Supremely… wrong

Supreme Court and Supreme Being.

Kim Davis is wrong. Supremely so.

The issue at this point isn’t the definition of marriage. It is about the role of the public servant and the role of the private person.  It is about society and what the basic assumptions, really requirements, are for holding a society together.  It is about personal faith and where the limits of that faith fall when executing a public trust, and in obeying the laws of the land.  It is about whether we remain a country of laws or not, whether the checks and balances are to be retained, or thrown out to ruinous end.  We are a country that exists and governs under law, not under individual personal opinion.  She made a decision to run for office, and to fulfill the duties of that office.  The law, the position, does not give her the latitude to decide which duties she wants to do and which she doesn’t.

There is a disconcerting tendency among some to espouse a position that laws can be ignored because they don’t match the philosophy of a particular group.  People who say that they don’t agree with a law and so don’t have to obey it.  An attorney general who says that because a supreme court decision doesn’t specifically name his state, it doesn’t apply.  Worse yet are senators and representatives who encourage states and corporations and individuals to ignore laws and promulgated regulations because they didn’t like the law or the interpretation of the law.  Blatant disregard of the laws and the encouragement of unfocused disobedience is, or should be, unacceptable.

This is a society built upon law.  Remove that underpinning and chaos ensues.  There are those that would say that in some actions, the Administration has violated laws (e.g ACA, immigration)….specious arguments when the Supreme Court upheld challenges to the law.  And least there be some expression of contempt for how a court renders an opinion, it would be appropriate to remember that it was that same Supreme Court’s opinion that put the previous administration in power after a contested election result.

As for the clerk herself, I applaud her strength of faith and convictions as an individual, but she crosses a Rubicon of sorts when it becomes some campaign about a general attack on Christianity and her faith.  She wasn’t elected to be a Christian clerk, she was elected to be a diligent, conscientious clerk who followed the law and the requirements of the job.  Her disobedience is misplaced, misdirected.  When Christ says “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” there is an underlying premise that there is a Caesar and that his earthly system exists.  If she objects, and her conscience is seared by this, then resign.  Or go willingly to jail (far more honorable than those higher elected officials who advocate ignoring laws and aren’t sent to jail).  Let her engage in the individual right to protest, by words or actions, by petition and freedom of speech.  But let all recognize that the public and private are different and separate.  There is no right that gives a public servant authority to put private beliefs above public service.

It’s interesting to think about what the consequences of such a perspective would be, if the one who enforced their belief were of a different faith.  What would the response be if a Muslim clerk refused to issue driver’s licenses to women because his Supreme Being doesn’t believe they should drive.  Or if an IRS officer withheld tax exempt status because they disagreed with a group’s opinions and position.

The whole response to the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage reminds me of an earlier decision.  How many objections were there to Brown? How many that used some of the same thoughts, same ideas?  In particular I hear the echo of George Wallace’s first term inaugural speech “Let us rise to the call for freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon …[us]. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”    His arguments included attacks on the Federal government for over reaching their authority, for not respecting states rights and local laws, and individual beliefs .  Is his attitude, his zeal, even his hatred, on race really that far removed from the stand of those who say that the civil sanction of marriage is only for their version of God to decide?

Do those who object to the Court’s opinion have no recourse?  Of course they do.  Pass a Constitutional amendment.  Our process allows for checks and balances, for the people to express their will and desires and beliefs.  Follow the process that we have been blessed with, that has helped us move and change and respond to the challenges around us.

Accept the ruling, accept the process, move forward with life.

 

 

 

 

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One response to this post.

  1. AGREED! AND to be Christian is to love unconditionally….love thy neighbor….even if gay. Does Kim Davis protest that Holy Commandment (law) as well and decide whom she is able to love? The greatest Commandment does not ask our opinion, or state, Love thy Neighbor if you agree with their lifestyle choices…..the Holy Bible which Kim Davis went to jail to defend must be obeyed in tis entirety, not in exclusive excerpts which support an individual’s preferences. So get on with it Kim…and get over yourself and your personal interpretation of the law….. instead, how about you follow the laws – first the Greatest Commandment to Love God AND TO Love they neighbor and then to follow the laws of the land

    Susan on iPad

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    Reply

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