I’m writing you because this whole Kim Davis situation has really REALLY bothered me over the past couple weeks. It hits close to home for me because there are a lot of people from my past that look and sound a lot like Ms. Davis. And the fact of the matter is, while I may not agree with all those people all the time…I still love them and I respect them tremendously. So when I see very personal insults thrown at Ms. Davis it bothers me. Honestly, I’ve spent some time crying over this situation and here’s the biggest reason why - I think we both want the same thing but I’m not sure you understand that.
Here’s the thing - I think what has happened with Ms. Davis is a case of misunderstanding what Religious Freedom truly means. I think there has been a lack of comprehension of The Separation of Church and State (SOC&S). You see SOC&S is the very reason that you are allowed to rally outside of a state office while holding signs and crosses and the government can’t stop you. I want this too! I want to be able to stand and make my voice heard but here’s where our disagreement lies - Ms. Davis is actually putting that great freedom in jeopardy with her actions. I believe that passion is an amazing and great thing, I do. However, I believe that you must understand the consequences of your actions and you should fully understand the depth of what you are rallying against. You see if we stand behind Ms. Davis and label our cause as religious freedom we jeopardize the very thing we seek. Issuing marriage licenses to all people is the law of the United States of America and is upheld by the constitution, religion must be separate from this law. I am very sorry for Ms. Davis that this law took effect after her election to office but it doesn’t change the fact that it is still law. I personally hate it when a rapist is freed after a trial because there is a small, even insignificant, shadow of doubt. But this does not give me the right to take the law into my own hands and punish that individual. I must respect that law.
Let’s think about it like this…say there is a teenager who is…well…being a teenager and that kid decides he can curse his father, degrade him, and really just become a menace. I think we can all agree this happens every day in America. Okay, let’s say that father has had enough and he kills that son. Friend, I would hope that we all agree that this father should be punished. BUT - if we allow situations like that of Ms. Davis to continue then that father will have grounds to use Leviticus 20:9 in his defense and state it as his religious right and freedom to kill his child for cursing him. By rallying behind Ms. Davis we are opening the door for “religious freedom” to become a defense and scapegoat for broken laws. The church must remain separate from the state.
My hope is that you’ve heard me, friend. I love my religious freedom. I love that I can pray in public. I can worship when and where I would like. I can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter and his birth at Christmas. I like that you can be United Methodist or Baptist or Catholic or Pentecostal while I enjoy being this crazy hodge-podge of beliefs.
I am asking you to stop. Look, I’m really glad Ms. Davis is no longer in jail, I truly am. That was probably a scary experience and I will not delight in someone else’s pain. But let’s all agree that she wasn’t helping our cause…she really wasn’t. And you’re not helping by rallying behind something that will threaten our religious freedom. I wish her the best and I hope she has come to realize that the law is the law. If she can’t get past her conviction I wish her well on her new job search. I get it, I probably couldn’t be a Navy Seal…I’m not sure my religious beliefs would allow me to take another person’s life if commanded.
I tell you this because I love you…you are not being a light on a hill. You’re not drawing all men to Jesus with this. I’m afraid you are pushing people away. Yes, you’re gaining those who are just like you but are you gaining those who need to experience God’s love the most? I’m sorry, but I don’t think you are.
A broken heart.