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Contempt ruling upheld against Kentucky clerk

Kentucky's Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, makes remarks after receiving the "Cost of Discipleship" award at a Family Research Council conference in Washington on Sept. 25, 2015. Photo by James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A U.S. federal appeals court on Wednesday declined to vacate a contempt ruling that sent a Kentucky county clerk to jail last September after she refused to issue marriage licenses for gay couples.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals did lift an August 2015 injunction against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis because the law is being changed and the court order that she issue marriage licenses despite her religious objections to same-sex marriage will no longer be relevant.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court said in a brief ruling that a district court judge’s September contempt finding against Davis, issued when she defied the August injunction, did not meet the legal requirements to be vacated.

Davis’ attorneys had argued the contempt decree should not have been issued.

Davis stayed in jail for five days last September after refusing to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage. Davis claimed same-sex marriage went against her Apostolic Christian beliefs.

Earlier this year, legislators in Kentucky passed a law removing clerks’ names from the license form. The law is due to go into effect on Friday.

For that reason, the appeals court instructed the district court to remove the injunction against Davis. She had argued that her name on the document equaled her approval.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which helped represent four gay couples who sued Davis last year, said in a statement that while the law has changed in the state it was important to keep the contempt ruling against Davis.

“We’re pleased that the appeals court kept that decision on the books,” ACLU staff attorney Ria Tabacco Mar said in the statement. “It will serve as a reminder to other government officials that placing their personal views ahead of the Constitution and the rule of law is not acceptable.”

Davis’ attorney Mat Staver issued a statement in which he called the ruling a “final victory” for his client.

“The injunctions are gone and Kim Davis received the accommodation that she requested,” said Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “County clerks are no longer forced to compromise their religious liberty and conscience rights.”

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  • Kim Davis shouldn’t be allowed to keep her job, under any circumstances now. She shouldn’t have been given any accommodations anyway.

  • If she could not have complied with the responsibilities of her position, then she should have resigned. If her religious convictions prevented her ability to issue licenses to same gender couples then she should have resigned and tried to find employment elsewhere.

  • You know Mat Staver is going to stick her with the legal bill on top of a possible fine, right?

  • I disagree that she fought and defeated a “gay Goliath.” She did not defeat anyone, nor did she stop same gender couples from obtaining licenses. She did, however, prove that religion should never stop someone from doing their job. If her type of religion prevented her from performing the needed tasks, she should have resigned, save her “conscience,” and allow someone else, equally qualified, to have her position.

  • I think that not only does she allow her particular slant on religion to run her decisions, but she then bullies everyone else to abide by her rules, not the designated rules. Such a person does not belong in her position to start with.

  • Hold it right there, JP. There is something else that goes along with the “husband and wife” clause and that is: A marriage can only be considered valid if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. Deuteronomy 22:13-21. Care to rethink your stand on biblical marriage, JP?….
    .
    And by the way, Kim Davis has been married four times. By rights, she should have been stoned a long time ago. Care to call for that to be carried out? I”d vote for it.

  • Who says they need to be under civil law?? You are mixing your belief system with governmental law. They are not the same. So your argument is moot.

    If you don’t think it is right by your own faith, don’t do it. No one is forcing you, by law to marry same sex, but it seems you want to take that right away from others based on your religious belief system.

    That is wrong. God stated in the Bible to follow his law as long as it did not conflict with His. This law that allows gays to marry, states nothing that makes you go against your belief.

    Top that off, if knowing the government requires you to do something by job, you cannot do due to your relgious belief system, you should quit, not try and change the law to suit your own religious needs.

    If you do, then you have no rights either to scream like many do when another religion asks the same thing of their faith like many people do when people in the Muslim faiths speak up, or others in other faiths. You open the can of worms, you have to go with all that is just for others under the same thinking.

    Too, there are many Christian faiths that do allow same sex marriage and will perform them. If you do your reasearch you will find that there was actually a time when the Catholic Church did so.

    There are more than 43,000 different denominations of Christianity today who cannot seem to agree on much of anything. Jesus said their was one “way”.

