Larry Farlow

Commentary on Theology & Culture


What Law has Kim Davis Broken?

What Law has Kim Davis Broken?The answer is none. Kim Davis has broken no law. The law in Kentucky says marriage is between a man and a woman. That law has not been changed by the Kentucky legislature (legislature being a body of elected officials tasked with making law, not to be confused with the judiciary). Also, it is not against the law to refuse to issue a marriage license no matter what reason you give for doing so. It certainly could be grounds for dismissal if that is one of your job requirements, but it is not illegal.
You might say “contempt of court” for failing to obey an injunction. Here’s how the Legal Information Institute at Cornell defines an injunction:
They are issued early in a lawsuit to maintain the status quo by preventing a defendant from becoming insolvent or to stop the defendant from continuing his or her allegedly harmful actions.
Harmful actions? Who has Kim Davis harmed by personally refusing to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple? It goes on:
Injunctive relief is a discretionary power of the court in which the court, upon deciding that the plaintiff’s rights are being violated, balances the irreparability of injuries and inadequacy of damages if an injunction were not granted against the damages that granting an injunction would cause.
So apparently a particular county clerk in Kentucky can cause “irreparable injury” to someone by not issuing them a marriage license. Also, injunctions are only available to the court in cases of in-personam jurisdiction, meaning the court has authority over the person, as opposed to in-rem which means they have jurisdiction over the subject matter or particular location. Presumably Judge Bunning believes federal courts have authority over county employees regarding the performance of their job duties. By the way, this is not the first time Bunning has tried to use his office to bend local governments to his will (nor the first time he’s gone to bat for homosexual activists). In 2003 and again in 2006 he ordered the Boyd County Kentucky board of education to require students to undergo “diversity” training regarding sexual orientation.
Kim Davis is not legally obligated to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, or to anyone else. Issuing marriage licenses is one of her job duties. A judge has no more authority to hold her in contempt for not issuing marriage licenses than he does to hold in contempt a county employee who refuses to limit their breaks to 15 minutes twice a day (if that were a job requirement). Refusal to perform a job duty is not illegal and is not a matter for the courts – even for government employees. It’s certainly not a matter for federal courts when the job function in question is a state or local one.
Same-sex marriage is a fiction. The irreparable harm its proponents are concerned about is to the notion that two people of the same gender constitute a marriage. If dissent of any kind is allowed, others may realize the emperor has no cloths and they cannot have that. Kim Davis is in jail because she refused to bow the knee to the federal government. It’s as simple and as totalitarian as that. And that should frighten us all.

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A Tale of Two Schools

A Tale of Two SchoolsIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times…wait, how can it be both? You can’t have it both ways can you? Well, there are some people who think you can.

This week in Villa Rica, Georgia, a church conducted a baptism before football practice at the local high school. The baptism was done on school property but there is no indication any of the players baptized or any in attendance to watch were coerced to participate. There’s also no indication the event was promoted or endorsed by the school in any way.

Predictably a firestorm has erupted with the atheist group Freedom from Religion Foundation threatening a lawsuit and the school system quickly agreeing to “investigate.”

Meanwhile at a high school in St. Louis, Missouri, 150 students walked out in protest because the school allowed a boy pretending to be a girl to use the girls’ locker room.  The school offered to provide a gender-neutral changing area for him but he insisted on being allowed into the girls’ locker room leading to concerns from both students and parents.

This situation too is likely headed for court unless, of course, the school caves to the “transgender” student.

In one situation, students who are not forcing their beliefs on anyone are treated like criminals while in the other situation, a student who is very much forcing his beliefs on others, is treated like a martyr and entitled to government protection under Title IX.

So yes, the progressive left in this country does want it both ways. They want to impose their beliefs on the public under threat of force while using that same threat of force to stop others from expressing beliefs they don’t like. They accuse others of intolerance while being among the most intolerant people in history.

Baptized football players are a threat to no one. But, they must be stopped because those who believe in God are always viewed as a threat by those who see themselves in that role.

“Death may beget life, but oppression can beget nothing other than itself.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

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Men on A Train

Men on A TrainBy now you’ve heard of the courageous actions of three American men who prevented a massacre on a French train. As the story has unfolded, we also learned about two French men who risked their lives in the initial stages of the attack and were wounded trying to stop the gunman. The most complete coverage I’ve seen of the series of events can be read here.

