It’s time Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk Kim Davis was freed from jail and allowed to live her life and make her choices as she sees fit. She is, after all, an American, and she has every right to the opinions and Christian beliefs she has. What’s more, she has every right to exercise them without fear of being jailed for doing so.
Having said that, however, the county also has the right to excuse this elected official from the duties she swore, likely on oath, to uphold when residents voted her into office. Davis placed her job in jeopardy when she elected to defy the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing marriage, saying that her Christian faith forbids her from issuing marriage licenses to gay people. She made it even more of a possibility when she refused to allow anyone else in her office to conduct the ceremony.
The latter is the catalyst for a judge’s decision to lock Davis up, a ridiculous move that has only escalated the rhetoric between extremists on both sides of this volatile issue, people who, we can’t help but think, neither care about Davis’ beliefs or the stand she made. All activists on both sides of this issue are doing is using Davis as the poster child for their causes, tossing her name about as a means to tout their belief for or against the gay marriage issue.
In truth we are dealing with two very distinct issues. The first is Davis’ beliefs. The clerk has every right to stand by for her Christian faith and to refuse to bend to rules. that go against the very moral fabric of her being. No Christian should ever have to compromise their beliefs in a country where choice is at the heart of the very freedoms so many have died upholding.
But with every choice comes consequences, and in Davis’ case, those consequences likely place her job on the chopping block. It would be true of any employer who takes a stand contrary to the rules of any given company. In this case, the company is the state of Kentucky and the county of Rowan, where both are required, by law to follow the mandate of the Supreme Court. As an elected official, Davis took an oath to uphold the laws. If she doesn’t believe in those laws, she should offer up her job and move on, without sacrificing the beliefs she holds dear.
Why, some would ask, should her job be in jeopardy? Simply put, it’s because she’s refusing to carry out the duties she was hired (or in this case elected) to perform. Think of it this way. What if you or a loved one needed a blood transfusion but was denied access to it at the hospital by a nurse whose religious beliefs prevented her from giving the transfusion? The nurse shouldn’t have to go against her beliefs, but she should be dismissed for not carrying out some of the duties she was hired to perform.
While we may not agree with gay marriage, the law of the land has made it legal so those hired to uphold the laws of the land, much as Davis in her duties as clerk is required to do, must adhere to them or seek another job that doesn’t conflict with their faith.
What extremists would have you believe is that Davis has no right to her beliefs even though gays have every right to marry, or the flip side of that coin, that Davis has every right to her beliefs while gays have no inherent right to be a part of this great country.
Both views are absurd, yet provoked by those who want to incite anger, fear and hostility.
None of those emotions are needed. Davis should stand by her beliefs; the county should follow the law.
Jail has no place in either of the equations, and it’s high time those who locked Davis away freed her and allowed her to live the life she, as an American and as a Christian, has every right to live.