    From his time to the year 1900AD, the “one” way blossomed into 1,500 “ways” and today, we have more than 43,000 and that number is expected to grow to some 50,000 “ways” to believe by the year 2025!

    If they can’t agree on the basics, why should anyone believe that they have anyting right at all including all their hateful and bigoted ways against so many people and the way they live and chose to use the “FREE WILL” the Christian God says he gave everyone, but scream about it when they do use it differently than you chose to use it??

    Seems very hypocritical to me and all Christians know how God and Jesus both feel about hypocrites.

    So stop trying to take rights away from others that no not affect you and your rights given. God states HE will judge. So Christians need to mind their business and let God do HIS job.

  • There would be a GREAT need of women right now in this country if all women who were not virgins were stoned to death, right? If you went back in time and restored it and killed all the women from lets say, the 1500’s, this planet’s population would be greatly reduced. None of us would be hear talking. LOL

    Even the whole idea that homosexuality is completely wrong. If only people would do their research they would know this and a great amount of HATE in this country would disappear. But, hey, Christians love to hate and find “Biblical” ways to do so, justifying it.

  • Agreed, especially since when she’s told, repeatedly I might add, that she has to obey the rules, she wines like a little baby about how “persecuted” she is for being a “good Christian.” It gets really annoying, really fast, and she’s insulting people who have experienced real persecution for their faith every time she does so.

  • Dream on loser. Laws that were designed to allow people like Davis to refuse service to gay people, on the grounds that they’re gay, were just struck down. If anything Davis won’t be remembered as a hero, but instead in the same manner that we now remember people who desperately tried to stop integration.

    Good Mississippi Christians Can’t Discriminate Against Yucky Gay Homos No More, Unfair!
    http://wonkette.com/603645/good-mississippi-christians-cant-discriminate-against-yucky-gay-homos-no-more-unfair

    Also the “Gay Goliath?” Are you joking? Gays are, and will always be a small minority in our country. Why is it that you think it took until 2015 for every state in the union to recognize same sex marriages and that was only after the supreme court told them that they had to?

  • She was even given an out. She was told that if she allowed her staff to issue the licenses she wouldn’t be charged (and her staff independently confirmed that they would have done so).

  • For the record, the prohibition against divorce appears in the New Testament. While Jesus said nothing about same-sex marriages he was very specific on the topic of divorce.

  • She’s had her 15 minutes plus, and she got to serve as a prop for Mike Huckster. I’ll be happy to never hear of her again.

  • All of us, on all sides, myself included, had written off Kim Davis. The Supremes had already legalized gay marriage, the federal judges said Game Over, and ALL the governors followed suit. American Christians were all acting like whipped dogs, and what other choice was there?

    But Kim decided NOT to surrender to Gay Goliath, even after we all said she was a flop. The Obergefell decision is just as evil and corrosive as the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott (pro-slavery) decision.

    But only Kim Davis was willing to go to JAIL to fight it. Kim was the only one who took the war all the way to the Supreme Court, and forced the Kentucky government to change its marriage licenses to accommodate Christian conscience.

    And THAT’s when American Christians stopped acting like whipped dogs. Gay Goliath was defeated.

  • No the “Gay Goliath” wasn’t defeated, because Kim Davis is hardly regarded as a Hero by the mainstream, and she didn’t win her case.

    Also you just compared a decision legalizing marriage between same sex couples to a decision that basically said that black people were not people. You are a truly sick person.

  • The point of comparison is that BOTH Supreme Court decisions are patently evil and corrosive, well worth Christians choosing to fight against.

    Surely a rational person like *yourself* would agree !!!

  • No, only someone who is homophobic would agree with you. Dred Scott denied an entire group of people their humanity, and took away their freedom. It denied people their rights. It denied them their liberty. Obergefell on the other hand, did the exact opposite. It made the government respect the rights of people where it had not before.
    You want to know the supreme court case that Obergefell V Hodges is the most similar to? Loving V Virginia where the supreme court finally struck down laws against interracial marriage.

