Thursday, September 3, 2015
Move over St. Sebastian! Welcome Kim Davis, a new martyr joins the firmament
So let's see where we stand.
Rowan County clerk Kim Davis can't issue Kentucky marriage licenses to gays, even though that is her job requires it and a court has ordered her to, because God is against gays getting married, in her estimation, and being party to it would put her soul in peril.
"This is a heaven and hell issue for me and for every Christian who believes," she said, dragging a whole lot of people unwillingly into her God-made-me-intolerant camp. "I weighed the cost and I'm prepared to go to jail. I sure am."
So here is my question:
If God Himself wants her not to issue marriage licenses to gays, and she isn't doing so, to save herself from eternal perdition, then why isn't that something worth quitting your job over?
People quit their jobs over all sorts of lesser reasons: to get a higher paying job, because they were slighted when it came to raises and promotions, because they clash with a boss.
Having a duty you are ordered to perform that conflicts with the desires of the Lord God Almighty—in your own narrow, antique, fucked up notion of what religion means, that is—seems like a really good reason to turn in your resignation.
But she doesn't. Because she isn't really trying to pay respect to her own notions of faith, but to mess with the lives of people she hates. She could have been released by promising, not to issue the licenses herself, but just to refrain from stopping the other clerks, one of whom is her son, from doing so. Religion inspires many people to selfless acts of kindness, of charity, of good works, even to people different than themselves.
While to others, it's just a twist on solipsism, one more reflective surface in the hall of mirrors that is their lives. She isn't hurting innocent Kentuckians who just want to get married. She is the vessel of God, like Joan of Arc.
Now, like Joan, she is jailed. Making her a martyr for all the halfwit haters who believe right along with her. Even if she spends one night, it is the equivalent of the pyre in Rouen, at the center of the Place du Vieux-Marche. The smoke rises, the faithful are put to the test.
“Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubts about the criminalization of Christianity in this country," Mike Huckabee, one of the throng of Republican presidential candidates, tweeted. "We must defend #ReligiousLiberty!”
Madness. We in the fact-based world must keep foremost in mind that religious factionalism is what makes so much of the planet a blood-soaked hell. If every official enforced the law based on his, or her, own perception of divine will, the world would be anarchy. That GOP leaders are cravenly backing her is near-treason, undermining our nation of laws in favor of faith-fueled anarchy.
To be a martyr, one needs to suffer. A night in jail, or two, is little cost for the leap in station Kim Davis, hero to the cause, is about to experience. The crowdfunding. The best-selling God is My Co-Pilot ghost-written autobiography recounting her Golgotha, her sufferings for her beliefs. The made-for-Christian-cable TV special. The high-paid speeches. It would seem impossible, but the Lord works in mysterious ways.