Like many, I ‘ve been following the saga of Kentucky deputy clerk Kim Davis as she battles into martyrdom for her stand against gay marriage. Today after appearing before a US District judge, Davis was in court and reprimanded to jail until such time as she agreed to perform her appointed duties. Outside the courthouse, a divided crowd stood with those in support of gay marriage citing “love wins” while those opposed to gay marriage claimed that “religious freedom is being trampled upon.”
The conversations that I have had today regarding this topic have grown heated quickly. I live in Tennessee a state that, like Kentucky, is deeply rooted in the bible belt and chocked full of Christian fundamentalists who believe the end of the world and God’s wrath is upon us all as the devilish government defies the laws of God. Of course as their antiquated beliefs fall short in the dawn of a newer, more enlightened generation of millennials, they shout persecution and claim their religious freedoms are being trampled upon because they desperately do not want to move ahead with the changing times.
Religious freedom is not being trampled upon, nor is Davis being persecuted for her religious beliefs. This whole issue is a matter of choices, and because Davis wants to have her cake and eat it too, she is not willing to make the logical choice and simply resign her position since it conflicts with her religious beliefs. It is no different than if someone does not want to work the night shift, or who prefers an office position over a job working on the production line. If the job does not fit with your personal needs and desires, then find a new job that does.
But no, she refuses to resign her position. In defense of her refusal to do her job Davis said to the Judge, “My conscience will not allow it. God’s moral law convicts me and conflicts with my duties.”
As to why she will not resign, she told the Kentucky Trial Court Review in a radio interview, “I would have to either make a decision to stand or I would have to buckle down and leave, and if I left, resigned or chose to retire, I would have no voice for God’s word.” She referred to herself as a vessel chosen by God to represent his will in this time and place.
While Davis may fancy herself a modern day Moses, it seems more likely to me that truer reasons guide her actions. I think she enjoys the publicity and the attention that she is receiving from all the bible thumping fundies, but probably a much bigger reason is the unwillingness to give up an $80,000.00 per year salary. That is quite a chunk of coins in small water-tower town in a rural setting. And let’s not forget that her job seems to be a family tradition. Her mother was the deputy clerk preceding her, and evidently her son is in place to succeed her.
In the case of Kim Davis, her moral conscience, and the heaven or hell decisions that she makes do not seem to include the root of all evil, even though Jesus said that it would be harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle (rope in original Aramaic), and to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God, what is God’s. Instead she will continue to collect her hefty paycheck and decry religious persecution. She is yet another perfect example of Christians who cherry pick scriptures, and bend and conflate scriptures as needed to fit their personal preferences. It is evident that her greed outweighs her real religious convictions. But it is much easier for her to delude herself and believe that she is standing for God’s principal as a “vessel” rather than see the truth, which is the money is more important than the conviction.