Author Archive | Denny Burk

Judge jails Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis for her refusal to issue marriage licenses

From NBC News:

A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky clerk to jail after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has turned away same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses, was found in contempt of court and taken into custody on Thursday.

Davis, 49, was in federal district court to appear before a judge after refusing to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples in Rowan County. Davis, an Apostolic Christian, has said doing so would “violate God’s definition of marriage” and infringe on her personal religious beliefs.

District Court Judge David Bunning said that she is bound by an oath of office to perform her duties under the law, and ordered her to jail.

The Associated Press is reporting that any other clerks who refuse to comply can be jailed too.

Hillary Clinton has just tweeted her support for jailing Kim Davis:

As Clinton and other gay marriage supporters are cheering the incarceration of Kim Davis, Nicholas Frankovich points out that the movement to legalize gay marriage was rife with defying the law, yet none of those lawbreakers were put in jail. He writes:

In 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of California state law.

In 2004, Mayor Jason West of New Paltz directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of New York state law.

In 2010, attorney general Jerry Brown declined to answer legal challenges to California’s marriage law, which, after Proposition 8, was that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid.” His job was to represent the state of California in legal matters and defend its laws, including those he didn’t like.

In 2013, D. Bruce Hanes, an official of Montgomery County, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of Pennsylvania state law.

The history of the movement to redefine marriage is shot through with defiance of laws that those who broke them sincerely felt were deeply wrong. To be consistent, anyone who thinks that Newsom, West, Brown, and Hanes were courageous and principled must now judge Davis by the same standard.

The Washington Post has this lede in its report:

A county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples was found in contempt of court Thursday and taken into custody.

“The idea of natural law superceding this court’s authority would be a dangerous precedent indeed,” U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning told Rowan County clerk Kim Davis.

“Thank you, judge,” she replied before being removed from the courtroom by U.S. marshals.

Christian conservatives have disagreed whether Kim Davis’ approach in this case was the right one (see Doug Wilson, Ryan Anderson, Rod Dreher). Hopefully, we can all agree now that it is a travesty that she has been incarcerated. Lord, have mercy.

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What does Trump believe anyway?

D. C. Innes has a short piece on Donald Trump’s religious beliefs. Here’s the long and short of it. Even though Trump claims to be Presbyterian, he seems only to be a nominal Presbyterian at best. Innes writes:

So Donald Trump, the early Republican frontrunner for 2016, has come under scrutiny for his own religious beliefs. If he were an ordinary candidate, he would simply say he’s a “Presbyterian,” and that would be the end of it. But because he comes across as so arrogant, coarse, and self-absorbed, the opposite of Christian humility, people have been prying into the substance behind his boasts of religion.

Continue Reading →

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Little Girl in trouble for bringing Wonder Woman lunchbox to school

 Jonah Goldberg writes about a little girl who got in trouble with school authorities for bringing a Wonder Woman lunchbox to school (front and back pictured at right). Why the trouble? Because the school’s policy is that children may not wear clothes or carry gear with pictures of persons who use violence to solve problems. So Wonder Woman was ruled out of order. Jonah Goldberg’s commentary is spot-on. He writes:

If you know anything about superheroes, the underlying morality is pretty much everything. Supervillains use their powers for evil ends. Superheroes use theirs to protect the vulnerable and uphold the good. Teaching kids that there’s no difference between the two is the very opposite of moral education.

It reminds me of William F. Buckley’s famous retort to those who claimed there was no moral distinction between the United States and the Soviet Union. If you have one man who pushes old ladies in front of oncoming buses, Buckley explained, and you have another man who pushes old ladies out of the way of oncoming buses, it simply will not do to describe them both as the sorts of men who push old ladies around.

A country, and a civilization, that actively chooses to render such distinctions meaningless has lost the confidence to sustain itself.

Read the rest here.

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No Grave Could Keep – by Kenwood Music

The worship team from Kenwood Baptist Church—where I serve as one of the pastors—has just released a recording of some of the songs we sing in worship. I love this music, and I love these songs. My fellow elder Matt Damico is the leader of this group, and I am so very grateful for him, his team, and how they lead us in song every week. You can buy the album on iTunes or Amazon, but I would encourage you purchase through Bandcamp.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if pressed I guess I would choose “All I Need.” It’s a rendering of the end of Psalm 73:

My heart and my flesh will fail me,
but my God, You’re all I ever need.
You are my strength and my portion,
You are everything, O Lord You carry me.
My God, You’re enough for me.

You can download here or listen/download below. Continue Reading →

Why I went to Planned Parenthood on Saturday

Yesterday, I took part in a nationwide protest against Planned Parenthood. At over 300 Planned Parenthood clinics across the country, people turned out by the thousands to protest the nation’s leading abortion provider. Planned Parenthood performs over 300,000 abortions every year, and we now know that they are also selling the body parts of the babies that they kill. It is a macabre business that the United States government subsidizes to the tune of nearly a half billion dollars per year. We turned out yesterday to say enough is enough. It is time to end federal funding for this travesty, and it is time to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for any laws they have broken. Continue Reading →

Some fatherly advice for young men contemplating an affair

1 My son, give attention to my wisdom,
Incline your ear to my understanding;
2 That you may observe discretion,
And your lips may reserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
And smoother than oil is her speech;
4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of the grave.
6 She does not ponder the path of life;
Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

Continue Reading →

Should Christians lionize Stephen Colbert?

Robbie George issues a pointed admonition about Stephen Colbert:

For Christians—Catholics in particular—to lionize this guy is a huge mistake. It’s on a par with lionizing Wendell Berry, something many Christians—especially Evangelicals—did. I understand the temptation to “claim” as one of our own an icon of the cultural elite, but caveat emptor. When push comes to shove, and the choice is between Judaeo-Christian morality and liberal orthodoxy, people like Colbert and Berry play for the other team. Often enough, they go out of their way to express contempt for those Christians who refuse to yield to liberal dogmas (on sex and marriage, for example, or the sanctity of human life). I suppose that’s their way of reassuring people in elite circles that they’re not like their “backward,” “retrograde,” “on the wrong side of history” co-religionists.

I was never a regular viewer of Colbert’s program on Comedy Central, so I’m sure there are many readers who can explain better than I why some believers might have viewed Colbert in the way George describes. I only saw a handful of episodes of the program, but even I can remember an episode that might have fed the impression that he is an ally. It is a head-to-head with Bart Ehrman (see below). Continue Reading →

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