George Takei Just Slammed Kim Davis Again in This Damning Editorial

September 15th 2015

Kyle Jaeger

Actor and activist George Takei has spoken out against Kim Davis supporters on more than one occasion, raising important questions about the constitutionality of the Kentucky clerk's refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Rowan County, Kentucky. In particular, Takei has called attention to the apparent hypocrisy of Davis and her supporters, who maintain strong convictions about what the First Amendment says about the freedom of religion in America but fail to appreciate the importance of the Establishment Clause.

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In a recent op-ed published by the Daily Beast, Takei offers a lesson in "high-school civics," as he describes it, and puts the Davis controversy into perspective, commenting on the fundamental definition and function of the First Amendment and how Davis supporters are getting it wrong. Though they appear to understand the first part of the constitutional clause—the Freedom of Worship guarentee—they are missing the second part: the Establishment Clause.

That clause, as Takei explains, prohibits the government from "aiding or assisting any religion, or religious viewpoint, over any others." It serves as the foundation of our country's separation of church and state, included by our founding fathers in an effort to prevent any particular religious worldview from dictating law and order in America. "So what does the Establishment Clause have to do with Kim Davis?" Takei asks in his editorial. "It’s actually rather straightforward."

"She is a government employee charged with performing a clerical task (issuing a marriage license). As an employee of the government, the moment she imposed her own personal religious beliefs (that only straight couples should be married), she raised an Establishment Clause problem. By insisting on applying God’s law (or at least her interpretation of it) over the civil law, she gave greater weight by the government to a particular religious viewpoint, namely her own brand of Christianity. This was a plain violation of the Establishment Clause."

Takei also discussed the constitutional limitations of the First Amendment as it applies to Davis, who was released from jail last week after a federal judge ordered her arrest on September 3. He writes that she is in clear violation of the Constitution because she has used her position in public office to impose her religious views on those she is meant to serve.

"In other words, Ms. Davis, as an officer of the county, is subject to the Establishment Clause limitations, and precisely because she is a government employee, does not have the right to claim First Amendment protection either for her speech or for her actions based on her faith," he wrote. "The vociferous defense of her behavior by some indeed suggests that they aren’t really very interested in maintaining this separation at all."

In another opinion piece published by MSNBC today, Takei wrote about why it is historically incorrect to draw parallels between Davis and Rosa Parks, arguing that a more appropriate historical comparison would be between the clerk and Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who defied federal authorities and stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama in 1963, blocking Black students from going to class.


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