An interesting juxtaposition has been drawn over the gay marriage fight currently percolating in Kentucky where Rowan County clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. Liberals are spitting mad over the idea that this low-level county official would so blatantly ignore the recent Supreme Court ruling on this matter, but they seem to be forgetting that they’re the same people who cheer on Barack Obama when he ignores other American laws. See, unlike Davis, who is abiding by the Kentucky Constitution that she swore to uphold, President Obama is consistently and purposefully acting contrary to the American Constitution. While Davis can retreat to the knowledge that she is not acting contrary to the laws of her state or to the oath she swore as a county official, President Obama has no such refuge to take shelter in.
The brilliant Steve Deace shared a short note talking about this cognitive dissonance that seems to be reverberating around liberal America.
I am confused how one Kentucky clerk threatens the rule of law, not a president that uses his “pen and a phone” to circumvent constitution.
I am confused how one Kentucky clerk threatens the rule of law but unelected judges who rewrite the Constitution from the bench don’t.
I am confused how a divorced Kentucky clerk doesn’t have integrity to stand for marriage but rich elitists like Hillary Clinton — who are paid more for one speech than most Americans make in a year — gets to play class warfare.
I am confused why someone that isn’t perfect can’t uphold a standard when the people accusing her of imperfection are imperfect themselves.
I am confused why cities can declare themselves “sanctuaries” for ILLEGAL aliens but one county can’t be a “sanctuary” for lawful marriage.
I am confused why the Left is mocking a woman for not behaving as a Christian before she became one.
I am confused why a county clerk must resign if she doesn’t want to enforce “laws” she disagrees with, but a president doesn’t.
I am confused why Carly Fiorina would call for this Kentucky clerk to resign for not enforcing pretend “laws” she doesn’t agree with, but she won’t demand a President resign for not enforcing actual laws he doesn’t agree with (including sometimes his own).
Some liberal folks on the interwebz have dug up Kim Davis’ own eventful past with marriage. The county clerk who is now denying sodomite couples marriage licenses has herself been married four different times and that those relationships may have been jumbled together in a manner that any Christian would find “sinful.” They fail to mention that Kim Davis is a recent convert to Christianity, having come to the faith just four years ago.
However, may I just point out that this is all beside the point?
Kim Davis’ past immorality doesn’t make someone else’s current immorality less wrong. Nor does Kim Davis’ past immorality disqualify her from speaking truth about immorality. No, she’s not the perfect spokesperson for traditional and Biblical marriage – but she’s the person who was brave enough to stand up and be counted. Yes, her past moral failings are now being used against her in a way that threatens to overshadow the real issues here, but they shouldn’t. See, Kim Davis could be a bad example for the importance of biblical marriage and sodomy-based “marriage” could still be morally wrong.
Kim Davis has nothing to do with the sodomite “marriage” issue.
Pastor Doug Wilson also has a word for the people who should be supporting Kim Davis, but have instead decided not to support her actions. After pointing to a few conservatives who have advised Davis to give up and hand out the licenses, Wilson wonders aloud…
Back in the thirties, if a county clerk had refused a marriage license to a couple because they attended a church where the pastor baptized people with heads upstream, instead of her preferred way, with heads downstream, we would all agree that said clerk had gotten above himself. And if a county clerk expedited and stamped all the processing papers for trains full of Jews headed to Auschwitz, we would all have no problem with said clerk being prosecuted after the war. And when he was prosecuted, “it was entirely legal” would not be an adequate defense. Got that? Two positions, marked clearly on the map, and there is a line somewhere between them.
Where is that line? Why is that line there? By what standard do we make that determination? Who says? These questions cannot be answered apart from the law of God, and that is why we are having such trouble with them. We want a pagan society to respect our sentimental religiosity, and that is not going to happen any time soon.
The point here is not just private conscience. The right to liberty of conscience is at play with florists, bakers, and so on. But Kim Davis is not just keeping herself from sinning, she is preventing Rowan County from sinning. That is part of her job.
Every Christian elected official should be determining, within the scope of their duties, which lines they will not allow the state to cross. When they come to that line, they should refuse to cross it because “this is against the law of God.” They should do this as part of their official responsibilities. This is part of their job. It is one of the things they swear to do when they take office.
This is nothing less than Calvin’s doctrine of the lesser magistrates (Institutes4.20.22-32), which I would urge upon all and sundry as relevant reading material. And as Calvin points out, after Daniel — a Babylonian official — disobeyed the king’s impious edict, he denied that he had wronged the king in any way (Dan. 6:22-23).
Now this takes me to my citation of Jefferson above. Some might say that it is a shame that I, a staunch Calvinist, have taken to quoting a Deist on the relationship of righteousness to government. And I say that it is a shame that a 18th century Deist has a better grasp of the relationship of righteousness to government than do two and a half busloads of 21st century Reformed seminary professors. The striking inconsistency might have two possible causes, in other words.
If just ten governors treated Obergefell the same way Kim Davis is treating it, that entire unrighteous and despotic imposition would collapse and fall to the ground. And if they did so, they would not be sinning against the United States. Rather, they would be preventing the United States from sinning.
The end game here is not armed revolution. The end game is simply a refusal to cooperate with their revolution. Make them fire or impeach faithful officials. Once removed, such faithful officials should run for office again with a promise to continue to defy all forms of unrighteous despotism. As one friend of mine put it, “Lather. Rinse. Repeat…
Don’t tell believers to stay engaged so that they can make a difference, and then, when they start making a difference, tell them that this is not a hill to die on. Make the bad guys reveal themselves. Make them crack down on evangelical county clerks, while continuing to wink at sanctuary cities and local defiance of federal pot laws. Why do they apply their “It’s the law! Bow down!” standard so inconsistently? Well, mostly it is because evangelicals are sweet and naive enough to let them get away with it.”