UPDATE: Spotting an opportunity for some down-home campaign-trail proselytizing, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee announced via Twitter on Thursday that he’ll soon be rallying for Davis’ cause in person:

* * *

After drawing national attention and being found in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples seeking to wed in her area of Kentucky, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis could be on her way to professional martyrdom for mixing her religious beliefs with her job.

As of Thursday afternoon, Davis remained behind bars, even as five out of six of the deputies in her office (the outlier being Davis’ son) agreed to start pushing papers to facilitate same-sex marriages Friday (via USA Today):

But Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, whom U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning has placed in the custody of U.S. marshals ready to take her to Boyd County jail, said through her lawyers that she will not authorize any of her employees to issue licenses in her absence.

“My conscience will not allow it,” Davis said earlier to Bunning. “God’s moral law convicts me and conflicts with my duties.”

… “Her good-faith belief is simply not a viable defense,” said Bunning, who said he also has deeply held religious beliefs. “Oaths mean things.”

Bunning’s ruling was also intended to prevent like-minded officials in similar positions from following Davis’ lead.

For her part, Davis on Thursday told The Kentucky Trial Court Review that she had been acting on a higher authority and wouldn’t avoid jail because, she said, “If I left, resigned or chose to retire, I would have no voice for God’s word.”

Meanwhile, Harvard Law professor and Bloomberg View columnist Noah Feldman opined that Davis in fact ought to resign if she refuses to change her stance:

It’s just fine — in fact, I think it’s admirable — for a public official to say that he or she won’t enforce any law that’s fundamentally immoral and in contradiction to God’s laws. But the only way to keep that promise consistent with the oath of office is for the official to resign when she thinks enforcing the law would be wrong. Given Davis’s statement of faith that it would violate her interpretation of God’s will to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, she should quit her position as county clerk. Indeed, she must — or she’d be living in a position of hypocritical sin.

But by saying she won’t issue the marriage licenses while serving in office, Davis is also, if I may humbly say so, committing a sin: violating an oath she made before God to uphold the Constitution and laws of the U.S. The Constitution requires her to issue licenses for gay couples. Every moment she disobeys the Constitution, she is violating her oath. The Bible doesn’t look kindly on oath-breaking. The only way for her to emerge from the state of sin is to resign.

Of course, this being the age of social media, a form of vigilante justice has also been served in 140 characters or less by way of a spoof Twitter account: Enter “Sitnextto Kim Davis.”

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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