The idea that a person would run for public office, a position that represents the general public as a whole, and proceed to use that position to enforce his or her own personal agenda, be it religious or social, is wrong. An elected position is one in which one person from the masses follows the will of the people. Especially when that elected position is a clerk–someone who essentially affirms decisions already made by their superiors–there is absolutely no room for personal opinion. In this way, Kim Davis was inexplicably wrong in what she did, or rather, what she did not do
However, you may come to admire a particular aspect of Davis’ personality: her consistency. Davis refused to sign marriage licenses because she believed the federal government’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage was immoral. What a lot of people do not seem to know, however, is that she did not only refuse to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but she decided that if the United States government was going to disgrace her personal definition of marriage, then she would not grant marriage licenses to any kind of marriage, including “traditional” ones.
Even just for that little bit of added commitment I commend Davis. As someone who has had to stand her ground for many a social cause, a part of me applauds her for standing her ground. Granted, this was a rather vitriolic ground on which to stand, but my point here is that Davis was willing to sacrifice the marriages she deemed should exist under her nation and under her God just so that she could prevent her country from committing what was in her eyes a sin.
In order to fully appreciate how consistent this woman was with her own spiritual beliefs, one must shift perspective once more. Davis was raised her entire life to believe that anyone who chooses to commit sexual acts with a person not of the opposite sex will burn in Hell for eternity.
If one were to pause for a moment and contemplate the concept of eternity–something that exists outside of time, that always has been, always is, and always will be–one would conclude that Hell is a really intense form of punishment. I know I personally would not wish that on my worst enemy. I cannot imagine many people in existence have ever truly deserved that.
Davis probably thought that she should not have to face the choice of disobeying her government or allowing her fellow Americans to risk eternal suffering. In her own eyes, she made a heroic choice. She also made a choice that allowed her to keep herself from getting her hands dirty through affiliation with approval of same-sex marriage.
To most people, Davis’ religious beliefs seem to have preceded the requests of the American people in her actions. It is easy to view her decisions as ignorant, self-absorbed and irresponsible. However, in her own eyes, Davis acted out of nothing but love for her fellow countrymen.
She was faced with the decision to either grant rights to a number of couples so that they could be granted mortal satisfaction or save an entire nation from eternal damnation. As repugnant and atavistic as her decision may have been, it is hard not to at least tip a hat to her commitment and consistency. Kim Davis, I would never elect you into office, but I am happy to see that you care for my eternal soul.