The Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky is sitting in jail as I type because of her refusal to do her job. She appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court because she claimed her Christian faith prohibits her from having her name on the marriage licenses of marriages she doesn’t personally support.
The very narrow and hypocritical way she reads scripture has been well documented by many people. And this is the only reason her multiple divorces (prohibited by scripture) are pertinent to the story.
But here’s the real Biblical response to her claims.
The Bible is not the guiding document for the work of a County Clerk elected by the people of any state in our union.
The US Constitution and the constitution of the state in which they live are the only documents that matter.
It doesn’t matter what scripture says. It doesn’t matter what the Q’uran says. It doesn’t matter what the Sutras, the Vedas, the Talmud, the Midrash, or the Institutes of Calvin say.
Because the US Constitution makes it clear that the Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Ms Davis is completely and totally free to attend (or not attend) any church in the land. Her church can be as welcoming or as discriminating as they choose to be. The Constitution, by prohibiting one prescribed religious expression by the state, is exactly why she is free to hold the views she has. The Constitution also protects the rest of us from her views.
There is no persecution of Christians in this country. She is not in jail because of her faith. She is in jail for a failure to do her job.
The Bible actually has lots to say about how we treat our enemies, how we offer hospitality to strangers, how we reflect God’s love to the world. But none of that matters in a County Clerk’s office.
22 thoughts on “The Biblical Response to Kim Davis”
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Well…..The People of Kentucky voted into law a Constitutional Amendment in 2004 PROHIBITING gay marriage and/or legal recognition of gay couples.
Now how does a SCOTUS ruling trump a State Constitution? IT CAN’T AND IT DOESN’T.
The US Constitution in the Tenth Amendment reserves ALL UNENUMERATED RIGHTS TO THE STATES OR TO THE PEOPLE THEREOF.
This Clerk is ONLY FOLLOWING THE LAW AS IT WAS VOTED ON AND PUT INTO PLACE VIA LAWFUL LEGISLATION IN KENTUCKY!!!!
State constitutions remain subject to the U.S. Constitution.
You are welcome to engage in dialogue here. You are not welcome to yell at me in all caps.
The 10th Amendment overrides SCOTUS.
SCOTUS also ruled in 1963 that Attorneys are considered Foreign Agents under the Foreign Agent Registration Act of 1938 in Rubanowitz vs. Kennedy and they MUST register as a Foreign Agent if they are a member of the BAR (British Accreditation Registry). WHY is that not being enforced????
The fact that the Supreme Court isn’t impressed with your argument means that my thoughts about it ( or your thoughts, really), are irrelevant.
I trust you really don’t want to live in a country that doesn’t respect its own courts and laws. Maybe you do. I do not want to live in a place where one narrow definition of religious expression gets to determine how we act in society. Blessings to you. We’re done here.
I can see you are very passionate about your opinion because you used all caps. I appreciate when people do this because if not, we, the readers, would be unsure if your comment was merely typed out of boredom, or a deeper passion for the subject in question.
The Supreme Court’s ruling on June 2015 trumps any and all state laws nationwide that forbids same sex marriage. It is now a civil right. Do your homework, then post the facts.
A lack of understanding of constitutional law at the republic level (federal for those who don’t understand) and at the state level are based on major and minor rules of compliance in order to maintain the national constitutional structure. It is reviewed, provoked and accepted by state legislatures as well as at the national level.
As with any civil rights issue the national constitution is the rule of law and SCOTUS affirms or denies these rules. If any citizen, elected official or not, opts to deny and disregard directions from both the state and federal law in the execution of their legally determined responsibility, they inherently are in breach of the law, this not in question.
The state law was struck down by the SCOTUS decision and is no longer applicable.
The constitutions call for the separation between religious and state activity, regardless of how closely they may imitate each other or how zealously some followers may believe the activities to be.
In this case the clerks duty is to execute the state authority to affirm the binding of two individuals of consenting age into a legally accepted bond, it is not a religious thing except in the eyes of the zealot.
