Thursday, September 3, 2015

KY Clerk Kim Davis jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples

Kentucky Clerk of Courts Kim Davis has been arrested and sent to jail for her consistent failure to perform her official duties, specifically, to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. Actually, Kim has refused to issue ANY licenses since the license language has been changed on the license itself to include language covering both heterosexual or homosexual unions.

Left, This Thursday, Aug. 3, 2015 photo made available by the Carter County Detention Center shows Kim Davis.

I applaud her stance all this time as the issue has gone from local to state-wide to national. Did you know Ms Davis has been a believer for only 4 years? As this issue has become more intense, she has not bent under pressure nor changed her mind. She has been reasoned and submissive to all in explaining it. This is Christ-like behavior and I commend her for it.

However for all that, I believe Ms Davis is incorrect to have chosen the course she has chosen, a civil disobedience which now includes fines and jail. Here is my opinion on why.

Ms Davis pursued the issue as high as she could go, then that is as far as she can go. She has her answer from the high court of her state: she must comply. No one is forcing her to deny God or change her beliefs. The issue is her performance of duties in her office, an office she does not have to continue holding. She has an option. The Judge said,
"Neither your oath nor the Supreme Court dictates what you must believe. But as elected officials, they do prescribe how we must act."
I believe that oaths are serious business. Ms Davis swore an oath, this is it from KY Legislature:
"30A.020 Oath of clerk and deputies. Every clerk and deputy, in addition to the oath prescribed by Section 228 of the Constitution, shall, before entering on the duties of his office, take the following oath in presence of the Circuit Court: "I, ....., do swear that I will well and truly discharge the duties of the office of .............. County Circuit Court clerk, according to the best of my skill and judgment, making the due entries and records of all orders, judgments, decrees, opinions and proceedings of the court, and carefully filing and preserving in my office all books and papers which come to my possession by virtue of my office; and that I will not knowingly or willingly commit any malfeasance of office, and will faithfully execute the duties of my office without favor, affection or partiality, so help me God." The fact that the oath has been administered shall be entered on the record of the Circuit Court."
She swore to GOD that she would perform her duties without partiality, and not commit malfeasance. Oaths are serious business. (James 5:12, Matthew 5:33). When you swear an oath in God's name it is considered binding.

This Justice of the Peace resigned in the fallout after the Supreme Court's decision on Obergefell v. Hodges this summer, a decision that made homosexual marriage legal in all of the US.
Wife of the First Baptist Church’s pastor, Gunter described herself as a conservative Christian who believes the Bible defines marriage as being between a man and woman. “I can’t uphold the oath that I swore, which states that I will uphold the laws of this state and of the country,” Gunter said.
This clerk resigned too:
Grenada County Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette decided to relinquish the elected position she's held for 24 years rather than issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. “I choose to obey God rather than man,” Barnette wrote in a resignation letter Tuesday, attributing her decision to Friday’s Supreme Court pronouncement of the right of all men and women to marry, regardless of sexual orientation. “The Supreme Court’s decision violates my core values as a Christian,” Barnette wrote to the county’s Board of Supervisors. “My final authority is the Bible. I cannot in all good conscience issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples under my name because the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is contrary to God’s plan and purpose for marriage and family.”
Yet Ms Davis retains her sworn position, accepts the salary for said position, swore an oath to perform duties without partiality for said position, yet refuses to do so.

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. (2 Corinthians 1:12).

If performing a sworn duty violates her Christian conscience, then no one is forcing her to violate it, and she is free to resign and remove herself from the situation that is causing her moral quandary. However if one swore to work for Caesar and accept salary from Caesar, then do as Caesar tells you. One cannot have it both ways.

I am proud of this new Christian taking a stand amid national pressure. I sincerely praise her that, though in my opinion she chose a path that led a little beyond where she should go because of the oath and her not-as-yet implemented option to resign, she is brave and sincere and willing to make a hard sacrifice. We're all probably going to be faced with that or something like it in the near future. I applaud her public demeanor and also her correct stance that homosexual marriage is not God's will. We should pray for her and ask the Lord to lead her in this time.

At the same time, let's remember are not out to change Caesar but to labor for Jesus as His witnesses and Ambassadors in spirit and in truth. A resignation would make a statement. Maybe not as newsily as her current incarceration, but it would speak volumes to Jesus, and He is our only audience of One.

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Further Reading

This article excellently makes the point. Here are three excerpts:

Justice Scalia explained why Kim Davis should issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or find a new job
Davis has a right to observe and adhere to her religious beliefs, but she does not have a right to her job as county clerk. The latter obligates her to follow federal law, including the applicable judgments of federal courts, and it is now the law of the land that the Constitution bars state governments from refusing to recognize same-sex marriages on equal terms with opposite-sex marriages. If, as Davis claims, her religious convictions bar her from issuing such a marriage license, she should resign.

Davis is in a similar position. Her official position obligates her to take part in the state’s licensing and recognition of marriages. Insofar as the state’s definition of an acceptable marriage differs from her own, Davis is obligated to follow the state’s rule so long as she maintains her current office.

Think of it this way. Someone who objects to war due to his religious conscience has a right to be a conscientious objector and not serve in the military, even were there to be a draft. But he does not have the right to serve as a military officer, draw a paycheck from the military and then substitute his own personal views of when war is justified for that of the government. The same applies here.

