What is the line between religion and law?

There are a couple of platforms that the Republican Party takes that doesn’t bode well with voters. Same-sex marriage, birth control, abortions, religion, and the like. Right now I want to focus on same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is now legal nationwide. Many Republican politicians were supportive of the court’s ruling and offered vague words of support. But some others were vocal about their dismay. They are religious and firm in their beliefs, and they believe that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman, and that homosexuality is a sin.

Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. We were built on the freedom of our country, and are fortunate enough to be afforded our opinions and beliefs and are able to share them with fellow citizens. So where is the line drawn between religious beliefs and the law?

Enter Kim Davis. Kim Davis is a Kentucky county clerk who is firm in her religious beliefs. Same-sex marriage is wrong. She began refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. After back and forth with the federal court and the threat that she could be thrown in jail, she was. Davis remains in jail and has become something of a martyr for other conservatives who agree with her position. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has been especially vocal about his beliefs and stands behind Davis and her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Regardless of your beliefs, Kim Davis broke the law. What she did is equivalent to not letting someone sit at the counter of a bar because they are black. The law isn’t up for interpretation, no matter what an individual might think about said law.

This is where Republicans lose voters, mostly young voters. Are progressive Republicans a thing? I think they are. I personally am a registered Republican. I believe in their fiscal positions, even though I don’t believe with the social ones. I can get past the fact that I don’t agree with every position they have. Some young voters can’t.

Same-sex marriage shouldn’t be a hot topic platform now. It’s legal, the court has made that ruling already. There’s no need to continue the discussion. Some candidates have recognized that and if asked about same-sex marriage, offer up vague, polite words that say they believe in the law and that’s the way it is. Sometimes they add that people are equal no matter what.

What will happen to Kim Davis? Will they let her out of jail even if she continues to refuse to issue same-sex licenses? After all, it is the law.

Does Black Lives Matter mean those are the only lives that matter?

Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Freddie Gray. You’re familiar with these names, right? They’re the names of young black men who were killed by white men, sometimes cops. Their deaths started a new movement in America. Black Lives Matter. You’ve seen the hashtags, the videos, and the never ending commentary. You’ve watched President Obama get on national television and declare that these boys could easily be his son, and call for a change.

Bryon Dickson. Charles Gliniewicz. Sonny Kim. Do you recognize these names? You probably don’t these are the names of just a few officers who were killed in the line of duty. Not just killed, but gunned down. If you’re wondering if you missed Obama’s press conference about these brave men, don’t worry, you didn’t. There never was one.

I’m not sure if this is just about race, or maybe it’s about police officers. There certainly is a lot of hate being spewed around the country towards police officers. The same people who wake up every single day ready to protect and serve the same people who bash them. Stories and videos of heroism by these fine men and women aren’t shared, hardly at all. A few bad eggs or bad situations have been put in the spotlight, and as a result a stigma has been cast upon every fellow American in blue.

Lt. Charles Gliniewicz was a military veteran who continued to serve our country as a police officer in Illinois. He was married with four children. Yesterday he was killed while in pursuit of 3 suspects, all of whom are still fleeing police. A manhunt is underway to find Lt. Gliniewicz’s killers.

Obama is in Alaska taping a special for the survival show “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.” He has not made a comment. He has not called a press conference.

So why are only some lives important? The focus the past year or so has been on black lives because of a few incidents that have been slapped in front of our eyes and made the only focus in the news. I’m not saying their lives don’t matter, all lives matter. A death is tragic no matter the circumstances. But what about the other deaths? Are they less important because they don’t fuel a movement?

It’s becoming increasingly disturbing to me why police lives aren’t deemed important enough to be mourned or to start a movement, but rather they are looked at as the enemy.

I have to fuel my argument with some statistics. Black Americans commit over half of the homicides in the country. Black Americans commit eight times more crimes against white Americans than vice-versa. About 1,000 more white Americans were killed by police than black Americans.

The sole point of the Black Lives Matter movement is that black Americans are the victims. They are discriminated against, therefore they are killed. These statistics show otherwise.

I think Ben Carson is onto something when he said, and I’m paraphrasing, that we need to focus on crime in general, especially in bad neighborhoods, and not single out any one race.