By Nick Amon–
“I just want to give God the glory. His people have rallied, and you are a strong people! We serve a living God who knows exactly where each and every one of us is at. Just keep on pressing. Don’t let down, because he is here. He’s worthy.”
This is what Kentucky clerk Kim Davis said on Sept. 8 when U.S. District Judge David Bunning issued an order for Davis’s release from jail. Three days prior, Bunning sent her to jail for her refusal to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Davis was released last week on the premise of Kentucky’s religious freedom law.
As Davis took the stage in front of a rally awaiting her release, long-shot Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee followed right behind as the chorus of the 1980s hit “Eye of the Tiger” began to play in the background. As if those visuals weren’t vivid enough, Davis broke down in tears alongside her fourth husband and her defense attorney as she drowned in applause by her supporters waving crosses.
As if all of this doesn’t sound like a Hollywood-inspired cinematic effort to depict the religious crazed-south that we Kentuckians are far too familiar with, it unfortunately gets better. Huckabee also went on to galvanize the crowd of the supporters by saying, “I thought before we left today, maybe you would like to personally express your thanks to the person who has the courage to cause a lot of people to start standing up.”
Standing up to what? The modern day progression regarding homosexual tolerance? Utterly shocking words from someone who aspires to take the Oval Office one day–emphasis on aspires. Sorry, Governor Huckabee, but I believe there’s a reason our nation’s political agenda feels a tad more sympathy with those who are discriminated against merely for who they’re attracted to, rather than those who invoke hate and anger towards anyone who disagrees with their religious beliefs. It’s flat out embarrassing to live in a state where people feel the urge to chant her name in unified fashion.
Even the band Survivor, who was unwillingly behind the soundtrack to Davis’s release rally, expressed dismay towards the usage of their song around such a controversial matter. The song’s co-writer Frankie Sullivan went on to tell The Rolling Stone, “What upset me most was that, once again, my song was being used to further a political agenda, and no one even bothered to ask for permission.”
As we watched Davis become a martyr at her release from jail, there’s an odd way of backwards thinking intertwined to this situation.
First things first, Davis is no Martin Luther King Jr. She may have been jailed for her beliefs, but that doesn’t all of a sudden shape her into an activist fighting for human rights in a time where people drank at different water fountains. It’s important people realize such a pivotal difference.
Sadly, there’s obviously still a good portion of individuals in our country that think the Supreme Court has extended their arms too far into the same-sex marriage situation. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion (no matter how dumbfounded it may leave others), there’s a way to retain your religious beliefs and opinion on the matter without discriminating and enforcing your beliefs onto others. Unfortunately, this way of thinking remains too complex for many to actually conceptualize.
You can disagree with whatever you want. We all can. That’s what makes the country we live in so great: freedom of expression. But when your being paid by citizen tax dollars to neglect your job, all the while incorporating your own religious beliefs into your occupation by discriminating and refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, you automatically begin to taint the idea of freedom of expression. At that point, you’re not expressing your beliefs to others. Instead, you’re oppressing your beliefs onto others. Know the difference.