This is no different than the Islamic fundamentalist who sees every breathing Christian as an infedel seeking to destroy islam, neither are true except for those who irrationally believe it.
Rabinowitz vs. Kennedy (sorry misspelled above) http://www.jstor.org/stable/1339118?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
As an elected official, she was not doing her job by the law. However, Jail?, Really?, how about removing her from her job for not doing her job???. The smirking, draconian penalties that make the true hard left squeal with delight is actually shameful. Remember everything has a natural endpoint evolution if unchecked. In the case of the true hard left, some weird version of North Korea totalitarianism seems to be the goal. Fire the clerk. BUT JAIL? REALLY? -yeah Marci I used caps. And no Marci, I’m not a frothing-at-the-mouth neo-con. Just a very concerned American watching extremists and fanatics on both sides of the political spectrum. Truly scary stuff. Just watch the fomenting hate. Try not to be part of it.
An $18 trillion dollar debt should be concerning the left and right. Financial collapse could doom the construct of any civility all of us. Now, that is something to be very concerned about for all families of any make-up.
She can’t be fired because she was elected. She can only be impeached by Kentucky’s legislature. I don’t know exactly why the judge chose what he did. But since there were people willing to pay any fine he put on her, it seems that is why he chose jail.
I’m not sure what the debt has to do with this topic. But it has come down by quite a lot in the last 7 years, so I hope that helps you feel less anxiety.
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As with private sector employees she is, while employed, required to follow the rules of her earthly employer. Private sector employers might cut employees some slack for religious beliefs but it their choice.
Her choices are getting aboard, resigning her job or continuing making a spectacle of herself.
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If you go to the Rowan County Clerk website you will see a list of the tasks/documents that are handled by the County Clerk. Included in these documents is divorce filings. Now, Mrs. Davis has now been baptized and absolved of all her past sins and she cannot violate the Holy word by sanctioning gay marriage. However, in Matthew 19 Jesus is unequivocal about not condoning divorce unless it was the result of sexual immorality (some scholars believe this only applies to the period of betrothal), Mrs. Davis seems to not have a problem with filing divorce documents (sanctioning) – an act prohibited by her religion. Does she ask the “filers” if there was a sexual indiscretion that was cause of the divorce? Probably not, however she has no trouble filing these documents with her signature. “Hypochristians” a catchy tune by the Boat Drunks.
Of course, a county clerk I’m not. So the challenge would not be one I’d have to face. However, the Scripture is clear, “The blood of Jesus cleanses us from ALL sin.” And goes so far to proclaim that one’s sins are cast into the Lake of forgetfulness, with a no fishing sign. ‘as far as the east is from the west.’ All the handwriting against us is wiped clean. That much being said, we can say that according to the Scripture, she has a white as wool and pure as snow conscience. ALL his past sins are forgiven, Amen!
Where in the Scripture does it show a wedding between two men or two women? In the book of Romans Paul talks of the subject of this unnatural relationship. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness (irreverence) and unrighteousness (immorality, wickedness of heart and life) of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Because, that which may be known of God is manifest (revealed) in them (heavens or universe) for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible tings of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead: so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew (by experience) God, they glorified (revered) him not as God, neither were thankful: but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart (reasoning) was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts and creeping things.” Wherefore God also gave them up to UNCLEANNESS (unnatural relationships) Through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and Worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen
For this cause, God gave them up unto vile-affections: for even their women did change the natural (to unnatural) use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the ‘natural use of the woman burned in their lust one toward another; men with men WORKING THAT WHICH IS UN-SEEMINGLY, AND RECEIVING IN THEMSELVES THAT RECOMPENSE OF THEIR ERROR WHICH WAS MEET (RIGHT).
And my point remains, none of your opinions about scripture are pertinent to the job description of an elected official. Blessings to you.
