Kentucky Clerk on Biblical Marriage Stand: ‘I Have Weighed the Cost’


Kentucky Clerk on Biblical Marriage Stand: ‘I Have Weighed the Cost’

By    •    September 2, 2015

Kentucky's Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis (right) told Decision magazine Wednesday: "If the Word of God isn’t worth fighting for, I don’t know anything that is.”
Kentucky’s Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis (right) told Decision magazine Wednesday: “If the Word of God isn’t worth fighting for, I don’t know anything that is.”

UPDATE: Shortly after this article was published, Kim Davis was found in contempt of court by a federal judge and taken into custody.

Davis’ attorney issued a statement that said, in part:

“Kim Davis is being treated as a criminal because she cannot violate her conscience. While she may be behind bars for now, Kim Davis is a free woman. Her conscience remains unshackled.

“… And the tragedy is that there are simple ways to accommodate her convictions. Just remove her name from the marriage licenses. That’s all she has asked from the beginning. … This is not the kind of America the Founders envisioned or that most Americans want.”

Kentucky’s Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis talked to Decision magazine on Wednesday. A more comprehensive story will appear in the October edition of the magazine. 

No amount of threats against her life or her job, no edicts from the U.S. Supreme Court or the governor, could sway Kim Davis to compromise God’s truth.

She is so overwhelmed by His grace, so captivated by His love, so surrendered to His will that she can’t fathom caving to the ways and pressures of this world—regardless of the consequences.

“I cannot be separated from what I believe,” she said. “I have to love the Lord with my whole heart, mind, body and soul—with every ounce of strength and might that I have in me. It’s every breath we take and every beat of our heart.”

Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk of court, has been at the center of a national firestorm in recent months over her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses even though she received court orders to do so.

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Her voice cracked and she wept at times during an interview this week with Decision as she discussed her willingness to face dire consequences if necessary in order to remain faithful to her Lord, which could also include being impeached from office and being arrested.

“I have weighed the cost,” she said. “It’s definitely no place that I thought I would ever find myself, and it is definitely out of my comfort zone. I’m a very private person. For this to be everywhere [in the news] is just overwhelming at times.

“But it is through God and His grace and strength that I stand, that I can have a smile on my face.”

Because of the Bible’s clear teaching that marriage is the sacred union of one man and one woman, Davis prayerfully decided that she could not permit issuance to gay and lesbian couples since the licenses would bear her name.

“Those licenses leave my office through my authority,” she said. “I cannot be party to that. I just can’t. … If the Word of God isn’t worth fighting for, I don’t know anything that is.”

Her attorney, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, has asked the courts and Gov. Steve Beshear to change licensing procedures to accommodate Davis’ convictions and those of others with similar beliefs. Staver suggested several options, including removing the clerk’s name from all marriage licenses, making the state capitol the processing center for licenses and switching to an online application process.

Davis also tried to take pre-emptive measures to avoid the predicament immediately after taking office as clerk in January, writing state legislators in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in June.

“I urged and beseeched them to get legislation on the floor while we still had time to protect clerks who had religions objections to same-sex marriage,” she said. “I got only one response, and nothing happened.”

Some critics have suggested that Davis should resign her elected position, but she has no intention of doing so, partly because she ran for the office last year after 27 years as deputy clerk only because she sensed the Lord calling her to do so.

Her deep devotion to Christ is rooted in the love and grace she received at her conversion more than four years ago, which she said followed years of “living in a pit of sin that I had created with my very own hands.”

She was divorced three times and gave birth to twins conceived out of wedlock.

Her life changed in 2011 when she attended a Sunday evening church service in honor of her mother-in-law, who had died that morning.

“The pastor preached out of Galatians, and it really stirred my heart,” Davis said. “I repented right there on the altar, just fell on my knees and face and cried.”

Davis now prays regularly for the salvation and protection of the same-sex couples who have assailed her and says she believes there is eternal significance in remaining firm in her stance.

“For me, this is a Heaven or Hell issue because [of] someone else who maybe doesn’t know the Lord and is still searching,” she said. “This is real, and this is true.”

Though she has been under intense attack and pressure, she claims a peace and trust in God that surpasses human understanding.

“We serve a living God who is alive and on the throne,” she said. “He knows exactly where I am, and I know that His hand is upon me and upon His people. He is in full control.”


