Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, told Breitbart News exclusively on Tuesday night that he hopes the media will learn from Pope Francis’ meeting with Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis that what she stands for is religious liberty against “judicial tyranny.”
Davis, the clerk who was jailed for refusing on a religious liberty basis to provide gay marriage licenses, was freed from jail recently thanks in large part to the efforts of Gov. Huckabee. During Pope Francis’ visit to the United States last week, he met in private at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., with Davis and her husband.
“While the media elites were slobbering all over themselves because Pope Francis commented on climate change, the Pope was having a quiet and powerful meeting with a humble Apostolic county clerk from Kentucky,” Huckabee told Breitbart News.
The Pope recognized something that the chattering class in Washington and Wall Street will never understand—that Kim Davis followed her conscience and convictions. The Pope thanked Kim for doing so and congratulated her for her stand. The media mocked and derided millions of Americans who supported Kim’s constitutional right to religious liberty. It may just be a visit from the Pope that pushes the out of touch political class in Washington to finally stand up to judicial tyranny and for religious liberty.
Davis was jailed after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal—something many conservatives have argued was an act of “judicial tyranny,” as Huckabee says. Huckabee and other conservatives have been fighting to ensure that people like Davis—those with religious objections to gay marriage in government and outside of government—aren’t forced to violate their religious beliefs to comply with that decision, which they view as unjust.
Davis has become something of a hero to the grassroots after she didn’t back down, stayed in jail, and was eventually freed at a rally led by Huckabee in Kentucky.
Liberty Counsel, Davis’s lawyers, confirmed the meeting took place. In the meeting—which happened on Thursday, Sept. 24 at the Vatican Embassy—Pope Francis spoke English.
“Thank you for your courage,” Pope Francis told Davis, adding: “Stay strong.”
Liberty Counsel’s press release details the meeting and said during it, Pope Francis “held out his hands and asked Kim to pray for him. Kim held his hands and said, ‘I will. Please pray for me’ and the Pope said he would. The two embraced.”
“The Pontiff presented Kim and Joe Davis each with a Rosary that he personally blessed,” Liberty Counsel’s release added. “Kim’s mother and father are Catholic, and Kim and Joe will present the Rosaries to her parents. Kim’s mother was the elected Clerk of Court for Rowan County for 37 years until her retirement in 2014.”
Davis is quoted in the release as being thankful for meeting Pope Francis and for his words of encouragement.
“I was humbled to meet Pope Francis. Of all people, why me?” Davis said. “I never thought I would meet the Pope. Who am I to have this rare opportunity? I am just a County Clerk who loves Jesus and desires with all my heart to serve him. Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong.’”
Also in the meeting was Davis’ husband, Joe, and the meeting happened on Kim Davis’ father’s birthday.
Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, in a statement, laid out how religious liberty is a serious issue in America and Davis has “become a symbol” of a “worldwide conflict” between Christianity and those pushing for gay marriage.
“The challenges we face in America regarding the sanctity of human life, marriage, and religious freedom are the same universal challenges Christians face around the world,” Staver said. “Religious freedom is a human right that comes from God. These values are shared in common by people of faith, and the threats to religious freedom are universal. Kim Davis has become a symbol of this worldwide conflict between Christian faith and recent cultural challenges regarding marriage.”
Pope Francis, on a flight aboard the Papal plane back to Rome, told ABC News’ Terry Moran that it is a “human right” for someone to have a “conscientious objection” to things like providing gay marriage licenses.
“Conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right,” the Pope said.
It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying “this right that has merit, this one does not.” It (conscientious objection) is a human right. It always moved me when I read, and I read it many times, when I read the “Chanson de Roland” when the people were all in line and before them was the baptismal font and they had to choose between the baptismal font or the sword. They had to choose. They weren’t permitted conscientious objection. It is a right and if we want to make peace we have to respect all rights.
When Moran followed up to ask if that includes government officials, the Pope replied that he did believe so. “It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right,” the Pontiff said.
During the Pope’s meeting with President Obama last week, he lectured Obama on religious liberty.
American Catholics, Pope Francis told the president in his remarks delivered in English, are “concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and the right to religious liberty.”
“As my brothers, the United States bishops have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it,” Pope Francis told Obama.
“Mr. President, together we should never fear our citizens,” Pope Francis also said. “American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to reject every form of unjust discrimination. With countless other people of good will, they are likewise concerned in efforts to build a just and vastly ordered society, respecting the deepest concerns and the right to religious liberty.”
Obama said during the visit he stands with Pope Francis in opposition to religious persecution.
“At this very moment, children of God, including Christians, are targeted and even killed because of their faith. Believers are prevented from gathering at their places of worship,” Obama said. “The faithful are imprisoned, and churches are destroyed. So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and free from intimidation.”
However, speaking just a few days later to the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City, Obama stated that while he believes in “religious liberty,” he is opposed to other people—namely, gay couples seeking marriage licenses—getting denied “constitutional rights” because of that.
“We affirm that we cherish our religious freedom and are profoundly respectful of religious traditions,” Obama said during the fundraiser. “But we also have to say clearly that our religious freedom doesn’t grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their constitutional rights.”
Obama also attacked Republican candidates who have signaled their support for traditional marriage—and for religious liberty—at the fundraiser.
“The good news is they probably won’t use marriage equality as a wedge issue like they did in 2004 because the country has come too far,” Obama said of the 2016 GOP presidential candidates. “In fact, America has left the leaders of the Republican Party behind.”
Obama, in that speech, specifically attacked Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Huckabee.
“One of their leading candidates argued that going to prison turns you gay,” Obama said of Carson. “Well, you think I’m — I shouldn’t go into this? No, I mean, I’m just stating the facts.”
“Another candidate boasts that he introduced an amendment to end nationwide marriage equality — which isn’t even an accomplishment at all,” Obama said of Cruz, before adding of Huckabee: “A third says Americans should just disobey the Supreme Court’s ruling entirely. I’m sure he loves the Constitution — except for Article III. And maybe the Equal Protection Amendment. And the 14th Amendment, generally.”