have as big if a problem as her not doing her job as a way of protest as I do with her being the only person in the county being able to issue a marriage license, and earning a $80k paycheck to do so. How is this an elected position anyway?
Local politics are full of strange, archaic things like that. In Texas you make all of your tax payments out to an individual, John R. Ames in Dallas. Not his office, or the State of Texas, but to him personally. Presumably there's a reason why this made sense back in the 1800s or something, and it's probably the same with that woman and the clerk's office.

One thing I don't get is why her deputies (she has a staff) can't sign the certificate. Has she ordered them not to and can't that be superseded?
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2015, 05:17:28 PM »
I hadn't heard about this until now, but it seems simple:

It is her job to give out marriage licenses.

It is NOT her job to decided who should get them and who shouldn't.

If she refuses to do her job, then that is grounds for termination.

Offline jammindude

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2015, 05:18:01 PM »
That comment was more aimed at Portnoy311, who I felt was making the issue a lot more black and white than it really is.   Not intended as antagonistic, but to make a point about his claims (which seemed to me to be absolute).

As far as the janitor....lets not overlook the fact that the job description suddenly changed.    If the janitor was suddenly asked to go clean a gas chamber for the next batch which had not previously been a part of his duties, he might be moved to decline....regardless if they told him it was his job to do so or not.     And yes, that's extreme, but it's a personally held belief that would violate his conscience.   He could argue that he has nothing to do with the cause and effect of what the chamber does, but it also might make him feel uncomfortable.      If it violates his conscience, he should decline and be prepared to possibly find employment elsewhere.     As I stated earlier, I've turned down work that would otherwise put money in my pocket simply because it would violate my conscience.
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Offline kingshmegland

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2015, 06:41:51 PM »
Fire her ass right away.  Just like the rebel flag, you want to be a JOP in your own house fine.  In a government office, your personal beliefs do not matter when it comes to your job.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 07:27:06 PM by kingshmegland »
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Offline orcus116

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2015, 07:22:02 PM »
As far as the janitor....lets not overlook the fact that the job description suddenly changed.

How? She's still giving out marriage licenses and the only thing that has changed is the addition of new some clientele.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2015, 08:20:39 PM »
Her job description hasn't changed. She is supposed to issue marriage licenses to couples who legally qualify for them. It is not her job to morally approve of or give her blessing to each marriage.
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Offline jammindude

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2015, 09:30:08 PM »
 If her job didn't change then there's been no change whatsoever to the institution of marriage in this country in the last several years. You can't have it both ways, there has been a change.
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Offline portnoy311

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2015, 10:29:48 PM »
It's not up to someone in her position to make moral judgments on the marriages. She is giving herself that power which she shouldn't have. Her job didn't change, she adopted powers that she shouldn't have.

Offline jammindude

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2015, 11:15:09 PM »
 That's like saying the pharmacist job is simply to handout pills. But honestly, whether you agree with it or not, if you were asked to do something in your job that in your personally held belief was aiding to kill a living thing, I would hope that you would feel obliged to refuse regardless if your boss said that you had to or not.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2015, 11:50:53 PM »
That's like saying the pharmacist job is simply to handout pills.

That is the pharmacist's job. The janitor's job is to clean the toilets. The clerk's job is to assign licenses to those who meet the legal requirements to marry.

We aren't questioning her right to refuse (at least I am not). We are questioning the process by which the legal processes for citizens in this whole county grinds to a halt based solely on the discretion of one person's moral righteousness.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 11:57:14 PM by Cool Chris »
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Offline jammindude

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #50 on: September 02, 2015, 12:39:35 AM »
Calvin, I don't agree with you all the time, but you are spot on with that one
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2015, 05:59:39 AM »
That's like saying the pharmacist job is simply to handout pills. But honestly, whether you agree with it or not, if you were asked to do something in your job that in your personally held belief was aiding to kill a living thing, I would hope that you would feel obliged to refuse regardless if your boss said that you had to or not.

That's a poor analogy.  A pharmacist is not a government job, the last time I checked.  When you have a government job, your personal held beliefs do not matter when it comes to doing it.  Her job is to give out marriage licenses; her job is NOT to act like the moral police and decide who should get them.

Offline Chino

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2015, 06:13:03 AM »
If her job didn't change then there's been no change whatsoever to the institution of marriage in this country in the last several years. You can't have it both ways, there has been a change.

