September 6, 2015

Kim Davis, Christianity & Civil Disobedience

There’s a debate among Christians about the case of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk now is jail for refusing to certify same-sex marriages. Should Christian office holders enforce laws at odds with their faith? Should they resign? Should they practice civil disobedience and risk imprisonment? Should Christians withdraw from political life altogether?
Read more in The Stream.


26 Responses to Kim Davis, Christianity & Civil Disobedience

  1. OhJay says:

    I’d be interested in hearing more about traditional Christian stances on government work. I know you mention them, but you do so largely in the form of questions. Maybe you mean the questions to be rhetorical, but since I don’t know the answers, I fail the test. Is government work something we’re meant to leave behind when we take up the cross?

    • Patrick98 says:

      This does not answer your question directly, but is addressed in the book “Christ and Culture.” Some Christians believe that following Jesus means leaving the culture, others believe we will always live in paradox with it, others believe we must transform it. Do we leave government work, live with it when it conflicts with our beliefs, or try to change it? These are age-old questions.

      • JDB says:

        Work where your beliefs are shared. ..as a public servant do your job legally and lawfully… she should lower her $80,000 job – be reassigned where there is no conflict in her personal religious views and her personal prejudices and biases. .her son should not be in a nepotism situation as fairness for others to compete for the job… Also..she may be saved and has evolved.. but divorced 3 to 4 times..makes me suspicious on other areas she may need to evolve publicly and religiously…

        • Patrick98 says:

          How interesting that Darwinism has crept into theological discussions! By “evolve” do you mean “backslide” or “become more sanctified”? 🙂

          • JDB says:

            Not an expert in theology or Dawinism..but “evolve” term was used in other commentary about how she came to religion and her beliefs since her prior life experiences that many other religions abhor or disagree…

          • Patrick98 says:

            You are correct in saying that her prior life experiences are abhorred or not agreed to by many other religions. She has said that her previous life experiences were less than virtuous and it appears she is now trying to live more in line with her Christian faith. It appears she has repented.

      • JDB says:

        Good question…for me…know when to protest and not in conflict to the Oath she took as a Public Official for so many taxpayers that walked repeatedly iin her Clerk’s Office… Guess the litmus test is knowing where to profess personal views on a realistic spectrum… I suppose the number of people affected by her when she actually lost nothing until Judge B. put it all in correct perspective…

    • Namyriah says:

      The Ethiopian eunuch, after being baptized by Philip, was not commanded to leave his post, which would have been right-hand aide to the queen of Ethiopia. Considering how early the Ethiopians converted to Christianity, who knows, he may have planted some seeds in his home country.

  2. jjgrndisland says:

    The insurmountable problem in relations between gays and Christians is that gays make being gay the center of their identity. When Christians say that we hate the sin but love the sinner, we really do mean it – in fact, we hate the sin BECAUSE we love the sinner. But to the sort who builds his identity around being gay, saying we disapprove of his sexual behavior must mean we really hate HIM, not just his behavior. I know people who smoke pot regularly, and I don’t approve, and some of them know I don’t approve, but that disapproval doesn’t get in the way of our relationships, because smoking pot is just something they DO, it’s not WHO THEY ARE. The guy who says “I’m Kevin, and I’m gay” is not going to accept “hate the sin but love the sinner,” because he thinks that if we hate the sin, we really DO hate the sinner too. It wasn’t all that long ago that relatively few people were “out,” and so they didn’t publicly make “I’m gay” the center of their identity. Now lots of people do. So, when some gay or lesbian pair want to stay at a bed and breakfast, or order a wedding cake, they are not going to take the refusal as disapproval of their bedroom activities, they take it as hatred of them, their whole being. We’ll keep saying we don’t hate, and they’ll keep saying we do.

    • johnschuh says:

      It goes beyond that. The whole thing has now turned a corner and they, or many of them, say that sexual identity is a matter of choice. How is that compatible with the claim that their attraction to their own gender is the basis of their identity? I think that we are confronted her is with madmen who have persuaded much of the country that they are not mad.

  3. the_enemy_hates_clarity says:

    Kim Davis should follow the law, or resign her position. United Methodist pastors who perform gay marriages should follow the Discipline, or resign their position. United Methodist Bishops should enforce the Discipline, or resign their position

    In Christ,

    The enemy hates clarity

    • jjgrndisland says:

      Well, you’re half-right anyway. Davis has considerably more courage and faith than any mainline bishop. I think she’s obeying that verse “We must obey God rather than men.”

