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.
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.
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.