I don't think this is the case. Go back to the janitor example for a second. The situation in Kentucky would be akin to a coffee place expanding its selection. When the janitor started there, he/she may have only had to sweep up coffee grounds. Now the coffee place sells tea as well. The janitor will now have to sweep up fallen coffee grounds as well as fallen tea. The janitor's job description is to sweep the floor, regardless what's on it. The owner says "here are the four walls of my business. Your job is to keep the floor within these walls clean and safe". The owner dictates what falls on the floor, just as the government decides who can get married.

This woman works for the government and her job is to hand out marriage licenses to whoever the government says can legally be married. She's failing to do that. The janitor wouldn't be able to get away with seeping up the coffee and not the tea just because he/she hates tea.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 06:34:52 AM by Chino »

Offline kaos2900

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #53 on: September 02, 2015, 06:27:34 AM »
I find it commendable that she is sticking up for her beliefs. That being said, it is not her job to pick who can get a marriage license. If she feels so strongly about it then she just quit before she gets fired.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2015, 06:40:49 AM »
If her job didn't change then there's been no change whatsoever to the institution of marriage in this country in the last several years. You can't have it both ways, there has been a change.
The only thing that changed is who is legally qualified to get married, which is not something that was EVER under her purview - she only had to follow the law.  She still has to follow the law.

Her job has not changed.

This is not a religious liberty issue.  Her job is not infringing on her right to practice her religion.

If her job required her to work on Sunday, THAT might be considered an infringement on her religion, if her religion held Sunday to be a day of rest.  But this is not.  She just has to make sure the applicants are legally qualified to get married, and issue the license.  That is all.

As an elected civil servant, she has to swear an oath to uphold her office and uphold the law.  She is now refusing to do so, and she is using "religious liberty" as a smokescreen to avoid doing a part of her job that she doesn't want to do.  That is all.

If she intends to continue refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone who is legally qualified to have one, she should step down, or be held in contempt of court.  That's it.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2015, 08:12:05 AM »
Just pay her the remainder of her contract and let her go.  Easy.

Nah. As soon as she gets the boot I'm sure someone will make her a Go Fund Me page and she'll get a couple hundred grand in support. No need to funnel more tax dollars her way.

Online El Barto

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2015, 08:41:14 AM »
This woman really doesn't seem to get it. Not only do I still think that God wants her to obey the damn law, she's blundered this whole Christianity thing even worse. Before "answering the call," or whatever euphemism we like to use for selling one's soul, she was divorced numerous times and conceived her kiddos while still married to someone not their father. I've got no problem with that, and perhaps God doesn't either; who the hell knows? Yet it seems to me that this is denying others the chance to do sinful things and perhaps learn and/or atone for them like she would say she's done. Isn't that even more contrary to God's will than damn near anything else?

I consider trying to interpret God's will to be akin to Madame Lazara doing a cold read while staring into a crystal ball, but one thing I've picked up on over the years is that it isn't a non-deity's place to prevent others from committing sin--we're grossly unqualified.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #57 on: September 02, 2015, 08:47:09 AM »
She is certainly no moral authority on the sanctity of marriage.

She's just a doofus.
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Offline jammindude

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #58 on: September 02, 2015, 09:52:06 AM »
If her job didn't change then there's been no change whatsoever to the institution of marriage in this country in the last several years. You can't have it both ways, there has been a change.
The only thing that changed is who is legally qualified to get married, which is not something that was EVER under her purview - she only had to follow the law.  She still has to follow the law.

Her job has not changed.

This is not a religious liberty issue.  Her job is not infringing on her right to practice her religion.

If her job required her to work on Sunday, THAT might be considered an infringement on her religion, if her religion held Sunday to be a day of rest.  But this is not.  She just has to make sure the applicants are legally qualified to get married, and issue the license.  That is all.

As an elected civil servant, she has to swear an oath to uphold her office and uphold the law.  She is now refusing to do so, and she is using "religious liberty" as a smokescreen to avoid doing a part of her job that she doesn't want to do.  That is all.

If she intends to continue refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone who is legally qualified to have one, she should step down, or be held in contempt of court.  That's it.

If it is against her religion to personally be a party to anything that offends God then it absolutely DOES infringe on her religion.

When I worked retail, I refused to put up Xmas decorations.   It could have been viewed as a part of my job.   But someone else had to put out the Xmas stuff because I wouldn't do it.   It infringed upon my personal religious beliefs to do so.    But hey....a retail store sells Xmas stuff right?   Do I have the right to refuse to put out wrapping paper just because it's got Xmas trees on it?   Yes.   I do.   


Janitor coffee/tea thing.   Are you really comparing the monumental change that has taken place to something so miniscule?   It really doesn't fit.   This is a moral issue for many people.     And again, I want to state....she should step down....period.   The rigamorole isn't going to get her anywhere.    But I respect the right of anyone to not take part in, or be a party to anything they find to be immoral for them.....regardless of their history. 