    • JDB says:

      She broke the law…and discriminated against both gay and straight couples seeking marriage licenses as a Public Servant..does the Church condone this? To protest her biases and prejudices is not what my God..teaches

      • johnschuh says:

        And this has nothing to do with the content of the law she is supposed to enforce? But there is, for all intents and purposes, any law for her to follow,only the will of a federal judge. He can decide in favor of plaintiffs who come to his court and tell the clerk to give THEM a license. But consider this:

        I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court, nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case upon the parties to a suit as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the Government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled and never become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink to decide cases properly brought before them, and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.

        Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address.-1861

      • Marie Zac says:

        So…we no longer have a voice, is that correct? Go back to the Word and see example after example of those who stood for Christ and didn’t back down.

        • JDB says:

          Church & State issues seem to prevail..as I see it… She took an Oath to serve her role as an elected official in govt. and she opted to discriminate based on her personal biases and prejudice …denied marriage licenses to anyone… Nothing harmed her other then how she (poorly advised by a hungry attorney) “felt” she had a constitutional religious right to deny other American Taxpayers the right to marry.
          “GIVE TO Caesar. ..”

        • JDB says:

          Church & State issues seem to prevail..as I see it… She took an Oath to serve her role as an elected official in govt. and she opted to discriminate based on her personal biases and prejudice …denied marriage licenses to anyone… Nothing harmed her other then how she (poorly advised by a hungry attorney) “felt” she had a constitutional religious right to deny other American Taxpayers the right to marry.
          “GIVE TO Caesar. ..”

  4. Jason P Taggart says:

    Since most Christians in America will never go to jail for taking a stand, I think she definitely deserves praise. One problem is that her own personal life is being thrown in her face, which is understandable – the conservative churches were craven cowards when it came to multiple divorcees and cohabitation before marriage, so, as the enemies point out, who is this woman with a past to judge anyone else? One of our local pastors is solidly behind traditional marriage, but when you ask him about the matter of all the divorced people in his congregation, his usual dodge is “I don’t think it’s my place to be legalistic.” Well, obviously it’s one small step to saying, “You know, I guess I better not be legalistic about any sexual ethics at all.” And at that point we end up where the mainlines are, and that’s not good.

    • Patrick98 says:

      Ms. Davis’ previous marriages occurred before she was a Christian, a fact her enemies conveniently overlook.

      • JDB says:

        Really? Does this mean she “evolved”” and is now purified to condemn those unlike her NEW BELIEFS/NEW RELIGION?

        • Patrick98 says:

          You are correct in saying she has new beliefs which are different than her old beliefs before she was a Christian. The issue she is trying to work out in her life is how her new beliefs will manifest themselves in her actions. In Christian theology this is called the “orthodoxy/orthopraxy” issue.

  5. Namyriah says:

    In a semi-related story, the Heather Cook, the Episcopal bishop who killed a bicyclist last December while DUI (and stoned, and texting) has pleaded guilty and will serve ten years in prison, hallelujah.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-bishop-cook-plea-20150908-story.html

    Funny how things work. No bishops being sent to jail for taking a stand for their faith, but for killing people.

    http://wsau.com/news/articles/2014/aug/01/former-lutheran-bishop-gets-decade-in-prison-for-fatal-owi-crash/

  6. Richard S. Bell says:

    Ms Davis’s conscience would condemn her taking any part in issuance of a civil marriage license to a same-sex couple. If Ms Davis’s conscience is well-ordered, it would condemn her violation of the Ninth Commandment by breaking her oath of office. Ms Davis has just one way to escape this situation of conflict — abandoning her office. I assume she is getting advice from wise Christians, but is not respecting it.

    • Marie Zac says:

      Are we all now obliged to resign any office that is affiliated to the government’s decision regarding same sex marriage? Now prove to me that this isn’t discrimination.

      • Richard S. Bell says:

        I observed that resigning is the only way to resolve a conflict of Christian conscience in this case. Now, I concede that a pagan would not face such a conflict of conscience, so a pagan would not be obliged to resign. Is such difference a sign of discrimination? Discrimination against Christians? Discrimination by whom?

    • Semp says:

      37 comments and 16 upvotes.
      You’re really making a big splash.

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