equal in the eyes of the law
Yes, this is yet another blog about Kim Davis. I realize that the headline grabbing, anti-gay county clerk from Kentucky is being talked about everywhere and there are lots of great points being made. There are also an awful lot of people who are gleeful over the outcome or spewing hate filled rhetoric about how religious freedom has been usurped. In all of the hoopla, I had a couple of things I wanted to say.
- Anyone who feels the need to denigrate this woman for her past sins, for her choice of clothing, for the way she looks or anything else other than the fact that she has refused to do her job and refused to follow a court order are, in many ways no better than those who bully the kid with glasses or hand-me down-clothes. If it’s wrong to body-shame fat people, or to call people with learning disabilities the R word, or judge a person’s worth by their physical attractiveness alone, then it’s wrong to make fun of this woman’s appearance as well. (there is a caveat here in that the past sins being touted are those that have direct bearing on her discrimination, but we all have a past and we’ve all been stupid, so let’s just leave it where it belongs).
- Anyone who feels glee that this woman is now behind bars and will suffer whatever may befall her there, has forgotten that this woman is a human being, who by all indications really, truly believes that she is right. I’ve never spent a night in jail, but I can’t imagine that this is easy for her and some compassion is in order.
- Now, before you go thinking that I don’t believe that she belongs right where she is, hear me out. Kim Davis broke the law. Kim Davis indicated her intention to continue to break the law. Kim Davis belongs in jail.
- No, Kim Davis has not had her religious freedom revoked or violated or any of the other words I’ve seen thrown about. The first amendment (which guarantees our religious freedom) states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. No law has been made respecting an establishment of religion. No law has been made prohibiting the free exercise of religion. What HAS happened is that a government employee who was elected to do a job that is governed by law has refused to follow the law. What HAS happened is that a government employee has taken it upon herself to prohibit others from exercising THEIR religion (in some cases) and interfered with the constitutional rights of others as was decided by the Supreme Court.
- I’m no expert, but it seems to me that Kim Davis is still a little young in her fauith and hasn’t done nearly enough study because it seems to me that “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” comes into play here, as well as “Love your neighbors” and “love your enemies and do good to those who hate you” and, lest we forget, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
- If we apply her logic, that she can not sign those licenses because she would be held responsible by god to other licenses, we open up a whole other box of worms. What about gun licenses? Does the clerk who signs them get held accountable for any crimes committed with that gun? Do the people at DMV who give out permits and driver’s licenses and car registrations get held accountable for the DUIs and auto deaths that happen? No. Of course not. It’s a piece of paper that says a couple has met all the legal requirements for marriage. That’s all she’s signing to, that these two people are legally entitled to marriage. She isn’t signing off on the morality of the marriage.
- If she wants to hold out moral authority over marriage and base it on her book of choice, should she not also be issuing marriage licenses for one man and his many brides? No? Why? Because it’s against the law. And her job is bound by the law. Marriage in the bible is not as cut and dry as modern Christians want us to believe.
- Again, I’m no expert, but it seems to me that if she was trying to live her new (for whatever value that holds, I honestly don’t know how long she’s claimed the title Christian) faith faithfully, Kim Davis would either a) resign from the position so that she doesn’t have to violate her beliefs to follow the law, or b) designate one of her deputy clerks to process any LGBT marriage licenses so she won’t have to. Not only does this seem like the RIGHT thing to do, it also seems like the CHRISTIAN thing to do.
- Just to reiterate, Kim Davis is not in jail because she is a Christian. Kim Davis is not in jail because she is not being allowed to be a Christian, or exercise her faith. Kim Davis is in jail because she broke the law and defied a court order. She broke the law. She defied a court order from the Supreme Court. She vowed in court under oath that she would continue to do so.
I know, there goes that Pagan woman quoting the bible again. But I was starting to feel like somebody needed to, since there hasn’t been a single quote from Kim Davis’ side to support her stand…likely because there isn’t one within the bible. Regardless of what is and isn’t in the bible, deciding who is allowed to get married to whom is not in the job description of a county clerk. The highest court in our land has determined that everyone, regardless of gender or race or religion or orientation has the constitutionally protected right to be married. That means that someone in that clerk’s office needs to be able and willing to hand out the licenses. It has nothing to do with anyone’s faith and everything to do with everyone’s rights to be equal in the eyes of the law.