Evangelical preacher Franklin Graham has issued a lengthy critique of Donald Trump after the GOP Presidential candidate said that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis should follow "the law of the land" and issue same-sex marriage licenses despite her religious beliefs.
"He should know that just because something is made into a law, doesn't make it right. His Scottish Presbyterian ancestors may have been among those who had their heads cut off because they refused to recognize the King of England as head of the church," Graham, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said in a Facebook message on Monday.
"They believed that Jesus Christ was the head of the church, not the King of England; and they stood for - and died for -those sincerely held religious beliefs. Our forefathers gave us freedom of religion at a great cost, and that was meant for us to be able to live out our faith in our daily lives, at home and at work," Graham added.
As reported by the Gospel Herald, Davis was found in contempt of court Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning after she refused to issue the marriage licenses. Bunning said that Davis will be released from prison once she has agreed to comply with the court order and proceed to issue marriage licenses. However, Davis explained that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on June 26 that legalized gay marriage nationwide conflicts with the vows she made when she became a born-again Christian.
"I promised to love Him with all my heart, mind and soul because I wanted to make heaven my home," Davis told the judge before a federal marshal escorted her out. "God's moral law conflicts with my job duties. You can't be separated from something that's in your heart and in your soul."
While several GOP presidential hopefuls, including Sen. Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, have strongly defended Davis and called for her release, Trump has said that he sees "both sides of the picture" when it comes to her case.
During a recent interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-hosts, the real estate mogul said that it needs to be recognized that same-sex marriage is "the law of the land," and said that Davis' arrest created a "sticky situation." He also argued that the clerk should have at least allowed her deputies to issue the licenses, which she has refused to do.
"I hate to see her being put in jail. I understand what they're doing. It would be certainly nice if she didn't do it, but other people in her office do it. But from what I understand, she won't allow other people in her office to do it," Trump said.
In earlier comments published on Facebook, Graham described Davis' case as a battle for "religious freedom."
"This ripple effect is exactly what we feared would result from the Supreme Court's disastrous ruling in June. As Americans, our constitution guarantees religious freedom which means we should be able to live out our faith in our daily lives," Graham wrote.
"As Kim fights this battle, she is really fighting for religious freedom for all of us," he added.