I don't pass judgement on this woman, because I don't know all the circumstances.     To me, *IF* she was spewing piss and vinegar and vitriol at people....considering her history, that might be a bit hypocritical.    But simply refusing to be a party to something you feel is immoral is not hypocritical no matter what your history is.      If you used to do tons of cocaine and ruined your life because of it, then it is not hypocritical if you turn around and tell your kids not to do cocaine and that if they choose that lifestyle, you won't support them or be a party to it.   
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Online El Barto

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #59 on: September 02, 2015, 09:57:14 AM »
When I worked retail, I refused to put up Xmas decorations.   It could have been viewed as a part of my job.   But someone else had to put out the Xmas stuff because I wouldn't do it.   It infringed upon my personal religious beliefs to do so.    But hey....a retail store sells Xmas stuff right?   Do I have the right to refuse to put out wrapping paper just because it's got Xmas trees on it?   Yes.   I do.   
Just clarifying here, has anybody actually said that she doesn't have that right? We're all saying, and you agree, that what she doesn't have is the right to keep a job that she's not capable of performing.  You're not suggesting that your retail job shouldn't have been able to shitcan you for not putting out wrapping paper, are you?
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #60 on: September 02, 2015, 09:58:53 AM »
If her job didn't change then there's been no change whatsoever to the institution of marriage in this country in the last several years. You can't have it both ways, there has been a change.
The only thing that changed is who is legally qualified to get married, which is not something that was EVER under her purview - she only had to follow the law.  She still has to follow the law.

Her job has not changed.

This is not a religious liberty issue.  Her job is not infringing on her right to practice her religion.

If her job required her to work on Sunday, THAT might be considered an infringement on her religion, if her religion held Sunday to be a day of rest.  But this is not.  She just has to make sure the applicants are legally qualified to get married, and issue the license.  That is all.

As an elected civil servant, she has to swear an oath to uphold her office and uphold the law.  She is now refusing to do so, and she is using "religious liberty" as a smokescreen to avoid doing a part of her job that she doesn't want to do.  That is all.

If she intends to continue refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone who is legally qualified to have one, she should step down, or be held in contempt of court.  That's it.

If it is against her religion to personally be a party to anything that offends God then it absolutely DOES infringe on her religion.

When I worked retail, I refused to put up Xmas decorations.   It could have been viewed as a part of my job.   But someone else had to put out the Xmas stuff because I wouldn't do it.   It infringed upon my personal religious beliefs to do so.    But hey....a retail store sells Xmas stuff right?   Do I have the right to refuse to put out wrapping paper just because it's got Xmas trees on it?   Yes.   I do.   
You weren't elected by the people to work retail, or swear an oath to put up all the decorations.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #61 on: September 02, 2015, 10:01:33 AM »
Janitor coffee/tea thing.   Are you really comparing the monumental change that has taken place to something so miniscule?   

Yes, because at their core they are the exact same example, the only difference being the janitor can be fired on the spot and this woman can't.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #62 on: September 02, 2015, 10:48:02 AM »
If her job didn't change then there's been no change whatsoever to the institution of marriage in this country in the last several years. You can't have it both ways, there has been a change.

No, Jammin; read Hef's post.  He has it spot on:   the job is simple:  issue marriage licenses to those that legally qualify.   THAT'S IT.   That the qualifications may change is immaterial; does the driver's license issuer's job change if some of the questions on the test change?  Of course not; to them it's transparent. 

Look; this woman has many ways of exercising her right to choose, and her right to have her own morals.  This simply isn't one of them.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #63 on: September 02, 2015, 10:55:46 AM »

When I worked retail, I refused to put up Xmas decorations.   It could have been viewed as a part of my job.   But someone else had to put out the Xmas stuff because I wouldn't do it.   It infringed upon my personal religious beliefs to do so.    But hey....a retail store sells Xmas stuff right?   Do I have the right to refuse to put out wrapping paper just because it's got Xmas trees on it?   Yes.   I do.   

And will all due respect (which you know you've earned with me), I would have fired you on the spot.   

Quote
Janitor coffee/tea thing.   Are you really comparing the monumental change that has taken place to something so miniscule?   It really doesn't fit.   This is a moral issue for many people.     And again, I want to state....she should step down....period.   The rigamorole isn't going to get her anywhere.    But I respect the right of anyone to not take part in, or be a party to anything they find to be immoral for them.....regardless of their history. 

