Federal prisoner Kim Davis walked into the Kentucky jail cell wearing an orange jumpsuit and holding a Bible.
"When I went back into that holding cell I hit my knees and just prayed, just cried out for God to give me some peace and assurance that all was going to be well—and I prayed and I sang," she told me in her first digital interview.
It was Sept. 3—the day Davis became the first Christian jailed as a result of the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.
Federal Judge David Bunning ordered her jailed for contempt of court after she defied a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Bunning denied her request to accommodate her religious beliefs by simply removing her name from the marriage form.
"That's all I ever asked for," she said. "I didn't ask for them to jump over the moon and give me the stars and pull the sun down for me. I asked a very simple and doable accommodation."
Davis, the clerk in Rowan County, was released five days later after she agreed she would not interfere with deputies who were issuing licenses to gay couples.
Bunning said he was "satisfied that the Rowan County Clerk's Office is fulfilling its obligation to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples."
However, the American Civil Liberties Union representing four Kentucky couples contends that Mrs. Davis has altered marriage licenses—making them possibly invalid. And they want her held in contempt—again.
The validity of the licenses is "questionable at best," ACLU attorneys told the Washington Post. "What's more, the adulterated marriage licenses received by Rowan County couples will effectively feature a stamp of animus against the LGBT community, signaling that, in Rowan County, the government's position is that LGBT couples are second-class citizens unworthy
of official recognition and authorization of their marriage license but for this Court's intervention and order."
Mat Staver, of the Liberty Counsel law firm, is Davis' attorney. He said the ACLU's allegations have no merit.
"They want her scalp to hang on the wall as a trophy," he said.
Davis is a follower of the Apostolic Christian faith and a devoutly religious woman. She is uncomfortable in the public spotlight.
"I've been called Hitler, a homophobe, a hypocrite—words I didn't even use when I was in the world—words that are very vile and nasty," she said. "I've been called pretty much anything that you can think in your mind."
But the words did not hurt.
"It's a righteous thing to defend the Word of God and I am so much of a nothing—to be used of God is just an honor and a privilege," she said. "I count it all joy."
Our half-hour conversation was sprinkled with references to Bible passages and worship songs. She frequently became emotional when talking about her relationship with God.
She spent most of her time in jail reading her Bible and writing notes and singing songs such as "What a Mighty God We Serve."
She especially took comfort in a passage of Scripture from the New Testament.
"God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind," she said, quoting 2 Timothy 1:7.
But it was the following verse that gave her courage:
"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God ..." (2 Tim. 1:8).
"I walked and prayed and sang praises in the jail cell and just really drew comfort from God's Word when I was there," she told me.
Staver said he marveled at his client's composure during their first meeting inside the jailhouse.
"We hugged and shed a few tears and the first words out of her mouth were, 'All is well,'" Staver told me. "I went in there to encourage her, but we went away being encouraged ourselves by her."
She was at complete peace, Staver said.
"I think it's hard for people to understand that, but there was a definite peace," he said.
Davis told me it was worth every day behind bars.
"The Lord died and suffered so terribly for us and I counted such a privilege and an honor and a joy that I would have to sit a mere five days in jail to uphold His Word," she said. "For me, it's worth it."
Life is slowly returning to normal for Davis. She's back at work at the clerk's office—in early, out late. She dotes on her children and grandson. And she finds time to read her Bible atop a hill on the family's property.
And in spite of the media firestorm, this nationally known defender of religious liberty even found time to celebrate her birthday.
Davis turned 50 on Sept. 17—which just happens to be Constitution Day.
Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.
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