When Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was sent to jail for recusing herself from issuing marriage licenses, one of the first candidates to speak up was Mike Huckabee. He organized a massive rally in support of Davis Tuesday, at which he made a strong statement supporting her right to religious liberty and offering to take her place in jail if necessary:
If this judge believes that somebody must be put in jail because a person is willing to stand on the biblical definition of marriage, and is willing to stand because they believe that the Constitution does not allow the courts to make up law according to their own whims…I would ask this of him, let Kim go. But if you have to put someone in jail, I volunteer to go.
Fortunately, Davis was released that day, to an enthusiastic reception from the gathered protesters. Huckabee took the opportunity to refocus the case of Davis on the broader question of judicial authority, noting that the newest attack on religious freedom isn’t just partisan:
…he quoted Forrest Gump saying, “God showed up.” But clarified, that God showed up “in the form of an elected Democrat named Kim Davis.”
“It was a Republican judge who put her in this jail to begin with,” he said, saying this injustice is about religious liberty and avoiding tyranny – not about political parties.
“I don’t care what party a person is as much as I care whether or not they believe that this country was founded on basic fundamental principles that all of us must live under. And for those who want the courts to make law so the politicians can be excused and cowardly hide behind the court and not take a stand, I say that is exactly what our country was not supposed to be,” Huckabee challenged.
Huckabee also looked ahead to the future, asking a question of the next Christian asked to compromise their religious beliefs: “Will you be ready to take the stand?”
2016 could rest on the answer.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.