Saturday, September 5, 2015

Kim Davis: Jailed for Her Faith

We are in uncharted waters in this country. We have two groups whose rights have put them on a collision course with each other, and instead of protecting both groups, the solution seems to be to prosecute one and champion the other.

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion in this country, but it does so much more than that. Freedom of religion is more than just the freedom to go to church or own a Bible. Freedom of religion does us no good without her sister, the free exercise of religion. This means that, not only are we free to go to church and read the Bible, we are free to live out the principles that the church and the Bible teach. The teachings of Scripture are not to be confined to inside the four walls of the church or the home, but they are meant to be freely lived out in our places of work, schooling, and communities.

These teachings make up a worldview that governs the daily actions of the Christian. They are not one part of the Christian—they form the Christian. To ask a Christian to check his Christianity at the door when he enters the office, the grocery store, or the restaurant is impossible. And illegal. That is why the founding fathers gave us the First Amendment.

Atheists are never asked to leave their atheism at home. They get to carry their atheistic worldview with them wherever they go. They have the right to be practicing atheists, even if it bothers practicing Christians, because they enjoy the same First Amendment rights Christians enjoy. While the groups may disagree, they can coexist. That is the beauty of freedom. Whether you like it or not, this country was established upon a freedom of religious expression.

Beginning this summer, five members of the Supreme Court ruled that homosexuals have a Constitutional right to marry each other. Whether you like it or not, they have been given the same rights to marriage that heterosexuals enjoy.

So here we are on a collision course of Constitutional rights. The Court says gay marriage is the law, so no one can refuse to bake a cake for their wedding, supply flowers for their reception, or affix their name and seal of approval to their marriage license.

But that same Court has two centuries worth of precedent protecting the rights of the other group, the people of Judeo-Christian faith. Whenever an organization of godlessness has tried to shut down or shut up people of religious beliefs, the Courts have sided with faith.

But not any longer. The bakery owners are being fined, the florists driven out of business, and a clerk now incarcerated. These are not actions indicative of the United States of America, that great beacon of hope and freedom; these are instead the actions reserved for dictators of oppressive regimes that squash freedom and silence opposition.

Lexington County Clerk of the Court Kim Davis is behind bars indefinitely. She will be released once she agrees to violate her deeply held religious beliefs. If that story emerged from Castro’s Cuba we would not be surprised. We should all be alarmed that it is happening here. We are now seeing a government that destroys its detractors.

One group is clearly being victimized by the Federal Government. What about the other group? Your tax dollars paid to wash the White House in gay pride rainbow colors. If they hoisted the Christian Flag above the Capitol we would hear cries about the mythical separation of church and state. 

Why should Washington pick sides in this issue? Instead of picking a winner and condemning a loser, we need a compromise that protects both groups. If the Courts want to give homosexuals the right to marry, they need to do so only while also protecting people of faith.

There have to be religious exemptions for people of faith. If one baker refuses to bake a cake, there are plenty of other bakeries. There are six deputy clerks in Kim Davis’ office, five of which agreed to issue licenses to homosexuals (the one who refused is Davis’ son). We need to live and let live. Instead of trying to ruin those who live differently than we do, we need to cohabitate in this great, diverse, free country in which we are blessed to call home.

We are on a collision course. Unless someone intervenes there is going to be a devastating crash.       


Ulmo said...

The problem herein lies that this country was founded on freedom and the idea of separation of church and state, granted it was originally to keep the state of the church as in Anglican England however those two concepts are at the cornerstone of this country. The problem was they did not want freedom for all, but freedom to practice their certain way. However over time true freedom to practice ideas opposite to the founders have emerged.

You keep saying that she is jailed for her faith, she is not. She is jailed for civil contempt of court, she has the keys to her cell, she need only issue the license, per her job, or resign.

You claim you want her to be able to refuse something based on her faith, but the truth is, like the founders, that really isn’t what you want. As my fellow Vala, Manwë, pointed out, if SCOTUS allowed her to refuse a right based on her convictions it would become precedent. This would allow an atheist to refuse service and or rights based on his/her convictions, a hindu to refuse service and or rights based on his/her convictions, etc. all because SCOTUS allowed Kim Davis to refuse service based on her religion. That is freedom. If one can, all can.

Many people have tried to erroneously compare this to Judge Tonya Parker, in which she refused to perform “heterosexual” marriages until gays were allowed to wed. This is not the same. The courts are not required to perform marriages, but if they do they must perform them for all people entitled to be married. When she refused to perform those marriages, she was in fact simply refusing a service not required of her to all people that were eligible for that service. This is similar to how many of the courts are refusing to perform marriages in you state, even your county of Union. They are no longer offering to marry at all, because they must either provide to all or none. That is the core concept involved here, either all or none. Either all religions, including Christianity, can assert their convictions in the offices of the government, or none can.

It is a sad thing that she sits in a cell for her convictions, but if she is allowed to do as she wished, that precedent would have far reaching and much more devastating results than we can imagine.

Tommy Mann said...

I appreciate what you are saying, but I must disagree. You say I don't actually want her to be able to refuse service based on her faith, but that is exactly what I want. I want that freedom to be afforded to people of all established faiths, be it Muslim, Jewish, or even atheist. I don't like the goat statue recently erected for the atheists, but I support their freedom to have the statue, and I believe the founders would as well.

Many states are already making concessions for their clerks, no longer requiring their names to be on the dotted line, or else allowing other clerks and/or deputies to sign if one wishes not to. That is all Kim Davis is asking for. She will submit the proper paperwork, but she doesn't want to sign her name as an endorsement of something that is against her faith. She isn't a homophobic bigot who wants to ruin the happiness of a homosexual, she just wants to freedom to allow someone else to sign the paper. Resigning is not freedom; freedom is allowing an exemption for her centuries-old Christian faith.