As with everyone else, I’ve got hot takes about the Kentucky clerk who’s decided that her belief system trumps the holding of the US Supreme Court with regard to gay marriage. My focus is a little different, though, and it follows below.
Thing 1. Do your goddamn job. If you are a government employee, you don’t get to have personal beliefs that trump Federal law. You can believe whatever nonsense you choose when you’re off hours, but on the clock? Your job. DO IT.
Thing 2. The people who are screaming the loudest about her religious freedom would be the very first to burst a gasket if, say, she were Muslim and refused to issue a liquor license. Or, frankly, if she were Muslim at all.
The irony of social conservatives wanting to pass anti-Sharia laws in the heartland, and then lining up behind this person is not lost on me.
Thing 3, the part that’s a bit different: Ms. Davis is being led astray by her legal counsel. Now, it is not uncommon for lawyers to push cases that they believe to be noteworthy- it’s a great way to get free advertising and push a cause you believe in. BUT, and here’s the key- it’s ALWAYS the client’s case, and never yours. When you forget this, you get into deep shit. You have to offer the client advice. The legal strategy seemingly employed by the folks from the Liberty Counsel (of course they’re from Orlando) does not seem to be designed to put the client’s interests first. It seems like they’re giving her bad advice. Then again, if the goal is to set her up for a GoFundMeJeebus account, then I suppose it is good advice. Ultimately, she’s not going to be hit with overly punitive sanctions- she might lose her job, but she’ll be the recipient of a large pool of fundie money.
This is the problem with the intersection of faith and democracy- one of the things that we see in the Middle East, too. If you are a believer, and God is the highest authority, how can you submit to democracy? It worked pretty well in the US when the vast majority of the population was all singing the same hymns. Now that there’s some shwarma in the meatloaf of America, it gets complicated.
But it shouldn’t. It doesn’t have to. The line ought to be clear. Once your religious beliefs interfere with someone else’s liberty? Yours take a back seat. This means, issue the licenses. IT ALSO MEANS FILL THE BIRTH CONTROL PRESCRIPTIONS. DO YOUR JOB.