Last week, I spent Friday morning at Intelligentsia Coffee in Pasadena where I wrote an opinion piece on the Kim Davis case for my school paper which can be read after the page break. I had chosen to write the “pro” article, in favor of her stance as a county clerk who didn’t assign marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her faith. The story annoyed me as it was referenced frequently in my newsfeed. I purposely ignored headlines with Davis’ name because the motivations from the two sides seemed misguided. Both those who have supported her and those who have opposed her remind me of the point made by Hank Green in this video I came across while writing that morning.
Davis is an Apostolic Christian, meaning she holds to strict traditions, only wearing dresses, restraining from makeup, and not cutting her hair. Usually, Apostolic Christianity keeps away from entertainment, too. She would likely be against the way most Christians today carry themselves.
I don’t agree with how Davis handled the situation at hand. She wasn’t gracious in her stance, representing her faith by turning personal conviction into national scandal. Instead of genuinely representing Christ, she represented an Apostolic approach to modern society and went against the duty given to her by the government, when she could have declined accepting this responsibility earlier on when it became a part of her job.
Rather than justifying her actions, the article I wrote focuses on what she believes and how people responded.
“You say, ‘I don’t like what’s going on in my country.’ Neither does God. And he will determine the form of government that suits his purposes for a country that has turned its back on him.” -John MacArthur
America has made a hypocritical error in the case against Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, who recently refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The nation has responded with animosity toward Davis, telling her she should either resign or turn against her faith by permitting licenses. As the result of overlapping laws, Davis was imprisoned for six days. Through the controversy, the first and tenth amendments were compromised in the name of marriage.
Many have accused Davis of being hateful, which contradicts her Christian faith she has stood by. “Freedom” in Christianity has never meant to live the life one wants to live, but to live in accordance with the Gospel. The Christian life is one of struggle, as it involves standing up for what is believed in the face of adversity. When put in perspective, would it not have been easier for Davis to issue a marriage license and ignore her faith? Evidently, her stance has not been out of hate for same-sex couples, but out of love and loyalty for her God. She knew that this could cause controversy and persecution, but she decided to go through it because it was worth the cost.
The apostle Paul, who was imprisoned unjustly several times throughout his life for being a Christian, eventually giving his life for his faith, wrote in his letter to the Romans, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
The Bible is offensive. This is a fact that Christians support. It is often in life that what is believed to be the truth can contradict what we would prefer to be the truth. In the church, it is accepted that the Gospel is not meant purely as a means of comfort, but of justice.
“You can’t be separated from something that’s in your heart and in your soul,” Davis said to the judge prior being escorted out of court by a federal marshal.
Of course, the Davis controversy is not merely a matter of motivations, but fairness. To the world, it would not be fair for her to impose her faith. To her, it would not be fair for the world to impose on her faith.
“We want a pagan society to respect our sentimental religiosity, and that is not going to happen any time soon,” wrote Douglas Wilson, a Christian blogger, in response to the court’s ruling for her imprisonment.
In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar allowed those he ruled over to practice their own religions as long as they first bowed to a golden statue he created. The idol of the nation is not simply justice, but man-made freedom.
Christopher Ciccone, openly gay brother of Madonna, wrote a Facebook post in defense of Davis:
“Is it so difficult to allow this woman her religion? Or must we destroy her in order for her to betray her faith, no matter how we judge its truth? The rights we have all fought for, mean nothing, if we deny her hers.”
When laws overlap each other, reasoning begins to cave in on itself. Whether one agrees with her or not, Davis has brought attention to something that needs to be brought attention to: how should the government respond to those it employs when law goes against faith?