Every now and then, I joke around about worrying about the state of society, usually in response to some idiotic clickbait article circulating on social media or a ridiculous story from a classmate.
However, I am genuinely concerned about things right now, but not for the usual reasons you may have grown accustomed to reading about in this column. For once, loyal readers, you will not find me ranting about a presidential candidate, congressperson or television pundit.
Instead, I am about to have my say on Kim Davis, the Rowan County clerk in Kentucky whose religious beliefs prohibited her from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Despite a court ruling demanding she issue marriage licenses to hetero- and homosexual couples, she refused, which ultimately led to her five-day detainment by federal officials.
I think I see posts about Davis every single time I log onto Facebook or Twitter. Some herald her as a hero of conservative Christianity, while others reduce her to a “Bible-thumping hillbilly.” And let me tell you, I am sick and tired of hearing about her, regardless of the light it is in.
That said, allow me to add my thoughts on the chaos and be done with the matter.
When the Supreme Court announced their ruling on June 26, 2015 legalizing gay marriage nationwide, I rejoiced. While this ruling does not have a massive impact on my life, it will better the lives of so many of my friends.
On the flipside, however, there are many individuals who were displeased by the ruling. I opted to avoid the Internet for a couple days following the decision. This is largely due to an influx of posts from people concerned that same-sex marriages would ruin the validity of their own.
Newsflash: your marriage is just as valid after the ruling as it was before. But, I digress.
My aforementioned concern does not directly stem from an individual using her religious beliefs as an excuse not to do the job she was elected to do; rather, it lies in a lack of compassion.
Kim Davis neglected to issue marriage licenses to all couples, regardless of sexual orientation, rather than having to issue them to same-sex individuals. According to Davis, this was a “Heaven or Hell issue” that kept her from fulfilling the mandatory duties of her job.
Alright, but doesn’t the Bible, which Davis lauds so vehemently, tell us to love our enemies, and not to “neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it?”
Davis had an opportunity to show compassion for the same-sex couples who were finally able to apply for marriage. She opted to judge their choices instead—which is her prerogative—and has faced the consequences for doing so.
Be that as it may, this is not a one-sided issue. While, as you may have noticed, I am not exactly a member of Kim Davis’ fan club, that does not give me any reason to belittle or insult her.
At the end of the day, is any good accomplished by pettily criticizing people?
If you think about it, if you choose to refer to Davis as a “bible thumping hillbilly” or relentlessly berate her four marriages, you aren’t really any better than her. You are stooping to her level and that of her supporters by passing a harsh judgment on someone whose choices you do not agree with. This is also your prerogative; it’s your choice to make.
In all, before I completely wash my hands of the events and comments surrounding Kim Davis, I would just like to ask that people try to show more compassion in their lives, whether it’s toward people like Kim Davis, a co-worker you have a hard time working with or anyone with whom you don’t agree. We can’t all agree on everything, and even if you think someone is completely outright wrong, it doesn’t hurt to send some kindness their way in the spirit of tolerance.