Religion gone amok: Kim Davis discriminates, gets presidential candidate support
Growing partisan political petrification in the United States has been accompanied by a growing social awareness. Women’s rights have been gaining slow but steady ground, the Supreme Court granted a constitutional right to gay marriage in June, and the “Black Lives Matter” movement, paired with nationwide unrest over racial discrimination, has brought racial issues into public conversation.
As a nation, it seemed like we were growing more aware, more tolerant and more empathetic.
Kim Davis halted that movement.
The Rowan County, Kentucky clerk has refused to issue any marriage licenses after the Supreme Court verdict legalizing gay marriage was passed. She was ordered by a federal court to issue licenses and was eventual jailed for contempt upon further refusal to issue licenses.
While the majority of government officials, at every level, are obeying the Supreme Court's decision, there remain pockets of resistance. Some Alabama probate judges are refusing to issue marriage licenses as well, and there's another county clerk in Kentucky who stands with Davis.
The notion that this kind of state-localized resistance to national law will last is absurd. The First Amendment is pretty clear about not forcing religion on anyone and Davis’ claim that her religious freedom has been violated is inappropriate. The urging of a probate judge in Alabama for state judges to revoke Supreme Court authority would prove to be an interesting game of chicken that Alabama would lose in hilarious fashion.
What is not hilarious about this breach from reality is the support it has garnered. Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee showed up at a pro-Kim Davis rally after she was released from jail. She has not said if she will issue marriage licenses or not despite having been released on the condition that she must do so.
The fact that mainstream Republican presidential candidates showed up means two things: First, the Republican party is so split in the race that candidates are forced into adopting extremist views to find a support niche. Second, these views are apparently worth supporting in a Republican race. The Republican support is even more bizarre in light that Davis has run as a Democrat in her two elections for County Clerk. Apparently religious zealotry means more than party affiliation in Rowan County.
Her logic is not logic – it is an imposition of her beliefs on others.
This is not meant to be an attack on Christianity. Indeed, some of the fiercest critics of Davis have been Christians decrying her cruelty and lack of empathy. Yet the masses have been using religion as a shield for their personal beliefs for far too long. Abortion, legalized in Roe v. Wade, has been undercut in so many Southern states to the point of uselessness as a social utility. The culture war on marriage, as Christian groups call it, remains a mind-boggling attempt to impose Christian values over the rest of the United States.
Never mind that young people have been fleeing organized religion in droves. Never mind that Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge,” in regards to homosexuals. When the head of the Catholic Church says that we should maybe start treating other humans like humans, you know the time has come.
Yet according to supporters of Kim Davis, it has not. Davis, in denying gay couples the right to marry, tells people that their lives aren’t valid and gets applauded for it by major political candidates.
The only solution seems to be time, as more people get exposed to reality and the older ideas of marriage die out. We can’t force people to be decent to one another, after all. That's part and parcel of living in the United States.
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