Let’s Talk About Kim Davis

The title says it all. I’m not usually a confrontational person, and while I can get fairly controversial or political in this blog, I’d say most often that I refrain from commenting on such emotionally charged topics as Kim Davis. It does happen, but not very frequently. However, I feel that there’s a need to address these issues in a respectable manner that goes beyond the “keyboard warrior” idea that so many people do in the comments section of blatantly biased and opinionated Yahoo articles and Facebook posts that masquerade as fact, when are really just rallying points for like minded fools and feeding grounds for hateful piranhas. I see so many posts like this and I’m always extremely tempted to become one of them, but I always tell myself its not worth my time and I’d be doing way more harm than good by lowering myself to that. Maybe I’m even lowering myself now, but I’m hoping to be as respectful and intellectual as possible without sacrificing my viewpoint. I’m not going to pretend that this is fact, and I’m not sure I’ll be drawing from iron clad scientific evidence, but I will be talking about where I stand on Kim Davis’ recent actions.

Before I say anything further about my opinions of this entire situation, I urge you to watch this interview with Kim Davis. It certainly talks about where she stands on the issue, because believe it or not, she seems to have a lot more than, “I won’t issue marriage licenses to gay people.” She is a person same as you and me and is deserving of the same respect that I believe all humans are entitled to, regardless of political standpoint. Here’s the video.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/kentucky-clerk-kim-davis-denied-marriage-licenses-friends/story?id=33939041

In this video, she describes being sent a bunch of hate mail, which is truly horrendous to hear even a little of. People call her Hitler. The man who effectively started the bloodiest war in the world’s history, sent millions of innocent “undesirables” to their deaths, bred humans in an attempt to create a master race, and any number of atrocities is in any way comparable to a woman who won’t sign a piece of paper saying two men are allowed to be married? That’s excessively drastic. She’s also been told that God doesn’t love her, which is just a wretched thing to tell someone, especially when God is incapable of not loving. He’s unchanging, and He’s ever-loving, and to tell Mrs. Davis that God doesn’t love her is effectively stating that God loves everyone but her, which aside from being false is just a miserable thought. The other thing she mentioned is being called a homophobe, which is a word that’s really lost its meaning since everyone decided to slap it on people who aren’t homophobes. This is a really serious accusation, I think, and nowadays is roughly the equivalent of being called a racist. But lets just look at that accusation. A dislike or prejudice against homosexuals. Personally, I don’t believe she’s homophobic, but she is making homophobic actions. They are separate things, just like good people can do bad things. I truly believe that she doesn’t hate gay people, but she is following her convictions. Denying someone something does not equate to hate. Do parents hate their kids when they won’t let their kids see the new R-rated movie, or when they won’t let their kids go to a party, or anything else? No. I’m not saying Kim Davis has authority over adults in the same way parents have authority over children, but I’m trying to demonstrate that it’s possible to say no and not hate the person you’re saying no to. Really what I’m getting at is that people are being severely overdramatic in their accusations against Kim Davis. Not everyone, but still some. Watching that video made me believe that she is not being hateful, but trying to stand up for her beliefs.

That being said, I don’t think Kim Davis is in the right here. I’ve heard these arguments about religious law vs. civil law and criminal law go around and around attacking straw men like a tornado in Kansas. I really hate it when people say that religious law has no place in our country, because you want to know some religious laws? Don’t murder, don’t steal, love other people. That last one technically isn’t a law, but the fact still stands that many people say religion has no place in government and that any notion of it should be removed from our country’s laws. It’s true that religious law =/= our government’s law, but religious law is almost exclusively personal conviction based, which then translates into these people supporting laws that align with their personal convictions just like any other person, religious or otherwise. On the other hand, “God’s Will” does not give you a free pass to do whatever you want in lieu of our government’s law. In a democracy where the people choose officials and laws to vote on and all that democratic jazz, we are obligated to abide by those laws. In court, God’s law makes no difference to a judge and it really has no place. So when Kim Davis says that she abides by God’s law, she mistakes that as a free ticket to disregard American law, which it isn’t. Her devotion to God may come first, which I think is admirable, but she is also obligated to serve her country. If she disagrees with gay marriage, she should not be putting herself in a position where she has to discriminate. We could go into a whole huge debate over civil disobedience and the similarities between her refusal to issue marriage licenses and workers going on strike, but I feel that’s too complex an issue that I don’t really understand or have an educated standpoint on to make an adequate judgment.

