It is easy to spin Kim Davis's story as one of persecution. It's easy to get on FOX News and warn pastors that this is what's coming for them if they refuse to perform same-sex marriage. But to do so would be dishonest. Because the reality is that Kim Davis is not being persecuted for her faith, she is reaping the consequences of refusing to do her job as an agent of the state.
The Kim Davis situation raises interesting questions about the meaning and practical effect of the freedom of religion. Although, for reasons that I will explain, the issue today is one of public policy, rather than constitutional law, the evolution of constitutional principles in this realm is illuminating.