Today, Kim Davis returned to work. You might remember Kim Davis as the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses because it is against her religion. Her tantrum landed her in jail for five days for refusing to do her job. Makes sense. She is a worker of the court and cannot impress her views on others, especially by refusing to do her job.
But now she is back at work. She spent all of Monday in her office with the door closed and the blinds drawn, only after making a statement to the press of course. Christian conservatives have called Davis a “hero” for standing up for her beliefs.
And that’s great. We live in a country that allows us to believe in whatever we would like, and say whatever we want. But this isn’t just another opinionated citizen. She is refusing to do her job.
In her statement Monday morning before retreating to her office for the day, she said,
“I want the whole world to know … If any [deputy clerk] feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice, and I will take no action against them. However, any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order. I don’t want to have this conflict. I don’t want to be in the spotlight, and I certainly don’t want to be a whipping post; I am no hero. I just want to serve my neighbors quietly without violating my conscience. And so this morning, I am forced to fashion a remedy that reconciles my conscience with Judge Bunning’s orders. Effective immediately and until an accommodation is provided by those with the authority to provide it, any marriage license issued by my office will not be issued or authorized by me.”
This is the part that gets me. She is returning to work, and will be paid, but is still not doing her job.
As anyone who has ever held a job knows, if you refuse to do your job, you would be terminated. This is like ordering a burger at a restaurant and being told you can’t have a burger because your server is a vegetarian. It’s not about religious beliefs or political views. It’s about doing your job.
So why is Kim Davis is still employed? Is it because she has become somewhat of a martyr? Only time will tell.