But lets get down into the deeper debate here, which is freedom of religion, because I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I look at this and say that she should be allowed to practice her religion freely. I’ve heard about Muslim men being fired because they’d refuse to shave their beards in a fast food establishment or some kind of food establishment, but then people say that forcing someone to shave their beards is infringing on their religious beliefs. So the debate really boils down to who should accommodate who? Do the Muslim men/Kim Davis sacrifice their beliefs for their work, or does the workplace have to allow religious tolerance for its workers? It could go either way in a legal debate, but ultimately I think Kim Davis is trying to take a stand where she shouldn’t. Her actions are being construed as hateful and she’s in a position that requires potentially issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. If she has a problem with that, she shouldn’t be working there. I also don’t think that issuing the marriage license in any way reflects her own beliefs. I can sit through a biology class and learn about evolution, but that doesn’t mean I adhere to that way of thinking. There are Christians who live in Muslim theocracies, but that doesn’t mean they adhere to Islam. I can go to a gay person’s wedding and not agree with gay marriage, and I think she’s thinking that by giving people what they’re legally entitled to she must agree with it. Can you picture walking into a restaurant and ordering something with pork on it, and then the waiter or cook who’s Jewish just says, “Sorry, I’m Jewish and I can’t make/serve pork because I believe in only eating a kosher diet.” We’d flip out right? If we ordered something at a restaurant, we’re entitled to get it, and the cooks/waiters need to oblige. It doesn’t mean they have to agree with the other person’s actions, but they either need to not work there or just make/serve the dang food. I don’t think putting Kim Davis in jail for disobeying federal law is infringing on religious freedom. Religious freedom used to say having slaves was okay, or that segregation was okay. It’s a really complex issue, but in the end I think Kim Davis is at fault here. That doesn’t excuse the horrible treatment of her though. For people tweeting #lovewins all the time, they should be extending that love to everyone. We all have the freedom to love who we want, but if you’re going to preach love and tolerance towards everyone, you can’t stop at Kim Davis and other people you don’t agree with.

Kim Davis also believes that she is not a hypocrite, which I see as true in this sense. In reality, we’re all hypocrites because we all have morals and beliefs that we don’t live up to sometimes. Kim Davis did have four husbands, and she had sex outside of marriage, but that still doesn’t make her a hypocrite. She did those while not a Christian, and has since then asked for God’s forgiveness. That clears her with God, and since the secular world believes having four husbands and having sex outside of marriage is not only fine but in some cases encouraged or applauded, she should be in the clear with them too! Why is it then that people insist on holding people accountable for actions that are no longer relevant, and have already been dealt with? Honestly, give people a break! We’re all hypocrites sometimes and we’re just going to have to get used to it one of these days.

It’s time we get over ourselves and wake up. Kim Davis is not a hero and she’s not a villain. She doesn’t deserve praise or idolatry, nor does she deserve beheading or being burned at the stake, or even horrible name calling. She has many good points to share, but she is also, to some degree, at fault. All the media does is victimize which divides the country and I’m honestly a little scared about where this country is headed. I don’t have all the answers, and I have no idea exactly how to solve all of this society’s issues, but I know that dividing the country into red and blue, Christians and others, or whatever the dichotomy is a step in the wrong direction. When you polarize people and force people to one extreme or the other, and then elect officials from those two extremes, the government no longer represents the people, and people get lumped into a belief system they don’t support. You know what happens when two groups of people with different viewpoints look at the world in black and white and refuse to see the others as humans with legitimate opinions, beliefs, and practices? They go to war. People die, people get hurt, and nothing good comes from it. Wake up and look at what’s happening to this country. America will not be doomed because the white house becomes either red or blue, it will be doomed because we can’t find the purple, or the good in the other side. I’m legitimately horrified of what I’m going to see in the news and from other people as I live in this country. Already there are shootings every other week, and riots, and false martyrs and you name it. Baltimore, Ferguson, Kim Davis, Josh Duggar, Hilary Clinton, ISIS, it’s just one crisis or scandal after another, and we’re too busy casting stones at one another to realize that these stones are destroying us. And this is only the beginning. It’s only going to get worse from here. My heart breaks for this country and it’s people, and if we’re being really honest, my heart breaks for Kim Davis.

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One thought on “Let’s Talk About Kim Davis

  1. I think you’ve got a pretty clear understanding, and I basically agree with you. There’s an overriding issue when we’re talking about government work, or any other profession (like my health care licenses) that require oaths. If you take an oath, that solemn promise overrides and supersedes your private beliefs legally. It becomes your primary legal obligation. If you reach a point where your beliefs are in conflict with the requirements of your oath, the oath itself states you are obligated to resign. It all comes down to the fact that Mrs. Davis thinks her allegiance to God allows her to break her promises to those who elected her, and still keep getting paid for a job she refuses (in part) to perform. It doesn’t. The only two ethical options are to submit to the orders of her superiors, or quit the job.

    The second issue is about what’s called “scope of practice”, which also applies to oath-based professions. County Clerks are not lawyers, judges or legislators. They are not credentialed in law, so they aren’t allowed to even HAVE an opinion about which laws are just, unjust or to be followed. They only have authority to go down the checklist provided by the state as to who is or isn’t qualified to get forms. A clerk can’t take that kind of action on their own authority, even if they say it’s God’s. SHE is not qualified to authorize marriages. The state (and/or religious institution) is doing that.

    Can you imagine the societal chaos, if people without training and credential got to weigh in equally on which laws and procedures to follow? Your fast-food server would get to decide whether or not the business they work for is safe, because hey, their opinion is equal to a health dept. inspector. A medical asst. could override the opinion of any doctor. And a corporal in the army could decide to disobey an order from a captain “on God’s authority”.

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