The three Americans have become a cause celebre in France and were given the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Legion of Honor. Why such accolades? Certainly because people realize the carnage that was avoided. But, I think there’s more to it than that. This has struck a chord because these men acted like men and masculinity is in short supply these days, at least in the public arena.

Sadly we have example after example today of men who don’t act like men. Men do what these men did, they use their God-given strength and courage to stand in the gap for those in danger. They defend the weak against the strong. They do not drive their wives or girlfriends to the abortion clinic to have their baby murdered. They do not use their strength to loot stores and businesses or abuse women and children. They do not set up accounts on Ashley Madison. They do not fling their masculinity in God’s face like a spoiled child who didn’t receive the gift he wanted at Christmas and declare themselves to be women (and while we’re on that subject let’s be clear, if you want to see courage, look at these men, not at Bruce Jenner).

Of course, I cannot speak to the character of these men in all aspects of their lives because I don’t know them. But I do know that in this moment, they acted like men and many people are alive today because they did.


But We Do More than Kill Babies!

Cecile Richards, Gauleiter of Planned Parenthood, has taken, of late, to listing all the things they do besides murdering children. On Wednesday her organization tweeted:

PP nonsense

Ok, let’s give credit where it’s due. They do indeed provide sex education. We know that ’cause we got that on video too. Here’s a Planned Parenthood official explaining the finer points of S&M and bondage to a 15 year old girl and suggesting that she (a minor) and her boyfriend visit a local sex shop.

(Warning: Graphic and sexually explicit content)

And what about providing birth control? Lest we short-change them further, I must admit they are also helpful to pimps seeking to obtain birth control and abortions for their underage prostitutes.

So, yes, Cecile, we do realize you do things other than just kill babies.

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If Cecil Was An Unborn Baby

If Cecil was an unborn babyPerhaps you’ve heard of the American dentist who killed a lion in Africa named Cecil. It’s been one of the biggest stories on the internet and in social media over the last several days. Providentially, it has been trending at the same time as the uproar over the latest Planned Parenthood video, shedding light on the mentality and priorities of our culture.

While conservatives are calling on congress to defund Planned Parenthood, where Cecil is concerned animal rights activists are calling for everything from running the hunter out of business to the death of his children. You know, the usual responses of the tolerant, “love wins” side of the political spectrum.

Here are a few examples from the comments section in one article:

I’d like to see lions feast on him.

This guy is a menace and should be hunted down.

This story makes me angry and I would like to shoot this beast of a man then behead him for a trophy.

Rot in hell!! Hope his business shuts down.

I hope he dies a painful death

What an absolute pig!


I hope this fool ends up working as a ditch digger to make ends meet AFTER he gets out of Zimbabwe prison! You pathetic man…so ashamed you are from America. Wife, divorce him. Kids, denounce him.

I don’t even want this guy, Walter Palmer, to die. I want him to suffer the most, harshest and scientifically-proven way of experiencing pain (physical and mental) for as long as possible. I would hate for him to merely suffer enormously but then find out that he could have suffered even more through some other, more advanced method. I’m talking on the level of pain receptors, neurons, axons and dendrites type stuff here. He needs to be in very serious pain.

I hate him and everything he stands for. How dare he!

I hope he and his family die.

i hope to god a million times that this piece of garbage drops dead. or is killed

pull all of his teeth out, one by one, pull off all fingernails and toenails. confiscate all ‘trophies’ and give them a burial. chain him in a dark dungeon for the rest of his life. we need some real justice here.

Naaah, let go shoot his family. Don’t see any harm in that.

Hope he gets cancer and his stupid false teeth fall out.

What an unbelievable horrible human being. Maybe he should be hunted, skinned and beheaded.


And these were not outliers, they were typical of the hundreds and hundred of comments, many of them also receiving 10, 20, 30 even 60 “thumbs up” as well. All this over the death of one lion. To put this in perspective, Planned Parenthood kills one human child every 97 seconds. Most of them don’t have names, they don’t have a world-wide fan base or people donning sackcloth and ashes as they hysterically vent their hatred at the killers, they are simply tossed in the trash or, as we’ve seen recently, sold for parts.

If Cecil was an unborn baby, you’d never have heard of him.

It’s a damn shame we live in a culture where a man who kills an animal is forced into hiding by a mob with pitchforks and torches but an organization responsible for the murder of 300,000 children each year operates openly and without shame.

