Thursday, September 10, 2015

Should We Be Celebrating Kim Davis?

Unless you have been under a rock, you have heard about Kim Davis, the Kentucky Clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses because she does not support same sex marriage. There has been a ton of opinions on both sides, mostly in the form of memes on Facebook. Many support Davis, and many oppose Davis. She has become a polarizing icon, but should we rally behind her in this situation?

Let me start out by saying the issue of same sex marriage is complicated. Marriage as a religious institution is defined by God as a union of a man and a woman. It's the foundation of building a family, community and society. God defined it, God established it and it's set and foundational. Calling a union of two men or two women does not create a marriage. Where it gets tricky is that marriage has been removed from the confines of religion and faith, and is now a government run and controlled institution. It's a function of the state, and as a state function it's not limited to those of a religious faith. The state has the right to define their institutions however they wish, and the state definition of marriage has become a union of two adults who desire to be married. Apparently, the definition of a state marriage is fluid, and can (and probably will continue) to change.

This is where the issue is, we have a combination of faith and state issues. We have a separation of church and state in this country, where the state is not allowed (in theory) to interfere with the church. In the same way, no church or religion is permitted to control or influence the state or government. Faith is to be free and independent from government. The issue is marriage, where it's both part of the church and part of the state. There has never been an issue like this in the past, so there was no need to make a distinction, but it's unfortunate that the state and the church use the same term and the same documentation. The state has a civil union that united two people in the eyes of the state. The church has marriage which unites two people in the sight of God. They are similar, but not the same thing.

This is why this is such a complicated issue. Davis hold to her religious beliefs, which is good, but works for the state. It's different that me not performing a wedding for a same sex couple, because the weddings I do are with a religious context, approved by the state. A justice of the peace, however, does not have the same freedom, they are an agent of the state. Davis is also an agent of the state, and as so, does not have the ability to refuse to go along with the law of the land.

I applaud Davis for standing up for what she believes. I think the judge wanted to make an example of her, and he went way overboard with jailing her without bail. The situation all smells like a political stunt. Davis is solid for standing on her convictions, but it would have been the correct move to resign if she can't go along with the rule and laws. It's not as public, she would lose her income and her position, but it would be the right thing to do. While I don't agree with same sex marriage, I can't stand in the way of a law. I don't believe in abortion, but I can't stop a woman from having one. I can only cry out to God, plead with the mothers and talk to my representatives. We have a voice, we have options, but some things we shouldn't do.

What I fear is that Kim Davis has created a bigger division between the sides and closed down all chance to have civil dialogue. Religious Marriage and Civil Union need to be seen as separate and independent. It's an issue where the separation of church and state has become blurred. We need some clarity to prevent things like this from happening. That is my opinion, what do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I agree. As an employee, whether hired or elected, she is merely a glorified secretary. She is a keeper of records and reviewer of their proper use and. completion.

    She is no more an approver of any given marriage because she reviews and files the forms than she is the maker of all the babies in the county when she files birth records. She is not the final authority over the meanings behind or permissions given for any documents in her office. All she can do is say "do it again, this is not. complete" or "this will be filled and available for online confirmation in 48hrs."

    I hate to say so, but I'm afraid this is a case of the front gate guard acting as though they are in charge because everyone has to file past them. I also agree that she has probably done more damage than good.