Everybody and their brother (literally) have weighed in on Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. I want to come at this from a different angle.
Davis isn’t following the Bible.
Davis was put in jail last Thursday for refusing to issue licenses to gay couples because it violates her Christian belief that homosexuality is a sin. As a conservative Christian myself, I respect that. For that matter, a lot of people who disagree with her religious views respect that, but they argue that as a public official she is duty-bound to follow the law. (She was released on Tuesday after agreeing no longer to interfere in the issuing of licenses by her office, even if she herself doesn’t issue them. Once released, she appeared to change her mind about that.)
With the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in June, same-sex marriage is the law in Kentucky — and every other state.
But Davis isn’t following the law of man — or the law of God.
I interviewed Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz for a story I wrote about Davis at Newsmax last week, and he wasn’t sympathetic to her cause.
“If she were a principled Christian, she would refuse to marry anyone who has ever been divorced,” Dershowitz told me. “That comes directly from Jesus.
“And any clerk who marries somebody who has been divorced — if you accept the attitude of this clerk — will be violating Christian principles far more than issuing marriage licenses to somebody who is gay,” Dershowitz said.
He’s right. Jesus clearly states in Mark 10: 11-12,
Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.
Luke 16:18 has a similar quote, noting that a person who marries a divorce person also is committing adultery.
The Apostle Paul, writing in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 says,
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
Interestingly, these passages are clear to every atheist friend I have — and to people who practice other religions. But 99.99 percent of Christians believe there are circumstances that allow for a divorced person to remarry. (Technically, there is one: If your former spouse dies.)
Christians are the only people bound by the writings of the New Testament, and they are the very ones who happily ignore such “hard” teachings. (There is no biblical command, by the way, that a person must remain in an abusive marriage, but when one leaves such a marriage he or she is not to remarry.)
Davis — and several other county clerks and probate judges throughout the country who have stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether to avoid issuing them to gay couples — should have stopped issuing them when the first divorced person showed up wanting to be remarried.
For that matter, the vast majority of Christians interpret the passage “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” to mean that a Christian shouldn’t marry a non-Christian. So biblical-minded county clerks can’t issue licenses to those couples either.
I’m not even going to get into Davis’ own multiple marriages since they occurred long before she became a born-again Christian anyway.
As for Christians judging the actions of people who aren’t Christians, Paul writes that it’s none of our concern. (“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?” – 1 Corinthians 5:12.)
That said, I want to see all the Christian clerks refuse to issue marriage licenses to divorcees and to Christians trying to marry heathens. When they do that, I might listen to their arguments on denying licenses to gay couples.
Before her release on Tuesday, Davis’ lawyers issued a statement that she was spending her time in jail reading her Bible. Let’s pray she studies some of these passages.