Davis, God, and Uncle Sam
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by Josh Lee
2015 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
By now, everyone has seen all the videos, court proceedings, and memes that have circulated around the Internet on the Kentucky city clerk who refused to issue same-sex couples marriage licenses.

I've been trying to figure out how to article my thoughts on the event as someone who, himself, holds personal beliefs, biases, and prejudices.

Recently, in California, our state passed a legislation that allows undocumented persons from Mexico to obtain a drivers license in the state. Just like the courthouses on the morning Proposition 8 was shot down in California, a line was outside the DMV of undocumented immigrants all waiting to get a little plastic card that grants them a little more freedom.

I have no shame in saying that this is greatly upsetting to me. Whereas I dutifully pay large sums in taxes to my state on my income, my car, and my property, many of these undocumented individuals have not. So yes, I believe I deserve a drivers license and official identification as I have worked for it and paid for it. And no, I don't believe we should be making concessions to those who are enjoying the fruits of our labor without being subject to the same taxes and laws.

For then record, I have no problem with anyone of any background. Many of my closest friends identify as Latino, Hispanic, Black, and Middle Eastern. My partner identifies as a Hispanic. I simply have a problem with those who do not follow the legal protocol to become a part of our American society. Pay your dues and enter this country legally or deal with the life that you find less than savory back home.

Perhaps this is an outdated, biased, and elitist belief, but it is one that I truly believe in. That said, if I was an employee at the DMV. As an employee, I would not refuse an illegal alien service. As an employee of a government entity, I must follow the law and conduct myself professionally and in accordance with the requirements of my job. If I have stronger reservations that would weigh heavily on my mental state and conscious, I would make the appropriate arrangements to resign.

Now, I understand that to some, my personal prejudice may not stand on the same philosophical plain as religion, but I also don't believe that religion and fact stand on the same plains either. The entire concept of religion, regardless of denomination, is based on faith. No religion's teachings are true, or fact, because if they were fact, the entire idea of believing in faith would be rendered useless. As such, no religion can be proven "right" or "correct". In fact, in many cases, we often see certain beliefs of certain religions as incorrect and wrong. I won't name any, but I'm sure you already have some in mind.

This is the same as my prejudice against the undocumented and the illegal in this country, mainly those from the land just south of my current location.

This contrasts with law which is fact. Law is the opposite of religion. The law is always true because it can be proven by the respective governing body. Law is what ensures that beliefs don't get out of order. We have laws against killing people. There are multiple verses in certain testaments of the bible that describe putting people to death. If someone follows their faith and stones someone for something, should they be allowed to walk free on the fact that they were following their religion?

And at the intersection of these two very different axis is where we find our situation and Kim Davis. This is a difficult and highly unstable binary. Davis believed that a marriage is defined by God as one man and one woman. She also believed that her religious beliefs should trump her lawful duties as an appointed official. Personally, I don't believe that she should have to violate any of her personal beliefs. She should follow her faith, skewed as it may be, as it is obviously very important to her. That said, she needs to remove herself from her position as following her faith prevents her from doing her job. And therein lies the problem. Davis has called upon the state legislature to change the law to remove her name from marriage licenses. The answer is not to change the law to accommodate her faith. That doesn't make sense. We don't change a proven fact to accommodate an unproven (antiquated, close minded) belief.

It is my personal belief that Kim Davis is the start of a very lengthy debate that this country will be facing. She is not this generation's Martin Luther King Junior or Rosa Parks, as many have likened her. In fact, she is exactly the opposite. Ironically, nearly half a century ago, King and Parks were fighting for equality and yet today Davis is fighting for inequality. She is, however, a prime example of how religion and law are growing father and farther apart and the divide becoming an increasing issue. (I'm also interested to know where she stands on sex changes. A man can become a woman. Does that count then?)

Many religions have origins dating back for thousands of years and as such their teachings and beliefs are based on centuries-old thinking. Sure, some have been retrofitted and given a little nip-and-tuck to retain their relevancy, but their origins remain in the dark ages. Law, on the other hand, especially in the United States, was written to govern a society based on religious freedom, is mostly current and constantly revised to remain relevant and appropriately fit modern society just like the ready to wear clothing line of a fashion house. Then again, Davis has obviously never even given a second thought to clothing and fashion.

So although I can understand how strongly she believes in her (selective) religious convictions, no, Kim Davis, we should not change the law for you. And we should not for anyone else either. It is bad enough that the media has allowed you to prolifically propagate your beliefs of inequality and outdated beliefs of marriage. Religious beliefs may govern your life, but United States law governs the country.

I believe in God. I believe in marriage. I believe in the sanctity of a union between two partners. I believe in the commitment that they make to each other, the love that holds them together. I will get married, I will recite vows and dedicate my life to keeping them. My belief in myself, my partner, and our marriage is what matters. Not our genders.