Thursday, September 3, 2015

And So This Happened...

Kim Davis is the elected county clerk of Rowan County Kentucky.  Among her duties is to issue marriage licenses to those who qualify by law to marry.  Recent Supreme Court ruling on this issue of people of the same sex marrying means those laws, already on the books apply to same sex couples and those that the block same sex couples from getting married are null and void as they violate the Constitution of the United States.  Davis has decided that her religious convictions do not allow her to issue these licenses.  That is her right, but the thing is that since her job as a government official is to allow others to have access to their rights the conflict should not be resolved by her not doing her job, but getting out of the way so someone else can do it.  She can resign and walk away from the situation she can’t comfortably do or face the legal consequences. 
We found out today that those legal consequences are jail.  I am sure this is what she wanted.  She seems to be edging toward becoming the martyr that the anti-gay marriage crowd wants.  It didn’t take long until there were people all over the airwaves and social media saying that this was persecution of liberals.  Included in those voices were people who want to be President of the United States. 
Davis is not going to jail for being Christian, she is going to jail for defying a court order. She is going to jail for contempt of court. She chooses to be a county clerk, she must follow a legal order or face consequences. People supporting her are using fallacious arguments and are missing the point. She can claim her Christianity and stand on any street corner and preach but she can't use her government office to enforce her vision of Christianity on the entire county.
There are plenty of times when we must stand up for our religious freedom.  The government should not stand in the way of worship or belief.  But that is not what is going on here and this is not a case of someone standing up against the tyranny of the state.  This is about someone who has decided her particular view of Christianity supersedes the law.  That is not an American value and anyone who tells you it is, is either lying or ignorant. 

So this county clerk will sit in a cell.  People in Rowan County will be able to get marriage licenses from deputy clerks.  The right wing noise machine will have faux outrage, and people will explain the role of the Supreme Court and the 14th amendment.  In the meantime, real religious persecution will go unreported and people who claim liberty as the center of our culture will argue that discrimination is a Christian value.  Is that really what our country needs?  

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