Religion

County Clerk Bravely Stands Up for Her Right to Be a Bigoted Asshole

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Sorta transcript:

In Kentucky, one county clerk is standing up bravely for what she believes in: hating gay people. Kim Davis has quickly been turned into an artificial folk hero thanks to anti-gay organizations bussing in supporters and handing her awards for refusing to do her job, which is to give marriage licenses to people who want them, even if she doesn’t like those people.

Fundamentalist Christians in the United States have made a trend out of not doing your job, like pharmacists refusing to give women medicine because it may also prevent them from getting pregnant, or bakers not selling cakes because they may be eaten by gay people. On the scale of how fucked up this is, I’d say Davis falls somewhere in the middle of those two other incidents: probably no one will die from not getting a marriage license (though I guess it could happen if they were marrying to get their spouse’s medical insurance), but without a marriage license they definitely wouldn’t even be able to order a wedding cake from a homophobe, let alone be denied one.

Amazingly, Federal District Court Judge David Bunning has yet to fire Davis for failing to do her job, though he has ordered her to do that job. An order that she is continuing to defy, only heightening her folk hero status amongst the other homophobes.

The bigots are pretending this is a case of religious freedom: it’s against her religion to do her job, so she shouldn’t be fired. I would personally love to see them argue that when it comes to people with other religions doing other jobs. For instance, what if you get in a car accident, lose a lot of blood, and find that your nurse at the ER is a Jehovah’s Witness? Blood transfusions are against her religion, and you can’t fire someone for not doing their job due to their religion, right?

Or what if your clerk at the DMV is a fundamentalist Muslim, and you happen to be a woman? Issuing driving licenses to women is against his religion, and you can’t fire someone for not doing their job due to their religion, right?

I certainly sympathize with Ms. Davis, of course. If I were a county clerk in bumfuck Kentucky and two homophobic bigots came in looking to get married, I’d be very tempted to exercise the tiny amount of power I have in my otherwise pathetic life to make their lives just a little bit worse. But I wouldn’t, because I know that if I did that, I’d get fired, even if I pointed out that my religion is secular humanism, which I interpret to mean that I should not bring joy to the lives of assholes or else I risk going to humanist hell, which, ironically, would be a fundamentalist church service at 8am on a nice Sunday morning.

So I wouldn’t. And neither should Kim Davis, bigot folk hero.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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6 Comments

  1. August 30, 2015 at 1:43 pm —

    Amazingly, Federal District Court Judge David Bunning has yet to fire Davis for failing to do her job, though he has ordered her to do that job.

    Since Davis is an elected official, the only way to fire her is for the KY legislature to impeach her. She could also be removed from office if she faces criminal prosecution, and the Rowan County Attorney’s Office is trying to have her charged with misconduct, but they can’t do it themselves because of their involvement with current litigation involving Davis.

    • September 2, 2015 at 1:59 pm —

      I was wondering why no one had fired her yet. Didn’t realize she was an elected official. Of course that means she can use this fight as campaign material and be re-elected. And later on she can use her supposed martyrdom in a bid for governor on an evangelical christian platform. Hmm… I have a feeling this is going to get worse before it gets better.

  2. August 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm —

    Or what if your clerk at the DMV is a fundamentalist Muslim, and you happen to be a woman? Issuing driving licenses to women is against his religion, and you can’t fire someone for not doing their job due to their religion, right?

    No, you see, that’s totally different. He’s following the wrong religion, so it’s okay to fire him. Actually, it’s okay to fire him, whether he does his job or not.

  3. August 30, 2015 at 5:39 pm —

    Of course, your bigoted, homophobic, couple might not be visible as such.

    Ms Davis’ Christian scruples don’t appear to involve anyone she might need to KNOW anything about to trigger her disapproval.

    Couples with one or more divorced members.
    Couples with a non-virgin bride.
    Couples that use contraception, or plan to use contraception.
    Couples including a woman whose standard of ‘submission’ falls short of Ms Davis’ requirements.

    Etc. etc. etc.

    I would’t be surprised to find Ms Davis’ version of Xtianity to include tax cuts for the rich and unlimited handgun access as well.

  4. August 31, 2015 at 5:16 am —

    A serious and well written article, but why can’t I stop giggling at the “bumfuck Kentucky” remark.

  5. August 31, 2015 at 7:19 pm —

    I was about to step up and defend my flyover state neighbors to the south from the “Bumfuck, Kentucky” remark, but then I Googled Rowan County and oh my goodness that is definitely the middle of fucking nowhere in the Bluegrass state.

    Oh, and in the Facebook comments for this article we have a real live full on Libertarian arguing that this is prima facie evidence that we should abolish all government. I almost have my bingo card filled.

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