When Insanity is Substituted for Duty
should have resigned if she found herself unable to fulfill her duty of issuing marriage licenses. Now, I don't think that a person whose conscience was bothered at issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would necessarily be committing a sin if he or she DID choose to resign. But MUST such a person resign? The argument for the "resign!" position says that since she was hired to do a certain job-a job that includes the issuing of marriage licenses-then, upon finding herself unable to do an important aspect of her job, she should have resigned. But notice: when she was elected to office, her job did not include participating in the re-definition of marriage. Also: it is debatable whether the Supreme Court has the authority to change her job in the way that it attempted to do.
For those who think that, beyond a doubt, Kim Davis should have resigned, I would like to pose the following question. How many basic definitions regarding a person's job could the courts change before some action could reasonably be taken by that person in protest? Say that Kim Davis had been elected as a dog catcher in her county and that part of her job included shooting rabid dogs. If the Supreme Court had come along and said, "The definition of 'rabid dogs' now includes people with blonde hair and blue eyes," then should Davis have felt conscience-bound to either comply or resign? Couldn't she appropriately resist without resigning?
In Obergefell, the Supreme Court declared a re-definition of a basic human institution. The idea of heterosexual marriage is not just the doctrine of some religious sect. "Marriage" is defined by moral law, natural philosophy ("the light of nature"), and thousands of years of tradition to be between man and woman. The Supreme Court of our nation has made a declaration that equates to moral and legal insanity. Kim Davis and other conscience-stricken government officials are trying to act in a sane manner given an insane situation. I believe that we would be wise to be careful in criticizing their choices in this matter.
Labels: Christian worldview