Before the Supreme Court discovered a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Kim Davis was unknown outside Rowan County, Kentucky (population 23,333), where she serves as county clerk. Of course, she is now a symbol of Christian opposition to gay marriage. What can we learn from her experience?
First, those who oppose same-sex marriage can expect to be misrepresented and even vilified. Davis is a Democrat, not a right-wing Republican. Widely criticized as a hypocrite because of her multiple marriages, she was not a Christian at the time. (She became a believer less than five years ago.)
And she doesn't oppose issuing gay marriage licenses, only having her name on them. She has consistently stated that she is willing to issue such licenses, but since gay marriages are contrary to her religious beliefs, she does not want to be identified personally with them. She wants a remedy that would apply to all county clerks, whatever their religious persuasions on marriage issues.
Whatever you think about the legalities of her stand, you'll probably agree that these facts have not been widely reported.
Second, similar challenges are coming for those who affirm biblical morality. Organizations across the country are dealing with same-sex spousal benefits. If polygamy advocates are successful, we'll face similar issues with regard to multiple partners. If euthanasia advocates continue their success, we'll deal with enormous end-of-life issues. Advances in genetic engineering could lead to unprecedented ethical challenges.
How should Christians respond?
Acclaimed social commentator Mark Tooley: "Same-sex marriage is not primarily about same-sex marriage but about overthrowing and stigmatizing traditional morality and religion in favor of an oppressive, highly intolerant secularist orthodoxy coercively and fiercely imposed by mainly non-democratic means, arbitrarily and often without benefit of legal process."
Is this our future? According to Tooley, "There are likely to be many more ordinary people like Kim Davis who are harassed and jailed for their defiance of this secularist orthodoxy that roots ultimate power and even transcendent authority in unelected elites."
It is more important than ever that Christians know how to stand for biblical truth in our post-Christian culture. Each day I write the Cultural Commentary, I thank God for the support and encouragement of our readers. Without you, our ministry would not be possible. Since we give away everything we produce online, we depend entirely on your financial support.
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Publication date: September 17, 2015
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