By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
There comes a time in every person’s life where they have to decide what they stand for and what they believe in. What is the line that you just won’t cross, no matter the consequence? Many people never consider that question until they are forced to. For Christians, it is an easy choice. They answer to a higher power than the government or the courts. For Kim Davis, that day came a while back when she was asked to issue marriage licenses for gay couples. The Supreme Court just recently trashed the Constitution and in a move that violated First Amendment freedom of religion, they gave gay couples the right to marry and mandated that all observe that as the law of the land. Kim Davis said firmly, “I will not comply.” Then she stood her ground amid death threats through email, phone calls and social media. She also faces the very real possibility of financial penalties and imprisonment. People are also threatening to burn down her home and rape her on her front lawn. All because she won’t violate her Christian beliefs.
As a County Clerk, Kim Davis has now stated she will continue to deny marriage licenses to gay couples. She says she’s doing so “under God’s authority.” She came out of her office this morning after several gay couples were denied marriage licenses. She asked David Moore and David Ermold, who’ve been rejected four times, to leave. They refused, surrounded by reporters and cameras. There was a tense confrontation while the media gobbled it up.
Ermold said: “We’re not leaving until we have a license.” Davis responded: “Then you’re going to have a long day.”
There was a group in the back of the room cheering Davis on shouting, “Praise the Lord!” and “Stand your ground!” Others screeched that Davis is a bigot and told her: “Do your job!” “The Supreme Court denied your stay,” one of the men told Davis. “I pay your salary! I pay you to discriminate against me right now.” Then they dared her to call the police on them.
I understand the police eventually removed everyone and Kim retired to her office and closed the blinds. This must break her heart. The media made a big deal of the gay couples being teary and red-eyed. They also claimed to be shaking. What manipulative wusses. “It’s just too hard right now,” one gay man said, choking back tears and holding hands with his fiance as they rushed to their car. I don’t believe them at all, they were reveling in the spotlight. I also don’t feel sorry for these people. They could have gone elsewhere for a marriage license – this was to make a point. It’s the gay militaristic persecution of Christians and it is being condoned by the federal government.
Davis’ attorney is standing by her, defending her continued refusal to grant same-sex marriage licenses. A judge today ordered that Davis comply and issue those licenses or appear in her court and tell her why she should not be held in contempt. Her attorney has a couple of solutions he is suggesting to the state of Kentucky. One option would be to allow the Chief Executive of Rowan County to grant licenses. He is willing to do so. Or Davis’ name could simply be removed from the licenses, as it now appears on each one. “She is licensing something with her name on it that licenses something that is a sin and not an appropriate relationship in her Judeo-Christian beliefs,” the attorney said. To implement either of these options, the governor of Kentucky would need to step in.
Davis has issued a statement that she was elected to her office and she is honored to serve as clerk. She has no plans to step down. “In addition to my desire to serve the people of Rowan County, I owe my life to Jesus Christ who loves me and gave His life for me,” she said. “Following the death of my godly mother-in-law over four years ago, I went to church to fulfill her dying wish. There I heard a message of grace and forgiveness and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.” Davis continued, “I am not perfect. No one is. But I am forgiven and I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God.”
Never in her wildest dreams did she think she would become the center of such national controversy. You see, I don’t think the state of Kentucky will accommodate her or stand by her. And nothing short of her being impeached and removed or signing those licenses will appease those standing against her. They want their pound of flesh and to make an example of Kim Davis. They want to send a resounding message to America that you have no choice as a person of faith… you must comply and kneel before the State or else.
“It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision. For me it is a decision of obedience. I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will,” Davis said. “To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s Word. It is a matter of religious liberty, which is protected under the First Amendment, the Kentucky Constitution, and in the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Kim then refused once again to violate her conscience and her beliefs.
A contempt hearing has now been scheduled for this Thursday at 11 am. The plaintiffs don’t want her thrown in jail. I guess they fear her becoming a martyr. They want heavy financial penalties imposed instead. She can’t be fired… she would have to be impeached. There is an option for recall, but what do you want to bet if the election were held again today, she would be reelected? There are more steadfast Christians than they think out there. Davis’ latest refusal comes just one day after the Supreme Court declined to intervene in her case.
Davis was elected last November as a Democrat, succeeding her mother in the office she had held for 37 years, according to the Morehead News. Her staff includes her son.
As this played out today, two opposing groups faced off outside the entrance to the courthouse and exchanged barbs. “At the end of the day, we have to stand before God, which has higher authority than the Supreme Court,” said Randy Smith, leading the group supporting Davis. Ermold and Moore, together for 17 years, cried and swayed as they walked out to chants from the clerk’s supporters. “I feel sad, I feel devastated,” Ermold said. “I feel like I’ve been humiliated on such a national level, I can’t even comprehend it.” Oh, boo hoo.
Davis’ husband came to the office to check on his wife and stand by her side. He defended their faith and said she is “standing for God.” As for himself, he said he believes in the Second Amendment: “I’m an old redneck hillbilly, that’s all I’ve got to say. Don’t come knocking on my door.” Good for him – I like this guy. He pointed to the gay rights protesters gathered on the courthouse lawn and said: “They want us to accept their beliefs and their ways. But they won’t accept our beliefs and our ways.” And that’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? Religious beliefs are protected by the Constitution… gay rights aren’t, no matter what the Supreme Court says.
Kim Davis will likely go down over all this, but that is a price she is willing to pay for her faith. She won’t be the first American Christian martyr to fall before the federal government and their despotic overreach. She certainly won’t be the last. There is a time and a place for civil disobedience. My fellow Christians, that time is now.