THEN DON'T DO THE JOB, Jammin.  I don't know why this is so hard; it isn't about the moral issue.  It's about making a choice and not accepting the consequences of that choice.   There's really no more to this.  She CHOSE that job; I don't feel she can CHOOSE that job, get in there, then choose not to do that job.   If she views the changes as more than "adding tea leaves to the floor", then it is time to seek other work. 

This is now just grandstanding and publicity whoring.  Her last name isn't "Kardashian", "West", or "Cyrus", is it?

Quote
I don't pass judgement on this woman, because I don't know all the circumstances.     To me, *IF* she was spewing piss and vinegar and vitriol at people....considering her history, that might be a bit hypocritical.    But simply refusing to be a party to something you feel is immoral is not hypocritical no matter what your history is.      If you used to do tons of cocaine and ruined your life because of it, then it is not hypocritical if you turn around and tell your kids not to do cocaine and that if they choose that lifestyle, you won't support them or be a party to it.

Wouldn't argue that one bit.   But that's not what this is.   You can't take all this in a vacuum.    SHE CHOSE TO DO THAT JOB.  ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR CHOICES.

Offline Chino

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #64 on: September 02, 2015, 11:12:37 AM »
This woman really doesn't seem to get it. Not only do I still think that God wants her to obey the damn law, she's blundered this whole Christianity thing even worse. Before "answering the call," or whatever euphemism we like to use for selling one's soul, she was divorced numerous times and conceived her kiddos while still married to someone not their father. I've got no problem with that, and perhaps God doesn't either; who the hell knows? Yet it seems to me that this is denying others the chance to do sinful things and perhaps learn and/or atone for them like she would say she's done. Isn't that even more contrary to God's will than damn near anything else?

I consider trying to interpret God's will to be akin to Madame Lazara doing a cold read while staring into a crystal ball, but one thing I've picked up on over the years is that it isn't a non-deity's place to prevent others from committing sin--we're grossly unqualified.


Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #65 on: September 02, 2015, 11:38:39 AM »
lol
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Offline portnoy311

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #66 on: September 02, 2015, 02:21:46 PM »
Nah. As soon as she gets the boot I'm sure someone will make her a Go Fund Me page and she'll get a couple hundred grand in support. No need to funnel more tax dollars her way.

Ok.  I'm taking notes because the real problem here is not a government official not performing their job, but the fact that the people obsessing over her gleefully overlook other government officials refusing to do their job duties because they agree with it on their moral basis, not a basis of law.

My problem is the hypocrisy.


Well, this is basically the "why do you care about this, when problem B still exists" fallacious argument. Your vague hypothetical blanket statement in no way absolves her of the ridiculous behavior and impact she's having on her community. It is fully reasonable to be outraged by someone taking their religious morality and forcing it on other individuals illegally.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #67 on: September 02, 2015, 04:43:29 PM »
The job description changed because she was asked to do something that was hazardous to her health (spiritual health).
 

As a spiritual person who agrees that it's open season in this country on spiritual people, I find your statement there utterly laughable.  Her spiritual health?  That could set a dangerous precedent, whereabout anyone could refuse to do anything job-related under the guise of "it goes against my spiritual/mental/etc. health."

Ultimately, this woman will lose her job and then probably make lots of money on the talk show circuit, so she'll come out a winner in the end. God bless America.  :lol :lol

Offline jammindude

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #68 on: September 02, 2015, 05:32:14 PM »
Stadler, no you couldn't fire me. Not for that. Not if I was an otherwise model employee.

That being said, I agree with everyone that public office is different...which just proves that no Christian should hold a public office in the first place.

I still feel bad about all the hate speech going back and forth on this. I see many people here at least respecting her right to refuse, even if she should step down, but many show no respect for her right to refuse at all. And I find that very sad...and completely at odds with the concept of personal liberty.
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Offline portnoy311

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Re: Kentucky Clerk...how far can government go?
« Reply #69 on: September 02, 2015, 05:42:32 PM »
Well, this is basically the "why do you care about this, when problem B still exists" fallacious argument.

I'm pointing out the partisanship.  You seem to be very keen on that, except when it applies to you.

No, you're using a logical fallacy to attack Obama which makes no sense to the current conversation. Which, I must point out it is obvious you have no idea what my views on him are.

JD, I really wish you'd recognize there is a difference between "personal liberty" and fulfilling her duties she is accepting a paycheck for. It is within the personal liberties of the law abiding citizens to get married, and not have her signle handedly block their marriages. It is not within her civil liberties to continue being paid for a job she is not performing, and she should be brought up on contempt of court.