Thursday, September 3, 2015

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis should resign -- or be held in contempt of court (UPDATED)

Davis, acting under her idea of "God's authority," uses her position of power for selfish means

UPDATE: Kim Davis has been found in contempt of court. The following is my blog post in its original form, before that ruling.

It’s not an exact rule, but in my experience whenever I’ve seen people argue that their actions are governed by “God’s rule” (or any other variation of that), it isn’t for anything good.

This excludes people who are trying to live the way they believe God intended them to in their private lives. Pastors, parishioners, and the like are certainly welcome to live in that manner.

But when it comes to people who are acting out in such a way that their actions get them noticed by a wide public audience, it tends to be for something negative.

In Kentucky, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is refusing to issue marriages to couples on the basis of their sex. The recent Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex couples to wed isn’t enough to convince her to fulfill her job duties.

Davis, you see, is acting under “God’s authority.”

Which is to say that she’s acting under God’s authority based on her own religious principles. Plenty of people -- and other churches -- have no qualms with marrying couples of the same sex.

And as a public official, duty-bound to serve everyone in her community, I’m sure that Davis herself has probably issued many marriage licenses to couples who didn’t fit her exact definition of living under “God’s authority” -- atheists, other Protestants, or heaven forbid, Jewish people!!! (Please note the sarcasm)

I have real issues with people like Davis who say they are working under God’s supposed authority. It was a married couple in Wisconsin, after all, who allowed their daughter to die rather than seek medical help when she was sick, that also worked under God’s authority. And the same supposed authority told a mad man to kill abortion provider George Tiller.

Kim Davis is not a murderer. But she is acting under her definition of what “God’s authority” is, and that makes her dangerous. She is causing harm to the lives of members of her community, and she’s doing it for selfish reasons.

Her moral compass should guide her actions in her private life. But when she became a public official, she swore an oath to uphold the law of the land, and to administer the law in an equal way to every member of her community.

The law of the land now includes the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. If she can’t do that willingly, she needs to resign. If she won’t resign, she needs to be held in contempt of court.

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