She’s easy to make fun of, isn’t she? Frumpy-looking and, with four marriages and several extra-marital affairs, not exactly a poster child for traditional marriage. So progressives, ever sensitive to others’ feelings, gleefully declare her a hypocritical attention-seeker shoving her new-found religion down everyone’s throats. Why else would she be so mean?
To liberals there is no other explanation because they believe that only hatred, bigotry, and ignorance can explain anyone’s disapproval of homosexual behavior or opposition to the LGBTQIA (google it) agenda. They won’t admit the slightest possibility that Davis might actually have repented her earlier behaviors and sincerely is trying to live out a new spiritually-based life. And that wouldn’t matter anyway because religious rights are inferior things not worth the attention of rational people.
Clearly, there is a conflict between Kim Davis’s duty as an elected official and her strong desire not to violate her religious beliefs. As an elected official, she has sworn to uphold the law and should have issued the marriage licenses whether she personally wanted to or not. But being an elected official does not mean that she has given up her own first amendment rights. Thus the conflict.
And thus the strident, self-righteous progressive demands that Davis must uphold the law. Perhaps, however, they should make those demands of elected officials in “sanctuary cities” who refuse to uphold the law. Or of President Obama who refuses to uphold our immigration laws. Or of the Planned Parenthood representative who “can’t consent to be bullied by ridiculous laws.” Liberals fully support conscience rights in those cases. How can we take them seriously about Davis when they obviously couldn’t care less about upholding the law if doing so conflicts with their own preferred policies?
Kim Davis is a conscientious objector. Is what she did any different from what a military conscientious objector does when, having taking an oath, he declines to perform some of the normal duties of soldiers? She felt strongly enough about it to go to jail for her beliefs as, in the past, military conscientious objectors sometimes have done.
But the conflict between duty and belief is not necessarily difficult to resolve. In Davis’s case, a simple conscience exemption written into the law would do it. Kentucky currently does not have such an exemption but other states do and Kentucky state officials are discussing it. Put a conscience exemption into state law; problem solved.
Or maybe not. Not surprisingly, it is those open-minded progressives who force their beliefs on others as shown by their consistent opposition to any dissent. Should a Catholic pharmacist be forced to sell contraceptives? Liberals say yes, even though contraceptives are cheap and available pretty much everywhere. Should the Oregon judge who opposes gay marriage on religious grounds be forced to resign because he asked the clerks to schedule other judges to preside over gay marriages? Liberals say yes. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
For progressives, the very idea of a conscience or religious exemption is a violation of some imaginary right not to be offended which, of course, is more important than anyone else’s actual rights.
The problem isn’t Kim Davis. It’s the hateful hypocrisy of today’s illiberal liberalism and the changes it has wrought on our society. OK, Davis should have issued the licenses. But her transgression was a small, fixable thing. It poses no threat to gays who want to marry in Kentucky. If we can let Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood terrorist and murderer, grow a beard for religious reasons in violation of Army regulations, we can cut Kim Davis a little slack too.
Progressives don’t seek the separation of church and state. They seek the subordination of church to state. And a society that no longer values the first freedom mentioned in the first amendment to the Constitution is facing a problem much bigger than anything Kim Davis has done.