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Warning: Political Correctness May be Hazardous to Your Health

Warning: Political Correctness may be hazardous to your healthRecently in suburban Atlanta, a real estate agent was attacked by someone while showing them a property. While this occasionally happens, there’s a twist to this story:

“What she did notice about the suspect was he was a male wearing women’s clothing and a woman’s wig,” said Cpl. Michelle Pihera with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Ten years ago, a real estate agent arriving for a showing to find a man dressed in women’s clothing and a wig would likely not have gone through with the showing and perhaps even called the police. It’s clear the woman in this case was uncomfortable because she would not enter the house with the person. But why didn’t she simply leave without showing the house when faced with what any reasonable person would consider a red flag?  Ever hear of a bakery called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa?”  I suspect the agent did not believe canceling the showing was an option because she was afraid of being accused of bigotry. I can see the headlines now: “Local real estate agent accused of discrimination after refusing to show house to transgender woman.” This is where we are as a culture. You will accept, no, celebrate, that man in a dress who walks into the women’s restroom or the women’s locker room at your health club else you are a transphobic bigot.

Now that a very small minority of homosexual activists has succeeded in hijacking our culture to the land of alternate reality with regard to marriage, an even smaller minority of “transgenders” is seeking to take us further inland. People are so afraid of crossing these gender confused storm troopers that recently a college newspaper included a disclaimer when saying menstruation is a woman’s issue lest they offend “men” who menstruate or “women” who don’t. And Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro was recently threatened with bodily harm for refusing to play along with Bob Tur’s fantasy that he’s a woman.

I predict we’ll see more instances like this. People wanting to be tolerant or who are afraid of running afoul of the diversity police will ignore the warning bell in their head and end up in a dangerous situation. The danger is particularly acute for women (real ones) since the nature of the “transgender” dynamic is that men posing as women now have unchallenged access to venues previously limited to women only.

We need a return to sanity in the public square. We need people to stand up and say with regard to the “transgender” movement that we will not subordinate common sense, basic modesty and public safety to the confused feelings of a tiny subset of society.

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What Are Rights?

bill of rightsWe live in a rights obsessed culture. At every turn someone is claiming they have a right to something. Unfortunately people rarely think about what it means to have a right. Most of the time “I have a right to” is interchangeable with “I want.”

Rights come in two flavors – positive and negative. Much of what is demanded today are positive rights. Positive rights are the right TO HAVE something, the right to a job, to health care, to a certain vendor for your wedding flowers, etc.

On the other side are negative rights. Negative rights are the right NOT TO HAVE something (mostly not to have something done to you by the government.) Among these are the right to freedom of speech, religion, the press, etc. In the case of negative rights, the government in enjoined FROM doing something. With positive rights, the government is enjoined TO do something. The rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the one’s our Founders labeled “inalienable,” are all negative rights.

What is that? Why does the Constitution not list the right to a job or to a place to live or to food to eat? After all, those things are pretty important, right?

It has to do with how rights are enforced.

In the case of negative rights, enforcement places no burden on the citizenry. If government fails to provide these rights, such as in attempting to censor the media, the courts get involved to rule on the constitutionality of the action. If it is determined the action violated someone’s rights, all that needs to happen is for the government to stop doing what they were doing. In other words, to leave people alone.

With positive rights it’s different.  If I have a right TO something, say a job, then someone else has an obligation to provide one for me. Since government creates no capital, they must either force someone in the private sector to hire me or hire me themselves using money appropriated from the private sector via taxes. Positive rights for one group always encumber another group with obligations.  Bottom line, enforcement of positive rights requires government to use force against one part of the citizenry on behalf of another part.

Positive rights are therefore often at odds with negative ones. For example, I cannot have freedom of speech at the same time someone else has the freedom to never be offended. The two are mutually exclusive. Which is why guarantees of positive rights are not among those in the Bill of Rights. We have, from God, certain inalienable rights. But among them is not the right to never be disagreed with or the right to the fruit of someone else’s labor.

When negative rights are respected and enforced, individual flourishing increases and government dependence decreases. But with a decrease in government dependence comes a decrease in government power, which goes a long way toward explaining the emphasis on positive rights so prevalent today.

In order to return our culture to health, we must recover the understanding of positive versus negative rights and restore negative rights to their place of honor.


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