The Phony Martyrdom of Kim Davis

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, center, talks with protesters following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, center, talks with protesters following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2015. Although her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied, Davis still refuses to issue marriage licenses. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Religious fanatic and serial bad dresser, Kim Davis, the County Clerk in Rowan County, is absolutely determined to build a cross and climb onto it so the Religious Right can pretend to have a martyr. No doubt the hate group advising her, Liberty Counsel, told her bigots around the country will send cash and a crowd funding effort will appear in the near future. What good is faux martyrdom if you can't scam the rubes out of some cash in the process?

Davis, as county clerk, is engaging her personal prejudices by refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. That she claims her bigotry is religiously based is immaterial to whether or not she has to do her job. After her failed appeal to the Supreme Court, she still refuses to do the work for which she is paid. Now she claims she's to act under "God's authority" in her personal campaign against gays.

Being in Kentucky, there is no shortage of backwoods yokels lined up to chant Bible verses, sing hymns and engage in other forms of fundamentalist voodoo in support. But, all the incantations and prayers of the world won't solve the problem Davis created for herself -- with the encouragement of her attorney.

Davis concocted a contradictory legal argument. She, a simple woman of little intelligence and less style, claims, "To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God's definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience."

Now, this is just "lying for Jesus," because it isn't so. Davis regularly issues marriage licenses in conflict with her definition of Biblical marriage. She is not averse to allowing divorced couples to marry at all. In fact, she is so not averse to it, she collected four husbands over her own unimpressive lifetime. Her sect says divorce is invalid. After all, it's "one man and one woman FOR LIFE."

Fundamentalists may have gotten lax on the divorce issue because so many of them are divorced, but the typical view is that once married always married, which makes Davis guilty of her third illicit sexual affair with a man not her husband. Just because today's fundamentalists turn a blind eye to the sin of divorce, and the greater sin of remarriage, it doesn't change God's law, and by Kim's own logic her remarriage is invalid and every license she signs for a divorced local is a violation of "God's definition of marriage."

If the state can't sanction a marriage contrary to God's will, it can't sanction her own marriages -- all four of them. The God of fundamentalist Neanderthals doesn't sanction any marriage after divorce, because God opposes divorce.

To invoke "God's authority" for civil law is simply a Christian form of Sharia law. As much as fundamentalists foam at the mouth over the very fantasy that Sharia law will be imposed in America -- an unlikely prospect -- they are not at all reluctant to impose a Christian fundamentalist version of the same practice. They aren't asking for religious freedom to follow "God's law" as they imagine it; they are demanding the right to force everyone else to live by it as well.

Davis is not seeking equal freedom, or equal rights. She is demanding Courts anoint her religious beliefs as superior to all others. If all she wanted were her religious beliefs, she could satisfy them by simply never getting "gay married," however she is trying to make sure no one else gets "gay married" in Rowan County either.

The thing about fundamentalist Christianity is it operates on the assumption its adherents have rights superior to those of all others. They assume only their brand of Christianity -- a thoroughly American phenomenon and one completely unknown to early Christians -- has "religious freedom" and all other sects or beliefs must bow before them.

Joe Davis, Kim's current husband, says he's just an "old redneck hillbilly" but his wife is like a biblical prophet. He argues those who support equal rights for gay couples "want us to accept their beliefs and their ways. But they won't accept our beliefs and our ways."

He has it very wrong. When people have equal rights, both can have "their beliefs and their ways." That is what liberty does. Davis and his fellow fundamentalists can refuse to get "gay married" because it violates their beliefs, and gay couples can still happily marry because it doesn't violate their own. That isn't what Davis or his wife want. They wish to make sure NO gay couple can have "their way" in Rowan County, and must live according to the conscience of Kim Davis, not according to their own.

Kim Davis and her "advisers" are going to keep building a cross and when finished, she will climb onto it while they get out the hammer and nails. The Religious Right will then point to the spectacle insisting this is the obvious outcome of gay marriage, which really does threaten religious liberty.

Of course, religious liberty is safe! But, the religious privileges fundamentalists demand for themselves alone are not.