Author note: While I find much to agree with in Mr. Church’s sentiment here, I can’t fully embrace ignoring the law without consequences. I guess traditionalists are right about Kant and his epistemological head games focused on non-contradiction: they rot the brain. Perhaps mine is rotten too. I’ll let the readers decide.
Much ink has been spilled on the ongoing plight of Kim Davies, the Kentucky county clerk who is currently incarcerated for refusing to issue marriage licenses.
First Things editor R.R. Reno praises her resoluteness to “quietly following the dictates of her conscience.” Author Luma Simms also celebrates Davis “acting in accordance with God’s moral law which is now written on her heart as a convert” to Christianity. National Review’s Charlie Cooke is adamant that Davis breaking the law and intones that “[she]does not have a leg to stand on.” Rod Dreher blogs, “even though my heart is with Kim Davis, my head says principle matters” and that “if we grant individuals the right to defy any law they like without consequence, as long as they claim religious liberty, the rule of law ceases to exist. “
The liberal media is having a field day over impugning Davis’ intransigence against complying with the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision. Back when California outlawed same-sex marriage, the Grey Lady herself endorsed government officials defying the law. But let’s forget about the hypocrisy of the liberal media for a moment. The question at hand for Christians is this: What’s the proper role of civil disobedience in the face of a hostile government?
I love a good poke in the eye of authority as much as the next guy. But, like Dreher and Cooke, I see that the law must have consequences. I’ve praised the defiance of some Southern counties refusing to issue marriage licenses altogether. That movement, small as it is, represents a dropping out of public requirement. But like Kim Davis, the perpetrators have to face the consequences of their choice. And for the Kentucky county of Rowan, the chickens are coming home to roost.