I want to start this entry with an apology.
In my last entry, I wrote the following:
“[W]e all are sinners. If the religious right is vocal in wanting to take marriage away from one group of sinners, should they not make all marriages equally invalid, since we all have sinned?
I really didn’t think anyone would take me up on this comment I made merely for illustration and thought-exercise purposes. (I learn from the best.) However, it seems someone did.
You may have heard in the news about Rowan County, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who, after the Marriage Equality Act was passed, refused to issue marriage licenses to anyone, no matter who they were marrying, taking the “if I can’t have it, no one will” approach that I have heard all too often as a father … about 7 or 8 years ago when my kids were toddlers! As the NPR article that I linked to earlier mentions, she is now in jail for refusing to do her job and issue marriage licenses according to the laws that now state both straight and gay couples must have equality under the law. I’m left to assume that she read my words and acted on them. I’m responsible for this mess, and I’m sorry.
There are a few things that I’ve been hearing from the right and the left, that I wanted to address briefly before getting into my main thought on the matter. These have been rehashed many places before, so they’re really useful only if you’ve heard about this for the first time in this post. I highly doubt that anyone qualifies, but then if you told me a week ago that someone famous reads my blog and takes its advice to heart, I would have doubted you then too.
- Much hay has been made by the left that Ms. Davis is on her fourth marriage, and that the Old Testament, Jesus, and Paul all speak against divorce, thus making her a hypocrite. The facts aren’t quite the way they are presented there, Ms. Davis actually married her current husband before she presumably became a Christian, so whether she believes that divorce is OK as a Christian may remain to be seen. She had probably issued marriage licenses to previously divorced people since her conversion, though. Regardless of this she has been called a hypocrite; my favourite progressive blogger commented via Facebook, though, that if being a hypocrite invalidates ones words, then no one would be worthy of being listened to.
- The right often mentions that this is proof that Christians are now going to be jailed for their beliefs. I will have more to say about this later in my entry, as my main thoughts on the matter will touch on this, but she was being jailed because she refused to do her job and, being an elected official, can’t be fired for it. I know if I refuse to do my job, whether its because of a moral objection or I don’t feel like it, I know there will be consequences. It’s not quite as how Facebook makes it out to be (screenshot of my Facebook news feed, below) in that “[refusing] to serve gay couples” is a “Go to jail, do not collect $200” offense. (A bit surprising, considering how liberal Facebook usually is.)
I was hoping to clear those up, you know how I feel about Christians willfully spreading lies to other Christians.
Just recently my pastor gave a sermon in a series he has been been giving on the book of Colossians, about how we are to make sure God is number one in our lives, being placed above all else. The sermon in question was on how God should have the supremacy in our work life. Since God is number one, we should give him supremacy over our interests, our family, our marriage, and even our work. God is to be the most important thing in all aspects of our lives. What really disappoints me about this story about Ms. Davis is that she is not giving God the supremacy in her life. If she feels that God is more important to her than the duties of her job she should, like a lot on the left are asking her to do, resign. Instead, she is trying to keep her job and her God. The Bible, however, teaches that when one comes into conflict with the other, we should leave the latter, we cannot serve God and money, or anything else too. Ms. Davis has shown that she’d rather go to jail than leave her job, she’s not hanging on desperately to her God, she’s hanging on desperately to her job, and trying to do both is weighing her down. [Insert political cartoon wherein Ms. Davis is in a hot air balloon that is trying to ascend to the clouds, labelled “God’s Will”, while holding onto an anvil labelled “employment”, a look of panic on her face wondering why the balloon isn’t rising; if I had a modicum of artistic ability to make this happen (or money to hire a cartoonist)].
It’s also worth pointing out a point a progressive Christian friend of mine made which I want to leave on. Another clear command of Jesus, echoed by Paul with similar wording in the Old Testament, is that we are to always show humility in our lives, and mercy and compassion to others (as God has shown mercy and compassion to us, as dirty a sinner as anyone else). Breaking civil law is one thing, what punishment does God have for those who break His commands? Hint: it’s not the jail sentence she currently has.
(On the advice of our lawyers, the Friendly Neighbourhood Christian has to add the following disclaimer: Please do not take any advice from this blog and act on it. We are not responsible for any imprisonment that may occur.)