Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis has defied the US Supreme Court by denying same-sex couples marriage licenses. On Sept. 1, she declined to provide licenses to David Ermold and David Moore. “Under whose authority?” Ermold asked.
“Under God’s authority,” the Rowan County clerk replied, according to The New York Times.
Essentially, Davis, who identifies as an Apostolic Christian, believes that same-sex marriage runs counter to her religious beliefs.
“To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience,” she said, according to The Times. “I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s word.”
According to the official website for the Apostolic Christian Church of America, adherents’ “beliefs are rooted in a literal interpretation of the Bible. We believe that the Bible’s teachings are applicable to all times and all cultures.” Davis is apparently none too familiar with God’s word, however. Nor can she be considered an orthodox follower of scripture—her mere employment as a Kentucky county clerk stands in direct contradiction to Matthew 5:34: “But I say to you, do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God.” US county clerks must swear an oath to both God and country before entering office.
Technically speaking, the most Biblically-appropriate thing for Davis to do would have been to never have run for elected office in the first place—knowing full well that such positions require oath taking. Now, I suppose the second-most Christian thing to do would be to resign.
Romans 13 highlights yet another of Davis’s amusing self-contradictions: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
And, of course, there is the matter of Davis’s four marriages (and subsequent divorces) to contend with. Corinthians 7:39 reads, “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives.” And Matthew 5:31-32 explicitly states, “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”
What literalists like Davis and her peers continually fail to understand is that it’s nigh impossible to live (and function) in a modern society while also perfectly following biblical standards. It’s entirely possible that the frock worn by Davis in the above picture is made from a different cloth than the indigo top she’s paired it with—which is forbidden by the same passage in Leviticus that rejects homosexuality. In this context, Davis’ statements are comically hypocritical.
In a statement published by The Guardian, Kim Davis said, “I never imagined a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of scripture and of Jesus himself regarding marriage.” One could argue that she should be used to it by now, however. After all, according to the Scriptures, she’s had plenty of practice.