A foot in two worlds: Kim Davis’ Conscience and Responsibility

Kim Davis is currently sitting in jail for being in contempt of court. The situation is not as easy as it might seem. I have suggested before that the government is, under the first amendment, limited to discussing the civil elements of marriage in terms of law. Ultimately, gay marriage opens a number of different questions, and the questions where the government has the most compelling interest, issues such as taxation, inheritance law, etc. are those cases as a Christian I have the least interest in or concern with; these ultimately are the issues involved in the Davis case. We are not talking about the government imposing itself on private businesses or citizens here; we are talking about government employees. Kentucky’s codes do not currently create the same kinds of issues for Christians in the bakery or floral industries. As a Christian, my advice to Davis might very well be, resign. We all understand, after all, there are some jobs that are simply inappropriate for believers.

And yet, the Supreme Court did not mandate “civil unions” in their recent decision, they advocated gay marriage and in using this term they opened up serious issues of conscience for Christians on the one hand, and legal first amendment issues on the other. Kim Davis was elected during a time when there was no conflict between her position and her faith but the Supreme Court changed the rules in the middle of her term.

There is also the question of whether the Supreme Court acted within their authority in the recent case—many have argued that this is simply the law of the land—yet, I’m not sure this is actually true. The Supreme Court is not delegated in the constitution as a super-legislature and the 14th amendment specifies that Congress, not the courts, has the authority to enforce the protections of a citizen’s civil rights. I am not sure, frankly, whether the court has acted within their discretion and if they have not, what remedy do we have?

Ultimately, I can’t answer the Kim Davis question; I cannot specify whether she should resign or fight, and I will leave that to her conscience. Love for God is the supreme motive for the believer, and there is one thing that has been made clear, we are coming to a time of choice, whether this is that time or not. According to CNN’s reporting, “Bunning [the judge involved] said he, too, was religious, but he explained that when he took his oath to become a judge, that oath trumped his personal beliefs.” On this point, I cannot agree; my duty to Christ outweighs all other commitments I might have, to country, family or church. And whether that is truly the choice that is actually before Mrs. Davis today, since she presumably does have the option to resign, it might be the choice before us tomorrow. And so, ultimately, I will pray for her and admire her courage because if Christ tarries, it may not be a county clerk next time.

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

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