MOREHEAD, Ky. — In an exclusive interview with Christian News Network, the pastor of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who has not spoken to the media since Davis became the subject of national headlines and subsequently disabled the church phone and website, stressed his belief that Americans are being stripped of their Constitutional right to freedom of religion.
“This is about the First Amendment rights of every American,” Daniel Carter, who identifies as the senior pastor of Rock Solid Apostolic Church in Morehead, Kentucky, said. “[This matter] was between Kim Davis and her conscience, but she was robbed of her constitutional rights. … Someone should be screaming their head off that we have an American woman in jail because she stood by her convictions.”
He said that even many of those who disagreed with Davis’ stance were “not for her being incarcerated.”
“This is not about gay marriage,” Carter stated. “Everybody has a position. Everybody has a thought or a feeling about it. But this is about whether you [are allowed to] have a thought or a right or a position about it.”
He made it clear that he did not want to the discuss the church’s teachings or beliefs, nor Kim Davis herself, and rather desired to accentuate the freedoms that all Americans are losing.
“Kim Davis doesn’t want this to be about her. This is about freedom of religion in this country,” Carter said. “This is not about our church. This is not about any church. This is not [even] about Christianity.”
“This is about a person’s right to be an atheist if they want to be. This is about a person’s right to believe in the Bible, to believe in the Koran, to believe in a coloring book, to believe in whatever you want to believe in,” he continued. “But your ability to do that is being challenged. Every single American is losing.”
“This isn’t about a [particular] religious position,” Carter said. “This is about the right to have a religious position.”
He reiterated that the Constitution grants citizens the right to freedom of religion, but Americans are being stripped of this liberty.
“The premise of disagreement is that you have faith based in a Book. Now what protects that right for you to have faith based in a Book? That’s your freedom of religion,” Carter said. “This is about the fundamental right that every American has—the constitutional right to freedom of religion.”
As previously reported, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis’ release on Tuesday, shortly after Davis’ attorneys filed an emergency motion to stay his contempt order that put her behind bars.
“Defendent Davis shall be released from the custody of the U.S. Marshal forthwith,” reads Bunning’s order released today. “Defendant Davis shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”
He threatened to punish Davis if she defies the order.
“If Defendant Davis should interfere in any way with their issuance, that will be considered a violation of this order and appropriate sanctions will be considered,” Bunning wrote.
According to the “Worldwide Directory of Apostolic Pentecostal Churches and Ministries,” with which Carter’s congregation is affiliated, Apostolic Pentecostals reject traditionally-held beliefs about the Godhead, providing a 60-point refutation of the trinity on their website. They also believe “full salvation” includes “baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.”