Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Colleen Kochivar-Baker on Kim Davis and Her Handlers: "Anyone Who Gives a Fig about the Face of Christianity in America Should Be Sick at This Stunt"

And more brilliant commentary on the faux religious liberty show staged by Rev. Mike Huckabee and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, involving Kim Davis — this from Colleen Kochivar-Baker in a comment responding to Michael Sean Winters and his "sympathetic" assessment of Ms. Davis's story at National Catholic Reporter yesterday:

I have no sympathy for Ms Davis. If one is going to be a martyr for the cause, one usually pays a price. She will still collect a full paycheck even with her five day stay in jail, and a very good paycheck at that. This is just one more example of how Christianity plays out in America and anyone who gives a fig about the face of Christianity in America should be sick at this stunt. Jesus stated God was love. Ms Davis says God is all about sexual purity, and heterosexuals can practice over and over until they find 'conversion', but not gays. Jesus said "Do unto other as you would have them do unto you." Ms Davis says "unless you have my approval I will do unto you that which was never done unto me". None of this is Christianity. It is grandstanding of the worst sort because it is not just illegal, it punishes straight couples for no religious reasons at all, but does leave one with no other option except to reason her gay animus is so strong she is within her rights to punish one and all who dare to request a marriage license. 
What Prime Minister Orban and Kim Davis share is an understanding of Christianity that justifies 'othering' and neither one cares how many innocent people they hurt in that pursuit of 'othering'.

As my Facebook friend Bob Rogers wrote yesterday* as he shared with his Facebook circle the photo at the head of the posting, 

Take a hard look at this yall. Seriously! This is why Millenials are leaving the church in droves. Wake up, or the church is dead.

Bob's not Catholic, but his insightful observation most certainly applies to American Catholics. What should not, cannot, be forgotten as one assesses what is happening in Kentucky right now is that the U.S. Catholic bishops have deliberately chosen to jump onto the political bandwagon being driven by the right-wing white evangelicals staging this particular show. 

In making common cause with right-wing white evangelicals who had, only a generation before the bishops cemented this political alliance, used the very same religious freedom arguments they're now using to deny rights to LGBT folks to attack the rights of African Americans, the bishops have quite deliberately chosen to ally themselves with people combating the human rights of a marginalized community. And using religious claims to do so . . . .

In doing so, they are very spectacularly undercutting Catholic social teaching about human rights, and "liberal" Catholic journalists like Michael Sean Winters or those of the Commonweal set who defend what the bishops are doing fully understand what they're defending — though they want to draw a veil around their defense of rank prejudice by claiming that religious freedom trumps gay rights even when it was not allowed, ultimately, to trump African-American rights as Southern white evangelicals asserted that integration violated their most deeply held religious convictions.

These same "liberal" Catholic journalists and academics claim that they are defending the bishops out of love for the church. The question that needs to be put constantly to them is the following: in what precise way does one exhibit love for the church and show concern for its future when one defends an assault on the rights of a minority community that is driving younger Catholics away from the church in droves, and undercutting the claim of the church to speak with moral credibility about human rights?

*Correction: Bob was circulating a statement of his own FB friend Micah Qualls here. It was Micah and not Bob who made this statement.

As I note above, the photo circulated in the feed of some of my Facebook friends yesterday. It's from live coverage of the events in Grayson, Kentucky, yesterday. I don't know which network took this particular photo, and my attempt to find that information by searching online hasn't yet identified the network.

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