A day of big decisions (and one bigoted Kentucky clerk)

One of my biggest character flaws is that I am very indecisive. I’ve never been a man of great conviction.

I prefer to remain objective on most issues. I try to learn as much about a subject as possible, and understand both sides. That way when a topic comes up in discussion, I can contribute to the conversation without being preachy or overly opinionated. Perhaps it’s the journalist in me.

That being said, as a terrible decision maker, I have a lot of respect for our citizens who serve as judges. They must not only learn all of the facts on an issue, but make an adamant, definitive decision favoring one side. And then, they have to articulately explain why they made that decision in order to maintain their integrity.

I could never do it. But others can, and a couple of them made some important decisions today that made headlines.

Kim Davis protestersWell, the importance of one of them is in the eye of the beholder. The Hon. Richard Berman, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, erased a four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady imposed by the NFL for his alleged role in deflating footballs during the NFL Playoffs last year.

This decision really has little impact on the world as a whole, but it dominated sports talk today. Brady has been the poster child for the NFL for almost two decades, and had nary a blemish to his record until this year. As a Jets fan, I possess a lot of spite for this man. But ultimately, I really don’t care whether he is suspended or not.

The most amusing thing that came out of the drama surrounding his suspension was the much maligned courtroom sketch of him, which people ridiculed for looking nothing like him.

Here’s a cuckoo idea. Instead of street artists drawing funny caricatures of people, why don’t they do hypothetical courtroom sketches? I’d want one of those.

Today’s other decision by a federal judge carries much greater national importance. The Hon. David Bunning ordered a county clerk in Kentucky to be jailed for contempt of court for disobeying his order that she must approve marriage licenses for same-sex couples, per the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year.

The clerk, Kim Davis, refused to do it because she said it infringes upon her religious beliefs. She even called it a “Heaven or Hell” situation.

How can anybody see the world through a lens where they absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, acknowledge equal rights for all humans under the law? So much so that you’d go to jail for it? Somebody needs to draw a courtroom sketch of this woman to look like the devil.

Some religious zealots will call her a martyr, but her true place in history will be as one who ignorantly and unsuccessfully tried to stop progress. She’s a modern day George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama who, in 1963, disobeyed federal law when he tried to stop four black students from attending school.

So let’s see. Is Kim Davis right, or is she an idiot?

Answer: she’s an idiot.

That decision was an easy one. Even for me.

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