It’s going to take me a while to absorb this document, and remember (probably with Sarah Posner’s help) the backgrounds of some of the signatories. But the newly released “Pledge of Solidarity in Defense of Marriage”, drafted by Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, semi-retired culture-war maven James Dobson, and Liberty University law school dean Matt Staver, represents the boldest effort yet of Christian Right types to claim a revolutionary right of resistance to marriage equality. Without question, the “pledge” asserts that marriage discrimination is part of the warp and weave of the universe, via divine fiat and natural law, and that no Court has the power to overturn it. Thus, the signatories announce their intention not to obey any such decision, as explained by Todd Starnes at townhall:

“We will not obey.”

That’s the blunt warning a group of prominent religious leaders is sending to the Supreme Court of the United States as they consider same-sex marriage.

“We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross that line,” read a document titled, Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage. “We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve.”

“While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross,” the pledge states….

“Yes, I’m talking about civil disobedience,” Staver said. “I’m talking about resistance and I’m talking about peaceful resistance against unjust laws and unjust rulings.”

That’s quite a shocking statement. So I asked Mr. Staver to clarify his remarks.

“I’m calling for people to not recognize the legitimacy of that ruling because it’s not grounded in the Rule of Law,” he told me. “They need to resist that ruling in every way possible. In a peaceful way – they need to resist it as much as Martin Luther King, Jr. resisted unjust laws in his time.”

Yes, of course, the Pledge of Solidarity is loaded with references to the civil rights movement (they predictably secured the signature of Aveda King, the niece of MLK who has long been a committed right-wing culture warrior) and comparisons of any SCOTUS decision upholding same-sex marriage as illegitimate, just like Dred Scott. So what grievous harm do they claim for themselves that makes them and their largely well-fed suburban flocks qualified to stand with protesters like King and Gandhi fighting for the most basic rights?

[Scarborough] referenced the “outrageous penalties” being assessed against people of faith simply because they don’t want to participate in a same-sex union.

An Oregon bakery is facing a $135,000 fine for refusing to make a cake for a lesbian wedding and a Washington State florist faces fines for refusing to participate in a gay wedding.

Yep, it’s still the bakers and florists of conscience on whose behalf these birds are calling for an overturning of the Rule of Law and the shattering of a constitutional order that’s worked reasonably well in the past. Almost to a man or woman, of course, they’d call themselves “constitutional conservatives,” a term that means pretty much the opposite of both words, insofar as they claim “higher laws” like fetal rights, absolute property rights, and yes, a heterosexual monopoly on marriage, have to be imposed on the Constitution. No wonder David Barton, the author of so much historical fiction on the theocratic designs of the Founders, is a signatory of the Pledge, along with a rogue’s gallery of Christian Nation radicals he helped inspire.

So, too, are two candidates for the presidency, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. You kinda get the impression they would really love to find a way to get themselves arrested for their brave defense of “traditional marriage,” so they could campaign from a jail cell like Eugene Debs in 1920. Maybe they could take up baking or flower arranging.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.