SCOTUS has rejected without comment (unfortunately) an appeal by a Kentucky county clerk to impose a stay on a lower court order that she must issue same-sex marriage licenses against her religious convictions.
I say SCOTUS’ refusal to comment is unfortunate because it is a coward’s way out. They have smiled on the imposition of a religious test for public office with nary a word.
“A religious test,” you say? Yes, a religious test. As it now stands by judicial fiat, persons of religious conviction may not hold a county clerk’s position in the state of Kentucky. They are now required to abandon their religion at the door of the office, which means effectively, that they can have no religious convictions (since a conviction, by definition, cannot be left temporarily; it can only be compromised). If you can abandon your religious conviction when you go to work, you don’t have a religious conviction. You have a preference.
The solution to this situation is simple. SCOTUS should have reversed its earlier embarrassment and rejected same-sex marriage. This should have been done for the preservation of culture and families.
An even simpler solution would be for the couple to travel twenty-two miles—yes, only twenty-two miles—to the next county where they could easily get a marriage license without attempting to force a citizen to violate their religious convictions.
But they didn’t. They chose a road of national exposure, legal bills, and frustration.
One of the parties says, “I feel sad, I feel devastated. … I feel like I've been humiliated on such a national level, I can't even comprehend it."
Yet the humiliation is his alone. And it’s hard to imagine that someone living in Kentucky cannot comprehend that there are people with convictions about marriage and family.
To avoid humiliation, he could have driven a short distance and easily gotten the license months ago. He could have already “married” his partner and been done with it, and no one would have ever known.
How do I know this? Someone real quick tell me anyone who has gotten a marriage license in a neighboring county in the last two months.
You probably don’t know a single person. And you would have never known this person had he simply done that.
But instead, he chose to make himself a national spectacle. And now, he must accept the consequences of that.
But there’s a bigger problem. He is humiliated about the wrong thing. He should be humiliated for being in a same-sex relationship violating what he knows to be true. He should be humiliated for his ignorance that rejects the Creator’s plan for life. He should be humiliated for living life the way he is living. He should be humiliated for making it public.
Instead, he confirms the truth of Romans 1. Though he knows God, he rejects that knowledge. Therefore, he has been given over and is now demonstrating a hardness of heart that has led him to make a spectacle of himself in front of a whole nation.
Not only that, he takes pleasure in the things of which he should be ashamed. Knowing, and yet ignoring, that those who live this way (among other ways) are worthy of death, he not only does it, he gives hearty approval to those who do it along with him (Romans 1:32).
And he tries to force his religious convictions on others who disagree, all the while begging for tolerance for himself.
What should this Kentucky clerk do?
Some are calling on her to resign, saying she shouldn’t hold office unless she can do what the office requires. There are several problems with this.
First, it amounts (as I already pointed out) to a religious test for office. She is being told she cannot hold her religious convictions and also do her job. And yet there is no good reason for this. Marriage licenses are a small part of her job, and those could be easily issued in a neighboring country.
Second, it amounts to an override of the vote of the people. The people of this county elected her to this position. The radical homosexual lobby has no right to try to negate that vote. At the next election, they may throw all their resources at the ballot box and try to remove her by the legal means—namely, electing someone else. To force her out of office for being a Christian is a tragic denial of democracy.
Third, she could easily do the job she was elected to do. The job requirements changed by judicial fiat after she took the job. She should not be held liable for a job she did not sign up for.
Fourth, the problem is easily remedied by other counties who will do exactly what this couple wants. Which confirms the point that they don’t want a marriage license; they want an issue. The marriage license would have been easy to come by. If that was their desire, it would have been long ago done.
In this day and age, individual Christians must decide on their convictions (as opposed to their preferences). For better or worse, the pressure is now coming from outside our own hearts to decide what we believe.
What would I do if I were a county clerk in Kentucky? I have no idea. But I am firmly convinced that judges have no right to demand her to do this.
What should we as Christians do? We should love people. When we have encounters with those who differ with us on same-sex marriage, we must love them with gospel love, showing them the way of the Creator both for life and eternity.
We should look on them with pity, because there is a great Savior who looked on us with pity and loved us and saved us in spite of ourselves.
We should minister to them with hope, knowing that God is bigger than sin and eternity is longer than life.