Religious Freedom or Selfishness???

Now, normally I stay away from discussions involving religion or politics, but this story about the Kentucky Clerk was irking my nerves too much to not talk about it. I needed a big ole glass of wine to process this one. I’m sure most of you have heard about this story. I’ve included a link below to NBC news so you can read all about it. In short, a county clerk in Kentucky named Kim Davis was refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This was after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal nationwide too. She ended up getting arrested, jailed for a number of days, and finally got released today. Mrs. Davis and her lawyer were trying to say that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated her religious freedom. Ummm…..what?????? Boo, you gonna have to give me something better than that.

Now, let me acknowledge that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Everyone is also entitled to their own religious views. That’s what religious freedom is all about. It doesn’t bother me at all that Mrs. Davis doesn’t accept homosexuality. I’m a gay man myself, but I still respect her views. I don’t agree with her views, but I do respect her feelings. We’re not all required to think the same way.

However, I have a problem with her forcing her views onto others, and that’s exactly what she’s doing by refusing marriage licenses to the LGBT community. You can’t use religion as a reason to not do your job. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you have the right to break the law & deny someone of their right to a marriage just because YOU feel the marriage is a sin. #NotCool. If you have a problem with issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, then you need to start looking for a new career, Boo! It doesn’t matter how many years you may have worked at that office. It doesn’t matter how much you love your job or how comfortable you have gotten from working there for so long. None of that is society’s problem. Either do your job or get the hell on. Perhaps she would be better suited working as a nun or a teacher at a Christian Academy.

Religious Freedom means you have the right to practice any religion you choose or to not practice religion at all. (ACLU.org details it quite nicely). It doesn’t mean you get to force your views on others when their views conflict with yours.

Personally, I don’t feel her decision was all about religion. I sense it was probably more out of general homophobia than religious beliefs. I wonder if a couple that was of Buddhist faith decided to come to her office to get a marriage license, would she deny them a license because their Buddhist views don’t coincide with her Christian views? Who knows. My gut tells me that couple would’ve left her office with a marriage license in hand though. But, I could be wrong :-/

I just feel like if you’re going to play the religious freedom card, then you better play it fairly. That means you have to realize that just as you have the right to believe whatever you choose to believe, others have the same right to the believe whatever they choose to believe. You can disassociate yourself with someone with opposing views on your personal time, but when it comes to business and the law, your religious views have to take a backseat. In this country, church and state are separate, and people tend to forget that. It’s not like Mrs. Davis owned a little, independent bakery and decided to not make a wedding cake for a gay couple because it went against her religious views. Even though a decision like that would bother me, I get it, and she would legitimately have the right to deny that couple service. However, she doesn’t have that kind of power where she works. She grants marriage licenses for a living, and she can’t override the Supreme Court. Plain and simple.

Anyhow, I hope one day this world will become more accepting to everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or other unique characteristics. I say do what you want and believe what you want. As long as you’re not harming anyone else or spreading hatred, it’s all good with me. #SpreadLoveNotHate. What are your views on this story? Toddley would love to know 🙂

*Sources

NBC News: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/judge-orders-kim-davis-freed-kentucky-jail-n423541

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/04/us/kentucky-clerk-kim-davis/index.html

American Civil Liberties Union: https://www.aclu.org/your-right-religious-freedom

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