I’ve honestly been trying not to weigh in on the Kim Davis situation, because the whole situation smells rotten to me. But there’s a blatant hypocrisy to her position that I haven’t seen anybody mention… so here goes.
First off, let me say that I think both sides are wrong in this issue, and both sides are right (at least in a way).
Judges like Justice David Bunning are required to compel people to follow the laws, which he did. Kim Davis ignored his order and continued breaking the law… hence the arrest for contempt. But, Bunning should’ve never sent this woman to jail. Bar her from entering the clerk’s office, maybe; remove her from office and order a special election, but don’t put her in jail. Bunning has effectively made a martyr out of a mole hill. But, as wrong headed as his actions have been, Kim Davis’ have been worse
I don’t fault Davis for her convictions. I understand her position and how she got there. I don’t fault her for wanting to stand on her convictions. There’s something admirable about that, no matter how strongly one may disagree them them. I fault her for her hypocrisy, and Davis’ Hypocrisy began the moment she became an agent of the state.
If you want to go on a strict literalist reading of the scripture (which is how Davis gets to her condemnation of gay marriage), then how does she justify the fact that she took an oath of office–an act that is strictly forbidden by scripture? (Matthew 5:34-37)
This is the inherent problem when Christians become agents of the state. If one swears an oath to uphold a set of laws, what should one do when those laws run counter to their religious convictions? Davis seemed to believe she only had two options: break the law or break her religious convictions. She chose to break the law. But, she missed the third option. Resign.
The moment Kim Davis took an oath of office she agreed to put her reverence for the law above her religious convictions. Where’s the literalist biblical protest for that? Where’s the moral outrage among Christians for that?
I actually think there’s some wiggle room on Christ’s stricture of oaths, but if you want wiggle room on that, then you bring in wiggle room on a whole set of ethical issues, including homosexuality and the ban on gay marriage. Her position, in regard to the bible, is blatantly inconsistent.
Davis’ hypocrisy doesn’t stop there. When she took the oath, Davis promised to uphold her duties and follow the laws of the state. When she broke the law, she effectively made a lie of her oath. She took an oath (which by her reading of scripture is forbidden), then she broke the oath (and made herself a hypocrite).
It’s fine with ALL of us if she disagrees with the law. It’s fine with ALL of us if her conscious won’t let her issue a marriage license to same sex couples. But that’s the gig. If you can’t do the gig, resign. Don’t hold everyone in your county hostage to your religious beliefs, then become a publicity hound and pretend you are some kind of martyr.
An elected official is not allowed to impose their own personal will on the rest of the citizens. That’s fascism, and its disgraceful (as in not-grace-ful). In trying to protect her integrity she forgot that the Jesus way is down. The Jesus way out of this situation was to humble herself, and empty herself of the office she held (Phil. 2:9-11).
I don’t know what possessed her to do what she’s done, but to blame it on her Christianity is embarrassing. I wish she would’ve resigned. I wish Mike Huckabee would’ve stayed out of it. All Kim Davis has done is stir up another ugly round of culture wars, and set herself up for a fat advance check on a book deal. She has become part of the problem – not part of the solution.