You loved my post about how to disagree with people. But are you living it?
Case in point: Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, has defied the Supreme Court and refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couple, based on her interpretation of the bible.
I believe this is wrong. You don’t get to do a government job based on your interpretation of the bible.
But many of my social media friends are giddy to point out that she’s been married four times and had children conceived through adultery. (This was before she was born again.) Apparently this makes her a hypocrite.
If you accept this argument — worse, if you revel in it — you’re actually undermining your position.
If Davis were a pillar of the local chamber of commerce who went to church every day and never did anything immoral, she would still be wrong. Gay marriage is still the law of the land and government officials still need to grant licenses to gay couples.
If Davis were a lesbian, would we then have to accept her opinion that gay people should not get marriage licenses? No. It would make no difference. She would still be wrong. Her personal story doesn’t enter into it.
By bringing Davis’ morality into the argument, you reinforce the idea that this is about morality. It is not. It is about how our laws work.
Kim Davis is easy to hate because of her moral history and the fact that she looks like a shrew. Doesn’t matter. Once you hate, you’ve lost the moral high ground.
I take my cue from the way things have unfolded among the opposing advocates on the ground in Kentucky:
Rachelle Bombe has sat there every day, wearing rainbow colors and carrying signs that demand marriage equality. One particularly hot day, Davis, the woman she was there to protest against, worried Bombe would get overheated and offered her a cold drink. In turn, Bombe said she’s checked in on Davis, whose lawyer says she’s received death threats and hate mail, to make sure she’s holding up despite the difficult circumstances.
“She’s a very nice lady, I like her a lot,” Bombe said of Davis. “We’re on the opposite sides of this, but it’s not personal.”
On the issue of marriage licenses, Kim Davis is wrong. Eventually, the authorities will remove her from office and the marriages will proceed. You can pray for her or protest her. But I won’t demonize anybody, no matter how much I disagree with their point of view.
Photo: TIMOTHY D. EASLEY/AP