    Gay people do not hurt anyone by being gay. Gay marriage isn’t going to destroy “traditional” heterosexual marriage. If anything it will strengthen marriage by encouraging more people to get married. Don’t even bother giving me some nonsense about how gay marriage to will lead to people marrying their cat, or their toaster oven. Neither of those things are people. They are not rational beings. They can’t enter into marriage contracts. People like you and Kim Davis are not victims. You are bigots, and history will remember you in the same way that we now remember the people who stood against integration, and that’s if history remembers you at all.

  • The man Jesus would have followed whatever is allowed in Jewish law according to Torah. The man god Jesus of the new testament would have said anything that Paul and his followers put in his mouth.

  • Kim Davis is easy to hate. Her beliefs are as unattractive as her visage. To top it off, she has been married four times so she is not a poster girl for Christian values. However, she has had the guts to stand up for what she believes. She stated that she didn’t want to put her name on a marriage certificate when it involved two partners of the same gender.

    She claims that she has had a victory because Kentucky has now change the marriage licence so that it does not require the signature of the presiding officer. The distinction between issuing the certificate without a signature and issuing it with a signature might strike many people as quite artificial, but for her it’s a matter of conscience.

    Now plenty have argued that if she couldn’t do her job she should resign. That’s all very well if you have ample resources, but for most people in her position, this honourable course is also a high risk strategy with an uncertain outcome. She decided to stay and fight, and it appears that now that the Kentucky legislature has changed the law she won’t have to put her signature on those pesky forms, and her conscience will be clear.

    Now her beliefs may be humbug, but if she is happy to issue licences to same sex couples without her signature, then so be it. As for her contempt of court conviction, it has been upheld, and as a persecuted person she can now portray it as a badge of honour. It mightn’t exactly be a win-win situation, but I think this is something we can all live with.

    As society becomes more secular, religion will inevitably become more marginal and more diverse. This will mean that the clashes between people’s consciences and public safety and order will become more frequent. We need to be flexible enough to allow people to follow their consciences as much as possible. On occasion, this will mean hard choices to be made, but we need to face these situations without demonising people.

  • “However, she has had the guts to stand up for what she believes”

    So did Nazis, Communists and ISIS. Having beliefs and willingness to follow them doesn’t mean one is worthy of praise for attacking others in service of them.

    “That’s all very well if you have ample resources, but for most people in her position, this honourable course is also a high risk strategy with an uncertain outcome.”

    So someone should only stand up for their beliefs when it is safe to do so? That is not very brave or worthy of praise.

    BTW calling her nonsense an act of conscience is insulting to people with real moral convictions.FTS

    What she did was acts of malice and self aggrandizement. Her beliefs were so strong to attack others,over it, but not strong enough to face the consequences of it or act in a moral manner. She defied the court for her own fame and for fundraising purposes of bigots.

    “We need to be flexible enough to allow people to follow their consciences as much as possible”.

    Anyone who claims its an act of conscience to attack others can go eff themselves. They deserve to be demonized for cheapening religious conviction into excuses for malice. Eff Kim Davis, eff people suggesting we need to give some deferrence to people like her.

  • It’s amazing, and very telling, that these rights to conscience only make their appearance when hyper Christians are required to behave decently, amicably, and without prejudice towards gay people. Her conscience is certainly not so delicate that she ever applied her sincerely held religious beliefs to her own behavior.

    But then, convenience is such a harsh mistress.

  • Doc is a black person. That’s one of the things that makes him…well, you know what it makes him.

  • Why are the Supreme Court decisions “evil and corrosive”?

    Because you don’t like them? Because your interpretation of your version of your holy book says so? Because you find the idea of gay sex to be icky?

    Sorry, but those are not reasons to object to the rulings. Hate to tell you this but a sizeable percentage of people in the US don’t believe in the “teachings” of your holy book. And fact is, the idea that you (or anyone) should be able to tell someone else to live their lives in accordance with your religion is seriously offensive.