10 comments :

  1. Hello Elizabeth,

    Kentucky has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed in 2013, over our governor's veto. This law provides for protection of freedom of conscience, by requiring state government to try to accommodate citizens' sincerely held religious objections in cases such as County Clerk Kim Davis, and other county clerks who are also refusing to issue marriage licenses. It has been proposed that our governor can provide relief in several ways, by executive order. Our legislators have prefiled bills on her behalf, but can't act until they are in session next January, or unless the governor calls them into a special session, which would be quite expensive. I am praying that our governor will have a change of heart, consider the law which he is called to uphold, and through executive order protect all Kentuckians, both privately and publicly employed. Alabama has moved to protect religious liberty. Kentucky must, too.

    Bluegrass Nana

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    1. This is excellent information. Thank you so much,Bluegrass Nana!

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  2. I agree that this not only was the wrong decision she has exposed herself to civil penalty instead of resigning. I have left jobs in the past because of them being in conflict with the truth.
    The "church" has yet to face it's greatest challenge in regards to this issue, and that is the one of placing itself under the authority of the government by it's formation of corporations that are loosely run and not able to stand against examination and their unwittingly placing themselves under the IR(I)S tax code by becoming a 501(c)3 organization.
    I have seen the call on social media to get on buses to go to Kentucky and support her. This is a huge mistake and demonstrates the lack of discernment in these "churches" as a whole.

    Matthew 16 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

    2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

    3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

    4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

    5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.

    6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

    7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.

    8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

    9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

    10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

    11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?

    12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

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  3. Let us, as Christians, by all means, just retire from the public all together in such a way no one notices we left and nothing is ever mentioned in the public sphere about it. By rights, there are laws. We can't say, we can't do, we can't be, we are constrained. Put up or shut up.

    If Kim Davis had not stood up, the impression by the general public would be that everyone agreed with the supreme court decision except for a few mouth breathers living off the grid in Montana.

    Queen Esther stood up and it was against the law to do so. It can be argued that by marrying the king she took a sacred oath as well. It is time for the Body of Christ to pull it's head out of the sand. We can't "nice" our way out of this or "resign" our way to being acceptable.

    WE let this this happen - the whole gay marriage thing. It was OUR fault in the long run. We've been so concerned about nice and non threatening and look how great our children's church is for the last 60 years we lost our salt. I am encouraged by Kim Davis, because it seems she found a little under the Lord's Table.

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  4. Wow, I just wrote an article about the same issue in regards to Davis' poor choice of defense, because I was tired of seeing everyone making a martyr out of her. I think you hit the same nail on the head that I was hitting. She actually had a good legal defense to deny the licenses, and would still be sent to jail, but at least she would have a lawful reason:
    http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2015/09/kim-davis-is-wrong.html

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  5. Thank you Elizabeth for your clear and concise explanation of this situation. So much controversy over this issue but it is clear to me also that she should have resigned rather than compromise her beliefs or refusing to preform the duties for which she is being paid.

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  6. Excellent article....I agree. May God guide her and prompt her to resign from her position. Trusting in Christ, even if that means a job loss, is what we all must do.
    Thank you for writing such an informative piece concerning a situation that's been clouded by many. This is where the rubber meets the road; her resignation would be more beneficial than her present situation.

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  7. I was just made aware this woman is willing to compromise - she will issue the marriage license to homosexuals if her name is removed [source - http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/04/politics/kentucky-clerk-same-sex-marriage-kim-davis/]. I find this very disturbing; so is this whole issue about her? I pray for her but I would not defend her.

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  8. I once worked for Aerovironment Inc. They are a military contractor. I am morally disgusted that they make products that spy on people and kill people. EVEN THE "Enemy". Its wrong to kill. I believe christians call it THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT. I ended up getting very physically ill and while I was on disability, they "Asked me to leave or come back to work immediately" even against doctors orders. I made a choice. I could have gone back... but I left. I dont have the money for fancy lawyers such as the object of our discussion. And I did not make a big ta-do about it. And not once did I try to make them stop killing people because it is against my own moral code. I ended up working for a company that makes oncology capital equipment. "CyberKnife" if any of you are unfortunate to have cancer or know someone that does. My dad passed away from brain cancer while I worked there. I have since met many people who have been treated with a product that I contributed to, and they thanked me over and over. Much more rewarding than killing people. I made a moral decision, so can she. So can YOU! (Everyone)

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  9. RECUSAL - is when a judge volunterily chooses to excuse oneself from hearing a case, siteing a possible conflict of interest or lack of impartiality.
    Kentucky Clerk of Courts Kim Davis chose to recuse herself from her duties in certain cases. However Kim Davis is not a judge, she is employed by the state of Kentucky & her salary is paid by the TAX PAYERS of Kentucky; to perform a service. Upon the realization that she could not fully perform the tasks allocated to her, Kim Davis, herself should have resigned her position & moved on.
    Equally her employer should have terminated her employment contract immediately.
    Instead they all chose to SQUANDER KENTUCKY TAXPAYERS MONIES EVEN FURTHER BY SENDING HER TO PRISON.
    You see to some, Taxpayers monies is FREE MONIES & it seems that the idea is "we can squander it as we choose."

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