Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sincerely Held Belief of Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis That Same-Sex Marriage Undermines Sanctity of Her First, Second, Third, and Fourth Marriage

I like this response by ChristianLove to Mike Wynn's recent article at Religion News Service about Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis's continued defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court, the governor of her state, and a federal court. Because, she and her Liberty Counsel advisors insist, her religious beliefs should trump a law that applies to everyone else, since her bible (which contains not a word about homosexuality, a word developed only in the 19th century to describe a psychological concept totally unknown to the biblical writers) is clear about homosexuality . . . . 

But evidently not clear at all about divorce and remarriage, though that issue is explicitly addressed by the biblical texts . . . . Kim Davis has never refused a marriage license to a divorced person seeking to remarry — despite what the biblical texts have to say about this issue — and could not do so with a clear conscience, one assumes, because she herself has been thrice divorced and married four times.

Maybe, all things considered, public servants would be better advised simply to apply the law even-handedly, and should recognize that the public they serve may or may not agree with all of their own peculiar religious beliefs, which cannot be allowed to dictate how or whether a public servant applies the law in a pluralistic secular democracy. Let any public servant (or private business owner, for that matter) start picking and choosing when,  how, and to whom he or she will provide goods and services to the public on the basis of religious belief, and you establish a precedent very injurious to the common good in a well-functioning pluralistic secular democracy.

Pace the U.S. Supreme Court in its Hobby Lobby decision, it doesn't matter a bit how "sincere" the religious beliefs of someone wishing to discriminate are. What matters is the effect, in society at large, of permitting people to engage in discrimination while claiming that their sincerely held religious belief warrants this kind of behavior.

(If you click the graphic, it should enlarge.)

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