  • From many comments here one would have to conclude that America is ripe for Gay Totalitarianism. Kim Davis did the right thing. It is an insanity to uphold that Obergefell vs. Hodges is based on a legitimate application of the US Constitution by the Supreme Court. It is an ideologically motivated ruling based on interpretational spin. Freedom cannot exist in a State which enforces immorality upon its population. From the Catholic perspective laws that are against nature and reason are simply null and void, and Christians should never, never obey these laws, whatever the cost, even if it is a lifetime in jail or the death penalty. In the long run our victory is sure because of our determination to never give in.

  • So you advocate against rule of law when you can use religion as an excuse for bigotry and attacking others. Why do you hate America so much?

    As for constitutional application in Obergfell, if the anti gay crowd were capable of delivering a rational and secular argument for gay marriage bans, they would not have lost the case. Your comments on the subject are just meaningless whines.

    If bigots were big on being martyrs for their beliefs, they would accept punishment without being such babies. No bothering with appeals. No seeking government endorsement. But that isn’t the case.

  • “Segregation then, segregation now, segregation forever”

    You are already on the wrong side of history. By the next generation, religious reactionaries will be taking credit for gay rights. Just like they do right now for the Civil rights movement of the 60s. Despite the fact that they were on the opposing side of that as well.

  • Right. You religious reactionaries are still pretty racist too. Just better at hiding that one as of late. 🙂

  • Completely wrong. Racism is mainly a secularist phenomenon because ‘race’ is itself a secular category. People didn’t think in racial terms during the Middle Ages. ‘Race’ became an important category for the first time in the secular climate of the XIXth century. And the terrible racist ideologies of the XXth century are the fruit of this type of thinking. Moreover, all the totalitarian movements of the last century were secularist and deeply hostile to traditional religion.

    As you probably know quite well, the Jewish as well as the Christian religions don’t have a place for racism. A racist attitude is considered a great sin, because it denies the image of G-d in one’s fellow humans. The idea that there are basic human rights is actually a “Jewish invention” so to say, because Judaism views all human beings as created by G-d and destined to love and obey him in true human brotherhood.

    From a secularist perspective, however, everything is a product of the blind forces of nature by means of evolution, which is essentially the same as saying that existence is nothing else but a struggle for power. So there is no inherent reason for human rights at all. It is all just a matter of the survival of the fittest. That’s where many racist ideologies find their source of inspiration.

  • Are you ignorant or just dishonest?

    The southern Baptist sect was founded entirely on the premise of white supremacy. As is Christian Identity. The religious right came from the remnants of the dixiecrats. The supporters of segregation.

    Of course Christian support of slavery, imperialism and genocide goes back a long ways. Culminating in genocides and sectarian violence which would not end until the end of the 20th century.

    “views all human beings as created by G-d and destined to love and obey him in true human brotherhood.”

    Unless they are gay, muslim, atheist, progressive christians, jewish, immigrants….then you claim God wants you to attack them. If Christians didn’t think the value of life was conditional and subject to tons of exceptions we would not be having this discussion.

    It’s funny how religious reactionary types want to take credit for efforts they vehemently opposed. Because it is far easier to lie than own up to an embarrassing past. Of course what makes your spiel complete and utter BS is the fact that Christian fundamentalists still support making bigotry into law. They just swapped out race for other types. But they are still racist, just better at pretending otherwise. Bigots seldom change their hands, just their targets.

  • You are confusing the behaviour of Western people who posed as Christians — or were just cultural Christians — with the teachings of biblical Christianity.

    Please take into account how many were persecuted by secular ideologies like Soviet Marxism, National Socialism, and Maoism.

    I would be very interested, how, from your perspective, all this is important at all. Since you are a secular humanist, and try to explain everything by evolution, all this sad history must be a necessary aspect of the evolutionary process I guess. So what’s the problem? From what point in evolution are there suddenly such things as “human rights”? Are they not simply an illusion which is detrimental to the selection and survival of the fittest?

