I don’t understand why Kim Davis – the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue licenses for homosexuals – is being held up as a symbol for religious liberty. Yet that seems to be exactly what is happening.
Davis will be attending President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address alongside Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a socially conservative group which defended Davis.
“For seven years, people of faith have been in the crosshairs of the Obama Administration,” the group says in a press release. “The state of religious liberty is dire, but we cannot give up.”
[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]The cause of religous liberty deserves a better spokesperson than Kim Davis.[/mks_pullquote]
You’ll get no argument for me when it comes to the Obama administration’s dim view of religious liberty, but is Kim Davis really the right symbol to highlight that reality?
Davis’ fight wasn’t for her personal religious liberty. Her fight was to deny liberty to others – namely homosexuals who wished to marry one another.
It is irritating when some define religious liberty as their right to practice their religion at the expense of others. If Davis were the leader of a private religious organization being forced to accommodate homosexual marriages I think she’d have a point. Neither homosexuals nor anyone else have the right to impose their beliefs on others.
But Davis was a government official charged with licensing marriages which, thanks to the ruling of the highest court in the land, are now perfectly legal. She refused to do her job, imposing her personal religious views on those seeking marriage licenses, and then sought ways to inhibit others from doing the job for her.
That has nothing to do with liberty.
Religious liberty is important. We live in a society where some think they have the legal right to conscript the unwilling services of cake bakers and wedding photographers. The right to religious belief, and the ability to live both our private personal and professional lives in accordance with that belief, must be protected.
The key word there being private. Kim Davis worked for the government, and agents of the government cannot use their personal convictions to deny others their liberty.
The cause of religous liberty deserves a better spokesperson than Kim Davis.