For those with eyes to see, it has become rather clear that intolerance in the name of tolerance is no vice.
One circuit clerk in Mississippi is learning the hard way that acting like an adult in the face of a court ruling one finds intolerable -- and, in the process, respecting the rule of law and acknowledging the legal duties of public officials -- is no defense against accusations of thought crime.
Amid Southern governors seeking to obstruct the Supreme Court ruling mandating gay marriage in all 50 states by asserting that public officials' religious rights trump their duty to uphold laws with which they disagree, Grenada County Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette did an intellectually honest thing -- and in the process gave the rule of law its proper due -- when she determined she could not in good conscience as a Christian issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. She resigned.
In a letter to the board of supervisors, Grenada County Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette announced her resignation on Tuesday, citing the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage.OUT OF RESPECT for both the law and her God, this wife of a pastor willingly sacrificed a post she'd held for 24 years. She now is unemployed.
Barnette has been the circuit clerk for 24 years, and announced that her resignation is effective immediately.
"The Supreme Court's decision violates my core values as a Christian," she wrote. "My final authority is the Bible. I cannot in all good conscience issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples under my name because the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is contrary to God's plan and purpose for marriage and family."
Barnette has not yet been available to take phone calls.
"I want to thank the citizens of Grenada County for giving me the honor of serving as their circuit clerk," she wrote.
Aquaintances said Barnette's husband is a pastor who worked with Billy Graham Ministries for many years.
"I choose to obey God rather than man," Barnette wrote.
Grenada County voter Lue Harbin said she is disappointed in Barnette's decision. She said she has voted for Barnette in every election since she got out of the Army in 2001.
"I was kind of shocked, I don't know her personally but I never thought she was that way," Harbin said. "She's given marriage licenses to people who have committed adultery and stolen and lied, and when their parents haven't approved... it's just crazy the way she's thinking. That's her job and she's not there to judge people."
But that's not enough for the forces of tolerance, who see Barnette's crime as having thought the wrong things in the first place. From the Facebook blog Drop of Blue in a Sea of Red:
It's so funny. They only want separation of church and state when someone does anything involving the church, but when it's purely governmental (IE THE CONSTITUTION AND ITS AMENDMENTS) they lose their fucking minds and cannot separate the two. "Oh my stars and garters, this here goes against my religion!" Fuck you. You're functioning as a state employee, not as a church employee.
When I say funny, I really mean it's sad. But, it's also kind of amusing. All these bigoted, hateful people are going to die alone, as bigoted, hateful people. They will forever be known as bigoted, hateful people. I can only hope that if there is a God, that upon their arrival to those pearly gates, St. Peter points to a sign that says 'No Homophobes Allowed'.
Now look, I'm all for standing up for your beliefs, no matter how outdated or misplaced I think they are. That's really not my business. But your beliefs have no place interfering with your ability to function at your job, especially as a state employee.
So, goodbye, Linda Barnette, former Mississippi Circuit Clerk. I hope you wallow in your misery as the rest of the world comes together and works towards true equality.
"TRUE EQUALITY." Heh. Translate that as "Truly, some are more equal than others, and why don't traditional Christians just die already?"
"Live and let die." Maybe that, in the name of truth in advertising, should be the new inscription on the Great Seal of the United States. Obviously, the day of "E pluribus unum" has come and gone . . . in a puff of rainbow smoke.
And the unceremonious demise of "In God we trust" as our national motto goes without saying.
UPDATE: I forgot this one going around Facebook. Just what we all need, to take our moral guidance from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Because wrestlers are so much more authoritative on these things than, you know, Jesus . . . or the Bible . . . or the pope . . . or catechisms . . . or the great philosophers and saints.