  • Excuses from someone inconvenienced by facts. Lying on behalf of Christianity and apologetic arguments are well known and we’ll worn. Sorry, you are not the arbiter as to who is Christian or not. You have 500+ Christian sects with wildly varying beliefs. They are all as Christian as you are. What you call “Biblical Christianity” is just your specific sectarian view. It means nothing to this discussion. Your opinion doesn’t change who is and is not Christian.

    BTW communism was never secular. It is religion in a different trapping with its own worship, saints, theology and insistence on exclusivity of belief and fanaticism.

    Secularism is religious neutrality. As in our first amendment. It is not atheism. To attack secularism is to say you hate religious freedom. Why do you hate freedom so much?

    “Since you are a secular humanist…”

    You are misrepresenting my views and just making stuff up that you think I believe. Kindly refrain from doing so. Better yet, why don’t you ask what I believe instead of making ignorant assumptions.

    Human rights did truly not exist until we formed a government and system which was secular in nature. Guaranteeing religious freedom and banning state entanglement with religion. Something at odds with what is expected in Christianity (Even violates the first 4 commandments)

  • What is your perspective then if you’re not a secular humanist? I would be interested to know.

  • I am a secular humanist all right, but you have no idea what they or I believe. You just gave some nonsense.what is more galling is your response. Not apologizing for misrepresenting the beliefs of others but asking if I was part of the beliefs you misrepresented.

  • Now, on the basis of your Secular Humanism, and on the basis of your assertion that I have no idea what secular humanists believe, I have no other possibility than simply ask some questions:

    (1) Is the term “believe” adequate? And if so, why do you “believe” in things? For what reasons? Why re-introduce a form of faith instead of simply living without anything at all to believe in?

    (2) What is your criterion of moral right and wrong if it is not founded on the evolutionary principle of the survival of the fittest? Specifically, how do you get or deduce this criterion? (I’m less interested in the criterion itself than in how to deduce it.)

  • 1. Can you be more patronizing and insulting? Belief is not the same as faith. Faith is belief in the absence of evidence. There is also belief in the presence of evidence.

    2. See answer 1 about being patronizing and insulting. If you act because you are worried about divine punishment or reward, you are not being moral at all. You are just acting in self interest. Religious “morality” is not morality at all. It is adherence to arbitrary rules and authority. The very opposite of moral thought. Plus religious morality has so many exceptions and carve-outs as to be a complete sham. “Love thy neighbor” always seems to come with exception. Like in this case, for gays, in your case for atheists. As long as someone thinks they are acting on God’s behalf all acts, no matter how atrocious are somehow moral.

    “if it is not founded on the evolutionary principle of the survival of the fittest”

    Survival of the fittest is not a valid term in evolution anymore. It is too often misconstrued by laypeople. Fitness means for a species, all humanity, not individuals. Altruism is a form of fitness. One which works together and does not squander resources unnecessarily. Altruism is something we developed at the most basic level. Your question is insulting in its assumptions. Instead of pretending to know what I or anyone else believes, ask instead. I don’t make up stuff about your belief, you could have shown the courtesy to do the same. So for that, eff you.

    If you want to know the basis of my morality it comes down to three things:
    1. Its far more good for you to be nice to others than not nice.
    2. People don’t like things done to them that you do not like done to you.
    3. Life always has value. We only get one shot at it, it is precious in its temporary and fleeting nature.

    If you have to be taught that murder, theft and other forms of malicious harm to people is wrong, you have no connection to humanity. You are a psychopath. Your question reveals more of the lack of moral thinking of religious believers than anything else.

  • To begin with your last remark, I don’t think that what you say is tenable on your own premisses. We all have been taught that murder, theft &c are wrong, and we wouldn’t know this except by this education. To think otherwise would suppose that the human mind has innate ideas (platonic realities) for which there is no scientific or philosophical evidence.

