I’m fascinated by this whole case of Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis refusing to marry anyone because she’s against same sex marriage. For one thing, this is all so Christian: looking for a loophole. According to her, she isn’t being prejudice as she would be if she simply wouldn’t marry LGBT people. But it is ridiculous. I think as a nation we have to stand with the evidence. She would marry people when same sex marriage was illegal and she won’t now. Of course, she isn’t even being that sly. She says she won’t issue marriage licenses “under God’s authority.” Of course, she isn’t working for a church. But that’s another matter.
It seems clear to me that she should simply be fired. She isn’t willing to do her job. Imagine that I was a member of the Church of Lazy People, and I took at a job at the US Postal Service. But I refused to work the counter or deliver mail, because it was against my religion, I would be fired and that would be that. Because Christianity is a popular church and there are many bigots similiar to Kim Davis, she’s treated as though her demands were valid. Of course, no reasonable person seems to be defending her.
What I expect to happen is that Davis will have a “Go Fund Me” campaign set up for her and walk away with a million bucks and retire. At worst, some church will hire her for her “brave” stand against Satan. But if she ends up poor and living in a homeless shelter, I’m fine with that. To be honest, I’m tired to hearing conservative Christians whine and complain about all their oppression without actually experiencing any harms. These people aren’t being fed to lions, after all. In fact, in the case of Kim Davis, she hasn’t even been fired, even though if she worked (for far less money) at Walmart, she would have been fired days ago.
The Republican candidate for governor in Kentucky, Matt Bevin, supports Davis’ right not to do her job, “I absolutely support her willingness to stand on her First Amendment rights.” As Scott Lemieux responded sarcastically, “I’m sure he would feel the same way if state officials started withholding their services to him on the grounds that his economic views were inconsistent with the Sermon on the Mount.” That’s right. Bevin only supports Davis because he supports the effect. Even he must know that such a broad reading of the First Amendment would make society ungovernable. Even Justice Scalia understands this priciple.
But here is what I really don’t understand: if this is all about religion, why not just say, “Sure the government can ‘marry’ whomever they want, but God doesn’t accept those marriages”? I mean, from the government’s standpoint, marriage is primarily about tax policy, and Jesus was very clear about that. There’s my good friend Mark. In 12:14-15, he wrote, “They came and said to Him…. ‘Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay or shall we not pay?'” Jesus knew that they were just trying to trick him, so he had them bring him a coin and show that it was Caesar’s image on the coin. Jesus then said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
I know that Kim Davis would respond that marriage is God’s. But clearly not in this case. The “marriage” of the United States of America is not the “marriage” of the Bible. So what’s the big deal? Well, we know what the big deal is. As I say: Christianity is, for most people, a cultural signifier. They don’t care about God. They just want to stop the flow of history. They want to say that their tribe is right and other tribes are wrong. And most of all, they want to continue on oppressing those they’ve oppressed in the past.
So for those who have some sympathy for Kim Davis as a pawn in a political game she probably doesn’t even know she’s part of, I say unto you, “Render her unto God.” Fire her and let her powerful God take care of her. If he really cares so much about the sanctity of marriage, he will reward her — maybe by killing her so she can go up to heaven. Regardless, if doing God’s work is easy, it is meaningless. Let her be a good Christian and suffer for her religion.
It turns out that Davis is elected and so can’t be fired. Thus, she should be thrown in jail.