I have been sitting on the sidelines on this subject, mainly because I didn’t have all the facts.
So a Republican appointed judge throws a self-serving elected Democrat official, who is taking the law into their own hands, into jail. Seems fair enough. Oh, I am not talking about President Obama. I am, of course, talking about Kentucky’s own Kim Davis:
But Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, whom U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning found in contempt of court, said through her lawyers that she will not authorize any of her employees to issue (SSM) licenses in her absence. The judge placed her in the custody of U.S. marshals and had her taken to Carter County jail…
She should be taken to Rowan County jail, but I digress.
This is not a case of Religious Freedom or Religious Liberty. No one is telling her give up her beliefs or endorsing SSM, all she has to do is witness. Matthew Arildsen at The Federalist breaks it down:
Thankfully, an evil empire and moral purity were precisely the concerns of first-century Christians as they wrestled with living in extensively pagan societies with tyrannical militaries. One ethical conundrum of the day was: is it permissible to eat food sacrificed to idols? In 1 Corinthians 10:25-, Paul lays out the righteous path: “Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; for the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake.”
Money spent on food sacrificed to idols ended up funding the pagan temple system one way or another. Paul is unfazed. Like Jesus insisting that we should give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and pay our taxes, Paul shows that the evil actions of the other participants do not preclude the narrowly righteous action of the Christian. The reasoning is, buying food is just buying food; buying food isn’t wrong; what people do with the money does not contribute to your sin. …
The clarity of this logic helps us draw bright lines for Christian conduct in this less extreme but very important situation. Baking a cake is not evil. Telling someone that gay marriage is great is evil. Photographing a wedding is not evil. Implicitly endorsing public sin is evil. Signing a certificate as the government’s witness for the validity of the legal document saying two parties are married according to the state is not evil. Signing a certificate that certifies that all signatories endorse the government’s definition of marriage is evil.
So in the case of a cake for a gay wedding or being a witness on a slip of paper, it makes sense to analyze the act itself. It’s not wrong to give people a beautiful cake. It’s wrong to encourage people to do evil things. If you make your views and the company’s views clear, you can feel free to make that cake. If they want it to say “Congratulations Angela and Norma!” you may feel morally free to do as they wish. As long as they know that you are merely serving their own self-congratulations and are not participating in congratulating, your conscience can be clear.
Similarly, it is moral for a Christian clerk to issue the morally invalid marriage licenses that include gay marriages, as long as the state does not coerce the clerk into offering congratulations to the couple. Your function as a witness to the state and couple’s sin may be painful, but the angst of seeing neighbors fall deeper and deeper into sin should not be confused with the angst of personal moral guilt.
I highly recommend the whole article. It is actually two writers and two different op-eds. I know it is almost two months old, but I have kept it in my pocket until now.
What Matthew Arildsen is saying that endorsing (not voluntary economic participation) a sin is a sin as well.
Does this apply to the Hobby Lobby owners? No, buying health insurance used to be a “voluntary economic participation” and used to be able to pick and choose their own health coverage. With ObamaCare, it has become a forceful economic participation. As like the Military Draft, there must be a clear-cut conscientious objector status. Same with the cake maker and photographer, or anyone for any one thing.
Here, let us keep things simple:
The First Amendment says government is not entitled to your church or religious beliefs. Signing what amounts to a worthless piece of paper, or baking a cake, or taking a photo, is not a sin unto itself.
The Fifth Amendment and Thirteenth Amendment says no one is entitled to your labor, except to the state as punishment for a crime. Forcing you to buy anything, or to bake a cake, or to take a photo, for any reason is outright slavery and is wrong.
Kim Davis is wrong on every level. Since no one is telling her to give up her church and religious beliefs, her First Amendment rights are not being violated. As long as Kim Davis or any other county clerk or government official who has a problem with issuing same-sex marriage licenses can resign, then they are not a slave.
To those Democrats who support President Obama’s “Executive Amnesty” and not Kim Davis, then you are a bunch of awful bloody hypocrites. The “Rule Of Law” doesn’t matter to you in the slightest. Don’t start crying about it now.
And to my fellow “Rule Of Law” Republicans, don’t be so quick to come to Kim Davis’ defense. Kim Davis is one of those awful “take-the-law-into-their-own-hands” Democrats and shouldn’t be thanked nor should we start the beatification process yet.
Well, see ya’ later!
Music: “Land Of Confusion” by Disturbed
Book: “Truth Overruled: The Future Of Marriage And Religious Freedom” by Ryan T. Anderson