    From an evolutionary perspective a murderer does simply what he does and that’s it. And this is so because Evolutionism has no place for free will decisions. Every action has to be explained by some kind of physical causality. In an evolutionary universe there is no place for free will and what seem to be moral human decisions is nothing else but strategic behaviour. For example the maxim that is better to be nice to others rather than not, is simple a manner of avoiding difficulties and conflicts in situations in which you are somehow dependent on them. These are the majority of the situations in our lives.

    From an evolutionary perspective it is highly avastistic to blame a murderer for what he does. Since there is no free will and no personal responsibility, the murderer is nothing else but a security concern, not a moral problem.

    When you say that acting because of reward and punishment is not moral, because it is based on self-interest, and at the same time you uphold that it is better for oneself to be nice than not nice, you are contradicting yourself. As if being nice is not self-interest!

    Basically the assumption that self-interested behaviour cannot be moral is itself erroneous. For it is completely impossible for a human being not to act in what he perceives to be his self-interest. Even a person who sacrifices his life for others considers this act as somehow good for himself to do and thus in his own interest. Judaism and Christianity never taught that we shouldn’t pursue our own interests, they only teach that there is hierarchy in our interests and that we should order all our actions according our true self-interest, i.e. according to the rank that they have in this hierarchical structure, of which the ultimate goal is to serve the Source of all being and goodness, since we are nothing else but his creatures.

    I don’t think that what you say about modern interpretations of the “survial of the fittest” principle is correct, since your distinction between the species and the individual cannot be upheld. Species only exist in individuals. They are not Platonic Ideas. And according to Evolutionism species are gradually changed in the course of the generations because of the necessity to adapt to new circumstances. So every action, individually as well as collectively, is a matter of adaptation and strategic behaviour. This is why from this perspective morality itself is only a product of our circumstances. There is nothing inherently good in Altruism. Altruism is only recommendable in a situation where it is necessary to be altruistic in order to survive, or to survive in an easy way. But if the circumstances change other behaviour is recommendable.

    And this is also true for ideas like human rights. From a naturalistic perspective, they are nothing else but a temporary arrangement in the situation of a modern liberal democracy. But liberal democracy will not last forever, and neither will human rights. A couple of centuries ago the humanist idea of human rights didn’t exist, and at some future time the idea will have outlived itself, like everything else.

    So world-views based on Evolutionism like Secular Humanism have no sufficient ground for their moral claims. These claims are utterly shallow and don’t even allow for a genuine moral viewpoint at all. According to their own principles humanists have no place for universal or eternal values or moral maxims. Everything is simply a matter of strategic behaviour and adapting onself to the circumstances.

  • “From an evolutionary perspective a murderer does simply what he does and that’s it. ”

    Stopped reading at that point. If you are not going to represent things in an honest manner, there was no need to go on any further.

    Where did you get that garbage from?

    BTW self interest is the very opposite of moral thinking. Morality is taking an action even if one does not benefit from it. For something outside of themselves. To weigh one’s actions on how it affects others regardless of personal interest.

    But more importantly you make wild untrue claims as to what others believe. That is offensive nonsense. If you are going to criticize a belief base it on what they actually say.

    Good day to you.

  • A refusal to read betrays a refusal to think and reflect on the consequences of your position. Nevertheless, thanks for the discussion.

  • Making stuff up about the beliefs of others is offensive dishonest garbage. You don’t deserve much more of a response.

  • I don’t make stuff up. I just show the logical consequences of your position. That you don’t like this is something I can understand. But not liking something is not a valid argument against it.

  • You take this a bit too personal. I don’t hate you, not at all. I appreciate our exchange of ideas and arguments.

  • You make insultingly incorrect statements about the beliefs of others in a crass and offensive manner. You do so without apology despite making it clear you are giving offense. You are not interested in the exchange of ideas. GFYS.

  • You are easily insulted. Your own statements about religion are no less insultingly and maliciously incorrect. Most of the time I chose to ignore this, because it would only distract from the main subject.

