It is strange to see committed Christians in jail, vilified by the media and other uninformed people; however, that was not unusual in the early days of Christianity. Christ and His Disciples were hated, hunted, and harassed by those appointed to enforce the law. Untold numbers of others have had the same experience since Christ’s death and physical resurrection.
Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, has taken a principled stand declaring that she cannot be associated with same-sex “marriages.” Kim came to that conclusion following her born again experience about four years ago. That experience totally changed her life. Genuine Christians are principled people, not perfect, but principled.
People who declare that we must always obey every law are fools, frauds, or fanatics. Surely they don’t support such slavish obedience to law–especially illegal laws. When the U.S. Supreme Court declared in the Dred Scot case that black slaves were not citizens but were chattel, black activists disagreed, denounced, and disobeyed that “law” and helped slaves to freedom. Were they right or wrong?
Most critics of Kim are devotees of Martin Luther King, Jr. who broke the law; but they tell us that King was not an elected official so the comparison of his disobedience to Kim’s is not valid; and there is some validity in that response.
However, those same people prove their hypocrisy when they defend the mayor of San Francisco who ordered his underlings to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals in 2004 when it was illegal to do so! Oops, their hypocrisy is showing. The mayor is defended but Kim is derided, defamed, and damned! The mayor did not go to jail and was elected Lieutenant Governor and is a candidate for governor in 2018!
There are sanctuary cities across America where criminals are protected, even coddled by officials and the responsible officials have not gone to jail. It seems illegal aliens and many actual felons get more respect and consideration than a dedicated county clerk who is also a principled Christian! Could the fact she is a Christian make her a candidate for persecution, prosecution, and prison?
Federal agents sold guns that went to drug dealers in Mexico in a sting operation and no one went to jail even though innocent Mexicans and Americans were killed with illegal guns! Kim’s actions have not caused the death or injury of anyone. Do rogue federal agents deserve more lenient treatment than a Christian official? Does the former U.S. Attorney General get a pass without being held accountable for his illegal decision in the gun running scheme?
Hillary Clinton broke the law many times as even her supporters are forced to admit yet Hillary is not sitting in a Federal Prison–yet! No one really believes Hillary will go to prison even though, no doubt, many people would still be alive if she had stayed at her New York bungalow and baked cookies for Bill to eat when he came home from work with lunchbox in hand.
So, all honest people will scream, “Why force a principled Christian to act contrary to her Bible-based convictions?” Why, indeed. The answer is clear: it is open season on Christians. A major newsman, an admitted homosexual, on Fox News even identified her and her followers as “haters” with impunity. Fair and balanced?
So, it is simple: Christians will not be given the benefit of the doubt nor accommodated as the state law requires. That unfairness happened during the reign of Julian the Apostate when Christians reacted to his oppressive laws with insults or violence and were severely punished; but pagans who took to violence or insults in dealing with Christians were handled with leniency. The double standard is still alive and well in the courts and the media, including Fox News.
Moreover, the state law requires the state to seek to accommodate state employees when there is a conflict with their official duties and their deeply held religious beliefs. The governor could have decreed that the county clerk’s name not be on the marriage license, but he did not do so. The leftist Federal judge could have fined her but put her in jail because he did not like her principled stand.
Few honest people believe a Christian baker or photographer is morally or legally required to encourage or support perversion but good people think elected officials must do so “because they took an oath to uphold the law.” Yes, there is a big difference in a private citizen refusing to obey a law and an elected official refusing to obey. No sane, fair, and honest person will force people to support evil. However there can be some disagreement about an elected official refusing to enforce the law. But there is a principle of law that says that an illegal law is, in fact, not a law that requires obedience. For example, no matter what any court declares, they cannot make same-sex “marriage” a marriage. It is now said to be legal but not right!
Gibbon wrote about early Christians who “inculcated the maxims of passive obedience, [and] they refused to take any active part in the civil administration or the military defence of the empire.” For Christians to actively participate and support the pagan government that was throwing them to the lions would have been suicidal and stupid. As Christians they could not be members of the senate because each senator before taking his seat made a libation (offering) of a few drops of wine, and burned incense on the altar to pagan gods. As Christians they could not assist at festivals and banquets which always ended with libations. Nor did they serve in the military in the early years; however, Tertullian said that the army was full of Christians; but that was in the early Third Century.
I would support Kim and others if they had a press conference and declared: “I swore to uphold the law; however, I did not swear to uphold an illegal law. Since the U. S. Supreme Court has usurped the law and made something legally right that is morally wrong, I will resign my position and sue the county for not accommodating my beliefs. After all, I am supposed to have as many rights as anyone else. I will file suit tomorrow against the county and state for 5 million dollars.”
Or, I would support her if she said: “I was elected to this office to uphold all legitimate laws; however, same-sex “marriage” has not been passed as a law. When it is I will resign in protest but until then, I will carry out my duties as I have been doing for 19 years. No marriage licenses will be issued in this county with my name on them. If it means jail time, then I am ready. I have my toothbrush and lipstick in my purse.”
Of course, she would go back to jail for contempt of court but then she probably has contempt for the court. I think she has made a courageous effort to conceal her contempt. I know I have–but without success. Her principled disobedience is supported by past major theologians and Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) who is the “father of modern international law.” He wrote “Among all good men one principle at any rate is established beyond controversy, that if the authorities issue any order that is contrary to the law of nature or to the commandments of God, the order should not be carried out. For when the Apostles said the obedience should be rendered to God rather than to men they appealed to an infallible rule of action.” Hugo was right. So is Kim.
What we need to see is a hundred committed Christian county clerks and judges in jail for their “deeply held religious beliefs” to call attention to the growing tyranny in America.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.