By now we all know who Kim Davis is. She's the Kentucky clerk who won't issue homosexual "marriage" licenses, despite a federal court order to do so. In fact, she refuses to issue any marriage licenses since the order came down, and one news report (which I cannot now find) stated that she has "ordered" her deputy clerks not to issue the licenses either. This story may provide some clarification on that last point, as it implies that licenses "issued" by her deputies are nonetheless issued in her name.
There are several interesting questions to discuss about Kim Davis's current situation and her refusal to obey the court order to issue same-sex "marriage" licenses. Her own marital past history isn't one of those interesting questions, so I'm going to deem discussion of it OT. Here are some of the actually interesting questions:
--Is she right to refuse to issue the same-sex "marriage" licenses?
My unequivocal answer: Yes.
--Is she right to refuse to resign her position?
My answer: Yes, though it would also be morally permissible for her to resign. See below on "answering the call."
--Is she right to order her deputies to issue no licenses either?
My answer: If her name goes on them, yes. If not, then I can see a case either way. Ordering the deputies not to issue the licenses also potentially shields them from contempt charges, as it puts all the blame on her. This might be desirable if they don't want to issue licenses either but don't want to stand up to the courts individually.
--Is she right to issue no licenses?
Presumably, she originally did this in the hopes of avoiding discrimination charges, as she never before had any objection to issuing licenses for normal marriages. At this point that part of it seems kind of pointless. However, that leads to...
--Would she be in any more legal trouble if she issued marriage licenses for normal couples but "discriminated" against homsexual couples?
I don't know. If not, then she should issue them to normal couples. Might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb, and everyone knows her motivation. If so, then her blanket refusal is more understandable. That is a question for someone who knows the relevant laws better to answer.
--What will happen?
Unclear. She will surely suffer some penalties for being in contempt. The question is just how severe those will be. This story (with some relish) even prompts the judge to order that any crowd-funding money she receives from people who are sympathetic must be turned over to the courts! It says that may be "necessary." There's a nasty idea. Can the judge do that?
When writing about Hobby Lobby, I said this:
Christians in America today rarely have a villain put a literal gun to their heads and ask them to deny Christ. For almost any compromise one might be called upon to make, one can find plausible excuses. And for almost any challenge that might be laid upon one's heart spontaneously, one can argue that it isn't actually religiously required that one accept that challenge.
Jesus no longer walks bodily by the seashore among us, pointing to each of us, calling us by name: "Come, follow me." That makes it easy not to recognize those defining moments when we really must stand up and be counted. In fact, we might easily wonder if there are any such defining moments in our quiet lives.
David Green believes that such a moment has come for his company and for himself as its leader, and he is willing to abandon all that he has built for the sake of the call. May all of us have ears to hear when our moment comes.
These words are even more applicable to Kim Davis. She could, without sin, resign her job, as the governor of her state has demanded. Instead, she chooses the more defiant and inspiring route of standing her ground. That's exactly the kind of call to action that can be extremely difficult to recognize in an individual life. But I believe Kim Davis may have rightly recognized the call to action for herself, and we should support her.
Let me add that the Kim Davises of the world are one reason among a million why a certain silly libertarian dream is impossible. That dream (which would never have come to pass anyway) consisted in abolishing all anti-discrimination laws while granting homosexuals the recognition of "marriage." Allegedly, that was the way to freedom that "hurt nobody." Well, I could go on and on about how wrong that whole idea is, but one thing I have always said is that the consciences of government officials who have to recognize these as marriages would still be under siege. Government officials are not robots. Their activities give legitimacy to certain other activities. If Kim Davis were accommodated, someone else would have the same decision to make. If all the county clerks in Kentucky refused to issue same-sex "marriage" licenses, and all the people the state tried to hire also refused, what exactly would Kentucky do? The fact of the matter is that same-sex "marriage" has never been about freedom but about recognition. And someone, somewhere, somehow has to grant that recognition. It may be a clerk, a family law judge, a teacher at a child's school who treats the child as having two mommies. If that were not the case, civil "marriage" for homosexuals would have literally no meaning. It would exist only in their heads and impose no requirements upon anyone else. To the extent that civil marriage exists at all, it is a requirement of recognition by someone. And if that someone doesn't want to recognize it, there is a clash, and that someone will be under coercion.
Kim Davis is the death of the libertarian fantasy that everyone can be free in a world with homosexual "marriage," and I hope (probably vainly) that someone in the libertarian camp, especially the Christian libertarian camp, is taking notes.
God's blessings on Davis.