Views On News with Olivia: ‘Kentucky clerk proves no martyr’

Olivia Barfield

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Kim Davis is a County Clerk in Kentucky. She is in charge of things like overseeing elections, transcribing court hearings and issuing license plates. Her job largely involves keeping things in order.

But for the past few months, she’s been the one shaking things up.

Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses since the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage that made same-sex marriages a constitutional right nationwide this summer.

This presented some conflict for Davis, an Apostolic Christian. Typically, Apostolic Christians follow a very literal translation of the Bible. For Davis, this means that same-sex marriages go against her religious beliefs.

So she’s just not going to do it. And she told her Deputy Clerks not to do it either.

Other clerks have taken the same stance as Davis, but, as of last Friday, she’s the only one who has been jailed for defying a federal order to issue marriage licenses.

For some, this means that the law has won. You can’t disobey a federal ruling or you’ll get thrown in jail, and that’s that.

But for some, Davis has become a martyr for religious freedom in America.

People side with her because they think that this is a Biblical argument, or some sort of religious discrimination. It’s not. This is a legal issue.

This is a matter of a woman deciding not to follow the law because she feels uncomfortable with it.

I feel uncomfortable with driving 35 miles per hour through my hometown, but I still do it.

Davis has handled this without anger. She’s not tarnished her stance with unruly behavior or hate. She doesn’t seem to be the “jail” type.

But she needs to understand that this is not her call.

Religious freedom is the right to believe what you want. Davis was never denied that right.

She was never made to pick a side, either. This didn’t have to be that way.

When deciding which law reigns supreme, Davis forgot that our national laws are set with no intentions to harm us. New laws are made with intentions to progress our country.

When you decide that your personal beliefs are more important than the law in a situation that will bring no harm to you or the people you care about, then you are acting criminally.

God forbid that one day everyone decides their beliefs outweigh the law. We have a system for a reason. Kim Davis is not above it.

“This country was founded on faith,” said Davis, while denying a gay couple a marriage license.

And, in a way, she’s right. U.S. citizens should have a right to exercise their faith. Because of this, Davis can believe what she wants.

Having the right to believe what you want doesn’t mean that you can exercise actions associated with your belief when they deny someone else rights.

As much as I would enjoy getting to write about a martyr, I’m afraid that I can’t do that for Davis. She’s being reprimanded for refusing to follow a law. A martyr is someone who truly suffers for their beliefs, not someone who doesn’t do their job.