Ms. Glass you assert – “The Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky is sitting in jail as I type because of her refusal to do her job.”
You are incorrect. She was jailed for doing her job.
Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 1 states what is recognized as marriage and what is not in the state of Kentucky. Marriage is neither granted authority over by any Branch of Federal Government nor mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.
1) a religious ceremony, since antiquity. (before Hebrews were Jews)
2) an Enumerated power granted to the States (by the people therein) by the U.S. Constitution. (Supremacy Clause has no bearing.)
3) Marriage literally means “matrimony” which literally means “state of motherhood”.
Remind me, how do homosexual couples reproduce?
What are the last four words of the Kentucky County Clerk Oath of Office?
“Congress shall make no law establishing”, that means Federal not State. You do understand the difference between Federal and State Government?
You should also know the American colonies and later states were formed by and for Religious groups. Pennsylvania for Quakers, Mass. for Puritans, Georgia for Catholics, etc.
Since you claim to be a pastor-
Why do you assert that divorces are biblically prohibited, considering Jesus of Nazareth says otherwise?
Did Jesus Say Marriage was intended, by God, to be between man&man/woman&woman or Man and Woman? Please cite the verse.
Passages from Romans & Matthew are often misquoted as meaning Christians should submit themselves to governing law of the state as well as “render unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser’s”,
By that standard: If all things belong to Ceaser (as decreed by law), then what belongs to God?
A Christian doesn’t stop being a Christian once they walk through a doorway/put on a suit/etc.
Did Daniel submit to Nebuchadnezzar? How about Abednego, Meshach, & Shadrach?
The Biblical response would actually be Matthew 19:1-12.
Thank you for your comment. My point, again, is that scripture is not pertinent to the job description of an elected official’s job description.
And reproduction is no longer the only reason we marry in this country. I officiate often at weddings of people who are past childbearing years, yet want to join their lives together for companionship and mutual love.
Marriage is a religious service for religious people, and that is fine for churches to interpret who can get married in their sanctuaries with different standards.
But a marriage license issued by the state is a civil document. Period. End of story. It does not need to be a part of a religious ceremony.
I wish you all the best.
Excellent and succinct commentary. The idea of needing to abide by vocational stipulations that may be inconsistent with our own beliefs reminds me of my time spent serving as a hospital chaplain. I was trained to serve and provide spiritual care and nurture to *all* hospital patients – not only those whose Christian beliefs did not parallel my own, not even limited to only those who held theistic beliefs of any kind, but to all – theist, agnostic, non-theist, atheist. It was my job to meet and relate with these patients from their belief system as much as I was able, and to help guide them with the spiritual/faith issues that were brought forth as a result of their hospitalization. I wasn’t there to advocate for my own faith, or my strand of that faith. Further based on both corporate policy (and it was a faith-based ownership organization) and the ethical standards of the Association of Professional Chaplains, to have prosletyzed would have been unethical. And this is a limitation placed on clergy, in situations related to actual religious faith and practice – not the County Clerk’s office.
But I’ll add one thought to the essay. Kim Davis’ problem is not, at its core, one of whether she may impose her personal religious beliefs in the public workplace. Of course the Constitution prevents this, but that’s really irrelevant. Even more essential is her fundamentally flawed understanding of precisely what her name on a marriage certificate legally represents. The Clerk’s signature, or even his/her printed name, is not an indication of moral or religious agreement with whatever the legal, public document is governing. All that the Clerk has been tasked with is to certify that the legal requirements of the transaction have been met. That’s it. This issue of claiming that to put her name on a same-sex marriage license is her giving her moral approval to the union is a nonsensical misunderstanding of the nature and meaning of the job she has been elected to perform. She is, as the title suggests, a clerk – one tasked with making sure the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed on a legal document. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s a more pedestrian, more mundane, less sexy argument than the “religious persecution” angle, but it really is what her whole problem boils down to.
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“…Since you claim to be a pastor…” Oh my heavens. 🙂
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