Saturday, October 03, 2015

Kim Davis, Self-promotion, Religious Freedom and the Pope

I’m sick of this story---bored to tears. So I’ll stick my two cents worth in the mix and offer my own assessment.

That Kim Davis does not personally endorse the marriage of certain individuals who come to the County Clerk’s office for marriage licenses has nothing to do with her signature on that license. The issuing of a license relates solely to legality. Allowing her to deny a license on the basis of her personal religion brings a religious test into the legal system. Davis is promoting herself as though she is a religious officiant. She is not.

I know of preachers who will not officiate the marriage of two people who do not profess to be Christians or two people, one professing the other not. These preachers enjoy religious freedom and the perfect right to deny their services. Catholic priests will not marry a couple if one has been divorced and there has been no annulment. Indeed, no devout Catholic county clerk could have issued Kim’s marriage license (on the basis of her religious freedom claim) since she was married and divorced three times with no annulments prior to her current marriage. She claims Pope Francis endorsed her, but did he know who she was and that (according to Catholic doctrine) she is still married to her first husband, thus a serial adulterer?

While claiming she is being denied religious freedom, Kim Davis is actually demanding special religious privilege. Imagine living in a country—or county in Kentucky—where people would have to check out the religious beliefs of a clerk before applying for a marriage license. What’s next, a sportsman seeking a hunting license—denied because the clerk is a Hindu whose religion does not allow the killing of animals? Or a restaurateur applying for a liquor license or zoning for a coffee shop and the clerk’s Mormon religion does not permit alcohol or coffee consumption? 

My advice to Kim: Get over yourself.