Much has been written about Kim Davis, the elected County Clerk who has consistently and persistently refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and then sent to jail for her refusal to obey the law. (At the time of this writing, she’s out of jail.) I’ve made my fair share of comments, observations, snide remarks and jokes.
She’s an easy target if you need a Poster Child for the unenlightened zeal of the extreme Religious Right. She’s made it clear that she sees her religious convictions as more important than any governmental authority—local, state or Federal.
She is clearly polarizing, with those in the conservative/Fundamentalist religious communities hailing her as a martyr, praising her “stand for Jesus” as courageous. Many extremist preachers point to her as evidence that very soon, all Christians will be jailed for their religious beliefs. Most Tea Party/GOP Presidential candidates are using her as a Talking Point (or photo opp) to garner support, increase their exposure and raise money.
I don’t fault her for having convictions; I also have convictions. But I passionately disagree with her using her position as a platform to force those beliefs on others, or to prevent others from their Constitutional rights as American citizens.
It’s been suggested by some that it’s time to stop talking about Kim Davis. On my personal Facebook page, I was criticized for my posts about her. I was told we should stop bringing attention to her, and that we should stop rewarding her actions with media exposure.
Should we ignore Kim Davis?
First, I’m not the media. I’m merely a Cultural Observer. (And a simple blogger.) I don't imagine that what I say/write probably makes a discernible ripple in the vast media ocean.
Second, like her or not...agree with her or not..here’s the reality: she IS news. I don’t think ignoring her (or any of these extremist yahoos) is the way to deal with them.
For me, she’s a visible symbol of Fundamentalist bigotry. She personifies what will happen if we allow what Thomas Jefferson referred to as the “wall of separation” between the church and the government to be breached. (cf: letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802) Let's not kid ourselves; this is what the Fundamentalist want, and what they are working to achieve, particularly via the election of like-minded politico-religious candidates like Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, ad nauseam. And please be assured: they are NOT going away, and they must not be ignored!
So, for my part, I will continue to highlight her hate, her religious inconsistencies, her lawless behavior. I will not cease to point out her bigotry. I will not stop presenting the (actual) facts, which is not about the freedom to practice her faith but her stubborn, willful defiance of the law.
And yes, I’ll ridicule the silliness of the spectacle. I will always avoid shaming her appearance (and I've encouraged others to avoid that as well), but I will make light of her untenable stance. And I’ll deride the hypocrisy of those opportunistic people who are using her for their own gain, particularly her lawyers, who have an obvious agenda. I will try and speak Truth to the absurd, even if it IS sometimes in the form of satire and humor.
But make no mistake. I do NOT see her as a joke. I see her (actually, the mentality and mindset that drives her) as a threat. To me personally, as a gay man, and to the principles of freedom that founded our country.
I can’t limit her time of notoriety; I'm just a simple blogger. But I can (and will) shine my own light of understanding on her, hopefully exposing some of the darkness and the danger of this extremist thinking. I will speak up about (and against) what’s being ignored by those who will only hear what they are being told, or see only what the extremists want them to see.
I am not the media, so I have no control over what they cover. But I will NOT be silent!
I will not ignore Kim Davis.
I do not subscribe to the efficacy of the ostrich school of activism!