I would like to ask you to take a close look at this meme, but don’t focus on the words. Focus on the face of Kim Davis. This is an actual picture taken by an AP photographer during her conversation with a gay couple applying for a marriage license. Now, looking at that face, I ask you, is that a face that examples the love of Christ? Or, is that a face that expresses disgust and contempt toward the one she is speaking with? Because to me, it is a face that shows pure hatred. In that one moment, captured by the click of a button, Davis’ expression should tell you everything that you need to know about her true motive. It is right there on her face, you can’t miss it. She hates gay people and finds them disgusting. You can delude yourself into rationalizing it, but it doesn’t change the truth.
Some will attempt to defend and rationalize this woman’s actions under that tired, overused and totally false adage, “love the sinner, hate the sin.” But people see through that approach and completely disregard it. Actions speak louder than words, and if your actions show you to be a hater, no manner of words will change that truth.
And Davis is a hater. If her conscience toward her faith was truly her motive, and Jesus truly her inspiration she would handle this matter quite differently. She would accept the terms offered to step away and let her clerks issue the licenses. In that way she could abide her conscience and still not discriminate against others while continuing to perform the functions of her job. But no. Davis emerges from jail only to file a motion with Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of appeals that would allow her to continue to force her staff to refuse issuing marriage licenses until her case is settled. I fail to see how much more clear her intentions could be. She wants an accommodation based on her religious beliefs only if it allows her to impose her religious convictions upon her staff and the community she is sworn to serve. And for those who want to offer the excuse to hate based on her conscientious objection to the license having her name on it, well then, I say that she gives Jesus little regard as a loving savior who forgives transgressions. After all, I was taught that God knows the truth of the heart and knows when the heart intends to go against his word and willfully sin. Even if her version of Christianity doesn’t teach her that same premise, Jesus gave her the example in the bible. Which is to “shake the dust off her feet”, when dealing with sinners who will not abide her message, and “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is Gods” when dealing with disagreement in complying with the mandates of government.
But none of that matters. Look again at her face. This is not a stand she is taking on behalf of God, but a stand that she is taking because she doesn’t tolerate gay people; much less love them in the command of Christ.
Christians, people are falling away from the church because of people like Kim Davis. The message of Jesus is being lost against hateful, bigoted people like this who think they are entitled to their own version of a Christian utopia where there is no room for anyone who does not agree with them. It is why religious leaders like the Pope and various denominations of progressive Protestants are attempting to renew the message of a loving, tolerant Christ into a more peaceful and kinder brand of Christianity. But maybe it is a little too little too late. People, especially the younger generations are finding other ways to express their spirituality and leaving Christianity in its current repressive, homophobic, antiquated state behind.
I am a part of the mass exodus from Christianity. My departure was initially motivated by people like Davis. I became aware that by referring to myself as a Christian, instead of being associated with Jesus, I was being identified with bigots, haters and self-deluded hypocrites who had turned Christianity into a religion of preference instead of the gospel of love and forgiveness that Jesus taught. I reached the point that I was too embarrassed to identify as a Christian. It began a search for a truth that would lead me completely out of Christianity.
If I were still a Christian, Kim Davis would embarrass me. I find her an embarrassment to the Christians in my family who legitimately try to live their lives in the truth of Christ. And in her I see the actions of many who do not. It is easy for me to think that people like Davis, and those who condone her actions will reduce Christianity one self-serving act at a time, until all that remains are radicals and extremists.
This meme should speak a truth. If Kim Davis’ stand of hatred against her fellow man does not embarrass or offend you, it should.