Last week, Democrat Rowan County, KY, County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed because she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a Supreme Court decision that turned her objections away. She languishes in her cell.
In her words, she chose “the rules of God over the rules of man.”
To some, Davis is a sympathetic hero, holding fast against a culture that has rejected God.
To others, she’s a narrow-minded bigot, “standing in the way of love.”
Like many of us, Davis is likely a little numb at the sudden turn of society against traditional values. After all, the roots of marriage are found in the church and emulated in society and to suddenly switch 6,000 years of tradition is jarring. She feels the current laws and society are assaulting her faith — and she’s not alone.
I’m not sure about her methods, but understand her fervor.She believes she is taking a righteous, defiant stand for what she believes. Davis isn’t afraid to feel so strongly for her beliefs that she’ll be jailed for them. She is embracing Martin Luther King who said that a law of man that contradicts the law of the Creator is no law at all.
Freedom of religion is not part of God’s plan for your life
Davis is not the first to carry that passion to the workplace. There are Muslims in Minneapolis who refuse to scan pork products at the checkout lines. There have been Christian letter carriers who refuse to deliver Victoria’s Secret catalogues. There are Seventh-Day Adventists who refuse to work on Saturday.
There is a growing list (www.freetobelieve.com) of counselors, chaplains, commissioners, bakers, journalists and others who have been removed or denied employment because of their Christian belief.
These are the blatant ones, but it happens in a thousand other situations. I’m sure you have had to make choices.
I have a friend who was working at a restaurant. New uniforms were issued to the wait staff. The females were forced to show a little more thigh and a little more cleavage. She spoke to the manager and asked for exemption. He wouldn’t budge, so she quit.
I’m sure she could have hired a civil rights lawyer. She could have found a U.S. Code and a lawyer that would have interpreted an offense in the U.S. Constitution.
But I’m not so sure it’s a right we should be claiming. In God’s economy, we don’t have rights. He never promised us that we would be able to speak freely, that we would have the right to be a believer in a world that is decidedly not.
A changing tide
We have to admit that many of our Judeo-Christian values are no longer mainstream. The America that held religious freedom as a first freedom and undeniable truth is seeing a cultural swing. Nihlism, Atheism and anti-religious fervor have increased not only in numbers, but in strength.
So we need to brace ourselves and reassess our faith, especially in society and the workplace.
The day may come when we will be further oppressed or even persecuted for our faith. It seems Christians are holding dear to the Constitution, believing it will protect them. But I think we should hold even closer to the Bible and its promise of persecution.
Opposition to our way of life, to our faith, is a certainty, a little-quoted promise of Jesus.
“On my account you will be brought before governors and kings because you are my followers,” said Jesus. “You will be hated by everyone because of me.” (Matt 10.20-23)
So tell me, why are we surprised this is happening?
Quit claiming your rights. Instead, quit.
So let’s talk about your job. Not every job will support Christian values. In fact, as the world descends into chaos, it’s more likely that your job may have a similar crisis of conscience.
We’ve had it good – free reign for a long time in this country. But is it possible that we might just have to hunker down and be the faithful minority, praying for our neighbor, telling others the good news, and showing the world what love really is?
Here’s my advice to Kim Davis and every other person of faith who are having to balance these tough decisions. If your job violates your conscience, then you probably should quit. Don’t depend on American values or an eroding national ethos to save you. Find another job and do what you can to love your fellow man and be salt and light.
We be “reviled and cursed,” promises Jesus. But by doing so, “you will be a blessing.”