Tuesday, September 08, 2015

A Tangled Web

In the manner of Roger Daltrey, Kim Davis (video below) now can say "I'm free!" as

A Kentucky county clerk emerged from jail on Tuesday, six days after a federal judge put her behind bars for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, as her attorneys reasserted their argument that licenses issued in her absence are “not valid."

With tears in her eyes, and having taken to the stage to the tune of Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger, Kim Davis thanked a crowd for their support.

“I just want to give God the glory,” she said. “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 is worthy; he’s worthy. I love you guys. Thank you so much.”

In an order issued Tuesday, US federal judge David Bunning, who remanded Davis to US marshals during a high-profile hearing last week, ordered the Rowan County clerk released from jail on the condition she doesn’t interfere with efforts by her deputies to issue marriage licenses.

“If Defendant Davis should interfere in any way with their issuance, that will be considered a violation of this Order and appropriate sanctions will be considered,” Bunning wrote in the two-page order.....

Davis, an Apostolic Christian who earns $80,000 annually as Rowan County’s elected clerk, has said that issuing a marriage license to a gay couple would violate her conscience.

As long as Ms. Davis states "I just want to give God the glory" and cites her religious faith as the basis of her actions, we ought to take a look at that religion.  On its website, the Apostolic Church lists twenty precepts, each accompanied by one or more scriptural citations claimed to validate the statement.

There are few beliefs which deviate from what most people would expect from an evangelical church outside of mainstream Christianity. Somewhat unusual, though,  is the practice in which "Sisters wear a veil or head covering during prayer and worship as a symbol of their submission according to God's order of Creation." It's a safe guess the church is not a supporter of reproductive freedom.  

Within Protestant Christianity, or at least within its evangelical branch, there is an ongoing debate about whether an individual can lose his or her salvation. It is inside baseball, barely arguable, and not fundamental to one's Christian faith.  For the Apostolic Christian Church, "it is possible for a believer of his own free will to forsake his faith, return to sin, and consequently forfeit eternal life with Christ."  

Referring to a "return to sin" is curious, given that biblical Christianity is clear that "all sin and fall short of the glory of God."  There is no "saints and sinners"; the state of being  a sinner is inevitable, however unfortunate. There are 76 things alone in Leviticus which are banned, hence sin, whether realistic or not.

Presumably, though, Ms. Davis is particularly obedient to #18 of the faith statement: "Marriage is a lifelong union ordained of God in which a man and a woman of like mind, faith, and fellowship are united in the Lord in Holy Matrimony."   She herself has had three divorces. However, she will tell you that she was lost, and now is found.    Make of that what you will. Under truth serum, former Senator Bob Dole would say "whatever."

But let's not skip over #17, inconveniently remarking "Governmental authority is respected and obeyed. Members serve in a non-combatant status in the military. Oaths are not taken, but truth is affirmed."   Davis may not have sworn, but she at least affirmed, that she would "well and truly discharge the duties of the office of Rowan County Circuit Court clerk... and will faithfully execute the duties of my office without favor, affection or partiality, so help me God."

That does not alone make of Kim Davis a threat to the Republic. She has, though, decided to pick and choose. She issues divorce decrees, but not marriage licenses. She accepts most of her church's ideas, but not all.  She accepts most of Scripture, but not Romans 13: 1-2, which warns people to "be subject to the governing authorities" for "whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."

In defense, Davis attorney Matt Staver would cite Dred Scott, a dubious analogy at best. Still, it demonstrates that when invoking God, one must be very careful, for each of us lives in a glass house of her own making.

Update: September 11, 2015

There developed a question as to whether Kim Davis is a member of the Apostolic Christian Church or the Apostolic Pentecostal Church. As a second update to a post, on the afternoon of September 8, Think Progress reported "Although Think Progress is still unable to independently verify Davis' home church, other outlets have reported that she belongs to Solid Rock Apostolic Church, an Apostolic Pentecostal congregation."

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1 comment:

Benjamin said...

Davis is not a member of the ACCA, whose website you linked to. She is a member of a very different, but similarly named church - the Apostolic Church. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolic_Church_(denomination)

Also you can see Davis's wikipedia page for more information. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Davis_(county_clerk)

The names are very similar and so it is an easy mistake to make, and many have made it.

The churches are not related in anyway, so she does not adhere to the statement of faith you linked to.

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