Kim Davis: “Impossible choice . . . my conscience or my freedom?”
Rowan, Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, returned to her government position Monday. Her public statement reinforced her conviction and determination not to participate in issuing marriage licenses of homosexual couples. The licenses will not have her name, title or authorization on the license. She said, however, that if her deputies issue the licenses with that understanding, she will not take any action to stop them.
Upon Davis’ release from her serving five days in jail, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis not to interfere with the issuing of marriage licenses by her office. Neither the judge nor Davis are certain of the issued licenses validity without her authority, but Davis called it a “remedy” to reconcile her conscience with the federal injunction for her to provide the forms.
The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
While the public schools today are teaching our children about the religion of Islam, these same children and our citizens are obviously also uneducated about the freedom of religion and Christianity. But more appalling is that the government, in particular the judicial system, is not only woefully ignorant of what exercising our Christian faith requires, they are criminalizing our practice of it.
The key word here is conscience. The definition of conscience in our secular dictionary does not carry with it the same connotation as our faith.
One dictionary’s definition as a moral stance – a simple preference almost:
- An awareness of morality in regard to one’s behavior; a sense of right and wrong that urges one to act morally: Let your conscience be your guide.
- A source of moral or ethical judgment or pronouncement: a document that serves as the nation’s conscience.
- Conformity to one’s own sense of right conduct: a person of unflagging conscience.
This does not carry the same gravity of Christianity’s definition. In contrast, there are detrimental and serious consequences to the spirit of a Christian who willfully violates the intuitive and direct awareness against the will of God.
Christianity’s definition of the consciences has is a much more profound meaning that determines our ability to exercise our faith. God is looking – demanding – our obedience to His will rather than for “correctness” of conduct. The discernment of His will is communicated through our spirits. Obeying our (Christian) conscience is the exercise of our faith. By ignoring the voice of our conscience we fall into sin. Sin, unrepented of is disobedience to God and therefore cuts us off from His grace and promises. Willful disobedience is sin. The penalty of sin is death – not physical death, but cut off from the life giving fellowship with God.
In Acts 5: 17-29, the party of the Sanhedrin called the apostles to account:
27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!
Kim Davis says just this in her statement Monday as she returned to work. Davis noted that since January of this year, she had been asking Governor Steve Beshear, the Kentucky legislature and more recently Judge Benning for an accommodation for her religious beliefs regarding marriage that would allow her to serve the citizens of Rowan County without violating her conscience. She stated that her name and official title point to her and that she did not want them on a marriage certificate that conflict with God’s definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman, violating her deeply held religious convictions and conscience, “For me this would be an act of disobedience to my God.”