Fact Check

Church Quells

Published Sep 10, 2015

FACT CHECK:   Did a Southern Baptist pastor criticize the actions of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in a Facebook status update?

Claim:   A Southern Baptist pastor criticized the actions of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in a Facebook status update.


Example:     [Collected via Facebook, September 2015]

Since I am a pastor of a southern Baptist church please allow me to weigh in on the case of Kim Davis, the lady in Kentucky who refuses to issue a marriage licenses to a same sex couple.

First: This is not a case of the government forcing anyone to violate their religious belief. She is free to quit her job. If she quits her job to honor God surely God would take care of her.

Second: This is not a case of someone trying to uphold the sanctity of marriage. If she wanted to uphold the sanctity of marriage she should not have been married four different times. If she is worried about her name being affixed to a marriage license that goes against a biblical definition of marriage, she should not have her name on the last three marriage licenses given to her.

Third: This seems to be a case of someone looking to cash in on the religious right. Churches all across the south will throw money at her to come and tell congregations how the evil American government put her in jail because of her faith in Jesus.

This is why we are losing.

This is why people have such disdain for evangelicals.

Not because we disagree but because we don’t take the bible seriously. If ever there was a case of “he who is without sin cast the first stone”, this is it. If ever there was a “take the log out of your eye” moment, this is it.

We must stop looking to the government to make America a Christian utopia. Our kingdom is not of this world.

We must abandon all thoughts of fixing others and let Jesus fix us.

If we want sanctity of marriage then stop cheating, stop having affairs, stop looking at porn, stop getting divorces. That is the way for the church to stand up for the biblical definition of marriage, not by someone martyring their self-righteous self.

Origins:    On 3 September 2015, Facebook user Russell Williams published the above-quoted commentary pertaining to a then-current controversy involving Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to his personal Facebook page; early commenters requested permission to share his words, and the message was subsequently re-posted tens of thousands of times.

Williams spoke from the perspective of a pastor, a Baptist, and an self-identified Evangelical Christian in his remarks; he maintained a critical stance when it came to Davis' refusal to comply with the law, purportedly due to the strength of her religious conviction. Williams opined that the devout would be better served upholding the tenets of their faith individually rather than imposing those beliefs upon fellow Americans via legislation and force, and he lamented the disintegration of accord between Evangelicals and secular people due to the adverse impact of such controversies.

As to whether the writer accurately described himself, Williams is indeed a pastor with McCormick Road Baptist Church in Apopka, Florida. We contacted Williams via Facebook to ask about his popular message, but have not yet received a reply.

Last updated:      10 September 2015

Originally published:    10 September 2015

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.