It’s the Law.!?
Let’s talk about Kim Davis who as the clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky was jailed at the Carter County Detention Center after she refused to comply with a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. After my post on Marriage Equality, you probably realize that I think she should have issued the licenses. But what about being jailed? Should she have been jailed for deifying a court order? My answer is a definite yes. In her role as a county clerk she had no right to defy a court. When you break the law (Defying a court order is breaking the law no matter how some try to spin it.) you pay a price. She is well within her rights when she is not acting as a county clerk to do anything within the law to speak out against and discourage same sex marriage. No one can force her to have a cup of coffee with a gay couple, but when she accepted her election as county clerk she took an oath to follow the law.
Not believing a law is not correct does not give us a right to ignore it, disregard it or avoid consequences for breaking it. Many of us regularly knowingly ignore speed limits. I get frustrated by those who think it’s okay to turn their turn signal on at the last second or even not at all. You are suppose to put your turn signal on 3 to 5 seconds before you make the point of a turn or change driving lanes including exiting and entering a highway. At 35 mph it takes about 5-6 seconds to drive the distance of an average city block. The fact that we get away with these infractions almost all of the time does not mean we are not breaking the law. If law enforcement chooses to enforce one of these laws, we will be fined. If we cause an accident because of a traffic violation we will be prosecuted with a fine, losing our license or maybe even jail.
But what about God’s law? Shouldn’t we put God’s law above civil law. In our society civil law is separate and not subservient to God’s law. This country is not a theocracy it is a representative democracy. The founders of this country were clear that there should never be a state religion. “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” Jesus said. He also made several pronouncements none of which are prohibitions against homosexuality. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
Jesus’ statements were often directed at the pharisees who valued the law above grace. God’s law is grace, unconditional love. The Pharisees couldn't see this. Kim Davis chooses to ignore civil law but at the same time prefers to be a Pharisee. What are you?
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