Legality trumps religiosity in Kim Davis controversy

Much like drinking and driving, politics and religion should never mix. But as with drunk driving, the two often collide into a shattered display of ignorance, leaving others to pick up the ill-fated pieces.

Kim Davis, the county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, has been recently making the rounds for boycotting the legalization of same-sex marriage by refusing to issue marriage licenses to both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples.

As a county clerk, Davis is responsible for issuing marriage licenses to those who meet the legal and procedural requirements. Davis is refusing to do her job, so she should face repercussions. Like all incompetent employees, she should be reprimanded and replaced for being inept.

If a person’s views contradict the position they hold, it would probably be wise to resign from the job. A Muslim server cannot refuse to serve patrons alcohol because their religion forbids it—they would be fired. A Hindu deli worker cannot refuse to cut beef patties for customers due to the divinity of cows in his religion—they would be reprimanded.

Kim Davis is no different than the individuals described above. As of June 2015, same-sex marriage is legal. As an elected government official, Davis swore to uphold the laws of the land. There is no clause that states, “Unless my religion says otherwise.” That is not a thing.

Unfortunately, elected officials have special privileges and exemptions in the job department. Unless Davis’ constituents have a problem, she is there to stay. It is nigh impossible to fire an elected official. Unless they’re impeached or resign by their own accord, their jobs are fairly secure—illustrating insurmountable odds for her opponents and victims.

If people want to mingle personal religion into their job, they should steer clear of government offices and positions. Davis is not a martyr, nor is she fighting for religious freedom. She is an ironically obtuse woman advocating for Christian privilege in a society built on the separation of church and state.

This entire Kim Davis fiasco mirrors the classic story of David and Goliath.

Contrary to what Davis believes, however, she’s actually Goliath. Davis is blocking the path of David with her eclipsing power through governmental authority and dominance. The couples simply wanting to legitimize and legally solidify their love are the metaphorical Davids going up against the political power of an entitled theocrat.

While Davis prides herself as a born-again Christian trying to protect the sanctity of marriage, she boasts four marriages and three divorces under her deceitful Bible belt.

In light of the controversies, supporters of Davis have taken to equating her with the great Rosa Parks. Comparing Parks with Davis is an offensively inaccurate portrayal of Parks’ courage and commitment to justice and equality.

Davis is fighting to discriminate against same-sex couples who want to exercise their right to marriage and the pursuit of happiness. Parks was fighting to be seen as a full, equal human being—something that African-Americans were not granted at the time.

To suggest Davis’ actions are synonymous with the fight and struggle of the activists of the Civil Rights Movement is beyond offensive. It is a disgusting display of co-opting a movement for political gain and undue fame.

Parks stood up against inequality and discrimination. Davis is perpetuating the very ideas and attitudes Parks fought against. Davis is not a freedom fighter. She is an authoritarian, leaving the lives and rights of people who do not conform to her religious philosophy demolished in her wake.

Extremist views and religious dogma are the demolition crew of liberty and freedom—just ask theocracies in the Middle East and Vatican City how “free” their societies are. The moment America lends credence and legitimacy to the fledgling ramblings of a theocratic authoritarian is the day this country becomes the very thing the founders fought against—intolerance and religious absolution.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. If the noble deeds of a country fighting for all of its citizens to be seen as equal players is something to be condemned by a random county clerk, we will gladly track through the fire to get to the other side.