    You treat religion as primitive nonsense, without even the willingness to consider what is really at stake. From my viewpoint this only illustrates the barbarian mentality of modern humanists, who deny or choose to remain ignorant of almost the entire heritage of Western civilization: its jewish and biblical roots, morality, liturgy, traditions, philosophy and theology, &c. While every Catholic seminarist is taught about humanists like Spinoza or Kant, humanists are often complete ignoramuses about Christian thinkers like Augustine or Thomas Aquinas.

    But to clarify: to draw the consequences of a certain mentality or viewpoint, or to dig a bit in order to reveal its deeper presuppositions — even if they offend its defender — is really not insulting at all.

  • You make up the stuff you say about Christianity and religion in general to such a degree of distortion that a scholar can only laugh about it.

  • Not at all. I rely on what they say in public. Usually using their own quotes. I don’t pretend to claim you or anyone else believes something beyond what you tell me. Lets face it, you are a d-bag. You are also boring. Find another thread. This one has been run into the ground.

  • I’m glad to hear that I’m boring, because that’s a mark of the medieval scholar. Your further name-calling is of course your own reponsibility, it only confirms that you are out of arguments and that the high horse of “ethical” humanists is just a facade for undilated hatred.

    To judge religion or theology on what uninformed lay people scream about in public is nonsensical and has nothing to do with scholarship.

  • The truth is, Christians cannot survive in today’s society with borrowing from the secular worldview. Morality is determined by society, always has been and always will be. What is considered objective morality is only objective within that society, although many similarities exist between societies. No such thing as a moral law giver or absolute moral values. Christians couldn’t even use their guidebook without interpretation and throwing out the parts that no longer apply.

  • First, don’t forget that the secular worldview is a derivative of Christianity and still shows the avatisms — from the secular perspective — of personhood, personal responsibility and free will, concepts that are utterly irreconciable with materialistic evolutionism which seems to be the philosophical basis of today’s Secularism.

    Second, the idea that morality is determined by society is philosophically flawed, because it runs into a similar fundamental difficulty as for instance the consensus-view of truth. For in such a model no society would be able to ask itself the critical question whether its own moral system is right or wrong, because it would be right a priori, and therefore unchangeable. But this is not the case. The fact that critical reflection is possible reveals that the real source of morality is elsewhere.

    Third, Christians have never accepted and will never accept that a secular worldview determines their morality. This doesn’t deny that there is some common ground between Christians and non-Christians in the concept of Natural Law. One of the bigger problems is that today’s secularists reject this concept.

    Christianity and Judaism have always upheld that whatever is decided by secular society in the domain of morality must be critically examined. And both religions have always been firm and will always be firm in rejecting immoral or irreligious behaviour forced upon them, if necessary, by being persecuted and slaughtered rather than giving in to idolatrous or immoral demands. This was so in the days of the Roman Empire, when Christians and Jews refused to sacrifice incense to the Emperor. It is still true today.

  • No, the secular worldview is a product of society and not derived from Christianity, and is responsible for correcting many immoral Christian practices like slavery, indentured servitude, as well as human rights issues like equality for women and people of all races. Christianity was the foundation for human rights abuse for centuries.

  • Historically, this is false. There was no idea of human rights before the emergence of monotheism, which in the Western world happened when Christianity became dominant. Of course one can discuss about exactly what are the human rights and in this question modern Humanism and Christianity differ. The decisive point, however, is that modern Humanism is itself nothing but a shallow residue of Christianity. It is a reduction of Christianity to the “this world” aspects of it. It began as a humanistic re-interpretation of traditional Christianity, evolved through Deism, and finally became completely secular and atheistic. But this whole process is nothing else but the process of the decay of the Christian world order, not the creation of something new. In the contemporay situation, the only foundation left for human rights are State power and social power relations. When there is no God there are no rights at all, because iin that situation everything is morally permitted. The only restraint on this is the power of others and the collective power of the State.

    Since in the modern world the idea of a transcendent reality has been given up, there is no limit to the power aspirations of the State. And where this State becomes totalitarian — which is a long-term tendency in the Western world — human rights will be abrogated. The process of increasing State power and technological control will soon make slaves of us all.

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