Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cherry Harvest

Davis testified that the Bible teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman and that sex outside of marriage is a sin. Court records indicate Davis herself married when she was 18 in 1984, filed for divorce 10 years later, and then filed for divorce again, from another husband, in 2006.

Many Christians believe divorce also is a sin, and an attorney for the same-sex couples repeatedly questioned her about this in court. Asked if she would religiously object to issuing a marriage license to someone who has been divorced, she said "That's between them and God."
Clerk Who Opposes Gay Marriage Gets More Time
So... if a heterosexual couple chooses to sinfully marry one another, "That's between them and God," but if a homosexual couple does the same, "it would violate her Christian beliefs to issue a license to a same-sex couple that has her name on it?"

Really? There's a cynical argument than can be made here - perhaps that Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis is taking a stand on this issue because it looks as though it will enhance her prestige in the Christian community, while blocking the remarriage of divorcé(e)s wouldn't have the same effect.

But it's likely that what's really going on here is simpler. My own suspicion is that Davis would argue (to both men and her god) that her ignorance of the sinfulness of heterosexual couples who present themselves for marriage licenses is their own doing - how was she to know that they were still married in the eyes of God, and therefore not eligible to be with one another? After all, is she her brother's (or sister's) keeper?

Situations like this erode the relationship between believers and the secular by catering to the suspicion that "faith" is being used as a convenient fig leaf for what would otherwise be considered blatant bigotry. (After all, desegregation brought many of these same arguments.) And that, in turn, gives the believers a reason to feel that they're being persecuted for following the dictates of their doctrines.

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