This pretty well sums it up…


Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country

Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.

It is hard to overstate the significance of the Obergefell decision — and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.

Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America.

The alarm that the four dissenting justices sounded in their minority opinions is chilling. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia were particularly scathing in pointing out the philosophical and historical groundlessness of the majority’s opinion. Justice Scalia even called the decision “a threat to democracy,” and denounced it, shockingly, in the language of revolution.

It is now clear that for this Court, extremism in the pursuit of the Sexual Revolution’s goals is no vice. True, the majority opinion nodded and smiled in the direction of the First Amendment, in an attempt to calm the fears of those worried about religious liberty. But when a Supreme Court majority is willing to invent rights out of nothing, it is impossible to have faith that the First Amendment will offer any but the barest protection to religious dissenters from gay rights orthodoxy.

Indeed, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito explicitly warned religious traditionalists that this decision leaves them vulnerable. Alito warns that Obergefell “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy,” and will be used to oppress the faithful “by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”

The warning to conservatives from the four dissenters could hardly be clearer or stronger. So where does that leave us?

For one, we have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist. To be frank, the court majority may impose on the rest of the nation a view widely shared by elites, but it is also a view shared by a majority of Americans. There will be no widespread popular resistance to Obergefell. This is the new normal.

For another, LGBT activists and their fellow travelers really will be coming after social conservatives. The Supreme Court has now, in constitutional doctrine, said that homosexuality is equivalent to race. The next goal of activists will be a long-term campaign to remove tax-exempt status from dissenting religious institutions. The more immediate goal will be the shunning and persecution of dissenters within civil society. After today, all religious conservatives are Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla who was chased out of that company for supporting California’s Proposition 8.

Third, the Court majority wrote that gays and lesbians do not want to change the institution of marriage, but rather want to benefit from it. This is hard to believe, given more recent writing from gay activists like Dan Savage expressing a desire to loosen the strictures of monogamy in all marriages. Besides, if marriage can be redefined according to what we desire — that is, if there is no essential nature to marriage, or to gender — then there are no boundaries on marriage. Marriage inevitably loses its power.

In that sense, social and religious conservatives must recognize that the Obergefell decision did not come from nowhere. It is the logical result of the Sexual Revolution, which valorized erotic liberty. It has been widely and correctly observed that heterosexuals began to devalue marriage long before same-sex marriage became an issue. The individualism at the heart of contemporary American culture is at the core of Obergefell — and at the core of modern American life.

This is profoundly incompatible with orthodox Christianity. But this is the world we live in today.

One can certainly understand the joy that LGBT Americans and their supporters feel today. But orthodox Christians must understand that things are going to get much more difficult for us. We are going to have to learn how to live as exiles in our own country. We are going to have to learn how to live with at least a mild form of persecution. And we are going to have to change the way we practice our faith and teach it to our children, to build resilient communities.

It is time for what I call the Benedict Option. In his 1982 book After Virtue,the eminent philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre likened the current age to the fall of ancient Rome. He pointed to Benedict of Nursia, a pious young Christian who left the chaos of Rome to go to the woods to pray, as an example for us. We who want to live by the traditional virtues, MacIntyre said, have to pioneer new ways of doing so in community. We await, he said “a new — and doubtless very different — St. Benedict.”

Throughout the early Middle Ages, Benedict’s communities formed monasteries, and kept the light of faith burning through the surrounding cultural darkness. Eventually, the Benedictine monks helped refound civilization.

I believe that orthodox Christians today are called to be those new and very different St. Benedicts. How do we take the Benedict Option, and build resilient communities within our condition of internal exile, and under increasingly hostile conditions? I don’t know. But we had better figure this out together, and soon, while there is time.

Last fall, I spoke with the prior of the Benedictine monastery in Nursia, and told him about the Benedict Option. So many Christians, he told me, have no clue how far things have decayed in our aggressively secularizing world. The future for Christians will be within the Benedict Option, the monk said, or it won’t be at all.

Obergefell is a sign of the times, for those with eyes to see. This isn’t the view of wild-eyed prophets wearing animal skins and shouting in the desert. It is the view of four Supreme Court justices, in effect declaring from the bench the decline and fall of the traditional American social, political, and legal order.

We live in interesting times.